NEWS AND NOTES FOR MAY 30, 2014
THIS WEEKEND AT LONE STAR PARK
Head out to Lone Star Park on Saturday for their “Vegas, Baby” theme night from 7-10 p.m. in the Courtyard of Champions. The event is centered around Las Vegas in the 1960’s featuring The Fabulous Brass Masters and Rat Pack Tribute, a Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor impersonator, real life Vegas showgirls and a casino with poker, roulette, blackjack and more. You can also participate in a free Texas Hold’em tournament hosted by the World Poker Tour Amateur Poker League beginning at 7 p.m. for which the winner will receive a $500 Mutuel Voucher.
Through May 26, David Cabrera is leading jockey for the meet with 35 wins, Karl Broberg tops the trainer list with 35 victories and End Zone Athletics has been to the winner’s circle 36 times.
Texas stallion Silver City, who stands at Valor Farm near Pilot Point, had another winner at Lone Star Park on May 24 with Silverhill. The freshman sire now has three winners (all by daylight) and leads all first-crop stallions in North America and is tied for second on the list of all stallions for 2-year-old winners. He has 2 in at Lone Star tonight, hoping to add to the list.
TRIPLE CROWN COVERAGE
The quest for the elusive Triple Crown by California Chrome has resulted in the NBC Sports Group doubling the number of hours it will devote to the 146th Belmont Stakes, beginning Thursday on NBCSN with a special 30-minute documentary entitled “California Chrome: The Unlikely Champion” The 16 hours of programming will culminate Saturday with coverage of the Belmont, hopefully with a new Triple Crown winner!
CHURCHILL DOWNS/CDI: THE HITS JUST KEEP COMING
The Louisville-based publicly held corporation has been subjected to a barrage of criticisms from owners, a Hall of Fame jockey, handicappers, regulators in other states, trainers, and fans since early April. The latest complaints come from Josie Delfino, who owns Wildcat Red with her husband, Salvatore. She told Blood-Horse that her first trip to Churchill Downs for the Derby “was terribly organized. If we had the opportunity to take another horse to the Derby next year, we may send the horse, but we wouldn’t go. I’m not going to go through all that hell again. It wasn’t just one thing (Churchill did wrong). It was everything. They need to make a lot of changes.”
Terry Finley, president of the West Point Thoroughbreds syndicate that campaigns Derby runner-up and Belmont hopeful Commanding Curve, made a point to take up for Churchill’s staff.
“We’ve been coming to the Oaks and the Derby for a long, long time,” Finley said. “They have been incredibly helpful to us. I know Churchill is perceived as the big, bad guy. But behind Churchill there are a lot of hard-working people. I’d love to make that point.”
Clinton Glasscock, who owns shares of Intense Holiday and General a Rod through the Starlight Racing syndicate, tweeted Thursday night: “Enough of the criticism of CD for the Derby. I had a phenomenal experience and they could not have been better.”
Recently, the trainer of a horse who had to be euthanized after a fall on the track immediately blamed the sound system attached to Churchill’s vaunted new video board.
The 5-year-old mare Never Tell Lynda was walking toward the paddock on the track when she reared, twisted and fell, hitting her head, said her trainer, Kenneth Wirth. The horse was startled by what Wirth thinks was the sound of a starting gate bell coming from a commercial on the video board.
“We teach horses to break from that,” he said. “And you’ve got it on a loud speaker that everybody in a two-city block can hear. Well, what’s she going to do? She thinks she’s supposed to take off. And that’s what she did. And when she did, she lunged and she lost her balance and went down.”
Track officials extended their condolences after the horse was euthanized, called the accident extremely rare and said they were still gathering the facts.
Wirth said the sound system was “way too loud” at the time of the accident.
The day before the Derby, jockey Rosie Napravnik called the speakers “overwhelming” minutes after she won the Kentucky Oaks aboard Untapable. Napravnik said it didn’t seem to affect her horse, however, and several trainers have said they haven’t had problems with the speakers.
TEXAS SPEAKERS AT AHC NATIONAL ISSUES FORUM
The American Horse Council’s National Issues Forum on June 24 in Washington, DC has been finalized and will feature panels from across the horse industry on “Where Have All the Horses Gone.”
The Forum will also feature three panels featuring a cross-section of leaders of breed registries, trainers and other stakeholders offering their thoughts on the drop.
Scheduled to speak are: keynote speaker Tim Capps, Director of the Equine Industry Program at the University of Louisville; Jeff Blea, DVM, president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners; Debbie Fuentes, Registrar/Sr. Director of Registry and Member Services, Arabian Horse Association: Jim Gagliano, President & COO, The Jockey Club; Jim McGarvey, Chairman, Back Country Horsemen of America; Josh Pons, Maryland Horse Breeders Association; Lori Rawls, Executive Director, U.S. Equestrian Federation; Robin Richards, President, National HBPA; Cynthia Richardson, President, Arabian Horse Association; Don Treadway, Executive Vice President, American Quarter Horse Association; Rick Violette, President, New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association; and Scott Wells, President & General Manager, Remington Park Racing Casino and Lone Star Park.
Attendees will also be provided an update on Time to Ride, an initiative of the American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance, by Texan Patti Colbert, of PCE Enterprises. Time to Ride has launched an ambitious national campaign and contest with a goal of introducing 100,000 new people to a horse experience between May 31 and September 7, 2014. Nationwide, 1,000 members of the horse community will have the opportunity to compete for $100,000 in cash and prizes in three different categories based upon size. Up to 1,000 “hosts” may enter Time to Ride’s “100 Day Horse Challenge.” “This is an exciting and unprecedented effort to grow the industry,” noted Hickey, “and fits right in with the main topic of the Issues Forum.”
There will also be an update on the industry’s National Equine Health Plan and the Equine Disease Communication Center by Dr. Nat White, past president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, who has been spearheading efforts to draft a National Equine Health Plan.
Complete information on these Forums and the entire AHC annual meeting can be found on the AHC’s website, http://horsecouncil.org/events.php or by contacting the AHC.
NOTES: Five horses in Kinney County (southeast of Del Rio) are now under quarantine after being diagnosed with Vesicular stomatitis (VS)…May 31 is the official deadline to accredit foals of 2013 at the $75 member rate; since that is a Saturday, we will accept a postmark date of June 2nd…The next TRC meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 10 in Austin…If you have not sent in your reservations for the June 14 TTA Annual Meeting & Awards Dinner at Lone Star Park, please do so asap…Event sponsorships are still available, starting at $250, and auction items are needed to benefit the Texas Thoroughbred Educational Fund and The Paddock Foundation; contact Mary Ruyle in the TTA office at 512.458.6133 for information.