News and Notes for February 28, 2020

The February edition of the Texas Thoroughbred Times digital newsletter is now online. This issue includes a preview of the Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale with a record number of entries, the purse increase and boosted stakes schedule at Lone Star Park, the Roses to Ribbons Old Fashioned Horse Fair on March 14 at Sam Houston Race Park and info about the March 21 TTA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet. Check it out here

Bradley Martin’s homebred Smart’s Kingdom has been named the 2019 Texas Champion Claimer. The 5-year-old gelding by Sir Smart was the winner of an online vote on the TTA website among Texas-breds with at least three claiming wins at Texas tracks and earnings of at least $20,000 in 2019.

Smart’s Kingdom, who was trained by Leroy Pollok, started the year as a maiden but broke through with his first victory with a 13 ¾-length score against $8,000 maiden claiming company at Sam Houston Race Park in March. He went on to capture two claiming races at the Lone Star Park meet, first against $7,500 company and then against $15,000 foes. All told, he compiled a record of 6-3-1- 1 in 2019 with earnings of $21,209.

Smart’s Kingdom will be honored with the rest of the Texas champions during the TTA’s annual meeting and awards banquet on March 21 at Sam Houston.

If you have not already done so, please send in your reservation ASAP to attend the TTA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner at Sam Houston Race Park on Saturday, March 21st.  We will start the evening with an update on the many positive things happening due to $25 million being added to the horse industry this year and continue on to celebrate the accomplishments of our Texas champion racehorses and their owners and breeders. 

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the activities of the Texas Thoroughbred Educational Fund, which provides scholarships to TTA members and their families to further their education and The Paddock Foundation, which has a mission to ensure the lifelong welfare of the Thoroughbred horse. Live and silent auction items will be offered to benefit these two worthy organizations.

We are still accepting tax-deductible auction items as well as event sponsorships.  Contact Mary Ruyle at 512.458.6133 for information.

There’s never been a better time to join TTA or renew your membership with the Texas Trifecta promotion that gives you three years of membership for the price of two. Even if your current membership is not due to expire soon, you can still take advantage of this deal. Help yourself to savings while also helping our Thoroughbred athletes after they leave the track! For every new membership or renewal through this promotion, the TTA will donate $20 to your choice of Thoroughbred aftercare organizations. You can choose to have your donation go to: • LOPE TEXAS ( • REMEMBER ME RESCUE ( • THE PADDOCK FOUNDATION ( To take advantage of this offer, call the TTA office at (512) 458-6133 or go to

The next Roses to Ribbons Horse Fair has been scheduled for Saturday, March 14, at Sam Houston Race Park. At the horse fair, racehorse trainers bring Thoroughbreds ready for a new career up to the saddling paddock. There, prospective buyers can look at a large number of available horses in one place. If a buyer sees a horse that interests them, they make their own deal with the trainer. Some horses are sold right at the event. Other times, prospective buyers will make arrangements to schedule a pre-purchase exam for the horse at a later time. Everything is worked out individually between the buyer and seller. This is not an auction.

Horses arrive in the paddock at 11 a.m. and are available for viewing. The event goes on rain or shine. There is no admission charge. The event is a great opportunity to find a prospect at a reasonable price for any discipline and also features a variety of vendors at the event. Tack and clothing, artists, racehorse re-homing groups and more are set up in the saddling paddock. Watch for more information on The Paddock Foundation’s Facebook page at www.

Early nominations to the 146th running of the Kentucky Oaks closed on February 15th and there were several Texas connections among the 116 (pending late mail) nominees:

Affianced, owned in partnership by Ramona Bass; Alandra, owned by Helen Alexander and Helen K. Groves; Black Kat Taps, owned by Wayne Sanders and Highlander Training Center; Eyes Open, owned in partnership by Helen Alexander, Ramona Bass and Perry Bass; and Motu, owned in partnership by Susan Moulton.

NOTES: The Winter issue of American Racehorse magazine, featuring articles and pictorials about California Chrome and Southern Phantom, is currently being mailed to all TTA members. You can read the issue online here – … Dr. Reid McLellan will be offering the very popular “Racehorse Owners & Trainers Prep Class” on April 4-7 at Lone Star Park. It’s a great class for owners to learn more about racehorses, as well as for aspiring trainers and licensed trainers for continuing education. Go to For more information…Martha Claussen did a very nice story on Allen and Sonja Dupey  – check it out at