News and Notes for October 23, 2015

A pair of undefeated Accredited Texas-bred 2-year-old fillies will compete as part of a 9-horse field in tonight’s $50,000 E. L. Gaylord Memorial Stakes at Remington Park.  Dan McGough’s homebred My Master Plan (Oratory – One O Seven) has been named the 9/5 morning line favorite.  Trained by Donnie Von Hemel, the filly is coming off a strong win in an allowance optional claimer on October 9 at Remington.

Danele Durham will saddle Too Much Prada (Too Much Bling – Kimbell’s Prada), a homebred for Hall’s Family Trust, who won the $75,000 Darby’s Daughter division of the Clarence Scharbauer Jr. Texas Stallion Stakes at Retama Park in September.

Janet Marden’s homebred gelding Tiz Cherry Wine (Tiz the One – Miss Cherry) takes on a tough field of 8 going a mile in the $200,000 Jean Lafitte Stakes at Delta Downs on Saturday. With a career record of 3-2-0, he has been given odds of 15/1.

Retama Park has named their leaders for the recently concluded Thoroughbred meet, and we offer our congratulations to leading jockey David Cabrera, who had 44 wins for the meet, trainer Danny Pish, who tallied up 30 wins and owners Jose Luis Espinoza and George A. Bryant, who tied with 9 trips each to the Winners Circle.

Come out to the Lone Star Park Bar & Book at 10:30 on Saturday, October 24 for the annual Breeders’ Cup Preview Party. Ticket personality Norm Hitzges, award-winning turf writer Gary West, track handicapper Rick Lee and track announcer John Lies will analyze the 2015 Breeders’ Cup. Plus, the first 200 in attendance will receive a free Daily Racing Form: Breeders’ Cup Advance Edition.

Based on Reports of Mares Bred (RMB) received through October 13th, The Jockey Club reports that 1,449 stallions covered 34,627 mares in North America during 2015.

Based upon historical reporting trends, The Jockey Club estimates an additional 2,000 to 3,000 mares will be reported as bred during the 2015 breeding season.

The number of stallions declined 6.3% from the 1,547 reported at this time in 2014, and the number of mares bred increased 0.3% from the 34,540 reported at this time last year.

Kentucky traditionally leads North America in Thoroughbred breeding activity. During 2015, Kentucky’s 208 reported stallions covered 17,448 mares, or 50.4% of all of the mares reported bred in North America. The number of mares bred to Kentucky stallions increased 3.7% percent compared with the 16,826 reported at this time last year.

Early figures for our neighbor states indicate 1,494 mares bred to 104 stallions in Louisiana (ranked 5th); 789 mares bred to 76 stallions in New Mexico (ranked 7th); and 756 mares bred to 66 stallions n Oklahoma (ranked 9th).

Early figures for Texas indicate 585 mares were bred to 61 stallions.  Final counts for 2014 show 814 mares were bred to 113 stallions.  The top 4 Texas stallions by number of mares bred for 2015 are Moro Tap – 57; Too Much Bling – 50; My Golden Song – 49; and Silver City – 41.

Dallas and Donna Keen of Burleson have been involved with off-track Thoroughbreds (OTTBs) for quite some time with their Remember Me Rescue.  They are now planning to offer clinics covering basic horsemanship, desensitization and retraining techniques for OTTBs.

This Saturday, Dallas and Donna will host their first-ever clinic for those new to or considering retired racehorse ownership. The clinic, which has filled, will start at 9:00 a.m. with demonstrations and discussions on key topics pertinent to first-time Thoroughbred owners, including feeding, handling, blacksmith, groundwork and basic flat work. The afternoon will consist of one-on-one conversations and individualized training with attendees about topics of interest to them.

Most of those scheduled to attend are either in the process of exploring the adoption of their first off-track Thoroughbred or have recently adopted a retired racehorse.

Proceeds from the clinic will be split between Remember Me Rescue and the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance.

“A big part of what we’re hoping to achieve with these clinics is to dispel rumors and misconceptions people have about Thoroughbreds being rude or crazy or difficult to handle,” said Donna. “Thoroughbreds are very trainable and love to learn, but you have to understand how to communicate with them and what they’ve learned – both on purpose and unintentionally – on the racetrack.”

If all goes well, the Keens hope to expand their clinic offerings to include riding clinics both in Texas and at facilities around the country.

Scholarship applications for the 2016-2017 school year are now available from the Texas Thoroughbred Educational Fund (TTEF). To request an application, contact Mary Ruyle at 512.458.36133.

For eligibility criteria, see

Valid Expectations, Texas’ all-time leading stallion, has died at the age of 22. The son of Valid Appeal was retired from stud duty at William S. Farish’s Lane’s End Texas in 2013 and had been pensioned in Kentucky.

Valid Expectations topped the Texas sire list for virtually his entire tenure in the Lone Star State after standing his first two seasons in Florida. He led the North American freshman sire list in 2001 by both winners (27) and progeny earnings ($1,397,911).

All told, Valid Expectations sired the earners of $33.1 million with 46 stakes winners. His leading earner is millionaire Saratoga County, winner of the 2005 Gulf News Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1). Valid Expectations is also represented by Texas-bred Ivan Fallunovalot, a four-time stakes winner of $476,910 who is expected to compete in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).

‘The thing you have to say about him is that he did what he did in Texas, which made it even tougher,” said Lane’s End Texas Farm Manager Danny Shifflett, who managed the stallion since he came to Texas in 2000 at what was then called Huisache Farm. “Almost everyone involved, from the shareholders to those to bred mares to him to those who raced one of his offspring, had fun and came out well in the end. He had average earnings per starter of nearly $62,000. He set a standard in Texas that will never be achieved again, and his horses competed worldwide.”

Valid Expectations was the first “big” horse for two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Steve Asmussen, who conditioned the sprinter for Texas brothers Lee and Bob Ackerley through a career in which he won 12 of 27 starts with seven stakes wins and earnings of $596,092.

“He was the most intelligent horse I’ve ever been around,” added Shifflett. “He knew what his job was; he would tell us when mares were ready to breed. He knew better than the vets. He was an incredible animal who impacted every aspect of the equine industry that his babies participated in. They excelled in barrel racing, polo, cutting, showing, and of course as racehorses and broodmares.”

NOTES: Texas-bred Ivan Fallunovalot, a son of Valid Expectations who has stakes wins at Remington Park and Oaklawn Park this year, has been pre-entered in the Grade 1, $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint…American Racehorse has launched an improved website that should work much better on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Check it out at … Congratulations to TTA Lifetime Member and past president Dr. Charles W. “Doc” Graham for being inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fa