News and Notes for October 31, 2014




If you have been on the internet or picked up any trade magazine this week, you are aware that the coverage has been almost solely devoted to the Breeders’ Cup races, which begin this afternoon.

In addition to personal favorites, we will be cheering for our Texas connections:

  • In today’s $1-million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, Texan Steve Asmussen sends out Tapiture for breeder/owner Winchell Thoroughbreds.  Tapiture is listed at 6-1 and will break from post 9 under Rosie Napravnik.  Post time for race #7 is 3:05pm Pacific time.
  • In today’s $2-million Distaff  at 1 1/8 miles, Asmussen will saddle 5-2 favorite Untapable for the Winchell’s.  Napravnik has the mount, and will break from post 10.  Texan Jerry Namy co-owns Don’t Tell Sophia, a 6-year-old by Congaree, out of the Valid Expectations mare Lost Expectations.  Bred in Kentucky by Stonerside Stable, she is trained by Philip Sims and is listed at 5-1, breaking from post 7 under Joseph Rocco Jr.
  • Texan Bill Martin’s Kentucky-bred Marchman will face a full field in Saturday’s $1-million Turf Sprint.  He is listed at 12-1, is trained by Kent Desormeaux and will be ridden by Keith Desormeaux.
  • In race 8, the $2-million Sentient Jet Juvenile, 20-1 Texas Red is owned in part by Texans, and Asmussen will send out 30-1 Lucky Player for owner Jerry Durant of Weatherford, Texas.
  • Mico Margarita will face a full field in the $1.5 Xpressbet Sprint for owners J. Kirk & Judy Robison of El Paso.  Listed at 15-1, the colt is trained by Asmussen and will be ridden by Napravnik.

Following is a bit of fun trivia about the Breeders’ Cup races:

The 5 highest win payoffs, by race:

Classic-‘93 Arcangues $269.20
Mile-‘11 Court Vision $131.60
Distaff-‘00 Spain $113.80
Turf-‘84 Lashkari (GB) $108.80
Juvenile Fillies-‘00 Caressing $96.00

The largest winning margins:

INSIDE INFORMATION >95 Distaff 13 1/2 lengths
STREET SENSE >06 Juvenile 10 lengths
PLEASANT HOME >05 Distaff 9 1/4 lengths
COUNTESS DIANA >97 Juv. Fillies 8 1/2 lengths
PRINCESS ROONEY >84 Distaff 7 lengths
ENGLISH CHANNEL >07 Sprint 7 lengths
BAYAKOA (ARG) >90 Distaff 6 3/4 lengths
VOLPONI >02 Classic 6 1/2 lengths
CORINTHIAN >07 Dirt Mile 6 1/2 lengths
LIFE=S MAGIC >85 Distaff 6 1/4 lengths
SKIP AWAY >97 Classic 6 lengths

The leading jockeys by races won

M Smith 20; *J Bailey 15; G Gomez 13; *P Day 12; J Velazquez 12; L Dettori 10; C Nakatani 10; G Stevens 10.  *Retired

Lone Star Outreach to Place Ex-racers (LOPE) is approaching its 12-year anniversary in 2015 and has helped over 1000 ex-racehorses find new careers. Their work has morphed from a simple listing service to multiple adoption farms, incorporating training and education for horses and humans.

The LOPE Academy will officially open on November 1, 2014, operating much like a school program. For each “semester,” some LOPE horses will be selected to go through foundation work, with each assessed for his needs, talents and capabilities.

LOPE will customize a learning plan for each horse to help them build a strong foundation for their futures, in whatever discipline that may be. During the semester, the LOPE Academy horses will be taught for the entire duration without interruption. They will not be available for adoption until they have completed the program — and LOPE will be actively sharing details of their progress through blogging, videos and Facebook.

There will still be LOPE horses available for immediate adoption, but the LOPE Academy horses won’t be among that group until they graduate.

As funding grows, more horses will be added to the Academy, along with human students as interns and/or working students. The Academy will blend nicely with LOPE’s Horsemanship Education Program for people. Students who sign up for lessons through that program will also now have the option to observe work sessions with the Academy horses followed by specialized Q&A with the LOPE staff. There will be regular open house days with demonstrations on foundation horsemanship with the Academy horses, informative seminars and tours of the facilities.

If you would like more information on how to donate to the Academy and its scholarship program, please contact Lynn Reardon at 512.565.1824 or

NOTES: The first round of bidding in TTA’s online auction of 2015 breedings to selected stallions will close at 5pm central on Monday, November 3rd; for more information and to place your bid, go to…There is a really great story this week by Daily Racing Form writer Mary Rampellini about Nelson Bunker Hunt.  The complete story can be viewed at…Best of luck to everyone racing this weekend!