News and Notes for May 16, 2014


Saturday night at Lone Star Park was all about Texas Thoroughbred racing and remembering one of the passionate supporters of our great sport, the late Mr. Clarence Scharbauer Jr. The night included the $75,000 Stymie division and $75,000 Got Koko division of the Clarence Scharbauer Jr. Texas Stallion Stakes Series.

The Texas Stallion Stakes were recently renamed to honor Scharbauer, so it was fitting that the winner of the Got Koko division for fillies was bred in the Lone Star State by the Texas icon. Thegirlinthatsong, owned by Anjo Racing Inc. and trained by Andrew Konkoly, defeated favorite Scooter’s Choice by 4 ½ lengths with a one-mile clocking in 1:38.53. Thegirlinthatsong’s sire, My Golden Song, stands at the late Scharbauer’s Valor Farm near Pilot Point, Texas.

In the 11th running of the Stymie division for colts and geldings, favorite Ibaka had an impressive 3 length victory. Bred and owned by Doug Wall and trained by Bret Calhoun, Ibaka is an Oklahoma-bred gelding by Uncle Abbie, who stands at Joe Kerby’s Key Ranch near Salado, Texas. He is a perfect four-for-four this year, and overall has won five of seven starts with earnings of $162,036.

With only three horses from the Kentucky Derby contesting the Preakness (winner California  Chrome, 7th place finisher Ride on Curlin and 11th place finisher General A Rod), Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas said he will initiate discussions with his counterparts at Churchill Downs and the New York Racing Association in an effort to change the spacing between the Triple Crown races.

“I think the schedule of two weeks between the Derby and three weeks between the Preakness and Belmont is passé; it’s done,” said Chuckas May 15, adding that he will seek to open a dialogue after the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 7. “I’m all about tradition. I respect everything that’s happened, but when I sit here today, it doesn’t work anymore.”

“My view is the Triple Crown is, besides the Breeders’ Cup, the time you get the most public attention, and we cram it in in a few weeks,” Chuckas said. “If we spread it out, we’ll get more public attention.

“I think also from a horseman’s perspective, most of these horsemen will not race their horses back in two weeks. Not only do these tracks lose the opportunity of seeing these horses, the public loses the opportunity of seeing these horses. And it’s not just the Triple Crown races; it’s also the undercards for all these high-level stakes races. If you take a look from a guest’s perspective, or a wagerer’s perspective, he obviously wants full fields, the most competition and so on, and it’s just not happening right now.”

Chuckas said he will work toward a schedule that has the Kentucky Derby retain its position on the first Saturday in May, while the Preakness would be moved to the first weekend in June and the Belmont Stakes to the first weekend in July.

NBC Sports Network will begin prerace coverage of the Preakness at 1 p.m. ( ET) May 17, with “Preakness Stakes Prep.” NBC’s full coverage will start at 4:30 p.m. (ET) May 17. NBC Sports Network will also air live coverage of the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico at 4 p.m.(ET) May 16.

If you will be at Lone Star Park on Saturday, post time for the Preakness is approximately 5:18 p.m. (CDT) between the fourth and fifth live races.

Stakes winner Silver City  was represented by his first winner as a stallion when his 2-year-old daughter Promise Me Silver won the third race at Lone Star Park in her career debut May 11.  The filly is trained by Bret Calhoun for owner/breeder Robert Luttrell,

Then, Silver City had his 2nd winner Thursday night, with Silver City Sal’s victory in a maiden special weight at Lone Star. Calhoun also trains the Clarence Scharbauer Jr. homebred.

With Kentucky soon putting more stringent regulations in place regarding the administration of corticosteroids, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) is collecting information on elimination times following specific uses of the medications provided by participating racetrack veterinarians.

On June 6, the uniform medication rules the KHRC approved late last year will become reality at Kentucky tracks. Some of the biggest changes in the rules involve corticosteroids.

Recommended withdrawal times for three corticosteroids—betamethasone, methylprednisolone, and triamcinolone—will jump to seven days from the current 48 or 72 hours.

NOTES: When racing commences at Canterbury Park this evening, the stable area’s nearly 1,600 stalls will be at capacity for only the second time since 1991, largely due to a marketing and purse enhancement agreement reached in 2012 with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, which owns and operates Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, that will contribute $75 million to the horsemen’s purse structure over the deal’s 10-year span. This season, purses are estimated to reach a record $13 million for the 69-card meet, an average of just under $190,000 per day…The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), in an effort to curb overuse of thyroid medications, has issued new instructions to veterinarians and horsemen for prescribing, dispensing, and labeling thyroid hormones. The efforts are to ensure that those involved are in compliance with CHRB regulations…The Board of Directors of the Meydan Group have decided that the synthetic racing surface, installed for the opening of the racecourse in 2010, will be replaced with a traditional dirt track, to be ready for the opening of the 2014-15 racing season…With a smaller catalog than last year, the May Barrett’s 2-year-old sale declined in average and total receipts from 2013. A total of 70 horses averaged $43,307 on a gross of $3,031,500, a decrease of 21.7% in average and 37.7% in gross. In 2013, 88 horses sold for $4,869,200 and averaged $55,332. The median held steady at $30,000, the same as in 2013. A total of 50 horses were withdrawn prior to the sale, and 21 of the 91 put through the ring did not sell, for a 23% buy-back rate… The TRC Committee on Rules will meet on Tuesday, May 20 in Austin…The next regular meeting of the TRC will be Tuesday, June 10 in Austin…Remember to send in your reservations to attend the TTA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner at Lone Star Park on Saturday, June 14th.