News and Notes for April 5, 2013


April 5, 2013

SB 1340 Out of Committee
Senate Bill #1340 (Seliger – SD 31) has now passed out of the Senate State Affairs Committee and will move on for consideration by the full Senate.  This bill extends the time authorized in the Texas Racing Act for a racetrack to offer pre-opening simulcasting from 2 years to 6 years.

Please send a note of thanks to the members of the Senate Committee on State Affairs:

Sen. Robert Duncan             512.463.0128    512.463.2424 fax
Vice Chair:
Sen. Bob Deuell                    512.463.0102    512.463.7202 fax

Sen. Rodney Ellis                 512.463.0113    512.463.0006 fax
Sen. Troy Fraser                   512.463.0124    512.475.3732 fax
Sen. Joan Huffman              512.463.0117    512.463.0639 fax
Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr.            512.463.0127    512.463.0061 fax
Sen. Robert Nichols              512.463.0103    512.463.1526 fax
Sen. Leticia Van de Putte    512.463.0126   512.463.2114 fax
Sen. Tommy Williams          512.463.0104    512.463.6373 fax
SB 789, SJR 36
If you have not already done so, please take a few minutes to contact these members of the Senate Subcommittee on Fiscal Matters to ask for their support of SB 789 and SJR 36 (proposing a constitutional amendment to authorize video lottery terminals at licensed Texas racetracks):

Chair: Glenn Hegar     512.463.0118             512.475.3736-Fax         

Joan Huffman            512.463.0117             512.463.0639-Fax         
Eddie Lucio                 512.463.0127             512.463.0061-Fax         
Jane Nelson               512.463.0112               512.463.0923-Fax         
John Whitmire             512.463.0115             512.475.3737-Fax         

Be sure to thank them for their time and emphasize that this legislation allows the citizens of Texas to vote on the issues.

Fasig-Tipton Texas Sale Results
Wednesday’s Fasig-Tipton Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale concluded with significant increases across the board and a big price in the new Horses of Racing Age portion of the sale.

The average price increased nearly 20% to $23,564, the median jumped almost 43% to $20,000, buy-backs improved to 30.2% from 32.8% and the gross came in at $1,743,750, up from $1,575,100 for last year’s larger catalog.

Worldventurer, a gelded son of Valor Farm stallion Wimbledon, sold for $150,000 to Bryan Anderson, agent. Bred by Clarence Scharbauer Jr. and sold for $14,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Texas Summer Yearling Sale, Worldventurer won three stakes and earned $207,932 for owner Wesley Melcher before going through the ring. The 3-year-old was also named last year’s Texas Champion 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding. Leading consignor Twin Oaks Training Center sold 14 head for $416,000 including Worldventurer.

Wimbledon also sired the highest-priced Texas-bred, hip #5, a half-sister to three stakes horses, purchased as a private sale by Jerry Cate and Ela Racing Stable. Special Rate, who stands at Key Ranch near Salado, had progeny sell for $25,000, $24,000 and $15,000 among five that went through the ring. All-time leading Texas stallion Valid Expectations, who stands at Lane’s End Texas near Hempstead, had a filly sell for $20,000.

Corrado is New VP and GM for Retama Park
In a joint press release this week, Retama Park and Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. announced the appointment of Chris Corrado as Vice President and General Manager of the track, effective immediately.

“I am excited to lead the dedicated team managing Retama Park at a property steeped in tradition; together we will focus on merging that legacy with the unparalleled guest service that Pinnacle Entertainment is known for while bringing a new focus on operational excellence to the track,” said Corrado.

Bryan Brown, the former CEO of Retama Entertainment Group, has joined Pinnacle Entertainment in a new role focusing on development projects for the company.

Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators for March Show Declines
Equibase has released figures comparing March 2013 with March 2012, showing declines in wagering on US races (-0.11%), US purses (-2.40%) and US race days (-1.78%).

Comparisons of the first quarter of each year show larger declines:  -2.81% in wagering on US races; -2.93% in US purses and  -6.34% in US race days.

TOBA to Offer Webcast of Ownership Seminar
The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association announced that its Thoroughbred Ownership Seminar, to be held April 19 at Keeneland, will be available as a webcast.

The seminar, sponsored by Blood-Horse Publications, will feature discussions on industry business issues, options for acquiring horses including partnerships, auctions, and claiming, as well as veterinary topics and Thoroughbred retirement. The fee for the seminar webcast is $25 and includes all seminar materials.

NOTES… The next meeting of the Texas Racing Commission is set for 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 9th…Many thanks to those who came to Austin for “Horse Week at the Capitol” and to all who have contacted their legislators to seek support for horse industry bills…Texas Bling had a terrific work this week in preparation for the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby on April 13, going five furlongs in 1:01.60…LOPE is looking for volunteers to help with their booth on April 13 at County Line Equestrian in Hutto, Texas; contact Lynn Reardon at 512-565-1824 for info…Remember Me Rescue also needs volunteers to help with their Battle of the X’s on April 27th at Will Rogers Coliseum in Ft. Worth; email with ‘show volunteer’ in the subject line…Martha Claussen penned a great article on Texas horsemen’s efforts at the Capitol and it can be found on the TTA website, Facebook page and at… Interesting factoid for all you basketball fans: Houston horse trainer  and TTA member Andy Konkoly’s grandson is Jordan Morgan, #52 for the University of Michigan Wolverines, who will face Syracuse in the Final Four at Atlanta on Saturday.