Trainer Morris Nicks Dies at 74

Father of trainer Ralph Nicks, Morris was based primarily in the southwest.


Longtime trainer Morris Nicks, also the father of trainer Ralph Nicks, died Nov. 25 at home in Waskom, Texas, at age 74. He had been battling cancer.

“His upbringing and bringing me up was to have a good work ethic and to start doing things early,” said Ralph, who trained 2017 champion 2-year-old filly Caledonia Road . “If you were big enough to hold a pitchfork, you were big enough to start cleaning a stall. Basically if you were big enough to walk, you learned how to lead a horse; the list goes on from there. It’s how he brought me around, which probably has to do with some of the things I was able to accomplish and carry on.”

Morris was born in Clarksville, Texas, and grew up in the nearby town of Avery. He became a mainstay at the Southwest racetracks. Since official statistics began being tracked in 1976, he trained 819 Thoroughbred winners that earned $15,737,189 through 2018, according to Equibase. Morris retired in 2018 due to leukemia.


Read BloodHorse Article

Mare and Foal Workshop available now online

Horse owners can gain insight on care, foaling process


Horse owners and managers can learn about important topics related to managing the broodmare and foal by attending the online Mare and Foals Workshop, presented by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service on AgriLife Learn.

A foal looks away as its mother grazes on lush green grass below a tree
A mare grazes on lush green grass with her foal by her side. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Tamara Garza)

Horse owners and breeding managers who might need extra guidance in the foaling process, along with some practical guidelines, are invited to access the course. The course cost is $75, and is available at

The content was developed by industry experts and is presented by instructors Jennifer Zoller, Ph.D., and Chelsie Huseman, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension horse specialists in the College of Agriculture and Life Science’s Department of Animal Science, Bryan-College Station.

Those taking the course will learn about the foaling process, including predicting and preparing for foal arrival, postpartum placental evaluation, proper nutrition for a pregnant mare and foal, and vaccination programs for the broodmare and foal. There will also be information on vaccination administration guidelines.

Instructors provide multiple trainings

Huseman conducts education across the state for adults and youth through seminars, short courses and other educational programs. Her research interests are in the areas of skeletal adaptation to exercise and equine reproduction management. Her most recent work includes testing whole-body vibration and its effect on the skeleton and new technologies for semen analysis.

Zoller provides statewide leadership for planning, implementing, conducting and evaluating AgriLife Extension education programs in equine sciences. She provides leadership with the State 4-H Horse Show, Texas Horse Help mobile application and horse judging competitions across the state. Her research interests include energy balance, manipulating the body condition of the exercising horse to maximize nutrition programs, and the health benefits of participating in equine activities.

Equine reproductive short course

Huseman and Zoller also conduct the annual Texas A&M Equine Reproductive Management Short Course designed for owners and breeding managers who want to learn the most efficient methods for ensuring the success of their breeding programs.

This interactive, three-day short course will be held Jan. 12-14 at the Texas A&M University Thomas G. Hildebrand Equine Complex, 3240 F&B Road, College Station. The in-person course is limited to 12 people, and the fee is $700. However, this course is also available online for $300 at

For more information, email or or call 979-845-5264.


December Calendar of Events from the LTBA

 Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association would like to share the following list of dates of interest to Louisiana horsemen and women.

Brought to you by Whispering Oaks Farm,  and  Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association. Click images to link to more information

Dec 4

  • Louisiana Champions Day Entry Day
  • Pan Zareta Stakes, New Orleans Fair Grounds

Dec 10

  • LTBA Board of Directors Meeting, 1:00 p.m., HBPA Main Office, Gentilly Blvd., New Orleans
  • The Magic City Classic, New Orleans Fair Grounds

Dec 11

  • 31st Annual Louisiana Champions Day, 7 stakes for Louisiana Bred Thoroughbreds, 3 stakes for Louisiana Bred Quarter Horses New Orleans Fair Grounds, 1st Post 12:00 noon
  • Louisiana Champions Day, Race Central, 11:00 through last race, New Orleans Fair Grounds, Black Gold Room. Lunch is served from 1pm – 3pm. No Reservations Required. First come first served.
  • LTBA Scholarship Drawings; six $1,000 scholarships for current college students.

Dec 15

  • Anyone with information about Louisiana Breds winning outside of North America, please contact Roger Heitzmann (

Dec 24

  • Christmas Eve – LTBA office closed

Dec 25

  • Christmas – LTBA office closed

Dec 26

  • Road To The Derby Kickoff Day

Tenacious Stakes, Richard R. Scherer Memorial Stakes, Blushing KD Stakes, Gun Runner Stakes, Untapable Stakes, Buddy Diliberto Memorial Stakes.

Dec 27

  • Joseph E. “Spanky” Broussard Memorial Stakes, New Orleans Fair Grounds
  • Woodchopper Stakes, New Orleans Fair Grounds
  • Pago Hop Stakes, New Orleans Fair Grounds
  • Sugar Bowl Stakes, New Orleans Fair Grounds
  • Letellier Memorial Stakes, New Orleans Fair Grounds

Dec 31

  • New Years Eve
  • Lookout  Stakes, Delta Downs
  • Louisiana Futurity, Divisions for Fillies and for Colts and Geldings, New Orleans Fair Grounds
  • Louisiana Stallion Registrations Due
  • Louisiana Futurity Nominations Due (pregnant mares)
  • FINAL DAY to apply for accreditation of 2021 Louisiana Bred foal at weanling rate  of $75. As of January 1, 2022, 2021 foals become yearlings and the rate increases to $250.

Jan 1

  • New Year’s Day – LTBA office closed

Would you like to sponsor a newsletter? Reach @ 2,500 readers.Please contact Linda 985-386-0360, or Roger 504-947-4676, for cost and availability.

Do you have a date pertaining to Louisiana-breds that you would like included in an upcoming calendar? Please contact Linda 985-386-0360, or Roger 504-947-4676, roger@louisianabred.comfor consideration.


Any questions or need more info call

Roger A. Heitzmann III, Secretary/Treasurer

Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association


Ask Your Veterinarian: Why Are Broodmares So Prone To Colic?

by | 11.23.2021 | 12:55pm

Veterinarians at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital answer your questions about sales and healthcare of Thoroughbred auction yearlings, weanlings, 2-year-olds and breeding stock.

Question: Why are broodmares so prone to colic, and what colic causes are most common for them?

Dr. Katy Dern, Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital: According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1.4 percent of human delivery hospitalizations in the United States in the year 2014 developed what are characterized as severe maternal morbidities. This means that, even in closely supervised and intensively managed births, 1.4 in every 100 women developed potentially life-threatening complications. Parturition (birth) has potential consequences for the mother, and broodmares are no exception to this biologic reality.

Read Paulick Report Article



Free Like a Girl defeats open company in the My Trusty Cat Stakes at Delta Downs. Coady Photography.




VINTON, LA. – Delta Downs hosted the $100,000 My Trusty Cat Stakes for 2-year-old fillies competing at one mile on Friday afternoon and the winner was Free Like a Girl under jockey Pedro Cotto, Jr. It was the third straight stakes win for Free Like a Girl, who defeated open company after scoring against restricted Louisiana-bred foes in the DS Shine Young Futurity at Evangeline Downs on September 17 and the Louisiana Jewel at Delta Downs on October 22.


Free Like a Girl, who is owned by Gerald Bruno, Jr., Carl J. Deville and Chasey Deville Pomier, was not only facing open company in the My Trusty Cat she was also making her route debut. That fact didn’t hold her back as she rated just off the pace in the one-mile affair while Viv Viv Viv set the early fractions of 22.89 seconds for the opening quarter mile and 47.64 for the half. By the time the field reached the second turn Free Like a Girl grabbed the lead while traveling ¾ of a mile in 1:14.13 and was never seriously threatened after that.


With a quick turn of foot turning for home, Free Like a Girl’s lead over race favorite Sea Level held up even though the latter put in a strong bid in the final strides. Free Like a Girl won by 1-1/2 lengths over Sea Level. Mama Said no was a distant third, finishing 15-1/2 lengths behind the runner-up.


Free Like a Girl covered eight furlongs in the My Trusty Cat in a time of 1:41.97 while running on a fast track.


Free Like a Girl has won four of eight career starts. She earned $60,000 for her win in the My Trusty Cat and now owns a bankroll of $195,713.


Bred in Louisiana by Kim Renee Stover & Lisa Osborne, Free Like a Girl is a 2-year-old bay filly by El Deal, out of the Flashy Bull mare Flashy Prize. She was purchased for the low price of just $5,500 as a yearling in 2020.


Sent to the gate as the second choice of the wagering public, Free Like a Girl paid $6 to win, $3 to place and $2.80 to show. Sea Level was worth $2.60 to place and $2.20 to show. Mama Said No paid $13.20 to show.


Delta Downs will close out its sixth week of live racing on Saturday with another 10-race program starting at 12:25 pm. The Saturday feature race is the $100,000 Jean Lafitte Stakes for 2-year-old at one mile.


For more information about the current season visit the track’s website at Fans can also get information about the track through Facebook by visiting the page ‘Delta Downs Racing’. The track’s Twitter handle is @deltaracing.

Louisiana Champions Day to Run, Saturday, December 11, 2021

Louisiana Champions Day to Run, Saturday, December 11, 2021

LTBA to Host Race Central Party
Drawings to be held for Six $1,000 Scholarships

Louisiana Champions Day nominations close Saturday, November 27th.  Fair Grounds Racetrack is managing the 2021 Louisiana Champions Day nominations. All nominations and inquiries regarding Louisiana Champions Day races go directly to Fair Grounds. The phone number for the Racing Office is 504-948-1111.

LTBA is once again hosting the Louisiana Champions Day Race Central Party in the Black Gold Room during the races, on Saturday, December 11th. Doors open at 11:00 a.m. First post is at noon. Buffet will start at 1:00 p.m.  No reservations are required. Seating will be on a first come, first served basis. We welcome all to join us to watch the races, and visit with our fellow horsemen and women on this premier day of Louisiana-bred racing.

Also on Louisiana Champions Day, there will be drawings for six (6) $1,000 scholarships; four given by the LTBA and two given by Fair Grounds. Students must be registered full time for the winter/spring semester to be eligible. Scholarship registration will be from 11:00 a.m. until noon at the designated table, with two drawings each after the 5th, 6th and 7th  races. Scholarship hopefuls must be present at the winners circle to win.

Fair Grounds currently has Covid restrictions in place. With Covid rules in New Orleans changing frequently, please check before coming to the track to see what restrictions are in place for the day.

LTBA will be mailing Futurity Nomination and Stallion Registration forms the first of December. Please be sure to return these forms by the end of the year deadlines.

Texas December 31 Racing and Accreditation Deadlines

December 15, 2021 is the deadline for RECEIPT of ballots in the election of directors to serve 3-year terms (2022 – 2024). Ballots received after that date cannot be counted. Mail your ballot in today!
1) December 31, 2021 is the deadline for accrediting yearlings (foals of 2020) at the TTA member rate of $200 ($250 for non-members). The fee to accredit foals of 2020 AFTER December 31, 2021 but by December 31, 2022 is $750 for TTA members ($800 for non-members).
2) Be sure that mares that will foal in Texas in 2022 are Texas accredited and that ATB race fillies have been converted to breeding stock before they foal to automatically be eligible for ATB breeder awards. You may email the mare’s name to me and I will verify the status. The fee to accredit a mare before she foals is only $75 (TTA member rate). NOTE: If a mare is not accredited before she foals, the only way to be eligible for ATB breeder awards on that foal is to pay a supplemental mare accreditation fee in the amount of $150 (TTA member rate) during the year of foaling.
December 31, 2021 is the deadline to:
1) Nominate eligible foals of 2021 to the Texas Stallion Stakes Series for $100.
2) Nominate eligible foals of 2020 (not previously nominated) to the Texas Stallion Stakes Series for $500.
3) The Texas Thoroughbred Association is pleased to introduce a revamped Texas Thoroughbred Association Futurity and the new Texas Thoroughbred Association Derby and Oaks, with purses totaling more than $500,000.
All foals of 2020 that passed through the ring in either the 2021 Texas Summer Yearling and Horses of Racing Age Sale, the 2020 Texas Winter Mixed Sale, or are consigned to and subsequently pass through the ring at the 2022 Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale are eligible for these races.
The new format eliminates the previous nomination and sustaining payment schedule. All eligible Sales Graduates may simply pay the entry and start fee in the track racing office at the appropriate time.
ATB Berth Entries: For every horse that passed through the ring at the 2021 Texas Summer Yearling and Horses of Racing Age Sale, each consignor and each buyer will receive a non-transferable berth into either division of the race. Any Thoroughbred foal of 2020 is eligible to be sold in the sales and nominated to the Futurity. Additional berths must be filled with an Accredited Texas-bred Thoroughbred foal of 2020 that did not pass through the ring at the 2020 Texas Winter Mixed Sale or the 2021 Texas Summer Yearling and Horses of Racing Age Sale.Berth horses must be declared to the Texas Thoroughbred Association by December 31, 2021 with a one-time payment of $150. Once a berth horse is designated, ownership of that horse may be transferred with the horse still remaining eligible for the appropriate division of 2022 Texas Thoroughbred Sales Futurity and the 2023 Texas Thoroughbred Derby or Oaks.
4) Nominate accredited stallions that will be standing in Texas in 2022 to the Texas Stallion Stakes for the 2022 breeding season.
Remember: Foals by stallions nominated to the Texas Stallion Stakes for the season in which those foals were conceived need not be foaled in Texas to be eligible for the Texas Stallion Stakes Series.
All deadline dates are email, fax or postmark dates.
Please contact me with any questions.
Thank you,
Amber Doege
Racing/Accreditation Manager
Texas Thoroughbred Association
192 Cimarron Park Loop, Suite A
Buda, TX 78610
(phone) 512-458-6133
(fax) 512-453-5919

LTBA Year End Reminders

The LTBA would like to remind breeders of several important deadlines coming up before the end of the year.

Accreditation Fees
for 2021 Foals

Due by December 31, 2021
Louisiana Accreditation fees are $75 for 2020 weanlings. On January 1, 2022 foals become yearlings and the rate increases to $250.

Louisiana Futurity Nominations (Pregnant Mares)
Due by December 31, 2021

Louisiana Stallion Registrations
Due by December 31, 2021

Proposed HISA Rules Published for Stakeholder Review

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority’s (the “Authority”) Standing Advisory Committees, comprised of experts from inside and outside the thoroughbred racing industry, and the independent U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) published initial drafts of proposed rules for public comment.

As prescribed by HISA, USADA has led the drafting process of the Anti-Doping and Medication Control Program; three of the six documents pertaining to the program, including the proposed Equine Protocol, Prohibited List and Definitions have been posted to date and the remaining documents will be published over the next two weeks. In addition, and separate from USADA’s work, the Racetrack Safety Program, has also been posted for public review.

To view the draft work products and register to submit feedback,