A weekend of excitement including all the usual activities to be expected at a county fair got under way Thursday with the opening of the 125th Gillespie County Fair.  Attendees will enjoy a parade, talent search, livestock shows, the midway, carnival, arts and crafts, antique tractor show, agricultural and household exhibits, a queen’s pageant, live music and dancing, and best of all, horseracing!

Gates open at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday with $5 general admission for adults, $1 for ages 6 – 12, and free admission for kids under 6.

Post time for racing is 1:00 p.m. each day, with races running until approximately 6 p.m.  Box seats are $9 and may be purchased in advance by calling the Fair office at 830.997.2359.

Admission after 6 pm for Saturday’s dance featuring John Anderson is $15 for adults and $3 for kids.

Saturday’s race card includes 5 Thoroughbred races and the meet concludes on Sunday when a field of 9 will go forth in the 7-furlong $15,000-added GCFA Texas Bred Stakes.  In order of post position, the competitive field includes Ammann Rd, Filet Gumbo, Solar Charge,   F P Silent Eyes, Betcho, Only Man in Town, Tater Red, Wild Slew and Sandy Dusty.

The Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame will once again honor horses and people that have enriched the tradition of horse racing in Texas on Saturday, November 16 at Retama Park. Starting at 4 p.m., the 13th annual Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame Gala will be held before and during the races. The gala includes valet parking, cocktails, a gourmet buffet dinner, induction of the honorees, silent auction and live Thoroughbred racing.

The 2013 inductees include Arthur A. Seeligson, Jr. (deceased), Dr. Glenn Blodgett, Tami Purcell Burklund and horses Hadif, Kontiki and Dashingly.  The Joann Weber Distinguished Service Award will be presented to Jeff Coady of Coady Photography.

Serving as the emcee and auctioneer for the evening will be National Hall of Fame trainer and American horse racing legend Jack Van Berg, who became the first trainer to win 5,000 races when he saddled Art’s Chandelle to victory at Arlington Park on July 15, 1987. Van Berg was the leading trainer at Ak-Sar-Ben Racetrack in Omaha, Nebraska for 19 straight years.  In 1976, he set a record for the most wins in a year with 496, and was also the United States Champion Thoroughbred Trainer by earnings.  He is best known for training Alysheba, who won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Super Derby in 1987, and the 1988 Breeders’ Cup Classic.

All proceeds from the gala, which is open to the public, will benefit the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the legacy of the horse racing industry and those individuals who have influenced and contributed to its growth and development.

For more information or to purchase tickets for the gala at $125 per person, please contact Sharolyn Grammer at (210) 651-7000 or Generous sponsorship packages are available.

Following a four-year stint as general manager of MEC Pennsylvania Racing at The Meadows, Drew Shubeck was named the Vice-President and General Manager for Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie in February 2006. One year later, he was elevated to President and General Manager, and has shepherded the track through challenging times.  Now Shubeck has announced his resignation to pursue other opportunities.  He has done an excellent job at Lone Star, and we wish him all the best in his new endeavors.

A familiar face will be taking over the position.  Scott Wells, President and General Manager of Remington Park will now be serving in that capacity for both tracks, which are owned by Global Gaming Solutions.

Wells, the son and grandson of noted horsemen, served as assistant trainer to two Hall of Famers in D. Wayne Lukas and Jack Van Berg, and trained horses himself in the 1970s and 1980s before taking an entry level job in the Remington Park press box in 1990.  By 1993 he was assistant general manager at Hollywood Park and soon became general manager of Ruidoso Downs.  Working for Lone Star Park, Wells was instrumental in the reopening of the Hipodromo de las Americas in Mexico City and oversaw the reopening of Maronas, the national racetrack of Uruguay.  He returned to Remington Park in 2005 and led the track through construction of a casino and eventually through the transition to new ownership, as Remington Park was acquired by Global Gaming Solutions in 2010.

Wells was also recently elected as the 36th President of the Thoroughbred Racing Association (TRA).

Welcome back to Texas, Scott!

The TTA will finally be making the move to our new location next week.  During the transition, please be aware that we will experience a day or two without telephone or computer service.  In case of emergency, you may reach me on my cell at 512.695.4542.

Our new address is 4009 Banister Lane, Suite 230, Austin, Texas, 78704.  The telephone, fax and email addresses remain the same. Be sure to stop by to see us when you are in Austin.

NOTES: The TTA Board of Directors will meet at 5 pm on Sunday at Lone Star Park…With 129 head  catalogued, the Fasig-Tipton Texas Yearling Sale is scheduled for 5pm on Monday…Immediately prior to the sale, there will be a live auction of items to benefit the Texas Thoroughbred Educational Fund and The Paddock Foundation…Follow this link to see the auction items:  Assault and Middleground  or Flat Out …If you cannot attend the Sale, but would like to bid on the artwork, call Mary Ruyle at 512.695.4542 before 10am on Monday…Best of luck to everyone racing this weekend, and we hope to see you at the Sale.