News and Notes for July 17, 2015

This weekend marks the final weekend of the Thoroughbred meet at Lone Star Park.  Post time for racing tonight and Saturday is 6:35pm and 1:35pm on Sunday.

Gillespie County Fair’s Mixed Meet continues with two Thoroughbred races each day, including Saturday’s $10,000-added Texas Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes for Accredited Texas-bred 3-year-olds and up going six furlongs.  Five-year-old Marty’s Wimbledon (Wimbledon – Martys Expectation) is the 7/5 morning line favorite in the field of six.  Bred by Jim & Marty Evans, the horse runs for George A. Bryant and is trained by George R. Bryant.

Completing the field are Hacienda (Limehouse – Classic Touch), Prince Isaac (Catienus – Cantrell Road), Angliano (Angliana – Purse Snatcher), Expect Foolishness (Valid Expectations – Chatte Noir) and Our Romeo (Captain Countdown – Crimson Flagship).  Post time for both days is 1pm.

C. Reid McLellan, PhD., national equine educator, will be conducting a Trainers’ Exam Prep Class at Retama Park on August 14-16.  McLellan, Executive Director of the Groom Elite Program, was a participant on the National Trainers’ Exam committee and has been teaching rules of racing to prospective trainers since 1985. The Trainers’ Exam Prep Class provides information about the Rules of Racing to individuals considering taking a state licensing exam as well as owners or horseplayers that simply want to know more about the Rules of Racing as they pertain to the training and racing of racehorses.

This class includes discussion of information covered in both the barn and written tests. Rules differ from state to state and this class discusses those important differences. Drug rules and regulations are rapidly changing and updated changes are discussed in the Veterinary Rules section.

Registration fee for the Retama Park class is $299 if paid before class starts, $349 at the door if space is available. The extended dates for the early registration fee deadline for the Texas class are supported by contributions to the Groom Elite program by the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

For more information, to see a class outline or to register for one of these Trainers’ Exam Prep Classes, go to or and select the link for your preferred class. Dr. McLellan is available by cell phone at 859-321-4377, twitter @creidmac or email

Last Saturday marked another successful “Roses to Ribbons” event at Lone Star Park, sponsored by The Paddock Foundation, TTA’s non-profit organization with a mission to support and advance the care of Thoroughbred racehorses after their racing careers by supporting rescue, retirement, rehabilitation, retraining and rehoming.

The venue provided an opportunity for trainers and owners to showcase Thoroughbreds to prospective buyers seeking horses to train for secondary careers.  About half of the 20 horses presented found new homes that day, with negotiations in the works for the remainder.

Attendees also had the opportunity to visit with vendors including representatives of CANTER Texas, TTA and The Paddock Foundation, artists and equine feed and supplement suppliers. Lone Star Park provided attendees with coupons for complimentary admission to the races and racing programs.

The Dallas Morning News included a great story on the event, which may be viewed at:

Many thanks to event organizer Tracy Sheffield, host Lone Star Park, vendors, trainers and attendees.

The next “Roses to Ribbons” showcase will be held at Retama Park prior to the end of the Thoroughbred meet in October.

Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) and Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY), the co-chairmen of the Congressional Horse Caucus, have introduced the bipartisan Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015 to address the lack of uniformity in the rules of horseracing across the US.

By establishing an independent, nongovernmental anti-doping authority (USADA and THADA) charged with the responsibility of implementing a national uniform medication program with input from the thoroughbred industry, the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act will encourage fair competition and a level playing field across state lines, assure full and fair disclosure of information to purchasers of breeding stock and to the wagering public and provide for the safety and welfare of horses and jockeys.  This, in turn, will enhance the popularity and international competitiveness of American thoroughbred horseracing.

As a non-profit, nongovernmental organization, USADA would create the Thoroughbred Horseracing Anti-Doping Authority (THADA), to be governed by a board of six USADA board members and five independent individuals from the Thoroughbred racing industry. This body would work collaboratively with state racing commissions and their respective staff members throughout the country, funded entirely by industry at no cost to taxpayers. Among the provisions in the proposed legislation, THADA would develop and administer a nationwide anti-doping program that would go into effect beginning January 1, 2017, following input from the Thoroughbred industry and the public.

However, the measure is not without opposition, most notably the ARCI and National HBPA.  ARCI President Ed Martin has issued the following statement:

“The ARCI is unanimous in its opposition to shielding racing regulatory authority from public accountability by putting it in the hands of a private organization.

“We also note that the proposal provides absolutely no federal resources and not one cent of existing federal anti-doping monies to assist in chasing those who would dope horses.

“We find it ironic that many of the featured speakers at The Jockey Club’s recent Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit who have been instrumental in the development and implementation of regulatory policy – racing commission experts like Dr. Mary Scollay, Dr. Rick Arthur, and Dr. Scott Palmer – would all be shut out or severely diminished under this proposal.

“Equine welfare and medication policy should not be put in the hands of an entity with no experience with such matters and no veterinarian involvement.    We strongly oppose the politicization of racing medication policies and are concerned that equine welfare policies will be trampled should this be enacted.”

The National HBPA also voiced strong opposition to this proposed bill:

“The National HBPA represents the largest group of horsemen within North America among its 30 affiliates.  Each of the horsemen’s groups are strong supporters of national uniformity in medication policies, and we all are aware of the significant progress made towards adopting uniformity.  In the last year and a half alone our industry has seen an increase in racing states adoption of Controlled Therapeutic Substances utilization, to include 70% of the nation’s pari-mutuel handle.  However, we are opposed to any form of legislation that interferes with the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 (IHA).  We plan to review and analyze the bill in order to understand the bill in its entirety.  At that time we will be prepared to issue further statements to ensure we stand for, and protect, the rights empowered to all horsemen by the IHA”

Additional information, including stories from supporters and ways to contact Congressional members to express support for this legislation, is available at

NOTES: A Lasix-free race proved so popular at the entry box Wednesday that the over-subscribed field of 2-year-old fillies was split into two races for Saturday’s program at Gulfstream Park… Idaho officials are preparing legal defenses in the case over legislation banning instant horse racing terminals throughout the state. The Spokesman-Review reports thatthe case will focus on determining whether the state constitution trumps the actions of the Idaho Senate…Remember to send an e-mail or a letter to the TRC in support of keeping the HRT rules in place. Letters may be sent via email to, fax to 512.833.6907, or via regular postal mail to Texas Racing Commission, PO Box 12080, Austin, TX 78711 or Texas Racing Commission, 8305 Cross Park Dr. #110, Austin, TX 78754. July 26 is the deadline for receipt of public comment on the issue.