News and Notes for August 14, 2015

Henry Witt’s homebred multiple stakes winner Witt Six (Drums of Thunder – Taitt Hill) is entered in the $200,000 Canadian Derby (gr. 3) for 3-year-olds going 1 3/8 miles at Northland Park in Edmonton, Alberta on Saturday.  The race has a full field of 12, and Witt Six has been given morning line odds of 6/1.

Paul Rigali Jr.’s homebred graded stakes winner Texas Air (Texas City – Malaysian Air) is the oldest in the field of 11 for the $175,000 Governor’s Cup Stakes for 3-year-olds and up going 1 mile and an eighth at Remington Park on Saturday.  Trained by Allen Milligan, the 7-year-old gelding currently boasts a career record of 41-8-12-4 with $359,274 in earnings. He has morning line odds of 8/1.

Also at Remington, graded stakes placed Ivan Fallunovalot (Valid Expectations – Flashdance Missy) is the 8/5 favorite in the $75,000 David M. Vance Sprint Stakes for 3-year-olds and up going six furlongs.  The 5-year-old gelding, bred by Eileen Hartis, now runs for owner Lewis E. Mathews Jr. and is looking to increase his career earnings of $341,910.

Best of racing luck to all!

Next week, the TTA office will be mailing out ATB incentive award checks for the recently concluded Thoroughbred meet at Lone Star Park.

Award totals were calculated as follows:

Breeder Awards:      7.98936% of 1st/2nd/3rd purse money earned

Owner Awards:        8.12110% of 1st/2nd/3rd purse money earned

Stallion Awards:       4.40673% of 1st/2nd/3rd purse money earned

The total amount of awards paid out for Owner, Breeder and Stallion Owner Awards for this period of racing at Lone Star Park is $531,968.35.  By law, 40% ($212,787.34) is paid for Breeders Awards, 40% ($212,787.34) is paid for Owners Awards and 20% ($106,393.67) for Stallion Owner Awards.

Please note that for awards calculation purposes, all individual purses are capped at $75,000.00.  There are no ATB Owners Incentive Awards paid on restricted stakes, as the purse already contains added money from the ATB Program.

Also, if an Accredited Texas-bred horse placed first, second or third in an open company race during this meet, the owner will receive an Owner’s Bonus award totaling 13.24727% of purse money earned. The first 25% of total ATB Awards is allocated to the Owner Bonus Fund, which equates to $193,989.46 for this meet

Be checking your mailbox!

Following is a condensed version of the lengthy Fort Worth Star-Telegram article detailing the ongoing woes of the Texas horseracing and breeding industry:

It’ll be down to the wire, but the Texas Racing Commission hopes to satisfy the concerns of state officials who could cut off funding to keep the agency — and racetracks statewide — open.

After racing commissioners angered conservative lawmakers last year by moving forward with plans to let Texas tracks use historical racing, lawmakers threatened to eliminate the commission’s budget, but ultimately approved it. They did, however, require that some funding, including for salaries and rent, be approved by the 10-member Legislative Budget Board for the new fiscal year.

Earlier this week, Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, said the needed funding hasn’t been granted because it hadn’t been requested until recently.

After receiving an outline of what should be submitted from the LBB, the request was submitted by the commission on Thursday.

“It will be reviewed by LBB staff, which will forward it to the board with a recommendation,” Nelson, who heads the Senate Finance Committee and is the subject of a complaint filed this week, said in a statement. “Ultimately, the decision on the agency’s administrative funding rests with the members of LBB.”

That complaint was filed with the Texas Rangers’ Public Corruption Unit by Jan Haynes, president of the Texas Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA).

Haynes stated, “I believe the Texas Racing Commission is being bullied and power misappropriated from Sen. Nelson to the legislative budget board.  Only the legislature can make laws. Not individuals or a state agency.”

Haynes asked the Rangers to “investigate recent actions of the Legislative Budget Board and Senator Nelson.”

Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Tom Vinger said Haynes’ complaint “was received and is under review.”

Just days ago, TRC executive director Chuck Trout sent emails to racetrack officials warning that if funding is withheld, the agency will not be able to pay rent or employees and will close at the end of the day on August 31, 2015.

“If the agency closes, all racing will also stop. That also applies to races simulcast from other states,” Trout wrote, “because if the commission isn’t open, staffers can’t oversee or regulate the races.”

Racing officials are poised to repeal historical-racing rules August 25, a move they hope will resolve the standoff with the state.

The first Anthrax case in Texas for 2015 has been confirmed in an equine in Uvalde County. The premises is located approximately 25 miles northwest of Uvalde. The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) has quarantined the premises. TAHC rules require proper disposal of affected carcasses and vaccination of livestock on the premises prior to release of the quarantine.

Anthrax is a bacterial disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, which is a naturally occurring organism with worldwide distribution, including certain parts of Texas. (It is not uncommon for anthrax to be diagnosed in the southwestern part of the state.) A vaccine is available for use in susceptible livestock in high risk areas.

Acute fever followed by rapid death with bleeding from body openings are common signs of anthrax in livestock. Carcasses may also appear bloated and decompose quickly. Livestock displaying symptoms consistent with anthrax should be reported to a private veterinary practitioner or a TAHC official. If affected livestock or carcasses must be handled, producers are encouraged to follow basic sanitation precautions such as wearing protective gloves, long sleeve shirts and washing thoroughly afterward to prevent accidental spread of the bacteria to people.

“The TAHC will continue to closely monitor the situation for possible new cases across the state. Producers are encouraged to consult their veterinary practitioner or local TAHC office if they have questions about the disease in livestock and their medical professional if they have concerns about anthrax exposure,” said Dr. T.R. Lansford, TAHC Assistant Executive Director for Animal Health Programs.

NOTES: The Jockey Club is projecting a 2016 North American registered Thoroughbred foal crop of 22,500, up from the 22,000 projection for the 2014 and 2015 foal crops…Official transcripts and a video replay of The Jockey Club’s 63rd annual Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing Aug. 9 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., are now available at  Watch for an announcement next week regarding a Texas 2-Year-Old In Training Sale and Futurity…Condolences to the family of Mrs. Lonnie Bates of Tyler, who passed away earlier this week.