News and Notes for February 26, 2016

The $100,000 Maxxam Gold Cup is the marquee feature of Saturday night’s Maxxam Gold Cup Racing Festival, but each of the three turf stakes on the ten-race card came up with full and highly competitive fields. Fillies and mares will star in the $50,000 Jersey Lilly Stakes and a solid group of classy turf sprinters will compete in the $50,000 Bucharest Turf Sprint. The $50,000 Texas Heritage Stakes for 3-year-olds will also be run on the Connally Turf Course for the first time.

Cassatt, owned by Fox Hill Farms, Inc. and Hill ‘n Dale Equine Holdings, Inc. captured the 2015 Houston Ladies Classic at Sam Houston Race Park. She returned last month to defend that title but finished third. Now, she is the favorite in the 1 1/16-mile Jersey Lilly Turf Stakes

The Jersey Lilly is not lacking for stakes-level competition with Rose Mary Chandler’s homebred, I Am Jane Dough (My Golden Song – Strawberry Smile), trained by Danny Pish, and Loyana Pollok’s homebred Expect Royalty (Valid Expectations – Autumn Sky), trained by Leroy Pollok.  Both Accredited Texas-breds are multiple-turf stakes winners at Sam Houston Race Park and have been given odds of 8-1.  With odds of 12-1, H. L. Southard’s multiple stakes-placed homebred Whiskey Eyes (Special Rate – Hay Costa) is trained by Randy Mayfield.

Completing the field are Welcome Aboard, Asperites (IRE), Mexican Miss, Fonepferesh (IRE), Susie Bee, Penguini, Harpers Princess, and Treaty Oak.

The Jersey Lilly will run as the sixth race on the card, which gets underway at 8:36 p.m.

Midwest Thoroughbreds Inc’s Galton has been installed as the 7-2 morning line favorite in the five furlong Bucharest Turf Sprint.  The Kentucky-bred son of Offlee Wild, trained by Tom Amoss, was a convincing winner at SHRP last month in the $75,000 Frontier Utilities Turf Sprint.  Several other runners from the Frontier Utilities Sprint will return for this race, including Marchman, Billy Two Hats, Brilliant Interest, and Perfect to Please.

Accredited Texas-breds will be well represented by 8-1 Solar Charge (Authenticate – Another Sunlit), who with $520,982 has the highest earnings of the field, 10-1 Reflector (Ready’s Image – Passionate Dancer), and 15-1 Meme Jo (Too Much Bling – Honey Gold).  Rounding out the field are El Botas, Thirtysilverpieces, Hammer The Bay, and American Sailor.

Carded as race eight, the Bucharest has a 9:33 post-time.

Race ten, with a post time of 10:27 p.m. is the final stakes of the evening. The Texas Heritage Stakes has a field of ten 3-year-olds competing at a distance of 1 1/16 miles on the Connally Turf Course.

Trainer Mike Maker ships in 7-2 favorite Two Step Time from Florida in pursuit of his third lifetime win. Owned by Get Away Farm, the son of Two Step Salsa just missed in the $100,000 OBS Championship on January 26.

The lone Accredited Texas-bred in the field is 10-1 Bonjour Baby (Sing Baby Sing – Secret Sweep), bred by Tom Durant, owned by Alvin Wong and trained by Larry Stroope.

Other competitors include 6-1 Mending Fences, trained by top Texas horseman Danny Pish who co-owns the colt with Denis E. Foster; Texas Jambalaya, who is owned and trained by TTA director Terry Eoff; Fall of Troy; Messer Mad Cat; Berniestrike; Regal Kitten, Game Bird, and Crescent Drive.

This is the first year that the Texas Heritage Stakes has been run on the turf. It has been a springboard race for several notable 3-year-olds including Departing, who won in 2013, then added four graded stakes. Kip Deville, captured the 2006 edition of the Texas Heritage Stakes, before winning the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Monmouth Park.

The $100,000 Maxxam Gold Cup attracted a field of 12 exceptional horses headed by 7-2 Ride On Curlin to compete at a distance of 1 1/8 miles on the main track. It will be run as the seventh race, going postward at 9:05p.m.

Trainer Terry Eoff will saddle Accredited Texas-bred F J Uncle Vic (Uncle Abbie – Let Her Reign) for co-owner Johnny Evans.  Bred by Mr. and Mrs. Frank Prifitera, he is coming off a January 23 victory in the Star of Texas Stakes and has been given odds of 15-1.

Bret Calhoun will send out 8-1 Ibaka, an Oklahoma-bred son of Uncle Abbie out of the With Approval mare Synersis for owner/breeder Doug Wall.

The field includes Texan Carl Moore’s 6-1 Freestyler, along with Behemoth, Coup De Grace, Lynx, Mobile Bay, Hawaakom, Jessica’s Star, Cuco Trejo, and Bullards Alley.

Accredited Texas-bred Cattle Company (Early Flyer – Miss Lorena) takes on nine foes in today’s $100,000 Mine That Bird Overnight Stakes at Sunland Park. Bred by the Estate of Clarence Scharbauer Jr., the 3-year-old gelding is now owned by Teed Off Stable LLC and is trained by Justin Evans.

David L. Davis’ homebred Taylors Angiel will run in the $50,000 Black Gold Overnight Stakes at Fair Grounds on Saturday.  Trained by Karl Broberg, the gelding has been given odds of 12-1 in the eleven-horse field.

Due to the serious nature of a recent outbreak of the neurologic strain of Equine Herpesvirus (EHV-1) at racetracks in the southwest United States, the following entry policy has been adopted by Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie:

  • Until further notice, no horses will be admitted on the grounds of Lone Star Park if they are coming from a county with a facility or racetrack that is under quarantine for the EHV-1 Equine Herpesvirus, or if they are coming from a county adjacent to a county where quarantine has been implemented.
  • No trailer, van, or transport vehicle will be allowed to enter the enclosure of the racetrack unless the shipper signs an affidavit that he/she has provided the following information for every horse on their trailer, meeting the requirements below, regardless if the horse is to remain at the racetrack. The following documentation must be provided for every horse (including pony horses) at the stable gate before they will be permitted to enter the enclosure.
    • A current health certificate issued within 72 hours prior to arrival at the track which shows the vaccination record for each horse. The horse must have been vaccinated with an FDA approved modified live or killed virus vaccine for EHV-1 not less than 14 days and not more than 60 days prior to date of entry. The veterinarian must provide the date of vaccination, the brand, serial number, and the expiration date of vaccine.
    • The health certificate must also contain a statement by the issuing veterinarian that he/she has physically examined each horse within 72 hours of issuing the health certificate, and
      • the horse does not exhibit any clinical signs of the virus;
      • the temperature of the horse was normal at the time of the examination
      •  the veterinarian verified with the owner/trainer that the horse has not been exposed to a suspected EHV-1 positive horse;
      • the veterinarian verified with the owner/trainer that the horse has not been stabled in an EHV-1 quarantined county or adjacent county within the past 21 days.

All trainers and horse haulers are urged to take extreme caution when transporting horses to properly disinfect and sanitize their trailers if there is any chance they may have transported an exposed horse.

Lone Star Park’s stable area will open on Monday, March 7. The track will open for training on Wednesday, March 9 and official workouts will begin Monday, March 14. Gate schooling will begin Tuesday, March 22. Live racing begins Thursday, April 7.

NOTES: As expected, the Texas Racing Commission confirmed yesterday that its funding has been restored by the Legislative Budget Board through the end of the biennium in August 2017… The Paddock Foundation reports another successful Roses to Ribbons event at Sam Houston Race Park on February 20 – more details to follow…Mark your calendars and plan to attend the Texas Thoroughbred 2-Year-Old In Training Sale at Lone Star Park on April 4.  Catalogs will be mailing soon and will also be available online at…Remember to make your voice heard by voting in the March 1 Texas primaries. Candidate information may be found at