News and Notes for February 1, 2019

Dixieland Heat, the longtime Texas stallion who achieved fame as the sire of Eclipse Award winner Xtra Heat, died earlier this month at age 29 at Sue Cook’s Richland Ranch near Corsicana, Texas. The son of Dixieland Band won half of his 18 starts on the track, including the Louisiana Derby (G3) in 1993, while running for Cook’s late husband Leland.

Prior to coming to Texas, Dixieland Heat sired the Kentucky-bred Xtra Heat, who won 26 of 35 career starts and earned more than $2.3 million. One of the nation’s top sprinters, she was named the Eclipse Award winner for Champion 3-Year-Old Filly in 2001 and inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2015.

Dixieland Heat also sired numerous top Texas-breds, including multiple stakes winner and Texas Champion Coastalota.

He also stood in Texas at Key Ranch and Q6 Ranch.

Registration is now open for three new classes presented by The Elite Program, Inc., home of Groom Elite education programs, including one at Sam Houston Race Park.

This is the first winter in 12 years, C. Reid McLellan, PhD is available to offer his Trainers’ Exam Prep Class at two new venues plus a first time offering in Lexington, Kentucky of Philosophy & Methods of Training Racehorses. Those interested are encouraged to sign up early, which ensures participants of a seat in the limited enrollment classes and a tuition savings of $50.

Three new classes scheduled for late February- March are:

Trainers’ Exam Prep class at Sam Houston Race Park February 23-26

Trainers’ Exam Prep class in Ocala, Florida-March 9-12

Philosophy & Methods of Training Racehorses March 21-24 

McLellan, “Dr. Mac” to participants, is a well-known and liked national instructor of Groom Elite classes around the country. Dr. Mac has experience as a University professor of Animal and Equine Science classes, licensed racehorse trainer, handicapper and tip sheet writer and curriculum writer for education programs from the Groom Elite certificate programs, Community College associate of applied science degrees and Bachelor of Science degrees. Dr. Mac founded an award-winning equine program at Louisiana Tech University in which senior students that successfully completed 3 years of a comprehensive 4-year curriculum took the Trainers’ Exam of the Louisiana Racing Commission and spent their senior year as licensed Louisiana racehorse trainers in addition to their senior year of study.

Trainers’ Exam Prep class is a concentrated discussion of the rules of racing including information trainer applicants must know to pass a trainer’s licensing exam. Day one is devoted to horse care and management plus other information included in the barn test portion of the National Trainers’ Exam. Days two and three focus on administrative rules that govern horse racing including Trainer Responsibility, Duties of Racing Officials, Responsibilities of Licensees, Jockeys & Jockey Agents, Medication, Claiming, Racetrack Protocol, Entering with Correct Weight and more.

You don’t have to be planning on taking the Trainers’ Licensing Exam to take this class. In addition to prospective trainers, owners, jockeys and handicappers have participated to learn more about the rules of racing. Class size is limited to 12 to facilitate opportunity for questions and maximum participation. Tuition is $349 with a $299 early bird tuition if paid by February 8 for Sam Houston Race Park and February 11 for Ocala.

Over 300 have successfully completed a Trainers’ Exam Prep class since McLellan taught the first one at Sam Houston Race Park in 1998. That class was the catalyst that launched what was to become Groom Elite 101, flagship class of the Groom Elite certification programs. The tight 3-day format for the Trainers’ Exam Prep limited opportunities for discussion regarding training techniques. Philosophy & Methods of Training Racehorses is now scheduled in response to requests from Trainers’ Exam Prep class participants. Enrollment will be limited to 20 participants. Tuition is $449 with an Early Bird tuition of $399 if paid by February 23rd. Trainers’ Exam prep class graduates receive an additional $50 off tuition.

For more information and to register, go to Anyone without internet access may call Dr. “Mac” at 859-321-4377 and sign up over the phone.

NOTES: Invitations for the March 23 TTA Annual Meeting & Awards Dinner are in the mail.  Your early registration is encouraged as seating is limited to 120 attendees…Attention all procrastinators – send in your paperwork for the April 9 Texas 2-Year-Olds In Training Sale…February 15 is the deadline for receipt of TTEF Scholarship applications…Haven’t booked your 2019 breeding yet?  Seasons are still available for purchase at the stated minimum bid at on the TTA website at …Share your new foal photos and videos with us at