News and Notes for April 21, 2017


Lone Star Park kicked off its 20th anniversary season Thursday night with the $50,000 Premier Stakes for Accredited Texas-bred 3-year-olds and up going 6 ½ furlongs.  Supermason (Grasshopper – Folksy) and his connections celebrated after repeating as champion in the race, edging stablemate Bravura in a duel at the finish line.

“Bravura has gotten the best of Supermason a couple of times, but he prevailed this time,” said owner Brad Grady, who named the horse for his young son, Mason.

Grady and his horse operation will be turning their attention to the Kentucky Derby on May 6. 

The Covington native will have his first Derby horse entered, Girvin, who leads the Derby standings.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Grady. “It’s hard to put into words. … I don’t think it’s completely sunk in. It’s dumbfound luck to a country boy like me that my wife and me have a Derby horse.

Thanks to Girvin, TTA member Brad Grady of Grandview was listed at #7 on the TOBA List of Top Owners by North American Race Earnings.

The $50,000 Wayne Hanks Memorial Stakes for Accredited Texas-bred fillies and mares has drawn a field of 7 going 6 ½ furlongs.

The 2/1 favorite is Zippit E (My Golden Song – Final Trick), a homebred stakes winner for Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch.  Trained by Bret Calhoun, she won this year’s $50,000 Yellow Rose Stakes at Houston in March. 

Bred by Mike Neatherlin, Eurodevilwoman (Euroears – The Devil is Mine) runs for Jerry Caroom, and is the second-favorite at 3/1.

Jack Cook’s multiple stakes placed homebred Valid Bride (Valid Expectations – Cancel the Wedding) finished second in the Yellow Rose Stakes, and is listed at 7/2.

Seeking to repeat her win of last year’s Hanks Memorial is Dan and Joyce McGough’s multiple stakes winner My Master Plan (Oratory – One O Seven), given odds of 4/1.

Completing the field are Jolie Mon (Too Much Bling – Julie Mon), Easter Ellie (My Golden Song – Dance with Dana), and Fancy Ticket (Even the Score – Deputy G. G.)

On April 19, the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) celebrated the grand opening of the new, 93,000 sq ft College Station laboratory and agency headquarters.

In 1967, the Texas Legislature created TVMDL and for 50 years the agency has helped protect animal and human health through diagnostics by working hand in hand with veterinarians and animal owners to identify animal disease agents and collaborate on treatment and prevention techniques.  The new College Station laboratory is one of the largest of its kind in the country and will allow the agency to continue to provide the highest quality diagnostic testing available. 

In May 2013, the Texas Legislature appropriated $53M to fund construction and ground was broken in late 2014.

“While our original facility supported our agency’s efforts for 50 years, many advancements in biosafety, biosecurity, technology, and science, as well as operational growth, necessitated the new facility,” said Bruce L. Akey, DVM, MS, TVMDL director. The new facility includes open plan, integrated laboratory space to allow improved collaborations across diagnostic disciplines, contains a full-service necropsy suite, and boasts a series of Biosafety Level 3 laboratories

As TVMDL formally opens the College Station facility, they also celebrate their Golden Anniversary.  This state of the art facility will serve as the foundation for the agency’s next 50 years. “While animal and public health and food safety remain the core of our mission, just as it was 50 years ago, this agency will lead the way into the future of veterinary diagnostics,” said Akey.

The agency conducts over 800,000 tests annually on almost every animal species from all parts of the world, routinely identifying both common and rare disease agents. In this new facility, TVMDL will continue to serve as the backbone of an animal disease surveillance system that protects our state, our country, and the world. The College Station laboratory employs approximately 100 staff and serves as one four facilities that comprise TVMDL.

Global Gaming Solutions, the commercial business of the Chickasaw Nation, which owns Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie near Dallas and Remington Park in Oklahoma City, has joined the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA). 

“We are delighted to welcome Global Gaming Solutions and its more than 10,000 employees as members of the NTRA,” said NTRA President & CEO Alex Waldrop. “Lone Star Park and Remington Park have been key supporters of NTRA initiatives through the National Horseplayers Championship and the NTRA Advantage group purchasing program and we look forward to working even more closely on the critical goal of improving the business environment for racetracks nationwide.”

Both Lone Star Park and Remington Park were among the NTRA’s first member racetracks when the organization was launched in 1998.

NOTES: Senate bills 1971 and 1972 are scheduled for hearing by in the Agriculture, Water and Rural Affairs Committee on April 24..ATB awards checks for the 2017 Houston Thoroughbred meet mailed this week…There was a nice article on Valor Farm in the FW Star-Telegram this week.  See it at