News and Notes for February 7, 2020

With the addition of the new $300,000 guaranteed Texas Derby, which also offers an additional incentive of up to $100,000 for Texas-bred entrants, plus an increase to all minor stakes races, Lone Star Park’s 2020 Thoroughbred Racing Season Stakes Schedule will offer 12 stakes worth a combined total of $1,425,000, up over $300,000 from a year ago and the richest since 2011. The season opens Thursday, April 16 and concludes Sunday, July 19.

The $300,000 Texas Derby, along with the $100,000 Lone Star Park Turf Stakes, will go on Memorial Day, Monday May 25.

The minor stakes previously offered purses of $50,000 have all increased to a $75,000 offering in 2020, including the Opening Night featured Bluebonnet Stakes as well as the Wayne Hanks Memorial, the Lanes End Danny Shifflett Scholarship Stakes, the Valor Farm Stakes and the Highlander Training Center Assault Stakes.

“We are super excited about running the first Texas Derby this year,” said Lone Star Park’s Director of Racing, Bart Lang. “Featured with the $100,000 Lone Star Park Turf Stakes, Memorial Day racing returns to one of our best days on the schedule.”

Also offering more this year are the divisional Texas Stallion Stakes for 2-yr-olds, the Pan Zareta division and the Staunch Avenger division have increased from $65,000 to $75,000 each.

Remaining at $300,000 is the Grade 3, Steve Sexton Mile, slated for Sunday, April 26.

Both the filly and the colt & gelding divisions of the Texas Thoroughbred Futurity will again offer estimated purses of $100,000 apiece, plus $50,000 in added money to each.

Lone Star Park officials have announced an increase of nearly 43% to overnight race purses for the upcoming Thoroughbred racing season. Overnight race purses this year average $200,000 per day compared to $140,000 per day in 2019.

These increases are possible due to funds collected and distributed to the track by the passage last year of House Bill 2463. The new law, which went into effect September 1, enhances purses at the state’s racetracks.

The law will eventually put up to $25 million annually into escrow from a portion of the taxes collected on the sale of horse feed, supplements, bedding, tack and grooming supplies, plus any other taxable expenditure directly related to riding, boarding and owning horses. Of the $25 million collected each year, up to $17.5 million will be available to Texas’ racetrack operators strictly for purses. The other $7.5 million will be available to official breed registries to enhance their incentive programs. They include the Texas Thoroughbred Association, the Texas Quarter Horse Association, the Texas Arabian Breeders Association and the Texas Paint Horse Association.


•Stable area is full
•Horsemen have entered 1,604 horses through first 12 days (2019: 1,106 entered in first 12 days)
•Horsemen have made 20 claims for $198,750 in 12 days (2019: 25 claims for the entire meet, $220k)
•Through 12 race days, all source handle is up 28%, year to year
•Average field size (starters per race) has increased 6%, year to year
•All source handle for the ten race Houston Racing Festival card grew 37%, year to year.

NOTES:  A total of 347 3-year-old Thoroughbreds were made eligible to compete in this year’s Triple Crown during the early nomination phase, which closed January 25th…Texas connections include Deviant, owned by Red Lane Thoroughbreds LLC and trained by Danny Pish, Digital, owned by Tom Durant and trained by Bret Calhoun, Explosive, and Goliad, both owned by Perry R. Bass II and Ramona S. Bass, Gold Street, owned by Mike McCarty, and Juggernaut and Time to Testify, both owned by Big Chief Racing LLC and Rocker O Ranch LLC…Invitations for the March 21 TTA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet are in the mail. Please RSVP early, as seating is limited to 120 attendees…Remember to cast your vote for Texas Champion Claiming Horse at by February 15th… Check out our YouTube video to find out more about breeding at Eureka Thoroughbreds! Enjoy!