News and Notes for May 23, 2014


Jockeys & Java returns to Lone Star Park on Memorial Day, Monday May 26.  Enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast while you watch the horses during their morning training, listen to interviews with special guests and take an in-depth tour of the barn and stable area. Enter through the Courtyard of Champion gates located on the West side of the Grandstand. Gates for this special event open at 8:30 a.m. and the interviews will start at approximately 9 a.m.

There are plenty of activities for the entire family. Kids can enjoy the expanded Family Fun Park from noon to 4 p.m. with pony rides, a petting zoo, bounce houses and other inflatable games, face painters and tattoo artists. Live music will be provided in the Courtyard of Champions from 1 – 5 p.m.  In addition, the season’s premiere race, the Grade 3, $200,000 Lone Star Park Handicap for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/16 miles will be run.

Maggi Moss’ Grand Contender will try to nail down a third consecutive stakes victory and his second straight at Lone Star Park when he faces an expected five rivals in the race. Trained by Tom Amoss, Grand Contender enters off a half-length victory in the Texas Mile Stakes (gr. III) April 26 at Lone Star. That victory marked the first graded win for the 6-year-old Strong Contender gelding, who is a strong 6-5 morning line favorite in Monday’s event.

Steve Asmussen will saddle Called to Serve, who is appropriately named for the Memorial Day race, with odds of 3-1. At 9-5 and looking for his first career graded stakes win will be Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch’s Donoharm, who enters off a runner-up finish in an April 11 allowance race at Oaklawn Park.  Three Texas-breds round out the field: He Has Bling (Too Much Bling – Deeya Maria) a homebred for Hall’s Family Trust that is trained by Danele Durham, Texas Air (Texas City – Malaysian Air), a homebred for Paul Rigali Jr. trained by Allen Milligan, and F J Uncle Vic (Uncle Abbie – Let Her Reign), bred by Mr. and Mrs. Frank Prifitera, and owned in partnership by Johnny Evans and trainer Terry Eoff.  F J Uncle Vic is coming off a second place finish in the $75,000 Stymie division of the Clarence Scharbauer Jr. Texas Stallion Stakes on May 10th.

Lone Star is now providing owners and trainers with free past performances each time their horse is drawn into a race.  To take advantage of the offer, owners and trainers must provide the racing office with their name (and each partnership, if applicable) and email address.

Ten years ago, the Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) was founded to represent all equine breeds and disciplines and has been the driving force for numerous horse industry accomplishments.  The first was legislation which created the Kentucky Breeders’ Incentive Fund (KBIF) which has distributed over $97 million.

KEEP also played a major role in the development of pari-mutuel wagering on historic horse racing.  Since Sept, 1, 2011, Instant Racing has generated $6,371,928 for purses and $4,974,387 for the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund.

Another primary focus has been the Grassroots outreach program which serves all equine breeds and disciplines. With unwavering support by team leaders and members in each of the 120 counties in Kentucky,  KEEP’s Grassroots program has contributed $598,436 to nearly 900 local horse shows, 4-H, FFA, Therapeutic, trail riding and equine education organizations throughout the state since 2006.

Along with the Kentucky Horse Council, KEEP worked with the Department of Agriculture to  reclassify horses as part of the state’s agricultural industry. Farms are now eligible to apply for matching marketing funds as part of the highly successful Kentucky Proud program.

The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training concluded its two-day run on May 20 with mixed results.

Following an opening session on May 19 that experienced across-the-board gains in all economic categories, the sale’s second session saw final figures decline when compared to last year’s numbers.

All told over two days, 329 head sold for gross sales of $19,601,000, an increase of 17.5%, and the highest gross for the sale since 2006 when 370 juveniles sold for $21,236,500.

Overall, sale average decreased 11% and median price was $31,000, down 22.5% from $40,000 in 2013.

Two youngsters, each selling for $425,000, topped proceedings during the final session.

Also, there is a Texas connection to Hip 296, a filly by Congrats out of Letgomyecho that sold for $300,000 to bloodstock agent David Ingordo.  The filly was purchased for $100,000 as a Keeneland September yearling by a partnership which included consignor John Stephens, Bethe Deal and Susan Moulton.  It was a successful return to pinhooking for Moulton, who formerly sold as Safari Bloodstock.  Congrats to all.

The West Virginia Racing Commission has signed off on several new regulations, including one that will allow the state to participate in the multiple medication violation penalty system that is part of the National Uniform Medication Program.

The commission also approved adoption of the expanded Schedule of Controlled Therapeutic Substances—currently a list of 26 commonly used medications—and the ARCI Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances.

However, the West Virginia state Legislature must approve such regulations, so the earliest they can take effect is in 2015.

NOTES:  The Maryland Racing Commission has decided to begin testing cobalt levels in horses, possible a precursor to specific cobalt rules…The Virginia Racing Commission has canceled its May 22 meeting in order to allow Colonial Downs and the Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (VHBPA) more time to reach a final agreement on the number of live days and the format of the 2014 race meet…Barretts, in cooperation with the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, will conduct its third annual Paddock Sale of “Race Ready” horses in training on July 20th… Last week Danny Pish joined fellow trainers Steve Asmussen and Bret Calhoun in scoring 500 wins at Lone Star Park…If you bring a stallion into Texas, please give the TTA office a call at 512.458.6133 so we can add you to our mailing list for reminders of pertinent deadlines and fees…Our sympathies go out to the family of Barbara Emerson of Holland, who passed away earlier this month…Retama Park will host a career fair on Saturday, May 24; for more info, see… As of May 18, David Cabrera heads the LSP jockey standings with 31 wins; Karl Broberg tops the trainer list with 31 wins, and leading owner is End Zone Athletics with 13 wins… With print copies mailing soon, the newest issue of Southern Racehorse magazine is now online with feature articles on Texas’ Double Infinity Ranch, the Thoroughbred industry in South Carolina, nutrition for young racehorses and how knowing if a foal is a colt or filly before its born can help breeders. Read more at…We are saddened by the death of longtime TTA member and former director Tommy Oliphant of Sabinal; he was a recipient of the T. I. “Pops” Harkins Award for Lifetime Achievement and was also inducted into the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame.  Our deepest sympathies are extended to his family…The TTA office will be closed on May 26 in observance of Memorial Day…May 31 is the deadline to accredit foals of 2013 at the $75 member rate.