NEWS AND NOTES FOR FEBRUARY 6, 2015
BUCHAREST STAKES DRAWS A FIELD OF SIX
The $50,000 Bucharest Turf Sprint for Accredited Texas-bred 4-year-olds and up going 5 furlongs on the Sam Houston Race Park turf has drawn a competitive field of six.
Solar Charge (Authenticate – Another Sunlit) is the 2-1 favorite with a career record of 54-15-12-11 with $452,094 in earnings. Bred by Carolyn Barnett, the 8-year-old gelding runs for Barnett and partners David and Lana Alford. Ellen Williams will send out Solar Charge from post position 5 with jockey Lindey Wade in the irons.
Completing the field, in post position order, are Queenland (Taste of Paradise – Argentina Avenue); Proper ‘N Storme (Power Storm – After My Heart); Mula Run (Mula Gula – Choctaw Lady); Meme Jo (Too Much Bling – Honey Gold); and Aces N Jacks (Jet Phone – Pure Mischief).
LSP STAKES SCHEDULE; TEXAS MILE MOVED TO A FRIDAY NIGHT
Lone Star Park will kick off the 2015 Thoroughbred meet with the $50,000 Premiere Stakes on Thursday, April 9th, followed by the $50,000 Wayne Hanks Memorial on April 11.
Traditionally run on a Saturday, the Grade 3, $200,000 Texas Mile will be a Friday night affair (April 24) for the first time this season at Lone Star Park. The Texas Mile and the Grade 3, $200,000 Lone Star Park Handicap are the richest offerings among 11 stakes worth a cumulative $1 million for the 50-date meet, which runs April 9 through July 19.
The Lone Star Park Handicap will be run on its traditional Memorial Day slot May 25. The race for 3-year-olds and up will again be run at 1 1/16 miles. Last year, Grand Contender won both the Texas Mile and the Lone Star Park Handicap.
Those races, along with the $175,000 Governor’s Cup in August at sister track Remington Park, will again be linked to form the Global Gaming Triple. There is no bonus this year, but incentives include no start fees for participation in more than one race.
Both divisions of the $75,000 Clarence Scharbauer Jr. Texas Stallion Stakes will be contested on May 9 and the $50,000 Lane’s End Stallion Scholarship Stakes is slated for June 20.
The Stars of Texas program of four restricted stakes worth a cumulative $300,000 on July 11 includes both divisions of the TTA Sales Futurity, the Valor Farm Stakes and the Assault Stakes.
Purses at the meet are projected to average about $145,000 a program.
“Stall applications are due February 25,” said Bart Lang, director of racing. Lone Star’s stable area opens as a training center March 9, then for meet stabling March 23. The Fasig-Tipton Texas sale of 2-year-olds in training is slated for March 31.
TEXAS HORSES NOMINATED TO THE TRIPLE CROWN
The list of 429 horses nominated to the Triple Crown includes four Accredited Texas-breds: In the Pocket (Gilded Crusader – Pedro’s Choice), bred and owned by David Albert; Runaway Bling (Too Much Bling- Runaway Cater), bred and owned by Hall’s Family Trust; Sacred Crown (Silent Picture – Elk Cheeky), bred by Carlos Moore and owned by Sandra Catalano and Cynthia Lurix; and W V Jetsetter (Jet Phone – Better Than Most), bred by the Estate of Clarence Scharbauer Jr. and owned by R. A. Hill Stables and Reeves Thoroughbred Racing.
STUDY ON INJURY RATES IN JUVENILE SALE HORSES
According to an article in the Paulick Report, popular opinion has long held that the 2-year-old Thoroughbreds turning in single-digit furlong works at the spring training sales must be training harder and faster than their race-prepped stablemates and have the injury rates to prove it.
Turns out, popular opinion could have it wrong.
The complete article can be found at: http://www.paulickreport.com/horse-care-category/vet-topics/think-again-study-bucks-common-perception-of-injury-rates-in-juvenile-sales-horses/
JANUARY BANNER MONTH FOR INSTANT RACING IN KENTUCKY
The Louisville Courier-Journal reported that Kentucky Downs in Franklin had $28.8 million bet in January, which was an increase of 20.6% from January 2014, and Ellis Park in Henderson reported nearly $4 million bet, which was up 78.1%.
The two facilities combined to handle $32.81 million, putting Instant Racing in Kentucky up 25.55% for January over the prior year.
PHONE WAGERING COMMENCES IN ARIZONA
According to the Arizona Department of Racing, advance deposit wagering via phone began January 31.
Several major ADW services are licensed in Arizona, and Turf Paradise, the state’s primary Thoroughbred racetrack, has its own service called Turf Bet.
Turf Paradise officials said ADW will allow the Phoenix-area track to offer record purses. “At a time when horse racing faces ever-increasing competition, ADW gives Turf Paradise patrons another way to wager on horse racing in Arizona,” track general manager Vincent Francia said in a release.
NATIONAL PARI-MUTUEL WAGERING INCREASES IN JANUARY
In a jump that could be related to larger average field sizes, pari-mutuel handle improved 1.52% in January compared with the same month last year, according to Thoroughbred racing economic indicators released February 4 by Equibase.
While the number of races offered in January was down 2.75% to 2,547, the number of starts was up 2.85% to 21,172. That resulted in average field sizes improving to 8.31 starters per race, up from the 7.86 starter-per-race average in January 2014.
Studies have shown that larger fields generate more pari-mutuel handle, a trend that may have helped handle jump to $812,581,924.
While pari-mutuel handle improved, total purses could not overcome the decline in races. January purses fell 1.87% to $65,999,561.
NOTES: On the heels of two banner years, ThistleDown Racino has increased the purse for the Ohio Derby to a record high of $500,000 … Oaklawn, having just enjoyed strong across-the-board business in the month of January, announced it is raising overnight purses between $1,000 and $3,000 per race effective Thursday, February 12th, giving the track the highest daily purse structure in America at this time of year…Tonight, the American Heart Association will be at Sam Houston Race Park for National Wear Red Day, and to kick off American Heart Month… The latest issue of American Racehorse is now online at http://bit.ly/1F6m8ft …The Texas Racing Commission will meet at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, February 10th…The deadline for receipt of Texas Thoroughbred Educational Fund scholarship applications is Monday, February 16th.