NEWS AND NOTES FOR APRIL 4, 2014
FASIG-TIPTON TEXAS YEARLING SALE MOVED TO OCTOBER DATE
The Fasig-Tipton Texas Yearling Sale has been moved to Monday, October 13, from its originally scheduled date of August 25. As always, the Texas Thoroughbred Association-sponsored sale will be held at the Texas Thoroughbred Sales Pavilion on the grounds of Lone Star Park. This year’s auction will also include a mixed sale session immediately following the yearling sale.
After multiple consignors and TTA members requested to move the sale to a later date on the calendar, the TTA, Fasig-Tipton and Lone Star Park worked together to find an optimum place on the calendar and agreed that a mid-October date would help further strengthen the sale.
Fasig-Tipton and the TTA recently received permission for the date change from the Texas Racing Commission, which was necessary because the new date falls during the live American Quarter Horse meet at Lone Star.
There are several benefits to moving the sale to this new date. The temperatures should be cooler in early fall, and the later date allows for the addition of a mixed sale session that should attract more buyers and consignors. This has long been the leading yearling auction in the region, and we think these changes will help it grow in the future.
The format change will also fill the void left by the shelving of the separate mixed sale, which was held annually until 2011.
FASIG-TIPTON TEXAS 2-YEAR-OLDS IN TRAINING SALE STATS
Tuesday’s Fasig-Tipton Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale ended with similar numbers compared to last year. All told, 80 horses from 124 offered sold for a total of $1,818,700 with an average of $22,734 and median of $15,000.
Last year’s auction grossed $1,743,750 with an average of $23,564 and median of $20,000. Compared to last year’s auction, which had posted big gains over the prior year, this year’s auction recorded a 4.3% increase in gross, a decrease of 3.5% in average and a drop of 25% in median. The buyback rate was 30.2% last year and 35.5% this year, although Director of Sales Tim Boyce reported that a number of private sales occurred that would bring the buyback rate to a similar level as last year.
Twin Oaks Training Center topped the consignor list with 15 sold for $395,500, followed by Benchmark Training Center with 18 sold for $361,200 and Inside Move with 12 sold for $336,800. Bradley Raney was the top buyer with five purchases for $257,000.
For complete results, go to http://www.fasigtipton.com/ci/results/view/2014/Texas-Two-Year-Olds-In-Training.
MINE THAT BIRD AT LSP SATURDAY TO PROMOTE 50-1 THE MOVIE
Lone Star Park is hosting a stop on the promotional bus tour for the upcoming movie 50 to 1 on Saturday, April 5 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. This pre-season event is open to all race fans.
In addition to a special appearance by the real-life Mine That Bird, winner of the 2009 Kentucky Derby, in attendance will be Producer/Director/Co-writer of 50 to 1, Jim Wilson, Co-Producer/Writer, Faith Conroy and cast member Skeet Ulrich, who portrays Mine That Bird’s trainer Chip Woolley. They will be on hand to meet fans, offer photo ops, poster giveaways and signings.
50 to 1 (www.50to1themovie.com) is based on the true story of horse racing legend Mine That Bird, who delivered a 50-1 upset in the 2009 running of the Kentucky Derby. The movie opens in Texas theaters today.
Use the link below for a list of the Texas cities where 50 to 1 will be in theaters beginning today:
Lone Star Park is also opening the facility to the public to tour in advance of its 18th Spring Thoroughbred Racing Season which begins Thursday, April 10. Fans will be able to see the newly updated Dash for Cash and Alysheba meeting rooms, exclusive private suites and more.
INSTANT RACING APPROVED FOR KEENELAND, THE RED MILE; TAX RATE SET
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has approved applications by both Keeneland and the Red Mile to operate Instant Racing Machines at separate facilities at their Lexington locations.
Keeneland’s application asked for permission to operate 600 of the devices, which will be housed in a new 40,000-square-foot building just northeast of the Keene Barn. The facility, which is scheduled to open in the summer of 2015, also will be used for all of Keeneland’s dark-day simulcasting and offer food and beverage service. Parking will be available on a new blacktop lot adjacent to the building, according to plans submitted to the commission.
Targeting a July 2015 opening, Lexington harness track The Red Mile plans to invest $25 million into constructing a new gambling parlor that could house at least 500 Instant Racing machines and employ 150 people.
In March, the Kentucky General Assembly signed off on a $20 billion state budget that includes revenue components for the horse racing and breeding industry.
Included is one-half of 1% tax on wagers made by Kentucky residents through advance deposit wagering services. One of the issues that led to the legislation is that ADW bets made by Kentucky residents don’t contribute any money to the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund.
In regard to the tax on historical race wagering, also called Instant Racing, the House of Representatives and Senate settled on a flat pari-mutuel tax of 1.5%. Earlier versions of the legislation set the rate at 1.5%-3.5% depending on how much is bet through the devices.
In another revenue measure, the committee agreed to shift $1 million from an almost $3 million pot devoted to the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council, which awards the money for related projects, to the KTDF effective July 1. The KEDRC accrues the funds through the pari-mutuel tax.
In addition, the revenue bill allows KTDF money to be used for horses that compete for a claiming price of $25,000 or more in allowance/optional claiming races, and authorizes the KEDRC to award research projects to out-of-state entities.
TAX DEPRECIATION FOR RACE HORSES ADVANCES
The United States Senate Finance Committee reported April 3 legislation that would extend expired or expiring tax provisions for race horses, including a provision to extend the three-year recovery period.
This provision—originally passed by Congress and enacted into law in 2008—accelerates, simplifies, and makes uniform the depreciation period for race horses. The provision expired at the end of 2013 along with several other tax provisions. The proposed version of the provision that moved out of committee April 3 more accurately reflects current-day investments in race horses and helps to spur continued investments in the racing industry.
The committee also extended for two years increased expensing limitations under Section 179 and bonus depreciation, both of which also help investments in racehorses.
Bonus depreciation is set at 50% in the legislation and may be used by business owners who purchase and place in service qualified new property. An example of new property in horse racing is a yearling that begins a training program.
The Section 179 expense allowance is set at $500,000, with a $2 million threshold for qualified new or used property that is purchased and placed in service by small business owners in many industries. In the horse racing industry, a broodmare who previously raced is an example of used property that may be eligible.
NOTES: The Texas Stallion Stakes Series has been renamed to honor Clarence Scharbauer Jr., the longtime leading Texas owner and breeder who passed away in February…Keeneland is converting its main race track from synthetic Polytrack material to a state-of-the-art dirt surface, with a drainage system that will be the first of its kind in North America; the conversion will take place over the summer, with construction scheduled to begin May 19 and be completed August 15th…NYRA has become the first racetrack operator in the US to offer year-round Spanish language race calls, hiring Luis Grandison to provide live calls in Spanish at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course…Our deepest sympathies to former TTA Director Kirsten Johnson and her family on the loss of her son “Hub”…The next regular meeting of the Texas Racing Commission is set for 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 8 in Austin…The second annual Remember Me Rescue Celebrity Fundraiser is scheduled for April 18th; to purchase tickets, go to http://www.teamkeen.com/2014lonestarparkgala.html.