News and Notes for April 24, 2015

Tonight’s $200,000 Texas Mile for 3-year-olds & up at Lone Star Park has drawn a field of 11, including two Accredited Texas-breds.  Paul Rigali Jr.’s homebred Texas Air (Texas City – Malaysian Air) has been given odds of 8/1 and will break from post position 6 for trainer Allen Milligan.  F J Uncle Vic (Uncle Abbie – Let Her Reign) will be saddled by trainer Terry Eoff, who owns the 4-year-old colt in partnership with Johnny Evans.  Given odds of 30/1, the colt was bred by Mr. and Mrs. Frank Prifiterra and will break from post position 4.

7/5 morning line favorite is Florida-bred Sr. Quisqueyano.  Carded as race 8, post time is approximately 9:51 pm.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has announced his five Senate conferees who will try to hash out a final version of the two-year state budget with their House counterparts named by Speaker Joe Straus on Wednesday.

The team will be led by Finance Committee Chairwoman Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, and include Senators. Joan Huffman, R-Houston; Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham; Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen; and Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown.

The House lineup, announced Wednesday, includes Appropriations Chairman John Otto, R-Dayton, and Representatives. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston; Sarah Davis, R-West University Place; Trent Ashby, R-Lufkin; and Larry Gonzales, R-Round Rock. Otto and Turner served on the budget conference committee in 2013.

In coming weeks, the ten members will meet to reconcile the differences in the two versions.  Of primary concern to the Texas horse industry is that the House budget preserves funding for the Texas Racing Commission, while the Senate version does not.  For full details of budget differences, go to

The Paddock Foundation and the Texas Thoroughbred Association are compiling a database to make it easier for people who are looking for second career Thoroughbreds. The database will indicate which Thoroughbred stallions have active progeny in a career other than racing. For more information, go to

The Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) kicked off its 2015 convention April 21 with an emphasis on identifying at-risk racehorses and equine welfare issues—two things the organization believes are critical to the future of horse racing.

Industry officials believe federal legislation will be introduced this year that would allow the United States Anti-Doping Agency to oversee drug testing and related enforcement in horse racing. The last time such a bill was introduced in Congress was 2013.

RCI president Ed Martin for the past year has said identifying racehorses at greater risk of catastrophic injury should be a focal point for Thoroughbred racing.

Dr. Scott Palmer, equine medical director for the New York State Gaming Commission, said New York is looking into epidemiology, serum biomarkers, and advanced imaging techniques to better identify horses that may be at risk of serious injury. He said that with help from research based on the Equine Industry Database, there is a 65% “degree of accuracy” in identifying such horses, which leaves a still-high 35% that aren’t predictable.

“We have nearly exhausted what we can get from the Equine Injury Database in its current form,” Palmer said.

Palmer called for more education of horsemen in the area of risk assessment and management because they spend the most time with horses.

“These guys know what’s going on because they see the horses every day,” Palmer said. “They are the best people to do the risk-factor analysis.”

Dr. Mary Scollay, equine medical director for the KHRC, prepared a video outlining a 10-year experiment in Florida that proved the value of veterinary scratches before races. She also discussed intelligence gleaned by analyzing the results of equine drug tests, even those that haven’t produced positives.

Scollay said the KHRC has been able to identify trainers who use multiple non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in their horses albeit within the rules for withdrawal times. Such regimens are believed to be a factor in catastrophic injuries.

“When trainers are using multiple (therapeutic) medications across the board in all horses aggressively, it’s not possible they know the soundness (level) of their own horses,” Scollay said.

Dr. Kathleen Anderson, incoming president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, said veterinarians and horsemen have a partnership in taking care of the horse, but it’s designed to work when both parties are responsible. The AAEP, she said, has guidelines in place for proper therapeutic treatments and needs support from regulators.

Anderson said that uniform medication guidelines are “essential” for clean sport and that therapeutic medications have their place in treatment for illness and for training. As for furosemide, the AAEP is awaiting the results of further research into exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage.

“Until we’re able to get an alternative, the AAEP will endorse the use of Lasix for this purpose,” Anderson stated.

In case you missed it, there is a great article in which Sarah Coleman of Thoroughbred Racing Commentary talked with Steuart Pittman about the mission of the Retired Racehorse Project, the way the Thoroughbred breed is viewed outside of racing, and how the racing and riding industries can work together to secure the future of the Thoroughbred.

The full article may be viewed at this link:

NOTES:  Valor Farm has announced that Texas-bred star Fiftyshadesofgold is in foal to top sire Tapit with an expected foaling date of early March 2016…Texas-bred Champions point standings are available at :…Consignment contracts for the August Texas Thoroughbred Yearling Sale are available at or by calling Jeremy Barwick at 254/485-2542, Jeff Hooper at 817/992-0609 or the Western Bloodstock, Ltd. offices at 817/594-9210.