News and Notes for January 31, 2020

The first condition book for the Thoroughbred meet at Lone Star Park and stall applications are now online at

Printed copies of the condition books should be in the mail next week. Stall applications are due March 11 and the stable area opens March 30.

According to a Daily Racing Form article by Mary Rampellini Sam Houston handled more than $3.2 million on its Houston Racing Festival card of six stakes Sunday, a record for the program, which was established in 2013.

Hopf said approximately $2.9 million was bet by offtrack patrons, while the ontrack crowd of 6,075 wagered more than $383,000 on the card. Both betting categories were records for the Houston Racing Festival.

Hopf said the all-sources handle was the highest for a Sam Houston card since 2003, and it ranks as one of the top 10 highest handle numbers in the 26-year history of the track. He said the record of $5.8 million was set during the Great State Challenge card in 2002.

Lady Apple won the featured Grade 3, $300,000 Houston Ladies Classic on Sunday, while the Grade 3, $200,000 John B. Connally Turf Cup went to Dot Matrix. A new race to the lineup was the $200,000 Texas Turf Mile for 3-year-olds, won by Bodecream. It drew a full field of 12.

“We were pleased with the response trainers had for the race,” Hopf said. “We were very pleased with just the response, and the quality of horse. We certainly are looking forward to the second edition in 2021.”

(Edited from Daily Racing Form article by Mary Rampellini)

Mr Money Bags is likely headed to Oaklawn Park after running a corker Sunday at Sam Houston Race Park. He dominated the $75,000 Stonerside Sprint, winning by 6 3/4 lengths and earning a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 98.

“That was over the top,” said Mike Neatherlin, who trains Mr Money Bags for breeder and owner Roy Cobb.

The next day, the Texas Thoroughbred Association announced Mr Money Bags would be honored as the 2019 Texas-bred of the Year during a March 21 banquet at Sam Houston.

Before the hardware is handed out, Mr Money Bags will likely see action at Oaklawn. Neatherlin said the horse is being pointed for the Grade 3, $500,000 Razorback Handicap over a mile and a sixteenth on February 17th.

Mr Money Bags was winning his sixth stakes race in the Stonerside Sprint. The race was his first at 4 and it came following his victory in the $250,000 Zia Park Derby in November. A son of Silver City, Mr Money Bags is now 8 for 11 with earnings of $389,070.

Entries for the Jim’s Orbit and Two Altazano divisions of the Clarence Scharbauer Jr. Texas Stallion Stakes for 3-year-olds going six furlongs. In previous years, each division of the Texas Stallion Stakes had a guaranteed purse of $65,000 and thanks to new funds available after passage of HB 2463 the purses were increased to $75,000.

NOTES: Invitations for the March 21 TTA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner will mail next week.  Seating is limited, so RSVP early…The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International’s Veterinarian of the Year Award for 2019 went to Dr. Patrick Breen.  Dr. Breen (Texas A&M ’79) practiced in the Texas towns of Crockett, Madisonville, and Freeport before opening the Animal Hospital of Georgetown in 1989 in Georgetown, Texas. He retired from full-time practice in 2015. He has volunteered for more than 18 years at the Ride On Center for Kids, a nonprofit that provides equine-assisted activities and therapies to children, adults, and veterans with physical, cognitive, and emotional disabilities. Dr. Breen is currently vice president on ROCK’s board of directors and is a member of the Texas VMA and Texas Equine Veterinary Association.