News and Notes for March 8, 2013


March 8, 2013

Sam Houston Race Park will present the second annual Camel and Ostrich Races this Saturday. The wildly popular special event attracted huge crowds last year and the excitement is building for this year’s festivities.
In between races, at approximately 8:00 p.m., members of the Sam Houston Race Park jockey colony will test their balance and agility on super-fast Ostriches as they sprint 100 yards on the main track.

Four brave local celebrities will get a leg up on the eight-foot tall Camels for a 100 yard race slated for 9:20 p.m.  Camel jockeys will include Ken Hoffman, the famed Houston Chronicle columnist, who is game to try any fast food item in the world; Sarah Pepper (@sarahhot957), who has been tweeting enthusiastically on behalf The Hot Show 95.7, CBS Radio; the spunky Chita Johnson, KHOU Channel 11 meteorologist and radio personality Anson Ainsworth, who boasts of his weight loss success and hopes to defend the title for ESPN 97.5.

Former award-winning jockey, Frank Lovato, Jr., has created a video series entitled “365 Days of Racing Terminology” which offers a horse racing terminology video for each day of the year 2013. This is an effort to bring awareness to Jockey World, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to bring more education to fans of all ages in horse racing.

Sponsored by the account wagering service Premier Turf Club (, the videos are launched every day throughout the Jockey World website ( and various social media outlets. The videos are an average of two minutes in length and are created to be fun, engaging and educational for viewers.

Andrew Cohen wrote a touching article which appeared March 2 on the Barron’s Penta website.  Cohen tells the story of his family’s participation in racehorse ownership, starting with his father and continuing down the line to his own son.

Cohen says, “The horse business is a lot like life — you hope for the best, expect the worst, and ride good luck as far as it will take you. But the true returns of this sport are intangible.”

He talks about how horse ownership gave his ailing father a gift – he was animated, focused, and excited about how those two minutes, from wire to wire, would play out each week. “We lost money, but what we gained as a family was incalculable. That horse, those races, gave Dad the last great gift of his life and in so doing gave the rest of us a gift, too, one no doctor or pill or human grace could have given.”

Cohen concludes, “At its worst, horse racing can be a cruel sport — just one bad step, one uneven track, one bad post position, one shady vet away from disaster. But at its best, racing can offer a family priceless joy and redemption. Ken Ramsey, a longtime owner of fine Thoroughbreds, once brought his grandson’s entire second-grade class into the winner’s circle after a win in Kentucky. How much is such a moment worth to a man?”

Well said.  The entire article may be found at

Daily Racing Form has announced the expansion of DRF Breeding with a dedicated weekly Sunday print edition to debut this Sunday covering 2-year-olds in training. Upcoming coverage includes Southwest Stallions (March 17), Hoof Care and Barns and Equipment (March 24) and the Keeneland Spring Meet Preview (March 31).

On Tuesday, March 12, a digital newsletter called “DRF Breeding Update” will debut to a list of over 20,000 owners, breeders, trainers and engaged industry professionals within DRF’s digital database, delivering news recaps each Monday evening and a look ahead every Friday, offering instant access to DRF’s expanded coverage of the Breeding, Equine and Sales markets. To receive a copy of this free newsletter, sign up at

John Deere, the world’s largest manufacturer of agricultural equipment, has renewed its sales and marketing partnership with the NTRA for an additional two years. Consistent with its long-standing NTRA deal, John Deere will continue in its role as an NTRA Official Supplier and also maintain its participation in the NTRA Advantage group purchasing program.

As part of the agreement, NTRA members will continue to be able to purchase or lease John Deere agricultural tractors, equipment and implements with preferred member discounts, warranty programs and competitive financing packages.

TTA members are eligible to participate in the NTRA Advantage group purchasing program.

According to a Blood-Horse article, Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) introduced the Equine Tax Parity Act (H.R. 998) March 6, legislation that would reduce the capital gains holding period for horses from 24 months to 12 months.

Unlike most business assets that must be held for more than one year before gains from their sale are eligible for a lower capital gains tax rate, horses must be held for at least two years before the more favorable capital gains rate applies. This legislation would create parity between horses and most other business assets.

“The legislation I have introduced would finally eliminate a 44-year-old tax provision that discourages investment in the equine industry, bringing much needed relief to an economic sector that supports 1.4 million full-time jobs,” said Barr.  “This bill will bring parity to the tax code for the Commonwealth’s signature industry, ultimately helping put Kentuckians back to work.”

“This change to the capital gains tax treatment of horses will make investment in Thoroughbred racing and breeding stock more attractive,” said Alex Waldrop, president and CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. “Our industry thanks Congressman Barr for his commitment to this important tax fairness issue, and we look forward to working with him to build support for H.R.998.”

NOTES… If you have foal photos to share, please email them to… Legislation in the West Virginia Senate would lower the minimum number of yearly race dates required of a track’s application from 200 to 150, reduce the power of the West Virginia Racing Commission to set minimums on the number of races per day, and will shift purse revenue from VLTs to other funds… A total of 120 fillies have been entered for the 139th running of the Kentucky Oaks… Pari-mutuel wagering, purses, and race days all declined in February compared with the same month in 2012, according to the Equibase Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators…According to a March 8 Jockey Club release based on information collected in the Equine Injury Database, fatal breakdowns in North American Thoroughbred races stayed about the same in 2012 at just under two per 1,000 starts…Stemmans Inc. and Evangeline Downs Racetrack and Casino officials announced that 93 juveniles have been cataloged for the John Franks Memorial 2-year-olds in training sale March 17…Today is the deadline for filing legislation in Texas – stay tuned for news.