News and Notes for December 16, 2016

Too Much Tip, a Kentucky-bred daughter of leading Texas stallion Too Much Bling recorded her fourth win in as many starts this year at Camarero Race Track in Puerto Rico on December 10. The victory was her easiest of her 2-year-old season as she rolled to a five-length victory in a seven-furlong allowance contest. That marked her first start against non-stakes company, as her first three wins came in a Grade 3, Grade 2 and Grade 1 race in Puerto Rico, with the latter being the Accion de Gracias Stakes. She has banked $71,129 in her four wins for owner Belka Stud and trainer Jose D. Garcia Jr.

Too Much Tip was bred by W.S. Farish and sired by Too Much Bling when he stood at Farish’s Lane’s End Texas near Hempstead. Upon the closure of Lane’s End Texas earlier this year, Too Much Bling was relocated to Valor Farm near Pilot Point, Texas.

Too Much Bling sold for $10,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale.

Services have been planned for Steve Sexton, who died December 12 at age 57 from brain cancer.

A celebration of Sexton’s life is planned for 11 a.m. Monday, December 19 at Compass Christian Church in Colleyville, Texas. A visitation is planned from 2 to 5 p.m., December 18 at Bluebonnet Hills Funeral Home, also in Colleyville.

In May 1994 he was appointed assistant general manager at Lone Star Park and was involved in the start-up of the track. He was promoted to executive vice president and general manager in January 2000 and served in that capacity until joining Arlington Park as executive vice president in April 2001.

Sexton’s family relayed through a friend that they would enjoy seeing many of Steve’s racetrack friends attend the services.

For the full Blood-Horse obituary on Steve Sexton, go to

According to the Daily Racing Form, super tests will be standard fare during the upcoming meet at Oaklawn Park, to be conducted on every race run at the track rather than just its graded stakes races.

Super tests, which are conducted post-race, are the highest level of drug testing in racing, according to Arkansas Racing Commission attorney Byron Freeland. He said they are required for all graded stakes races and test for a wide variety of substances.

Thoroughbred trainers and assistant trainers will now be required to fulfill at least four hours annually of continuing education coursework in order to retain their racing licenses with New York state.

“Creating a continuing education requirement for trainers will bring knowledge and evidence-based research to an audience that would otherwise generally not be exposed to it,” said commission executive director Robert Williams. “Continuing education for trainers should improve the quality of horsemanship at New York racetracks and enhance equine welfare.”

Keeping or attaining a racing industry license in New York will be conditioned upon meeting the education requirement, though trainers not based in the state and who have 12 or fewer starts in a year in New York can request a waiver.

In recent years, Congress has typically passed a tax extender bill to renew dozens of temporary or expiring tax provisions for individuals and businesses at the end of the year. One of these typically extended provisions was three-year depreciation of race horses. However, Congress has adjourned for the year without taking any action on a tax extender bill, allowing three-year deprecation of race horses and dozens of other tax provisions to expire.

Beginning in 2017, owners will have to decide whether to place a race horses in service at the end of its yearling year and depreciate it over 7 years or wait until it is over 2 (24 months and a day after foaling) and depreciate it over three years.

Failure to pass the tax extender bill was not due to opposition to the three-year depreciation of race horses or any other specific tax provision.

The AHC will be closely monitoring the development of a tax reform bill and analyzing its potential impact on the horse industry.

As reported in Blood-Horse, when the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) adopts a model rule for Thoroughbred racing, it encourages each of its state regulator members to put the rule in place but has largely few options if states do not adopt a model rule.

That could change, though, fueled by ratings that would be determined by a planned independent panel that would examine how state commissions are doing relative to model rules. The push would not come directly from RCI but rather model rule-compliant states that could choose to block simulcast signals from states the panel determines are lagging behind in model rule adoption.

On December 9 the RCI board of directors voted to create the regulatory compliance program, which would establish minimum integrity standards based on RCI model rules. Under the program, an independent three-person panel of former regulators no longer associated with any particular commission will determine whether jurisdictions are “compliant,” “substantially compliant” or “non-compliant” with select integrity standards embodied in the model rules.

The initial standards will be based on adoption of the four model rules of the National Uniform Medication Program that calls for third-party Lasix administration, accredited labs, a list of controlled therapeutic substances, and the multiple medication violation system.

RCI president Ed Martin said that some in the Thoroughbred industry have an interest in limiting the import of simulcast signals from markets rated as non-compliant.

“Existing state laws allow commissions to approve the import of signals and federal law grants similar authority to the horsemen,” Martin said in a release. “What people do with the information generated by the compliance program is up to them. RCI will have no role in that unless otherwise empowered by statute.”

RCI will certify compliance with those standards on an annual basis and the standards may be expanded upon recommendation of the compliance panel. RCI said the concept of a compliance certification program received considerable support, 57%, in the RCI’s 2016 Stakeholder Input Project.

The RCI board also voted to create a performance audit of penalties assessed by individual steward stands for general consistency with the recommended penalty matrix contained in the model rules.

This information will be presented to racing commissions in a confidential manner as it will be considered as part of an employee’s personnel review and may become part of someone’s private personnel file. In those cases where an official is not an employee of the commission, the commission may use it as a factor in determining suitability for approval as a racing official.

“The RCI Board recognizes that facts in individual cases may necessitate a departure from the recommended guidelines,” Martin said. “These audits are designed to alert employers if there is a pattern on the part of individual steward stands to ignore the recommended guidelines. Again, we will present this information and it will be totally up to the individual commissions how to utilize it.”

NOTES:  If you are consigning a horse to the Texas 2-Year-Old Sale in April, be aware that December 31 is the deadline to nominate such horses to the 2017 Texas Thoroughbred Sales Futurity. Contact Jennifer Gibbs at 512.458.6133 for more information…ATB Awards checks in connection with the Thoroughbred meet at Retama Park will be in the mail next week…If you have a graduating high school senior or current college student, you may be eligible to apply for a scholarship through the Texas Thoroughbred Educational Fund.  Contact Mary Ruyle at 512.458.6133.  The deadline for receipt of scholarship applications (for the 2017-2018 school year) is February 15.