News and Notes for March 29, 2013


March 29, 2013

Senator Kel Seliger (R-District 31) has filed Senate Bill #1340 relating to the temporary operation of a race track extension location. The Senate State Affairs Committee initially heard the bill on March 25th and accepted a committee substitute.

This bill extends the time authorized in the Texas Racing Act for a racetrack to offer pre-opening simulcasting from 2 years to 6 years.

The bill will come before the State Affairs Committee again next week, so your immediate action is needed. Please contact the Committee members as soon as possible, preferably via email, to ask for their support of this bill. Then let us know the content of your message and any reply you receive. Be sure to thank them for their time and emphasize that this measure will generate funds vital to the horse racing and breeding industry.

Senate Committee on State Affairs:

Sen. Robert Duncan             512.463.0128    512.463.2424 fax

Vice Chair:
Sen. Bob Deuell                    512.463.0102    512.463.7202 fax

Sen. Rodney Ellis                 512.463.0113    512.463.0006 fax
Sen. Troy Fraser                   512.463.0124    512.475.3732 fax
Sen. Joan Huffman              512.463.0117    512.463.0639 fax
Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr.            512.463.0127    512.463.0061 fax
Sen. Robert Nichols              512.463.0103    512.463.1526 fax
Sen. Leticia Van de Putte     512.463.0126   512.463.2114 fax
Sen. Tommy Williams          512.463.0104    512.463.6373 fax

For more information on any bill, go to and enter the specific bill number.

It is time for Texas horsemen to stand up and be heard – so do not miss this opportunity! Our legislation has been filed and referred to committees, and hearings are expected very soon. SB 789 and SJR 36 (proposing a constitutional amendment to authorize video lottery terminals at licensed Texas racetracks) have been referred to the Subcommittee on Fiscal Matters. It is now time for you to do the following: 

Please contact each member of the Subcommittee as soon as possible, via email, fax or telephone and ask for their support. Then let us know the content of your message and any reply you receive. Be sure to thank them for their time and emphasize that this legislation allows the citizens of Texas to vote on the issues:

Chair:Glenn Hegar   512.463.0118     512.475.3736-Fax      
Joan Huffman            512.463.0117     512.463.0639-Fax       
Eddie Lucio               512.463.0127      512.463.0061-Fax       
Jane Nelson               512.463.0112      512.463.0923-Fax       
John Whitmire         512.463.0115      512.475.3737-Fax       

Texas HORSE (Horse Organizations for Racing, Showing and Eventing) will hold “Horse Week at the Capitol” on April 1-5. As a member organization of Texas HORSE, TTA is calling for Texas horse owners, breeders, trainers, jockeys, track employees and racing fans to come to Austin the week of April 1-5 to meet their Texas State Senators and Representatives to tell their story and ask for the legislators’ support for initiatives beneficial to the Texas horse industry.

To make reservations and receive assistance in arranging visits with their elected officials, participants should call one of these organizations: Texas HORSE at (817) 845-2917 or (512) 934-2974; TTA at (512) 458-6133; or TQHA at (512) 458-5202. Online registration is available at

Both Retama Park and Sam Houston Race Park will be providing a bus from the tracks to Austin on Tuesday April 2. Groups will be organized and materials distributed on the way to Austin. Email Doug Vair directly at to reserve your spot on the Retama bus (leaving Retama at approximately 8AM) no later than Friday, March 29th.

Sign up for the Houston bus (leaving SHRP at approximately 7AM) will be in the Sam Houston Racing Office at 281-807-8780 or via email to

For more information on any bill, go to and enter the specific bill number. If you do not know who represents you, you may go to or call the TTA office at 512.458.6133.

The Texas Racing Commission Committee on Rules met on Tuesday this week to accept comments on several proposed rules as published in the March 8 edition of the Texas Register, including Rule 307.8, Negotiated Rulemaking and Alternative Dispute Resolution and Rule 309.53, Ownership and Management Review of Active Racetrack Licenses, as well as several greyhound rules.

The Committee also discussed requests for a new Rule 311.112, Equine Dental Provider and requests to amend Rule 303.41, Allocation of Race Dates; Rule 309.151, Change of Ownership, Board of Directors or Management Committee, and Rule 311.5, License Fees.

NOTES… Calvin Borel will be aboard Texas Bling in the Arkansas Derby April 13th…Racing network TVG will provide live coverage of Saturday’s $27 million Dubai World Cup program beginning at 9:00 a.m. EDT…Congratulations to trainer Steve Asmussen, who moved ahead of Hall of Fame conditioner Jack Van Berg into second place for most lifetime training victories…The Fasig-Tipton Texas Two-Year-Olds In Training & Horses of Racing Age under tack show is slated for 11:00 a.m. on Monday, April 1 at Lone Star Park.  The sale will commence at 12 noon on Wednesday, April 3 in the Texas Thoroughbred Sales Pavilion.