News and Notes for February 5, 2016

More Than Most (Indygo Mountain – Better Than Most) takes on a full field in this afternoon’s $50,000 Joseph E. “Spanky” Broussard Overnight Stakes at the Fair Grounds.  Bret Calhoun will saddle the 3-year-old filly for owner Douglas Scharbauer.  Given 8/1 odds, she has a career record of 7-2-1-2 with $81,678 in earnings.

Dan and Joyce McGough’s homebred My Master Plan (Oratory – One O Seven) is unbeaten in four career starts, including the $100,000 Trapeze Stakes on December 13 at Remington Park in her previous outing. Donnie Von Hemel will send her out in Saturday’s $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes going one mile at Oaklawn Park, seeking to add to her $130,767 bankroll.

Go Texas-breds!

A February 3 hearing in a suit that the Texas Horsemen’s Partnership has brought against the Texas comptroller concerning funding of the Texas Racing Commission was postponed.

The original date was bumped off the calendar after the Texas attorney general’s office filed a motion to push back the hearing until after the February 9 meeting of the Texas Racing Commission, according to David Cabrales, an attorney representing the horsemen’s group. Cabrales said a motion for reconsideration has been filed.

THP is asking for horsemen and other industry participants to donate to the THP legal fund so that we can follow this litigation through to completion. Every donation matters and we implore you to make a contribution today to support our effort to assure that racing in Texas not only continues, but that we are allowed the opportunity to prosper. You may send a check to: Texas Horsemen’s Partnership at P.O. Box 142533 Austin, TX 78714 (checks should be made payable to the THP and ‘legal fund’ should be included in the memo line). Or you may contribute by phone – call (512) 467-9799 to ask for a donation to be made from your Horsemen’s Bookkeeper account. You may also use the GoFundMe Page at

The Texas Racing Commission will meet at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, February 9th, with a short agenda containing two items critical to the Texas horse racing industry.

Item III.B.5 is the “Report on the Executive Director’s Plan to Close the Agency in the Event that Additional Appropriations are Not Approved”.  In January, TRC Executive Director Chuck Trout sent a memo to racetrack and other industry representatives, stating that “In order to hold as few purses as possible in limbo after closure, I have determined that, absent further appropriations authority, all racing must end no later than midnight on February 16, 2016.”  Along with others, the TTA office sent a letter to Mr. Trout protesting the February 16 shutdown. The racing commission’s administrative costs are being covered through a temporary plan that runs through February 29th.

The Commission will also consider the repeal of rules regulating Historical Racing.  Well over 1,000 letters were received during the public comment period, with only 1 in support of the repeal.

It is imperative that as many horsemen as possible attend this meeting and sign cards in opposition to both the February 16 shutdown of racing and the repeal of rules regulating Historical Racing.

The meeting will be held in the John H. Reagan Building, located at 105 W. 15th Street, Austin, TX 78701, with parking available in the Capitol Visitors Parking Garage.

February 15th is the deadline for receipt of Texas Thoroughbred Educational Fund Scholarship applications.

The Texas Thoroughbred Educational Fund helps place young Texans on the road to success by providing grants and awards to benefit Texas Thoroughbred Association members and their children and further their educational opportunities.

Eligibility requirements include:

  • Current personal or parental membership in the Texas Thoroughbred Association, with beginning membership date at least one year prior to application deadline for educational grant.
  • Applicant must have been a full-time Texas resident for at least one year prior to application deadline for education grant.
  • All current high school seniors or GED graduate equivalents,  and high school graduates or GED graduate equivalents currently enrolled (or planning to enroll) in a post-high school collegiate or other training program.
  • There is no age limit for applicants.
  • To be used for education at any accredited Junior College, 4-year University, Post-graduate Degree Program, or other accredited or state-recognized industry/training program.

For more information, go to or contact Mary Ruyle at 512.458.6133.

Catalogs will soon be in production for the April 4 Texas Thoroughbred 2-Year-Old In Training Sale at Lone Star Park.  If stall space is available, consignments may still be accepted.  For information, contact Tim Boyce at 972.523.0332.

Also, for the first time, we are offering advertising in the sale catalog, if you are interested in securing an ad, please contact Denis Blake at 512.695.4541 as soon as possible.

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, Retama Park looks to protect the health of its entire equine population, and is implementing the policy outlined below to prevent the spread of the potentially fatal virus to its barn area.

  1. Until further notice, no horses will be admitted on the grounds of Retama Park if they are coming from a county with a facility or racetrack that is under quarantine for the EHV-1 Equine Herpesvirus.
  2. No trailer, van, or transport vehicle will be allowed to enter the barn area at Retama Park unless the shipper signs an affidavit that he/she has provided the following information for every horse on their trailer 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 grounds at Retama Park:
  • A current health certificate, issued within 72 hours prior to arrival at the track, containing 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.

Any individual that is found to be responsible for a horse entering the grounds of Retama Park that does not conform to these conditions will be ejected from the grounds and will not be allowed to participate in any Retama Park race meet.

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.

For questions and more information, please contact James Leatherman, Retama Park’s Racing Secretary, at 210.651.7043.

TTA’s Paddock Foundation will once again conduct its Roses to Ribbons Old Fashioned Horse Fair on Saturday, February 20 at Sam Houston Race Park.  This event is designed to promote Thoroughbred horses moving to new careers after racing. There will be horses available for sale and the opportunity for interested parties to meet with racehorse owners and trainers about the type of horse they are seeking. Vendors and racehorse rehoming organizations will be on hand, with concessions available.

If you are interested in attending, would like to have a vendor booth, have a Thoroughbred that needs a new home, or simply have questions, please visit or

The $300 sustaining payment for the Texas Thoroughbred Futurity is due by February 15th.  Since that is a holiday, a postmark date of February 16 will be accepted. Call Jennifer Gibbs at 512.458.6133 for information.