News and Notes for June 30, 2017

Two Texas-breds have won the $100,000 Debutante Stakes at Churchill Downs in recent years, and two horses from the Lone Star State are entered in Friday’s renewal of the historic race under the iconic twin spires of the Louisville track. The field of 13 2-year-old fillies includes Rockin Royalty, a daughter of Early Flyer, and Patrona Margarita, a filly by Special Rate.

Patrona Margarita is a half sister to reigning Texas Horse of the Year Texas Chrome (by Grasshopper), a two-time Grade 3 winner with earnings of more than $930,000. Both Patrona Margarita and Texas Chrome were bred by Craig Upham, who operates Stoneview Farm with his wife Sue Dowling, and both are out of the Texas-bred Naevus mare Margarita Mistress. Texas Chrome runs for Danny Keene’s Keene Thoroughbreds LLC, while Patrona Margarita, who broke her maiden at first asking in a maiden special weight contest at Churchill, runs for Upham. Chris Landeros, who rode Patrona Margarita in that maiden race, has the call in the Debutante for trainer Bret Calhoun. The morning line for Patrona Margarita is 8/1.

Rockin Royalty was bred by Caroline Dodwell and runs for owner and trainer Danny Pish. The filly won a May 6 race for Texas-breds at Lone Star Park and prevailed by more than three lengths. She will be ridden by Channing Hill in the Debutante and has odds of 20/1.

Calhoun won back-to-back editions of the Debutante in 2013 and 2014 with Texas-breds Fiftyshadesofgold and Promise Me Silver.

Gillespie County Fair kicks off their summer mixed meet of live racing this weekend.  On Saturday, July 1, there are 85 horses entered in 10 races, including 2 races for Thoroughbreds.

Race 2 has a field of 8 maidens 3-year-olds and up, going 4 furlongs. Race 10 is for Accredited Texas-bred 3-years-old and up going 5 ½ furlongs, and has drawn a field of 6.

On Sunday, race 6 is a 7 furlong starter allowance for 3-year-olds and up, while race 9 is a 5 ½ furlong claiming race for 3-year-olds and up.

Later in the meet, there is a pair of Thoroughbred stakes.  The Texas Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes for Accredited Texas-bred 3-year-olds and up going 6 furlongs is set for Saturday July 15th, with entries taken on Wednesday July 12th.

On Saturday August 26, the G.C.F.A. Texas Bred Stakes is for Accredited Texas-bred 3-year-olds and up going 7 furlongs, with entries taken on Wednesday August 23rd.

In conjunction with the City of Grand Prairie, Lone Star Park will host their annual Lone Stars & Stripes Celebration on Monday, July 3 and Tuesday, July 4. Gates will open at 3pm with the first post at 5pm.

In addition to great racing, there will be prize giveaways, including a 2017 Kawasaki Brute Force ATV on Monday, and two 2017 Polaris Phoenix 200 ATV’s on Tuesday.

After the last race each night, stick around for a world-class fireworks display choreographed to music.

For more information, see

My Master Plan won the fourth stakes race of her career Saturday night when she powered home by 3 1/4 lengths over favorite Zippit E in the off-the-turf Lane’s End – Danny Shifflett Scholarship Stakes at Lone Star Park.

The $50,000 race for fillies and mares bred in Texas was run on a muddy main track. The stakes complemented the Texas Thoroughbred Association’s annual awards banquet held ontrack Saturday. During the event, Texas Chrome was honored as the 2016 Texas-bred of the Year.

My Master Plan is a daughter of Oratory who races for Joyce D. McGough. She earned $30,000 for her win, which was her sixth from 14 starts. My Master Plan now has career earnings of $223,647.

The race Saturday was renamed to include Danny Shifflett as a means of honoring the longtime farm manager at Lane’s End Texas who now resides in Waller.

During the ontrack banquet, Ken Carson of Valor Farm was named Member of the Year for 2016 and Jackie Rich was honored with a lifetime achievement award.  Valor Farm received the award for being the leading ATB money earner for 2016.

The banquet also honored divisional leaders from 2016. Ivan Fallunovalot was champion older horse; Chronologic’sghost, older filly or mare; Bling On the Music, 2-year-old filly; Raising Rumors, 2-year-old colt or gelding; More Than Most, 3-year-old filly; Texas Chrome, 3-year-old colt and Horse of the Year; and Slew’s Song, champion claimer.

We have recently received some questions regarding the status of the Texas Racing Commission budget and its effect on Texas racing. In a nutshell, the TRC is a self-funded agency, meaning that funding comes from the racing industry in the form of license fees for racetracks and individuals, rather than receiving funding from the state of Texas.  In addition to costs associated with regulating the industry, the agency has ongoing expenses associated with benefits for current as well as past employees. When faced with a shortfall, the TRC has two options: reduce expenses or raise fees, or some combination of both.

At this time, the TRC is anticipating a shortfall. Racetrack and industry representatives have voiced opposition to any fee increases and the TRC continues to consider ways to reduce expenses.

NOTES: July 7 is the nomination deadline for the El Joven and La Senorita Stakes at Retama Park. Forms are available on TTA Website. For more information, contact the Retama Park racing office at 210-651-7040…If you missed the TTA Awards Banquet over the weekend at Lone Star Park, here’s a video review of all the champions: The TTA office will be closed on Monday and Tuesday, July 3 and 4th.