News and Notes for July 28, 2017

Evolve (Astrology – Red Tabby) is entered in a field of 6 for the $50,000 Duke City Sprint Stakes for 3-year-olds going 5 ½ furlongs at Albuquerque Downs on Saturday. Bred by No Escape Ranch, the gelding is now owned by Stuart Tsujimoto and Edward Hindman, racing primarily in New Mexico.  He has been given odds of 7/2.

Prior to Saturday’s $50,000 Assault Stakes at Lone Star Park, Texas Chrome had already put himself in an elite class among Texas-breds with a pair of graded stakes wins and five other graded stakes placings. But after prevailing by 1 ¼ lengths in the Assault, he joined Groovy and become just the second Texas-bred to ever earn $1 million.

Ridden by Richard Eramia for trainer Allen Milligan and owner Danny Keene’s Keene Thoroughbreds LLC, Texas Chrome improved his record to 20-9-4-3 with earnings of $1,020,762. Groovy, the 1987 Eclipse Award winner for Champion Sprinter, earned $1,346,956 in his career.

“I wanted to bring him back here (Texas) to reach $1 million in earnings,” said Keene. “He has a following here. The people here seem to really care about him and like to watch him race, so what better place.” 

Keene purchased Texas Chrome for $10,000 at the Texas Summer Yearling Sale in 2014 from the consignment of Craig Upham and Sue Dowling’s Stoneview Farm. Upham also bred Texas Chrome out of the Texas-bred mare Margarita Mistress, who is by the late Texas stallion and former Stoneview resident Naevus. Texas Chrome’s sire, Grasshopper, previously stood at Lane’s End Texas and now stands at Valor Farm in Pilot Point, Texas.

Named the 2015 Texas Champion 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding and 2016 Texas Horse of the Year and Champion 3-Year-Old/Gelding, Texas Chrome has raced at 10 different racetracks. He has won two Grade 3 stakes, the Super Derby at Louisiana Downs and Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park, and has placed in five other graded stakes. His stakes victories also include the Texas Thoroughbred Sales Futurity and a division of the Clarence Scharbauer Jr. Texas Stallion Stakes at Lone Star. In his most recent start he finished second in the Grade 3 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap.

The Texas Thoroughbred Association has announced a catalog of 139 head for its Texas Summer Yearling and Mixed Sale on August 21 at Lone Star Park. There are 102 yearlings in the catalog with a mixed session of 37 head. The catalog is nearly identical in size to last year’s, which offered 105 yearlings and 37 head in the mixed session. The online catalog may be viewed at

Leading Texas sire Too Much Bling is well represented in the sale with 10 yearlings, and there are eight yearlings and three weanlings from the first crops of Texas stallion Moro Tap, a son of Tapit and half brother to Grade 1 winner Ascend. Top regional sires including Custom for Carlos, Grasshopper, Half Ours, My Golden Song and Songandaprayer are represented, as are national prominent stallions Strong Mandate, Graydar, Majesticperfection, Take Charge Indy, Sky Mesa, Stay Thirsty, Liaison and Overanalyze. 

All yearling graduates of this sale will be eligible for the 2018 Texas Thoroughbred Sales Futurity to be run in two divisions at Lone Star Park. The 2017 editions of the race were run on Saturday, and both were won by horses who had been through the Texas Summer Yearling Sale and the Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale.

The $105,700 colts and geldings division went to Galactica, a Texas-bred son of Uncle Abbie who originally sold for just $1,000 as a yearling from Serenity Farm to Thomas Julian and then came back to sell for $52,000 as a 2-year-old from the consignment of Twin Oaks Training Center to Brad Grady and Carl R. Moore Management LLC. Bret Calhoun trains the earner of $79,820 in three starts.

Janae, a Louisiana-bred daughter of Closing Argument, took the $97,525 fillies division for owner Susan Moulton and trainer Brandon Jenkins. Janae sold from Benchmark Training Center to Moulton’s Safari Bloodstock for $16,000 as a yearling, and then when consigned by Inside Move as a 2-year-old did not meet her reserve at $35,000. She has now earned $77,123 in four starts.

“The goal for this sale has been to increase the quality every year, and I think we’ve accomplished that,” said Tim Boyce, sales director. “Direct Dial, who topped last year’s yearling sale, already broke his maiden impressively at Keeneland and then finished second in the Tremont Stakes at Belmont, and we’ve got several horses of similar quality this year.”

The online sale catalog features photos and videos along with other enhancements, such as the ability for consignors to easily share information about their horses on social media. The sale is still accepting supplements and those will be added to the website.

The TTA will hold a New Owners Seminar with a panel of industry experts on Sunday, August 20, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. A Pre-Sale Party is set for that night at 6 p.m. Both events are free to attend and will be held in the Texas Thoroughbred Sales Pavilion.

Private equity management company Z Capital Partners has purchased Sports Information Group, the parent company of Daily Racing Form.

“The big opportunity for us is to digitize the print side of the business, which the former owners started to do—it’s expensive and there is still a way to go to make it fully function, and then the online gaming offering,” said Z Capital Group CEO James Zenni

“We are thrilled to join the Z Capital family,” said SIG chairman and CEO John Hartig. “Z Capital’s financial strength, experience, insight, and operational expertise will help Daily Racing Form and the company’s other platforms continue to enhance and expand our digital offerings and better serve our loyal readers and customers, while staying true to the publication’s rich history and its market-leading brand.”