News and Notes for May 10, 2013


May 10, 2013

Given the short time remaining, SB 1340 (Seliger) is likely our only hope to pass beneficial legislation in this session.

After passing in the Senate, the bill is now being carried by Representative Tracy King in the House. The bill will be heard by the House Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee next Tuesday, May 14th.

With a state as big as Texas, it’s not always easy to be at the racetrack for live racing, so TTA has compiled a list of links and information to help you find live video and race replays for Texas’ three major tracks. You can save time by bookmarking this page or bookmarking the individual links for each track to make it easy to access in the future:

Worldventurer will be making his debut for new owner Peter Redekop on Saturday in the Stymie Division of the $75,000 Texas Stallion Stakes for 3-year-old colts and geldings. The program also features the $75,000 Got Koko Division of the Stallion Stakes for fillies and the $50,000 Lane’s End Stallion Scholarship for fillies and mares bred in Texas.

Worldventurer topped a Fasig-Tipton Texas sale at Lone Star Park on April 3, bringing $150,000 during a horses-of-racing-age session. Bret Calhoun trained the gelding up to the sale, and the horse remained with him following the purchase by Redekop. The five-horse field includes stakes-placed runners Breaththefire (Asmussen) and Meme Jo (Broberg), along with Tarmac (Pish) and He Has Bling (Durham).

Calhoun also has a leading contender in the fillies division in Tastefullyxcessive, who is seeking her first stakes win after placing in back-to-back Stallion Stakes divisions at Retama Park and Sam Houston.

Others set to start include Makeshift, winner of a Stallion Stakes division over Tastefullyxcessive, and Open Summary, whose full sister, Perfect Meadow, runs later on the card in the Lane’s End.  Joyful Hanna, Final Song, John Louis’ Penny, and Lady Sayla round out the field.

Lasting Bubbles, seeking her third straight win, is the one to catch in the second running of the $50,000 Lane’s End Stallion Scholarship Stakes, which will be run over 7 1/2 furlongs on the turf.  The competitive field of 9 also includes Lillie Abbie, Patty’s Pride, Mescaleress, Claudia’s Mingun, Smiles Golden Song, Shezararebird, Shannon Phavorite and Perfect Meadow.

According to an article in the Paulick Report, the recent resignations of two of the 13 members from the board of directors over policy and philosophical differences are troubling signs.

The first resignation came in early March when Oliver Tait, representing Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley operation, abruptly quit after the board reversed direction on medication policy. Tait wanted to stay the course on a previously approved policy that would eliminate Lasix in all Breeders’ Cup races this year. The majority of the board voted on a compromise that would continue the ban, instituted in 2012, on races restricted to 2-year-olds.

The latest resignation came from Satish Sanan, who has served on the board since 2006, when directors were first elected by Breeders’ Cup members.

Sanan quit this week, less than two months before his term expired, because he felt his calls for openness and transparency were falling on deaf ears. His spot is one of five of the 13 elected seats (CEO Craig Fravel is automatically on the board) that are in play this year, making this upcoming election among the 48 members a critical one.

The Breeders’ Cup also will be getting a new chairman this year after Tom Ludt said he would not stand for reelection as chairman following his decision to join the Stronach Group’s management team. Ludt’s replacement will be determined after the new board is seated in July.

As reported in the Palm Beach Post, a Florida administrative law judge has ruled that the state erred when it licensed barrel racing at two North Florida racetracks.  The ruling comes after a drawn-out legal battle over whether barrel racing, until two years ago typically a rodeo event, is a legitimate gambling activity in Florida.

The judge’s final order is a victory for the Florida Quarter Horse Racing Association and the Florida Quarter Horse Breeders and Owners Association, which challenged the Department of Business and Professional Regulation that oversees gambling in the state over issuing the license for barrel racing under a quarter horse permit to Gretna Racing in 2011.

Barrel racing was never contemplated by the Legislature or by voters when they approved other horse racing in a constitutional amendment in 1968, Van Landingham ruled.

The ruling raises questions about not only the barrel races at the Gretna track, about 25 miles from Tallahassee, but about the more lucrative cardroom at the track. And it also casts doubt on whether the facility will be able to offer slot machine gambling despite voters’ approval of a local referendum allowing the slots.

NOTES… Wagering on US racing in April registered a small year-over-year gain of 0.39%, but purses were down 3.41% from April in 2012, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators recently released by Equibase…Board members elected at the Race Track Chaplaincy of America’s recent annual business meeting include President Gary Cartwright, Vice-President John Shumaker, Treasurer David Foley and Secretary Mike Bingaman…All time highs in attendance and handle were set on Derby Day at Retama Park with more than 6,000 guests wagering in excess of $1.2-million…The Zetas horse racing money laundering trial ended this week with a guilty verdict… the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL), which serves as the primary provider of drug-testing services to the state’s pari-mutuel horse racing and greyhound racing industries, announced that it will seek ISO 17025 accreditation for its drug-testing lab from the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA)…Barretts Sales & Racing has 155 horses, including 13 supplemental entries, in the catalog for its May 13 sale of elite 2-year-olds in training…The California Horse Racing Board will expand its voided claims rule to include not only horses who suffer a fatality but also horses placed on the veterinarian’s list as lame or unsound after the race, with enforcement to begin May 16… TTA Life Member Jim Helzer, well known as the owner of Grade 1 winners Euroears and Joe Who, as well as the late Refrigerator, has returned to training with an 18-horse stable at Lone Star…May 31 is the deadline to accredit foals of 2012 at the member rate of $75…The next meeting of the TTA Board of Directors is scheduled for June 15 at Lone Star Park.