News and Notes for May 29, 2015

David L. Davis’ homebred A M Milky Way (Elusive Bluff – Actress E) will take on 9 foes in the $75,000 Prairie Mile Stakes at Prairie Meadows on Saturday.  The 3-year-old gelding has amassed a career record of 7-3-2-0 with $132,100 in earnings.  Karl Broberg will saddle the horse, who is coming off a nice win in the $75,000 Golden Circle Stakes at Prairie Meadows on May 1st.

F J Uncle Vic (Uncle Abbie – Let Her Reign) is listed at 6/1 in the $100,000 Evangeline Mile Stakes.  The graded stakes-placed colt was bred by Mr. and Mrs. Frank Prifitera, and runs for trainer Terry Eoff, who owns the colt in partnership with Johnny Evans.  He has a career record of 23-3-6-2 with $167,530 in earnings, with his last win coming in the $50,000 Star of Texas Stakes at Houston on January 17th.

Preston Stables LLC’s Reflector (Ready’s Image – Passionate Dancer) is entered in the $300,000 Evangeline Downs Turf Sprint.  Bred by John T. L. Jones Jr., the 4-year-old colt is coming off a win in the $60,000 Need for Speed Stakes at Evangeline on May 2.  Patrick Devereux Jr. will saddle the stakes winner, who is listed at 8/1 on the morning line.

Through Monday, Memorial Day, jockey C. M. McMahon has 49 wins. Last year’s leading trainer Karl Broberg is seeking back to back titles and is well on his way with 37 wins so far for the meeting. With 23 wins, owner Danny Keen is shooting for his third Lone Star Park title – he was leading owner in 2013 and shared the title with End Zone Athletics in 2014.

The Texas Racing Commission Rules Committee took the first step Thursday toward repealing rules that would allow historical racing at horse and dog tracks statewide.

“It’s no secret that the Senate, and various parties, have actually said our funding would be withheld if we continued with historical racing,” said Ronald F. Ederer, the commission vice chairman, who made the recommendation to move forward with the repeal over the objections of some in the racing industry.

“Why start a fight with them? They hold the purse strings,” he said. “Not doing this “would start a war.” And it’s a war we can’t win.”

Just last week, lawmakers indicated that the commission would continue to receive funding, but Gov. Greg Abbott has yet to sign off on the proposal. The budget now includes a new provision that requires all central administrative funding for the commission, such as salaries, to be approved by the Legislative Budget Board.

“We have supported this industry as much as we could,” Ederer told those from the industry who oppose the repeal. “We are doing what we have to do.”

The proposed repeal of historical-racing rules could go before the full commission next month. Commissioners could move forward with the repeal, take public comment for a month and vote on the issue in August.

Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY), who serves as co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Horse Caucus announced plans to introduce the Thoroughbred Horse Racing Anti-Doping Act of 2015 to establish uniform standards for drugs and medication in the American Thoroughbred industry.

Medication in the Thoroughbred industry is currently regulated on state-by-state basis, creating a patchwork of rules and uncertainty for industry members and fans alike and a wide disparity in testing effectiveness and enforcement.  The planned legislation would grant independent authority over rule‑making, testing and enforcement oversight regarding drugs and medication to an entity created by the non-profit, non‑governmental U.S. Anti‑Doping Agency (USADA).

This legislation will not create an ongoing role for the federal government in horse racing or use taxpayer dollars to fund the program.  The funds necessary for the establishment and administration of the horse racing anti-doping program would be paid entirely by the industry, at zero cost to the taxpayer.

“A single, national approach to medication and drug testing with strong independent oversight and enforcement is long overdue and will help ensure the industry’s long-term viability, including enhancing the care and welfare of horses,” Tonko said.

The Congressman commended groups from inside and outside the Thoroughbred industry that have come together to form the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity in an effort to advance better medication rules and seek national uniform standards.

The coalition comprises Breeders’ Cup Ltd., The Jockey Club, the Humane Society of the United States and the grassroots organization, Water Hay Oats Alliance, which is 1,000 members strong.

According to Rep. Tonko, “There is much at stake, with the Thoroughbred industry contributing $25 billion to the U.S. economy annually and nearly 400,000 jobs.”

The deadline to accredit foals of 2014 at the $75 member rate is Monday, June 1st – contact the TTA office at 512.458.6133 for more information.

Registration deadline for the June 20 TTA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet is June 8th.  Sponsorships are still available – contact Mary at 512.458.6133.

June 10 is the consignment deadline for the August 24 TTA Summer Yearling Sale at Lone Star Park, produced by Western Bloodstock.  Call Jeremy Barwick at 254.485.2542, Jeff Hooper at 817.992.0609 or the Western Bloodstock, Ltd. offices at 817.594.9210.

NOTES: Promise Me Silver, who is 8 for 8 in her career will be ridden by Mike Smith in the Acorn, trainer Bret Calhoun said Monday from Churchill Downs… Gulfstream Park will offer horsemen a $250 starter bonus tied to field size beginning July 1. Trainers will receive a $250 bonus in any races in which the field leaves the paddock with eight or more horses…Barretts 2-year-old sale at Del Mar realized a 38.5% increase in gross sales along with a 5.4% increase in average price over 2014’s edition at Fairplex Park… Blood-Horse magazine has unveiled a tablet edition that is available on both iPad and Android devices at no additional cost to subscribers.