News and Notes for May 1, 2015

Bret Calhoun hopes to collect his second straight victory in Churchill Downs’s GIII Eight Belles S. Friday with the undefeated Promise Me Silver (Silver City – Uno Mas Promesa). The conditioner captured last year’s renewal of this 7-furlong test with fellow Texas-bred Fiftyshadesofgold (My Golden Song). A perfect 7-for-7, including a victory in this venue’s Debutante S. last summer, Promise Me Silver kicked off this season with a win in Oaklawn’s Dixie Belle S. Jan. 15. A 9 3/4-length winner back in against state-breds in Sam Houston’s Two Altazano S. Feb. 14, the Robert Luttrell homebred captured Oaklawn’s Instant Racing S. last time Apr. 11, and faces the toughest field yet in this step up in class.

Your immediate action is needed! HB 3667 (Alonzo), also known as the “Purse Enhancement Bill” is scheduled to be heard in the House Ways and Means Committee next Tuesday, May 5.

Please contact each member of the Ways and Means Committee to ask for his/her support of HB 3667.

Explain that HB 3667 seeks to increase Texas purses without new forms of gaming – it enables racetrack owners to advance funding to boost purse accounts (that flow directly to horse owners, trainers and breeders) and then request a tax refund from the state. Any increase in purse money will help to keep Texas competitive with our neighboring states who supplement their purses with money from additional forms of gaming.

Emphasize that this bill has the possibility to breathe life into a rapidly declining industry. Purse increases would lead to marked improvement in individual race field sizes, wagering on races, quality of horses raced at Texas tracks and increased foal crops.

Members of the Ways and Means Committee are:

Dennis Bonnen, (Chair) 512.463.0564
Yvonne Davis, (Vice Chair) 512.463.0598
Dwayne Bohac 512.463.0727
Angie Chen Button 512.463.0486
Drew Darby 512.463.0331
Trey Martinez Fischer 512.463.0616
Jim Murphy 512.463.0514
Tan Parker 512.463.0694
Drew Springer 512.463.0526
Chris Turner 512.463.0574
John Wray 512.463.0516
The email address for all Representatives is:

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

Inclement weather last weekend caused the cancellation of the Grade 3, $200,000 Texas Mile. The 19th running of the featured event for 3-year-olds and up at a mile on the main track is set for today.

Scheduled as race 8 on the 10 race program, post time for the Mile is approximately 9:51 p.m. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. with first race post time of 6:35 p.m.

All but one of the original 11 have re-entered. The connections for Evan’s Calling chose not to re-enter the race. The Texas Mile was re-drawn for the remaining field of 10, changing the post positions.

Here is the field for the Texas Mile from the rail out with jockey and morning line odds:

Sr. Quisqueyano (Gerard Melancon, 6-5); Holiday Mischief (Cliff Berry, 8-1); Mal Guapo (Iram Diego, 20-1); Accredited Texas-bred F J Uncle Vic (Ernesto Valdez- Jiminez, 20-1); Rise Up (Richard Eramia, 4-1); Hip Four Sixtynine (Lindey Wade, 15-1); Bronce Bellator (Alfredo Contreras, 30-1); Real Appeal Deal (Gerardo Mora, 15-1); Accredited Texas-bred Texas Air (Quincy Hamilton, 15-1) and One King’s Man (Joe Rocco, Jr., 9-2).

Watch and wager on the Kentucky Oaks at Lone Star Park live via simulcast. Post time for the Kentucky Oaks is 4:49 p.m. Lone Star Park’s all-time leading trainer Steve Asmussen has entered Shook Up in the Grade 1, $1 Million race.

Advance wagering will be available all day Friday for the entire Churchill Downs Saturday Kentucky Derby Day card.

On Saturday, Lone Star Park’s Grandstand will open early at 10:30 a.m. so you can catch the entire Churchill Downs race card. The first live Lone Star Park race will begin at 1:35 p.m. and the Kentucky Derby simulcast will begin at approximately 5:40 p.m.

Also on Saturday, be sure to wear your favorite Kentucky Derby hat to the races. Lone Star Park will be awarding two grand prizes in their Kentucky Derby Hat Contest for “Most Stylish” and “Most Creative” Kentucky Derby hats. Both winners will receive $500. Plus, three additional hats will receive an “Honorable Mention” prize. Judging begins promptly at 3 p.m. in the Courtyard of Champions!

NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the Kentucky Oaks begins today, May 1, at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. On Saturday, Derby coverage begins on Saturday at noon ET before moving to NBC at 4 p.m. ET.

For the first time, NBC Sports Radio will present two hours of live Kentucky Derby coverage beginning Saturday, May 2 at 5 p.m. ET. Produced in partnership with Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN), and distributed by Westwood One, NBC Sports Radio will present live radio coverage of all three Triple Crown races this year.

Daily Racing Form in conjunction with the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) will be publishing a new annual Magazine to increase awareness of the TAA’s mission and its ongoing efforts to support Thoroughbred Aftercare on a national level and in Canada. The inaugural Magazine will be published on October 15, 2015, and distributed throughout Lexington, Ky., in advance of the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland Race Course. 100% of costs will be underwritten by sponsor support.

The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Magazine, produced by Daily Racing Form, will be approximately 80 color pages and highlight each of the TAA-Accredited organizations. There are currently 42 accredited organizations and over 20 more have recently submitted applications for acceptance. The magazine will include articles on the TAA, its mission, and how it is funded by multiple sources with a low general and administrative overhead of only 7.2% of the annual budget. It will recognize the many industry contributors that are sharing the responsibility of providing safe landing spots for these retired athletes. Readers will be treated to several off-the-track Thoroughbred success stories from around the nation – from sanctuary horses to rehabbed horses that have been re-homed and have had a successful second career. Potential adopters will also learn about retraining an OTTB by a panel of equestrian experts.

According to a press release, ahead of Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representative Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) today introduced legislation to eliminate most wagering on horseracing, encouraging the sport to end doping and crack down on cheaters. Horseracing is the only sport specially permitted by federal law to offer online gambling and interstate betting, yet widespread corruption has stained the industry.

Udall and Pitts have previously introduced legislation to clean up the sport. This new approach takes their bipartisan push to the next level by repealing the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978, which permits “off-track” and online wagering. Today about 90 percent of the $11 billion wagered on horseracing comes from this type of betting in the 38 states that permit it.

In response, the NTRA issued the following statement:

“The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) strongly opposes this most recent attack on horseracing by Sen. Udall and Rep. Pitts, who have introduced federal legislation that threatens to destroy the economic viability of the $26 billion horseracing industry and the 380,000 jobs it supports nationwide.

“This bill is a shameless publicity stunt that mischaracterizes one of the nation’s most highly regulated sports, ignores the significant progress the industry has achieved at the state level in recent years through widespread adoption of the National Uniform Medication Program, and unfairly disparages thousands of people who work every day to make horseracing as safe and fair as possible for all participants.”

Eric Hamelback, CEO of the National HBPA also issued a statement:

“The National HBPA would like to address the recent announcement released by Sen. Tom Udall and Rep. Joe Pitts. On behalf of our 30 affiliates and close to 30,000 individual members within North America, the National HBPA strongly opposes any legislation that seeks to repeal The Interstate Horse Racing Act. The National HBPA believes opposing this legislation, or any similar legislation, will be critical to the economic viability of not only the Thoroughbred racing industry, but the equine industry as a whole.”

NOTES: Consignment contracts for the August 24 Texas Thoroughbred Yearling Sale are available at or by calling Jeremy Barwick at 254/485-2542, Jeff Hooper at 817/992-0609 or the Western Bloodstock, Ltd. offices at 817/594-9210…Invitations for the June 20th TTA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner are in the mail.  Sponsorships are available, beginning at $250.  Contact Mary Ruyle at 512.458.36133 for details…A 2013 filly by Trappe Shot and out of the Silver Deputy mare Deputy G. G., sold for $125,000 at OBS on 4/24/15.  The filly was bred in Texas by Stoneview Farm, and sold at the F-T TX yearling sale for $50K to Grand Oaks. In the Ocala sale, the consignor was Bobby Dodd, agent and the purchaser is listed as John C. Kimmel. She worked in 10.2.