News and Notes for December 22, 2016

cropped-ttastar512.png2017 STALLION SEASON AUCTION
The final round of bidding in the internet auction of 2017 stallion breedings is now underway, with a bid closing deadline of 5pm Central on Friday, January 13th.  Stallions include A. P. Million; Awesome Bet; Black Onyx; Burning Roma; Doneraile Court; Due Date; Expect a Lot; Greatness; Kibbutznik (ON); King Cha Cha; Littleexpectations; Lord of Greatness; Orderly; Orthodox; Puck; Royal Challenger; Shermanesque; Suns Out Guns Out; Suntracer; Telling, The Hunk; Zahadoom; and Zimmer.

To place your bid; go to and click on the link at the bottom of the page.

Ballots were tabulated this week for the TTA Board of Directors election and we offer our congratulations to the following candidates elected to serve 3-year terms as At-large directors: Keith Asmussen (incumbent), Ken Carson (incumbent), Tracy Sheffield, Bill Tracy (incumbent) and Henry Witt Jr.(incumbent).

Phil Adams will once again represent the North Central Region and Dr. Alfred Vardeman will once again represent the West Region of Texas.

The next meeting of the Board of Directors is set for Saturday, February 18th at Sam Houston Race Park.

Many thanks to all the candidates!

ATB awards checks for the 2016 Thoroughbred meet at Retama Park mailed Monday, so be checking your mailbox!

Awards were calculated using the following percentages:

Breeders: 7.051% of purse money earned for finishing 1, 2 or 3 in any race in Texas
Owners: 7.309% of purse money earned for finishing 1, 2 or 3 in any race in Texas
Stallion Owners: 4.482% of purse money earned for finishing 1, 2 or 3 in any race in Texas

For horses finishing 1, 2 or 3 in Open Company races, owners earned an additional 8.897% of purse money earned.

With the start of its upcoming meet just a month away, Sam Houston Race Park has tabbed Matthew Crawford as its new Racing Secretary.  Crawford replaces Fred Hutton, who recently departed Sam Houston to pursue other opportunities in the racing industry.

Having started his racing career as both an assistant trainer and then trainer in the thoroughbred and Quarter Horse ranks nearly 40 years ago, Crawford transitioned to the front side and has held the titles of Assistant Racing Secretary and Racing Secretary at several tracks over the past decade.   After serving as the Assistant Racing Secretary at Louisiana Downs, Lone Star Park and Fairgrounds, Crawford then held the Racing Secretary position at Hialeah Park and, most recently, Delta Downs.

“I’m just looking forward to getting in here and with the first condition book being out turning my attention to the stakes and just getting ready for the first day of entries,” said Crawford, who originally intended on pursuing a career in medicine until turning towards training horses.  “Training for a while when I did certainly has helped me understand the horseman’s point of view in this role as well.”

While Sam Houston’s thoroughbred condition book had been released, the book for the Quarter Horse meet is expected to be made available sometime in late January.

“With Matt’s experience as a Racing Secretary in the region over the last couple of years and time in that role during his career with both thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses, we believe he will be an asset to our racing program here at Sam Houston,” said Sam Houston’s President Andrea Young.  “With our meet starting on January 20 and the Houston Ladies Classic shortly thereafter on January 29, we look forward to Matt joining our team and hitting the ground running.”

Sam Houston’s meet gets underway on January 20, 2017 with a card that includes three stakes and kicks off with a first post of 7:00 P.M. CST.   A little more than a week after it opens for live racing, Sam Houston will hold its biggest day as it plays host to the $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic (G3) and $250,000 John Connally Turf Cup (G3) on Sunday, January 29.  Post time for Houston Ladies Classic day is 12:00 PM CST.

NOTES:  Best of luck to trainer Bret Calhoun, Texas owner Carl Moore and the very talented 3-year-old filly Finley’sluckycharm, who is entered in the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes on December 26 at Santa Anita Park…We extend our sympathy to the family of longtime TTA member and Thoroughbred owner Clifford Grum of Lufkin, who passed away earlier this week.  His obituary and memorial service information is available at…The TTA office will be closed on Friday, December 23rd for the Christmas holiday, and will reopen on Monday, December 26th.  We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday!