News and Notes for September 30, 2016

Promise Me Silver, a graded stakes winner and two-time Texas Champion, has been retired from racing and will sell at the Keeneland November Sale, according to a report from Mary Rampellini of Daily Racing Form.

A homebred running for Robert and Myrna Luttrell, the daughter of former Valor Farm stallion Silver City won 10 of 14 starts and banked $486,681. Named the Texas Champion 2-Year-Old Filly and Texas Champion 3-Year-Old Filly, the Bret Calhoun trainee began her career with eight straight victories, including seven against stakes company. Most of her success came against open company with stakes wins at Oaklawn, Fair Grounds and twice at Churchill Downs, highlighted by the Grade 3 Eight Belles Stakes on the undercard of the Kentucky Oaks. She also had plenty of success in her home state with stakes wins at Retama Park, Sam Houston Race Park and Lone Star Park. Fittingly, her last victory came in this year’s Valor Farm Stakes at Lone Star.

“Her two biggest attributes were her class and heart,” Calhoun told Rampellini. “She just had a lot of class about her. She won her first eight races, and you think about it, she won over six different tracks. For her to handle all that mentally and physically, you don’t see that much. She had troubled trips from time to time, as all horses do, and she just overcame it. She had that will to win.”

Texas Bling, a multiple stakes-winning earner of more than $400,000, has been retired from racing and will stand the 2017 breeding season at ESMS On the Brazos Equine Reproduction Center in Weatherford, Texas. He will stand for a private fee with special considerations for approved mares as property of his breeder Lewis Hall Jr. in the name of Hall’s Family Trust.

Trained throughout his career by Danele Durham, Texas Bling is a son of leading Texas sire Too Much Bling. He retires with six victories and a bankroll of $406,072.

The Texas-bred scored the biggest win of his career in the $300,000 Remington Springboard Mile Stakes in 2012. Despite having only a maiden victory on the turf to his credit at the time, Texas Bling upset one of the year’s best fields of 2-year-olds. Among the horses he defeated was Will Take Charge, who went on to win the Grade 1 Travers Stakes and finish second in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic to earn Eclipse Award honors as top 3-year-old colt.

Following that victory at Remington Park, Texas Bling took to the Kentucky Derby trail and finished second by a neck to Will Take Charge in the Smarty Jones Stakes and fourth to Will Take Charge and eventual Grade 1 Preakness Stakes winner Oxbow in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn. Texas Bling also captured two editions of the Assault Stakes at Lone Star Park.

Texas Bling is out of the Country Pine mare Anythingmore, who produced another stakes winner by Too Much Bling for Durham and Hall in Everything Bling. That 4-year-old filly won the Yellow Rose Stakes earlier this year at Sam Houston and has banked $131,601 with a record of 14-4-1-3. Texas Bling will become the first son of Too Much Bling to retire to stud, and he is the second-leading earner for his sire behind only $431,913-earner Sam Sparkle.

“We are very excited about him being retired sound at a good point in his career, and Texas is definitely in need of a good young stallion,” said Durham. “Mr. Hall is a big supporter of Texas racing and plans to support Texas Bling with many of his top mares. We are pleased to offer special considerations to producing and winning mares to make sure he receives a high quality book to launch his stallion career.”

Texas Chrome’s victory in the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby on Sept. 25 at Remington Park may have punched his ticket to a million-dollar racing attempt in the near future.

Owned by Keene Thoroughbreds of Greenville, Texas and trained by J.R. Caldwell, Texas Chrome won the Oklahoma Derby with a thrilling stretch drive. The 3-year-old colt moved inside of the leader, Sticksstatelydude, at the top of the stretch to challenge for the trophy. Moving along the rail, with Sticksstatelydude moving toward Texas Chrome and providing close quarters, the pair raced nose-to-nose for the bulk of the stretch. In the final yards, Texas Chrome pulled ahead to win by a half-length under jockey C.J. McMahon.

The performance showed plenty of heart as Texas Chrome earned his second derby win in 15 days, having won the Grade 3 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La. on Sept. 10.

Texas Chrome came out of the Oklahoma Derby well according to Caldwell, who also notes the future plans for his tough charge. “He is a pretty proud boy. We are going to give him a couple weeks to get himself back together. We’ll then pre-nominate to the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile and see how it unfolds.”

The Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile is worth $1 million in purse money and will be contested on Friday, Nov. 4, the first of two afternoons of the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. The Breeders’ Cup races will continue on Saturday, Nov. 5.

Texas Chrome, a son of Grasshopper bred by Craig Upham, is the first Texas-bred to ever win the Oklahoma Derby. He becomes the second consecutive winner of the race that was already based at Remington Park prior to the event.

NOTES: The Jockey Club State Fact Book for Texas has reported 583 live foals of 2014 and 471 live foals of 2015…We send well-wishes to Joan Tracy, who is recovering at home after a horse accident…The TTA Board of Directors will meet via conference call at 5pm on Monday, October 3rd…The next meeting of the Texas Racing Commission is set for Tuesday, October 11 in Austin.