News and Notes for May 31, 2013

May 31, 2013

Master Rick tallied his third straight win in Monday’s Grade 3, $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap for owner Richard L. Davis and trainer Steve Asmussen.

Master Rick began his streak in February, in a one-mile allowance at Oaklawn. His connections then awaited the Grade 3, $200,000 Texas Mile in April, and he dominated, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 105. From there, Master Rick won the Lone Star Handicap, driving to a one-length win over millionaire and stablemate Prayer for Relief.

Down the line, Master Rick and Prayer for Relief will be considered for the $200,000 Governor’s Cup, a 1 1/8-mile race to be held at Remington Park in August, the final leg of the second annual Global Gaming Triple.

The bonus series links the major stakes for older horses at Lone Star and Remington, which are both owned by Global Gaming. The horse who earns the most points for his finishes in the three races will reward his connections with a $15,000 bonus to be split equally between owner and trainer. A horse must compete in all three legs to earn the bonus.

Master Rick, with 10 points, and Prayer for Relief, with six, are the lone horses eligible for this year’s bonus by virtue of their starts in the Texas Mile and Lone Star Handicap. Last year, the bonus was won by Get in Da House.

Live racing and Party at the Park is back this Friday night! Crawfish, a Jimmy Buffett tribute band will be on the Courtyard of Champions stage with $2 Beer from 7-10pm.

If you ever wanted to see what goes on behind the scenes at the track, Lone Star Park offers Jockeys and Java, a free event beginning with breakfast at 8:30 a.m. in the Courtyard of Champions. Watch morning training and enjoy interviews by top jockeys and trainers, including trainer Justin Evans, fresh off his 1,000th career win, and jockey Glen Murphy.  Then go to the barn of Dallas and Donna Keen for a tour.

The last three winners of the race – Kyma, Ben’s Cat, and Chamberlain Bridge – head a lineup of 11 talented turf sprinters in the 41st running of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup Handicap, Penn National’s oldest stakes.

The $150,000 Governor’s Cup, scheduled for five furlongs on grass, goes Saturday as race 2 on a 10-race card that features seven stakes, including the inaugural running of the $500,000 Penn Mile for 3-year-olds.

Owned by TTA Lifetime Member Carl Moore, 9-year-old Chamberlain Bridge, a winner of 19 races and $1.94 million, will take his third crack at the Governor’s Cup after finishing third in 2009 and winning by a half-length in 2010. Although he is just 1 for 11 over the past two seasons, Chamberlain Bridge remains highly competitive for trainer Bret Calhoun. He makes the second start of his form cycle after missing by a nose in the Grade 3 Turf Sprint on the Kentucky Derby undercard.

Congressman Andy Barr (R-Kentucky) has introduced H. R. 2212, the Race Horse Recovery Act, a measure that would make permanent the three-year depreciation schedule for all race horses that is scheduled to expire with the 2008 Farm Bill at the end of the year.  Previously all race horses were subjected to a seven-year depreciation schedule – one that is double the length of the average racing career.

Barr also called for his colleagues to support the Equine Tax Parity Act that would lower the capital gains holding period on equine sales from 24 months to 12 months.

According to a Blood-Horse article, New York City commuters, tourists, and visitors will have a chance to experience the fun of a trip to Belmont Park thanks to a promotion scheduled the day before this year’s Belmont Stakes.

The Thoroughbred racing experience at Belmont Park will be inside the Grand Central Terminal with the inaugural Belmont Stakes Fan Festival set for Friday, June 7.

The east side of Vanderbilt Hall will be turned into a mini version of historic Belmont Park, with four interactive event zones open to the more than 750,000 daily commuters, tourists, and visitors to New York’s iconic train terminal. By participating, fans will have the opportunity to win Belmont Stakes items, and also be entered to win one of four prize packages including Belmont Stakes Day hospitality and other packages.

Among the activities are:

  • Tweet to the Finish, a Twitter sweepstakes in which entrants follow @NYRANews from their Twitter account and tweet the hashtag of the horse they think will win the Belmont Stakes. A randomly selected winner will receive a Belmont Stakes Day trackside hospitality package for two including clubhouse seats, trackside parking, and buffet lunch. Second-, third-, and fourth-place finishers will also receive hospitality packages for different dates in June.
  • Stakes Stampede, where fans propel a horse displayed on a screen to the finish line by running in place.
  • Winner’s Circle Photo, in which fans can stand in a replica of the Belmont Park winner’s circle and get their photo taken to share with friends via email and social media channels.
  • Mini Belmont Races, complete with a bugler and professional race caller Larry Lederman, in which fans can jump on one of three mechanical ponies and head around the racetrack to the finish line.

ThistleDown Racino became home to racing’s eldest female jockey to win a thoroughbred race in North America this week. Diane King, 67, won a photo finish at ThistleDown, riding her own horse, Ledgehill, who is trained by husband Bobby King. Diane has won more than $1.6 million in purses throughout her storied career spanning more than five decades. Considered a pioneer for female jockeys in Northeast Ohio, she exercises horses every morning at the track and is renowned for her expertise in developing race horses.

According to a report by the Associated Press, New Mexico Racing Commission officials took blood samples from horses in every race on Ruidoso Downs’ opening weekend card.

The samples have been sent to the University of California-Davis testing laboratories to check for drug overages. Racing Commission Executive Director Vincent Mares said stringent testing will continue throughout the meet.

The tests mark the beginning of new protocols in place to improve horse and rider safety in New Mexico, funded by legislation passed last month which provides $700,000 per year for drug testing by the commission.

NOTES: Flair LLC, maker of FLAIR(r) Equine Nasal Strips, has become an official marketing partner of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association… The Kentucky Horse Council is looking for a new Executive Director…Keeneland has earned re-accreditation from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance…Congratulations to Megan Tracy DVM, one of the very first TTEF scholarship recipients, on her recent graduation from A&M.  Megan is the daughter of Bill and Joan Tracy of Fredericksburg, and will become Mrs. Bryan Petty on Saturday.  Best wishes!!