News and Notes for August 21, 2015

The Texas Racing Commission will meet at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 25 in the John H. Reagan Building located at 105 W. 15th Street in Austin.

On the Agenda is consideration of the repeal of all rules pursuant to Historical Racing.

At the heart of the matter is the threat of commission funding being withheld if the rules are not repealed.  Because the Legislative Budget Board has yet to approve funding for the commission to operate in the new fiscal year beginning September 1, TRC executive director Chuck Trout has warned that the agency may have to shutter the state’s tracks at the end of August.

Horsemen are urged to attend the meeting to voice your opinion on the issue. The Texas Horsemen’s Partnership and Retama Park are providing bus transportation to the meeting. If you would like to participate, contact CyDeana Lee at 210.237.8715 or Sabina Pish at 210.867.2475 to commit to ride the bus from Retama. There must be at least 20 committed before the bus will be chartered.

This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of racing at Retama Park.  To celebrate the occasion, the track will offer nine exciting Thoroughbred races, along with live music tonight by Hunter A. Smith.  Saturday is “Island Night at the Park” with delicious tropical food and drinks, including a pig roast in the courtyard, along with a chance to win an island vacation package. Post time for Friday and Saturday is 6:45 p.m.

In conjunction with the Gillespie County Fair in Fredericksburg, the track will conduct the final two days of the 2015 Mixed Meet with a 1 p.m. post time each day.

On Saturday, the G.C.F.A. Texas-bred Stakes has a field of 6 going 7 furlongs, led by Southwestern Racing LLC’s 2/1 morning line favorite Special U F O (Special Rate – Mysterious Light).  Completing the field are: Wild Slew (Doneraile Court – Sunnie Wild), 8/1; Berry Loud (Gold Alert – Be Berry Quiet), 6/1; Halifax Flyer (Early Flyer – Halifax Rose), 5/1, Ring Necked (Too Much Bling – Wood Duck), 5/2; and Our Romeo (Captain Countdown – Crimson Flagship), 4/1.

Good luck to all!

Accredited Texas-bred D. Shifflett (Valid Expectations – Smokin N Jokin) is part of a field of 13 going 7 furlongs in the $100,000 Arlington – Washington Futurity (gr. 3) at Arlington Park on Saturday. Bred by Fletcher Properties, Inc. and owned in partnership by Haynes Stables LLC, the 2-year-old gelding is trained by Michael Stidham and has been given odds of 8/1.

Fly the Red Eye (Early Flyer – Rare and Sixy) will run in the $75,000 Edward J. Debartolo Memorial Handicap at Remington Park.  Bret Calhoun will saddle the 7-year-old gelding for owners Carl Moore and Brad Grady.  Bred by Brent Davidson, Fly the Red Eye has been given odds of 3/1 in the field of 6 going a mile and 1/16th on the turf.  He boasts a career record of 60-14-16-12 with earnings of $292,425.

I saw a great post on Facebook this week that says it all.  Here is a portion of it:

“Texas Racing is more.

It is more than the trainer who is working countless hours a day to make sure the horses in their barn are conditioned and cared for to reach peak performance.

It is more than the jockeys who ride every mount from a $5,000 claimer to a Grade 1 Stakes horse with the burning desire to cross the finish line first.

It is more than the owners who pick a prospect, pay the training, vet, farrier, and nomination fees in hopes to stand in a winner’s circle.

It is more than the breeders who plan for a foal from before conception and lose countless hours of sleep waiting for that next winner to arrive. Then watch it grow and develop, all the while praying for its health and skill to be exceptional.

It is more than the vets, farriers, grooms, security, feed stores.

It is more.”

To see the entire post, go to :

The Texas Thoroughbred Association board of directors is finalizing plans to conduct a 2-year-old in training sale next April at Lone Star Park, along with an associated futurity.  A formal announcement is expected soon.

Having surpassed the $1.1 billion wagering mark and coming off the best month since it was introduced in September 2011, historical racing in Kentucky is poised to soar as it enters the Lexington market with more than 900 terminals at The Red Mile within the next two months.

Through July, $1.028 billion has been wagered on historical racing at Kentucky Downs and the $34 million in July was a record. From that, more than $9 million has gone to purses at Kentucky tracks and more than $11 million to various equine incentive and development funds, drug research, and equine industry programs. The state’s General Fund has received $3.6 million from historical racing and a higher education fund has received more than $1 million.

Since Ellis Park began offering the new form of gaming in August 2012, more than $108 million has gone through the machines, generating even more money for purses, breeding funds, and the state.

NOTES: ATB incentive award checks for the recently concluded Thoroughbred meet at Lone Star Park mailed on Wednesday…The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Foundation has approved 2015 funding of $300,320 for 25 equine organizations and special projects committed to improving the welfare of the horse. Among the initiatives receiving support are student veterinary scholarships and educational programs, important equine laminitis research, Equitarian workshops, unwanted horse programs, and professional and youth development… The Jockey Club has announced the election of four new members: W. B. Rogers Beasley, John Magnier, Rosendo (Ro) Parra of Texas, and Thomas S. Robbins…Kudos to Texas Chrome, winner of the $100,000 Gold Rush Futurity at Arapahoe Park… Congrats to Henry Witt’s Texas-bred Witt Six, who finished second in the Grade 3, $200,000 Canadian Derby at Northlands Park in Edmonton. The son of Texas stallion Drums of Thunder had previously won three stakes at Assiniboia Downs in Winnipeg after scoring two wins in Texas…Ivan Fallunovalot, a Texas-bred by all-time leading Texas stallion Valid Expectations, could be pointed to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Keeneland. The gelding has won 10 of 18 career starts and has banked $222,200 in five starts this year…The next meeting of the TTA Board of Directors will be August 29 at Retama Park…Our condolences to the family of jockey Weldon Cloninger Jr., who passed away last Sunday.