News and Notes for February 14, 2020

Claiming horses fill the vast majority of race cards every day, but these hard-workers rarely receive recognition so the TTA created the Texas Champion Claimer Award. The winning horse and his or her connections will be recognized alongside the other 2019 Texas Champions at the TTA Awards Dinner on March 21 at Sam Houston Race Park. The winner will be determined by an online vote among Texas-breds who won at least three claiming races at Texas tracks and earned at least $20,000 in 2019. The qualifying horses are: GLITTER BRIGHT, SEVEN VIOLETS, SILIS, SMART’S KINGDOM, TRUE ALLEGIANCE and VALID THOR. Cast your vote here –

The Jockey Club announced Feb. 13 that the 2020 edition of the Fact Book is available in the Resources section of its website at

The online Fact Book is a statistical and informational guide to Thoroughbred breeding, racing and auction sales in North America and is updated quarterly. It also features a directory of Canadian, international, national, and state organizations. Links to the Breeding Statistics report that is released by The Jockey Club each September and the Report of Mares Bred information that is published by The Jockey Club each October can be found in the Breeding section of the Fact Book.

This year’s Fact Book includes three new statistics: percentage of mares bred by stallion covering year; the percentage of first-time starters by age; and percentage of foal crop that won a race by racing year.  

“The Jockey Club is pleased to be able to provide this new data, and we encourage suggestions on additional information to include in the Fact Book to enhance its value as a tool for the Thoroughbred industry,” said James L. Gagliano, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club. 

The 2020 editions of State Fact Books, which feature detailed breeding, racing, and auction sales information specific to numerous states, Canadian provinces, and Puerto Rico, are also available on The Jockey Club website.

The State Fact Books are updated monthly.

As reported by Daily Racing Form, Lone Star Park has announced a surge in purse money for its 44-date meet, which opens April 16.

The track projects purses will average $245,000 per program, up from $165,000 per day during the meet in 2019. The sharp increase includes $1.4 million in stakes purses, according to Bart Lang, Lone Star’s director of racing.

Maiden special weight races will be worth $34,000 compared to $23,000 last meet, Lang said. The purse for no-conditions allowance races will be $39,000 versus $28,000 a year ago, while open $5,000 claiming races will have a purse of $14,000 compared to $11,000.

Lone Star will be the second meet in Texas to increase purses due to a new state law that calls for placing a portion of existing taxes on horse products and services in an escrow account that will be capped at $25 million per year, with some funds tabbed for purses. Sam Houston opened in January with a purse spike.

“We’re excited about it,” Lang said. “Sam Houston has done well, and we hope to carry on with that momentum.”

Lone Star also has created the $300,000 Texas Derby for May 25.

NOTES: There are 10 races each on Friday and Saturday nights this weekend at Houston with full fields.  Post time is 6:45pm.  Come out and support Texas racing…Entries close Wednesday, February 12 for the $75,000-guaranteed Miss Houston Turf Stakes and the $75,000 Houston Turf Stakes, both to be run on Saturday, February 22nd…Also running that day are the Jim’s Orbit and Two Altazano divisions of the Clarence Scharbauer Jr. Texas Stallion Stakes at $75,000 apiece.