Texas Summer Yearling Sale Attracts Record Number of Entries

The Texas Summer Yearling and Horses of Racing Age Sale, set for Monday, August 30, at Lone Star Park, will feature a record number of entries with nearly 250 yearlings consigned to the Southwest’s biggest auction. The sale, held jointly by the Texas Thoroughbred Association and Lone Star Park, will begin at 10 a.m. in the sales pavilion on the grounds of the Dallas-area track.

“This will easily be our largest sale since taking the reins from Fasig-Tipton in 2016,” said Tim Boyce, sales director. “We’ve seen some solid growth over the past few years, despite the challenges of the health pandemic, and now we’ve really hit a milestone this year. We have several new consignors for this sale, and the sire power is stronger than I can ever remember seeing here.”

In addition to nearly 250 yearlings, there are three 2-year-olds in the sale.

“Texas racing and breeding have been on the upswing thanks to the Horse Industry Escrow Account authorized by the Texas Legislature, which has helped boost purses and breeding incentives,” said Mary Ruyle, executive director of the TTA. “That in turn has increased interest in our sales and allowed us to develop a consignor rebate program. We are also pleased to introduce the Texas Thoroughbred Sales Derby to be run in 2023 to complement the very popular Texas Thoroughbred Sales Futurity.”

Details on the Sales Derby are still being finalized, but the race for sale graduates is expected to offer two divisions (one for fillies and one for colts/geldings) with an estimated purse of $75,000 apiece at Sam Houston Race Park. The Sales Futurity also offers two divisions at $100,000-estimated apiece at Lone Star.

The TTA and Lone Star will host a pre-sale party for consignors and buyers on Sunday, August 29, at 6:30 p.m. in the Alysheba room on the second floor of the Lone Star grandstand.

The yearling sale comes on the heels of the Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale held in April, which posted the highest gross, average and median since the TTA and Lone Star took over both sales in 2016.

Online bidding and live online video will be offered on this sale. For more information and to view the sale catalogue, go to www.ttasales.com.

STEVE ASMUSSEN COUNTDOWN TO BECOMING THE WINNINGEST ALL-TIME TRAINER IS WATCHED CLOSELY AT LOUISIANA DOWNS

Jockey Joel Dominguez Hopes He is Part of the Historic Event

 

Bossier City, LA – It’s hard to find a bigger story these days than the impending record-breaking feat of Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen who is poised to surpass Dale  Baird’s record of 9,445 career wins.

 

Racing fans know Asmussen’s tremendous accomplishments at all the major events in North America and beyond, but he has also made a lasting impact at smaller racetracks, and in boosting the careers of young jockeys.

 

Such is the case of Joel Dominguez, who is currently riding first call for Asmussen at Louisiana Downs.

 

Now in his fifth year at the Bossier City racetrack, Dominguez earned his first leading rider title last year at Louisiana Downs and currently tops the rider standings in the 2021 Thoroughbred meet. The 30-year-old native of Durango, Mexico galloped for Asmussen in Kentucky when he first came to the United States.

 

“When I was in Kentucky, I worked for Steve and he began to trust me galloping some of his top horses,” said Dominguez. “I remember the first time I worked Rachel Alexandra. That was very special and gave me so much confidence!”

 

Riding for Asmussen, who was both leading trainer and owner last year at Louisiana Downs, has been a privilege for Dominguez. He appreciates the quality of their pedigrees and Asmussen’s consummate preparation for each start.

 

“They are all well-trained,” he explained. “Steve has a mind like a computer; he is really smart and knows each horse. I have learned so much from him!”

 

While veterans Mike Smith, Stewart Elliott, Jose Ortiz, Joel Rosario and Ricardo Santana, Jr., are in the winner’s circle for the heralded graded stakes victories, Asmussen has played a pivotal role in developing the careers of up and coming Thoroughbred jockeys.

 

With between one and three Asmussen runners entered daily at Louisiana Downs, Dominguez certainly hopes he will ride the tying or even better, the mount who surpasses Dale Baird’s record.

 

“I would really like to do that,” acknowledged Dominguez. “But even if it does not happen here, it means so much that he has chosen me to ride for him. I am excited for Steve and really proud to be part of his team.”

 

 

Louisiana Cup Day Set for Saturday, August 21

Quality Louisiana-bred horses will take center stage on Saturday, August 21 when Louisiana Downs presents Louisiana Cup Day.  Post time will be 2:45 pm (CT) for the annual event that will include six $50,000 main track and turf stakes.

 

Live racing takes place Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday until the conclusion of the live season on Tuesday, September 21. For more information on the 84-day racing season and special events, visit https://www.caesars.com/harrahs-louisiana-downs/racing.

 

About Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

Located near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana, Louisiana Downs opened in 1974 and was purchased by Caesars Entertainment in December, 2002. With annual Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing seasons, the track is committed to presenting the highest quality racing programs paired with its 150,000 square foot entertainment complex offering casino gambling, dining and plasma screen televisions for sports and simulcast racing.

 

Harmful H-2B Visa Program Language Removed from Labor Appropriations Bill

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 16, 2021) ― United States Representative Andy Harris (R-MD) on July 15 offered an amendment to the fiscal year 2022 Department of Labor Appropriations bill to remove certain sections from the bill that would have made it difficult for employers to use the H-2B visa program. During committee consideration, the amendment passed yesterday by voice vote.

Specifically, the amendment struck sections 116, 177 and 118 from the bill. The language in those sections would have:

• Prohibited industries from using the H-2B program if they experienced unemployment in any of the previous 12 months over 10 percent;
• Prohibited construction industries from using the program even in seasonal locations or occupations;
• Increased the baseline for wages to at least 150% of the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is higher;
• Required wage compliance with a collaborative bargaining agreement for your industry in your area, even if you are not a party to the agreement;
• Banned participation in the program for labor/workforce related infractions outside of the scope of the H-2B program.

“Thank you to all who contacted their Representative regarding this issue,” said NTRA president and CEO Alex Waldrop. “We also are grateful to Rep. Harris for offering the amendment to eliminate the language that was so threatening to employers, like horse trainers, who use the H-2B visa program.”

The H-2B visa guest worker program is a nonimmigrant visa program used by many industries that need temporary non-agricultural help when domestic workers are unavailable. For the horse racing industry, trainers rely heavily on the H-2B program to fill various backside positions.

Lone Star Park Concludes Season with Encouraging Handle

The Texas track experienced their highest live and export handles since 2006.

 

Lone Star Park concluded its 25th Thoroughbred Racing season July 11 handling a daily average of $1,693,866 in merged handle (Live on-track plus Export) and a daily average of $1,459,096 specifically in export, over the 48-day meet, which was their most since 2006 in both categories, not including last year’s unique pandemic season.

Average daily grandstand attendance on weekends and holidays for the meet was just over 4,000 per day, which, when compared to similar days, was only a 4% decline from 2019.

 

Read BloodHorse Article

Four Time Leading Louisiana Stallion Half Ours Euthanized After Paddock Accident

Four time Louisiana Leading Stallion, Half Ours, was euthanized Saturday, July 17, 2021 following a paddock accident at Clear Creek Stud in Folsom, Louisiana.

“It is a sad day for us all… Half Ours enriched our breeders program in Louisiana and beyond, having touched many who bred and raced,”  said Val Murrell of Clear Creek Stud. “He was obviously an integral part of Clear Creek Stud’s very existence, like a family member that you saw every day.  His loss will be felt by many and his influence will remain for years to come, defined by progeny that always showed up, held together, running on both dirt or grass.”

The grey son of Unbridled’s Song led the Louisiana Sire list from 2014-2017 and is currently leading the state in 2021. Bred by Brilliant Stables, Half Ours won the Three Chimney’s Juvenile Stakes at Keeneland in his second start and added the Grade II Richter Scale Sprint Championship Handicap at Gulfstream Park as a Four Year Old. Half Ours was initially raced by Aaron and Marie Jones in partnership with B.K. Schwartz and later by the Jones’s. Half Ours is the sire of thirty-eight stakes horses of which twenty-one were stakes winners of forty-one stakes races for lifetime earnings of in excess of Twenty Million Dollars. He initially stood at stud at Taylor Made Stallions in Kentucky before moving to Clear Creek Stud for the 2011 breeding season.

Louisiana Horse Industry Under Attack from Unconditional & Unfunded Congressional Mandate, Attorney General Jeff Landry Fights Back

Louisiana Joins Lawsuit Filed in Federal Court to Protect State from Overreaching, Unaccountable Horseracing Integrity & Safety Authority

BATON ROUGE, LA – Fighting to protect state sovereignty, Attorney General Jeff Landry has joined Louisiana to a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Horseracing Integrity & Safety Act of 2021 (HISA) – a measure ramrodded into the COVID relief bill that cedes much regulatory and taxation power of the State to an unaccountable nongovernmental entity.

“HISA requires the unelected Authority to exercise regulatory authority over horseracing in Louisiana, mandates our State to assist the Authority, and forces us to choose between remitting funds to the Authority or losing some of our powers of taxation,” explained Attorney General Landry. “This violation of the Tenth Amendment would have devastating effects to our State and the thousands of Louisianans in the horse industry.”

“While I believe that horses should be treated humanely and horseracing should be held to the highest degree of integrity, I know that more bureaucracy from an overreaching and unaccountable fiefdom is not the way to achieve these goals,” continued Attorney General Landry. “We should continue our Legislature’s decades-long delegation of police powers over the industry to the Louisiana State Racing Commission, knowledgeable participants who have collected significant fees and taxes while enforcing our statutes and regulations concerning the health and safety of equine athletes and all other industry participants throughout Louisiana.”

Attorney General Landry’s litigation was met with swift praise and appreciation from those who ply their trade – directly and indirectly – in owning, breeding, training, grooming, racing, and caring for horses in Louisiana.

“The actions of Attorney General Jeff Landry in opposing the HISA law demonstrates his genuine concern for the well-being of the Louisiana horse racing and breeding industry and its participants throughout the State as well as our equine athletes,” said Benard Chatters, the President of the Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association (LAHBPA).

“The Louisiana Horsemen appreciate and respect the unwavering support of Attorney General Jeff Landry, which he has consistently shown to the Louisiana horse racing and breeding industry throughout our State,” said Ed Fenasci, the Executive Director of the LAHBPA.

LTBA Announces 2020 Champions; Names No Parole 2020 Louisiana Horse of the Year

LTBA Announces 2020 Champions; Names No Parole 2020 Louisiana Horse of the Year

 

The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association is pleased to announce the selection of Grade 1 Woody Stephens S. winner, No Parole as 2020 Louisiana Horse of the Year.

 

After breaking his maiden in his only start as a juvenile in 2019, No Parole (Violence-Plus One) won a Fair Grounds Allowance race by 13 1/4 lengths in his first start at 3, followed by a 6 1/2 length victory in the Louisiana Premier Night Prince at Delta Downs.  In June, he won the G1 Woody Stephens Stakes at Belmont defeating Echo Town in the process. He had four wins from seven 2020 starts. His year end earnings of $270,866 were the highest of any Louisiana Bred runner last year.

 

Along with overall Louisiana Horse of the Year, the following have been named 2020 Louisiana Champions:

 

2020 Two-Year-Old Accredited Louisiana Bred Filly

BIG TIME

Astrology-Kitty’s Got Class

Breeder: Tom Curtis & Wayne Simpson

Owner: Valene Farms

Trainer: Dallas Stewart

 

2020 Two-Year-Old Accredited Louisiana Bred Colt or Gelding

JIMMY TWO TIMES

Half Ours-Sammy Van Ammy

Breeder: Larry Romero & Cradle Song Farm

Owner: Andrus J. Pellerin

Trainer: Keith G. Bourgeois

 

2020 Three-Year-Old Accredited Louisiana Bred Filly

OUR LOST LOVE
Half Ours-Lost Love Baby

Breeder: Tri-Star Racing, LLC

Owner: Tri-Star Racing, LLC

Trainer: Joseph M. Foster

 

2020 Three-Year-Old Accredited Louisiana Bred Colt or Gelding

NO PAROLE

Violence-Plus One

Breeder: Coteau Grove Farms.

Owner: Maggi Moss and Greg Tramontin

Trainer: Thomas M. Amoss

 

2020 Four-Year-Old and up Accredited Louisiana Bred Filly or Mare

MARIAH’S GALAXY 

Greeley’s Galaxy-Black Mariah

Breeder: Margie K. Averett

Owner: Riley Blanchet and Todd Matte

Trainer: Victor Arceneaux

 

2020 Four-Year-Old and up Accredited Louisiana Bred Male

MONTE MAN  

Custom For Carlos- Sarah’s My Angel

Breeder: Val C. Murrell

Owner: Ivery Sisters Racing

Trainer: Ron Faucheux

 

2020 Louisiana Broodmare of the Year

SITTIN AT THE BAR

Into Mischief-Fast Liner

Owner:  Brett Brinkman and P. Dale Ladner

 

2020 Andrew L. “Red” Erwin Stallion of the Year

STAR GUITAR

Quiet American-Minit Towinit by Malagra

Owner: Brittlyn Stable Inc

 

2020 Louisiana Leading Breeder by Breeders Awards

BRITTLYN STABLE INC.

 

2020 Louisiana Leading Breeder by Percentage of Stakes Winners

ADCOCK’S RED RIVER FARM & MONTGOMERY EQUINE PARTNERSHIP

 

Champion Accredited Louisiana Bred runners as well as Broodmare of the Year were selected by LTBA memberships votes. Louisiana Horse of the Year is selected by the LTBA Board of Directors. Statistics were used to determine all remaining category winners.

H-2B Visa Program Faces Severe Threat from Department of Labor Appropriations Bill

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 14, 2021) ― The U.S. House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to consider the fiscal year 2022 Department of Labor Appropriations bill on Thursday, July 15, and language within the bill could devastate the H-2B visa program. The NTRA urges industry members to contact their Representative immediately and ask for this language to be removed from the bill.

The language of concern appears on pages 46-50 of the bill and would make the H-2B visa program difficult for many employers to use. Specifically, the draft bill would:

• Prohibit industries from using the H-2B program if they experienced unemployment in any of the previous 12 months over 10 percent;
• Prohibit construction industries from using the program even in seasonal locations or occupations;
• Increase the baseline for wages to at least 150% of the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is higher;
• Require wage compliance with a collaborative bargaining agreement for your industry in your area, even if you are not a party to the agreement;
• Ban participation in the program for labor/workforce related infractions outside of the scope of the H-2B program.

“This appropriations bill contains alarming language for any business or industry that relies on the H-2B visa program to operate,” said NTRA president and CEO Alex Waldrop. “We ask trainers and others in horse racing to contact their Representative today to help get this language removed.”

As suggested by the H-2B Workforce Coalition, of which the NTRA is a member, industry members should:

Call your Representative today and ask him or her to urge the House Appropriations Committee leadership and their Party Leadership to remove Sections 116, 117 and 118 of Fiscal Year 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee Appropriations Bill before the legislation is considered by the Appropriations Committee on Thursday. You can reach your Representative through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121. Once connected to the office, please ask to speak to the staff person who handles Department of Labor appropriations.
Send an email to your Representative using this link

The H-2B visa guest worker program is a nonimmigrant visa program used by many industries that need temporary non-agricultural help when domestic workers are unavailable. For the horse racing industry, trainers rely heavily on the H-2B program to fill various backside positions.

LOUISIANA DOWNS ANNOUNCES THAT LOUISIANA CUP DAY WILL TAKE PLACE ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 21

Six Black-Type Stakes Offered for Louisiana-Breds

 

Bossier City, LA – Quality Louisiana-bred horses will take center stage on Saturday, August 21 when Louisiana Downs presents Louisiana Cup Day.  Post time will be 2:45 pm (CT) for the annual event that will include main track and turf stakes.

 

Louisiana Cup Day continues to be an excellent afternoon of racing for breeders, owners, trainers and jockeys with an esteemed list of past winners receiving recognition from the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association (LTBA) when they announce their annual champions. Ivery Sisters’s Racing’s Monte Man, Tri-Star Racing’s Our Lost Love, Rodney Verret’s Laughingsaintssong, Barrone Farms LLC’s Is Too and Tin Roof Farms LLC’s Snowball are just a few of the Louisiana Cup Day stakes winners who have been honored by the LTBA.

 

“Louisiana Cup Day is a great day for the breeders in our state and fans at Louisiana Downs to see some of the top Thoroughbreds in Louisiana,” said David Heitzmann, Director of  Racing. “The day would not be possible without the support of Ed Fenasci, Executive Director of the HBPA and Roger Heitzmann, Executive Director of the LTBA. We look forward to presenting an excellent card on August 21.”

 

The six Louisiana Cup Day Stakes are as follows:

                                   

$50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile                    2 YO LA-Bred                        Six furlongs

$50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies          2 YO Fillies LA-Bred             Six furlongs

$50,000 Louisiana Cup Filly & Mare Sprint  3 YO & Up F&M, LA-Bred  Six furlongs

$50,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint                        3 YO & Up LA-Bred              Six furlongs

$50,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic              3 YO & Up LA-Bred              1 1/16 miles (T)

$50,000 Louisiana Distaff                              3 YO & Up F & M LA-Bred  1 1/16 miles (T)

 

Nominations for Louisiana Cup Day will close on Saturday, August 7. Contact David Heitzmann at dheitzmann@caesars.com or by calling (318) 741-2511.

 

Scholarship Drawings Offered on Louisiana Cup Day

The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association will award two (2) scholarships, each valued at $1,000 on Louisiana Cup Day.

 

The drawings will take place between the fourth and fifth races. Students must register in person between 1:45 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.at the designated registration booth.

The requirements for the scholarship are as follows:

 

Must be a college student enrolled full-time for Fall 2021.

Must be in good standing with the college or university.

Must be present at the drawing location to win.

Must have university ID number or Social Security number.

The scholarship will be deposited directly into the student’s account at the college or university. The student is asked to know the name and address of the college that they are attending.

Handicapping Preview Show Set for Saturday, August 21

Louisiana Downs track announcer John McGary and regional racing publicist Martha Claussen will team up for a pre-race handicapping preview at 1:30 pm in the Inside Rail, located on the first floor of the grandstand. They will offer analysis and their selections for each of the races on the Louisiana Cup Day card. The seminar is free and open to all racing fans.

 

About Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

Located near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana, Louisiana Downs opened in 1974 and was purchased by Caesars Entertainment in December, 2002. With annual Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing seasons, the track is committed to presenting the highest quality racing programs paired with its 150,000 square foot entertainment complex offering casino gambling, dining and plasma screen televisions for sports and simulcast racing.