News and Notes for September 5, 2014


Retama Park will celebrate 20 years of racing tonight when Thoroughbreds take the stage for the 26-day meet that gets underway this weekend. Returning title holders – trainer Danny Pish and jockey Gerardo Mora – are back in action at the Selma oval for what has become the Texas autumn classic season of racing.

The grandstand has been updated with over 100 new televisions and the Terrace Dining Room offers the best seat in the house for live racing with wonderful buffets.  Also, Fridays are family nights, with $1 hot dogs, 75¢ sodas, free parking and free admission for kids age 12-and-under, plus free kids activities on the track level starting at 7 p.m.

On Friday, morning line favorite Martys Wimbledon (Wimbledon – Martys Epectation) will face a competitive field in the 6-furlong allowance optional feature race.  The 4-year old Accredited Texas-bred runs for owner George A. Bryant and is trained by George R. Bryant.

Hempstead, Home Time, Odd Man Out, Tater Red, and Thiscatsatalkin round out the field.

Morning line favorite Kentucky-bred My Sharp Misty will take on 8 older fillies and mares in the 6-furlong feature race on Saturday. The 3-year-old daughter of Sharp Humor runs for breeder Melva Lou Strehler and is trained by Craig Upham.

Angel of Faith, Baby Adriano’s, Bluegrass Affair, Bobbie Dan, Korngay, More Respect, River Rapids, and Ruby Heartstealer complete the field.

Post time is 6:45 p.m. CDT (30 minutes earlier than last year) with 9 races each night.

The track is still hiring seasonal and full-time workers; see for more information.

Saddle Brook Park has been seeking an extension of its temporary license, which expires in mid-October, in order to continue to conduct simulcast wagering at Saddle Brook Jockey Club in the city of Amarillo.

According to the Texas Racing Act, the temporary license held by Saddle Brook Park is valid for two years and contingent upon construction of a permanent racetrack where the gambling operations can be moved.

Without an extension, Saddle Brook has until October 15 to move its betting operation to the site of a permanent $10-million track it has plans to build in Randall County, west of Amarillo, or the license will expire.

The August 29 TRC meeting agenda included a proposal that would have allowed temporary simulcast facilities to apply for an indefinite number of two-year license extensions, which the city of Amarillo opposed in a letter to the commission last month.

The agenda item was withdrawn at the request of Saddle Brook Park principals, who plan to offer a new proposal to allow for a one-time temporary license extension of two years, to be considered by TRC at the first available date.

TRC records show that through August 24th this year, Saddle Brook Jockey Club handled $3.5 million in wagers, compared with $3 million in the same period of 2013.

Mike Grossman’s Eureka Thoroughbred Farm in Fredericksburg will welcome two new stallions for the 2015 breeding season with The Hunk and Expect a Lot.

The Hunk, who will stand for a $1,500 fee, is a stakes-winning son of champion sprinter and top stallion Speightstown. A winner of six of 19 career starts, The Hunk captured the John J. Reilly Handicap at Monmouth Park, and the front-running sprinter also reeled off four straight allowance wins at Monmouth and Gulfstream Park. His dam, the Pentelicus mare Penniless Heiress, has produced the two-time graded stakes-winning mare Forest Heiress and leading Florida stallion and Grade 1 winner Wildcat Heir, both by Forest Wildcat.

Expect a Lot is an unraced son of influential stallion and Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Awesome Again out of a full sister to two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Tiznow. Expect a Lot is also a full brother to Preakness Stakes (G1) winner and Belmont Stakes (G1) runner-up Oxbow.  He will stand for a fee of $1,000.

This winter, TTA members will elect candidates to fill five at-large director positions in addition to regional director positions for the Central and East regions on the TTA Board of Directors.  Those elected will serve three-year terms beginning in 2015.

Ballots must be received for tabulating by December 15th.  All TTA members will receive ballots for the at-large positions, while only members in the Central and East regions will be eligible to vote in their respective regions. 

The nominating committee will be accepting recommendations for candidates until September 22.  Candidates must have been a TTA member in good standing for the past two years and a resident of Texas.

To submit a candidate for consideration, contact any member of the Nominating Committee: Phil Adams, John Adger, Stan Huntsinger, Rick Penn, Bill Tracy (Chair), Alfred Vardeman DVM, or Henry Witt Jr.

Nominating Committee contact information and a list of counties in the Central and East regions is available on the TTA website at

Since August 27th, the Texas Animal Health Commission has received confirmation of one new case of Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) in horses. The premises is located 3.5 miles southeast of Waco in McLennan County, the first case reported in this county. Three premises have been released in Travis County, along with five in Bastrop County and one in Williamson County.

NOTES: Live racing returns to Kentucky Downs for a 5-day season this Saturday, September 6th, highlighted by the inaugural running of the $250,000 Dueling Grounds Derby and purses for the meet average over $1-million per race day… The second Thoroughbred meet of 2014 at Los Alamitos will begin today with 8 stakes over 11 days, worth a total of $775,000…The 65-day Laurel Park fall meeting begins this afternoon and their stakes schedule of 36 races is worth $3.65 million…This year’s edition of the $400,000 Super Derby (gr. II) at Louisiana Downs on Saturday drew a competitive field of 11, headed by the one-two finishers of the Ohio Derby and the first three finishers of the Prelude Stakes; the meet’s eight-race stakes schedule cumulatively worth $925,000 kicks off Saturday (Sept. 6) … Racing returns to Churchill Downs for a 12-day meet on weekends through September 28 where horsemen can compete for more than $4 million in prize money in 121 scheduled races for a daily average of $335,800. Labor Day signaled the end of the summer race meeting at Ellis Park in Henderson, Kentucky where business was reported to be up 12% percent from last year. The Belmont Park fall championship meet is set to open Saturday and run for 38 days through October 26, highlighted by TVG Super Saturday which includes five grade I races on September. 27 and serves as the centerpiece of the meet’s enhanced stakes schedule worth $11 million… Equine Sales Company of Louisiana posted record gross receipts during Wednesday’s Consignor Select Yearling Sale that also featured a supplement of racing age horses from Coteau Grove Farms. A total of 142 horses were sold for an all-time high of $1,782,400; of that total, 135 yearlings sold for $1,475,400 with an average of $10,929; 7 horses of racing age sold for $307,000, an average of $43,857 and the combined average price was $12,552…Congrats to Sam and Sammy Stevens’ Ol Winedrinker Who for his win in the $60,000 Ruidoso Downs Thoroughbred Championship; the 5-year-old Accredited  Texas-bred gelding  now boasts a career record of 25-9-4-3 with $437,847 in earnings…Also, kudos to Thegirlinthatsong, a Texas-bred filly sired by Valor Farm’s My Golden Song, who was a respectable third in last weekend’s Torrey Pines Stakes (gr. III) at Del Mar Racing.