News and Notes for March 3, 2017

On Saturday, March 4, horsemen are in for a real treat. The Paddock Foundation will be hosting an old fashioned horse fair in the saddling paddock area of Sam Houston Race Park from 10am – 1:00pm with horses available for viewing beginning at 11am. Admission is free and concessions will be available in the grandstand.

The horse fair showcases Thoroughbreds that are finished with their racing career and ready to start a new career. This is not an auction. Potential buyers are able to view horses, talk with their handlers and negotiate a purchase.

Shopping for a new horse has never been easier or more fun. Horses are brought up to the paddock area at the track so prospective buyers can see lots of horses in one place at one time. It is a great opportunity for professional trainers looking for young prospects to develop. 

Horsemen of all disciplines should be able to find a good prospect at the event. Many people don’t realize how versatile Thoroughbreds can be. They can make excellent barrel horses, be taught to work cattle, become polo ponies, participate in dressage, jumping, or trail riding, Thoroughbreds can do it all.

Along with horses, there will be a trade fair featuring clothing, tack, equine art, grooming products, information on racehorse re-homing groups, and more – everything a horse lover might want.

Paddock Foundation president Hal Wiggins has been instrumental in developing the horse fair. “Helping Thoroughbreds on to their next career is the mission of The Paddock Foundation,” said Wiggins.

Tracy Sheffield, the Roses to Ribbons coordinator for The Paddock Foundation, echoes Wiggins’ enthusiasm. “At the Lone Star Park event last July, eighteen horses were brought to the paddock to be shown to prospective buyers and at least three-fourths of them sold. They were sold for a variety of future careers including hunters, riding horses, polo and three day eventing.”

The Paddock Foundation sponsors Roses to Ribbons Old Fashioned Horse Fairs at each of the three Class 1 racetracks in Texas, shortly before the conclusion of the Thoroughbred race meet.

For more information on booth space or the event itself, please contact Tracy Sheffield at (512) 395-5314.

Slew’s Song has been named the 2016 Texas Champion Claimer after an online poll on the Texas Thoroughbred Association’s website. The mare will be honored along with the other previously announced Texas champions during the TTA’s annual awards banquet at Lone Star Park on June 24.

The Texas Champion Claimer award was created by the TTA to honor the hard-working horses who rarely receive recognition but who fill the majority of race cards every day. To be eligible to be included in the online poll, a Texas-bred had to win at least three claiming races in Texas and have earned at least $30,000 total for the year. Any race in which a horse was not entered for a claiming price, such as an allowance/optional claiming race, was not counted toward the minimum three wins in Texas.

A now 6-year-old mare by Valor Farm stallion My Golden Song, Slew’s Song won seven of 15 starts with three seconds and a third and $67,110 in earnings last year. All seven of her wins came in Texas. Slew’s Song ran for Bryan Henderson for most of the year, and then for Team Bryant Thoroughbreds. She was trained throughout the year by George Bryant. She was bred by Pat Sheetz out of the Classic Alliance mare Classic Mirage.

The Texas Thoroughbred Association has announced that the Texas Summer Yearling and Mixed Sale will be held Monday, August 21, at the Texas Thoroughbred Sales Pavilion on the grounds of Lone Star Park.

Last year’s auction marked the first to be operated by the Texas Thoroughbred Association in partnership with Lone Star Park and recorded substantial increases over the final Texas yearling sale operated by Fasig-Tipton in 2014. The sale-topper was a Texas-bred colt by leading Texas sire Too Much Bling who sold for $105,000. 

“After not having a yearling sale in Texas in 2015, I think the results last year proved that there is still ample demand from buyers and quality stock being offered by consignors,” said Tim Boyce, sales director. “With this spot on the calendar we expect to be able to draw horses from all around the region, and the central location of Dallas-Fort Worth makes it easy for buyers and sellers to get here.”

“Our 2-year-old sale last year has already produced several stakes winners, and over the years this yearling sale has done the same, most recently with multiple graded stakes winner Texas Chrome, so we look forward to having another quality catalog this year,” said Mary Ruyle, executive director of the TTA.

For more information, go to

Lone Star Park will be open for training beginning Wednesday, March 15.  Regular training hours will be 7 – 10am with no break Monday – Saturday.  The track is closed to training on Sundays, and will also be closed on Friday and Saturday, August 11th and 12th for a festival.

Official workouts will vary but will begin on Monday, March 27. You must have a copy of foal papers in the Racing Office and the exercise rider must be identified and licensed by the TXRC to get an official workout.

Gate works will vary also but will begin on Tuesday, April 4. Hours will generally be from 7:30 -9:30am.

For more information: contact the racing office at 888-4 RACING or 972-237-1130, via email to or check the website at

NOTES:  Our condolences to the family of TTA member Terry Blanton, who passed away earlier this week. Terry was a Texas Thoroughbred HBPA Board Member for many years before agreeing in 2000 to serve as the THP’s first Director of Thoroughbred Racing. A Celebration of Life Service is being planned…The next regular meeting of the TTA Board of Directors is to be Sunday, April 2 at Lone Star Park…The next meeting of the Texas Racing Commission is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, April 11, 2017.