News and Notes for September 21, 2018

The Texas Thoroughbred Association congratulates Craig Upham, and his wife Sue Dowling, on being honored as the Texas Breeder of the Year for the second consecutive time at the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association’s 33rd Annual National Awards Dinner held September 7th at the Woodford Reserve Club at Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky.

Upham is the breeder of two-time Texas Horse of the Year and millionaire Texas Chrome (by Grasshopper) and Texas Champion 2-Year-Old Filly Patrona Margarita (by Special Rate). Both graded stakes-winning Texas-breds are out of the Texas-bred mare Margarita Mistress, who is a daughter of former Texas stallion Naevus.

The Daily Racing Form reports that the Grade 3 Houston Ladies Classic will be run January 27th at Sam Houston Race Park. The race will again share a program with the Grade 3 John B. Connally Turf Cup.

The special Sunday program will have a first post of 1 p.m. Central.

The purse for the Houston Ladies Classic, which is for fillies and mares, will be announced when the stakes schedule is released, according to Frank Hopf, senior director of racing operations for Sam Houston. This year, the race was worth $400,000 and was run at 1 1/16 miles.

Sam Houston opens for a 32-date Thoroughbred meet on January 25th. The track’s 25th anniversary season will run through March 30. Sam Houston will race every Friday and Saturday night and also will have eight Wednesday cards with a noon first post beginning Feb. 6 and three Tuesday cards that start at noon beginning March 12th.

Texas Champions Day will be held March 23rd rather than its traditional opening weekend slot and will be a one-day event rather than stretching across two cards as in the past.

NOTES: An Accredited Texas-bred filly by Congrats, out of the Northern Afleet mare, Silver Frame, sold at Keeneland as hip # 2794 for $150,000.  She was bred by Heidi Bailey’s No Escape Ranch and consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, Agent.  She was purchased by Patrice Miller/ EQB Inc. Agent…There was a very nice article in the Paulick Report on auctioneer Walt Robertson’s career.  Robertson serves at the auctioneer at all Texas Thoroughbred Sales. See it here:…ATB Awards for racing at Gillespie County Fair Grounds mailed this week, so be checking your mailbox…Danny Keene had debated a racing comeback for his millionaire Texas Chrome, but said he recently decided against it. Texas Chrome will stand his second season at stud this coming year, at a new facility Keene has built for the horse in Hot Springs, Arkansas…The Jockey Club Seminar on Digital Foal Certificates is now available at