News and Notes for June 26, 2015

The TTA Board of Directors met on June 20 and elected the following officers to serve a one-year term:

President – Hal Wiggins of Houston
1st VP – Phil Adams of Gainesville
2nd VP – Phil Leckinger of Tioga
Secretary/Treasurer – Rick Penn of Parker

The Executive Committee comprises the officers, immediate past-president Ken Carson of Pilot Point, Danny Keene of Greenville and Bill Tracy of Fredericksburg.

The Texas Racing Commission (TRC) recently voted to post the repeal of rules governing par-mutuel wagering on historical races in the Texas Register for public comment, and your immediate action is needed. Please 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.

Sample letters are available in the second paragraph of the TTA Member Communications page at

The active involvement of all horsemen in such issues is imperative to protect our industry.

Accredited Texas-bred He’s Comin in Hot (Early Flyer – Shocktime), is the 9/5 morning line favorite in Saturday’s $100K Bashford Manor (G3) at Churchill Downs, where he will face fellow Texas-bred Sapphire Storm (Primal Storm – Bluehue) along with 6 others.

Bret Calhoun will send out He’s Comin in Hot for owner Douglas Scharbauer while Steve Asmussen will saddle Sapphire Storm, who is bred and owned in part by Keith Asmussen.

The $100K Debutante, which has been won by Texas-breds Fiftyshadesofgold and Promise Me Silver in the last two years, will feature another Asmussen trainee, Texas-bred Thievery (Valid Expectations – Keepthename).  The filly was bred by Glory Days Breeding Inc. and is owned by Ackerley Brothers Farm.

Good luck to all!

On June 20, the 2014 Texas Champion horses and their connections were honored before 130 attendees at the TTA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet at Lone Star Park. Honorees also included two recipients of the Allen Bogan Memorial Award for TTA Member of the Year – John Elliott, CEO of Global Gaming LLC and Andrea Young, President/COO of Sam Houston Race Park, and three recipients of the T. I. “Pops” Harkins Award for Lifetime Achievement – the late James D. Jackson of Rockdale, the late Bill McMorris Sr. of Austin, and Nat Kieffer PhD of College Station.

LoneStar Outreach to Place Ex-Racers (LOPE) was named the Thoroughbred Charities of America Award of Merit recipient

The evening’s activities included live and silent auctions to benefit the Texas Thoroughbred Education Fund and The Paddock Foundation.  Scholarship recipients who were in attendance had the opportunity to provide an update on their college and career activities and presented the trophy to the connections of Expect Royalty, who won the fourth running of the $50,000 Lane’s End Stallion Scholarship Stakes.

We especially want to thank our event sponsors:, Frost Bank, John Deere/NTRA Advantage, Sam Houston Race Park and our host, Lone Star Park.

Event photos may be viewed at:

Make plans to attend the next Roses to Ribbons Old Fashioned Horse Fair, scheduled for 11:00 – 1:00 on Saturday July 11 at Lone Star Park.

Sponsored by The Paddock Foundation, the fair serves as an opportunity to showcase Thoroughbreds ready for their second careers.  There will also be vendor tables, artists, a tack swap and sell, concessions and more. With free admission, the event will be held in the saddling paddock area.

For more information, go to  or

NOTES:  Breeders’ Cup and RaceTech are partnering to develop a new historical horse racing game that will make its debut just prior to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland.  This is the first time RaceTech has partnered with a major racing organization and championship event to create a branded game… In past years, the state government allocated $250,000 to Thoroughbred breeders in Arizona, but a veto last year by Gov. Jan Brewer cut that funding. The Arizona Department of Racing (ADOR) has formed a committee that will look at ways to create a breeders’ incentive program…The Maryland Racing Commission has approved a plan to reduce the purses of Maryland’s seven remaining state-bred stakes to $50,000, and eliminate the 10 percent Maryland-sired bonus for Maryland-breds who finish in the money at a track in the state. The cuts are expected to save around $700,000 for the Maryland-bred fund…Lone Star Park was mentioned as a top 10 destination in USA Today/Dallas Travel Guide…We are saddened by the recent passing of longtime TTA member Tom Hutchins of Fredericksburg, and offer our deepest sympathies to Lane and all the family.