The First Class 1 Racetrack in Texas Will Celebrate its 30th Anniversary in the Upcoming Live Racing Season

By Martha Claussen

HOUSTON, TX – The Texas Racing Commission (TXRC) approved the dates for the 2024 live racing season at Sam Houston Race Park in today’s meeting in Austin, Texas.

The   43-day Thoroughbred meet will get underway on Friday, January 5, 2024, with live racing set for Friday at 6:30 pm (Central) and Saturday and Sunday cards beginning at 1:00 pm. Holiday Monday racing, also at 1:00 pm, will take place on Martin Luther King Day and President’s Day. The live Thoroughbred racing season will continue through Sunday, April 7.

The Houston Racing Festival highlights the Thoroughbred stakes schedule and will be contested on Saturday, January 27 with a 1:00 pm first post. Inaugurated in 2013, the marquee racing event will be  anchored by the $300,000 Houston Ladies Classic (G3) and the $200,000 John B. Connally Turf (G3).  The $100,000 Bob Bork Texas Turf Mile, $100,000 Bara Lass and $100,000 Groovy Stakes will also be contested.  A press release on the entire 2024 stakes schedule will be forthcoming.

Sam Houston Race Park’s Vice President and General Manager Bryan Pettigrew attended today’s Commission meeting and looks forward to a season filled with quality racing and an enhanced promotions and event schedule.

“Our entire team is excited about the 2024 live racing season,” said Pettigrew. “We have tremendous support from the Texas Thoroughbred Association, (TTA), Texas Horsemen’s Partnership (THP) and the Texas Quarter Horse Association (TQHA),” said Pettigrew. 

Sam Houston Race Park opened as the first Class 1 racetrack in Texas on April 24, 1994. Promotions for racing fans and the celebration of racing and breeding in the Lone Star State will be prominent throughout the upcoming meet. Pettigrew served as the marketing director for Sam Houston Race Park in the mid-90’s and has a highly respected background in racing and sports and event management.

“When I was previously at Sam Houston, I was able to grow handle and attendance, while educating businesses and a newer fan base about the fun, excitement, and economic impact of horseracing in Texas,” he added. “To be able to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Sam Houston Race Park will be a thrill for the many breeders, owners, trainers and horseplayers who have been loyal supporters of Texas racing.”

Michael Acton returns as Director of Racing for the 2024 live racing season including the 25-day Sam Houston Race Park Quarter Horse meet which will run from FridayApril 19 through Saturday, June 15. Post time for the Quarter Horse season willbe 6:30 pm (Central) on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Stall applications for the upcoming Thoroughbred live racing season are due by Wednesday, November 1.  For further information, visit

About Sam Houston Race Park

Sam Houston Race Park is Houston’s premier racing and entertainment facility, located just 15 miles northwest of downtown Houston. Owned by Penn Entertainment Inc. (NASDAQ – PENN), the racetrack, which opened in 1994, offers a variety of attractions for businesses, group outings and families during racing and the off-season. The track is best known for its award-winning dining and features multiple areas for fans looking for casual to upscale dining options including its Winner’s Circle Restaurant, Jockey Club, Luxury Suites and Pavilion Centre. For more information or tickets to upcoming live racing, shows and events, please visit or follow on: FacebookInstagramTwitterTick Tok or YouTube.

The Jockey Club Releases 2022 Breeding Statistics

The Jockey Club today reported that 1,248 stallions covered 28,548 mares in North America during 2022, according to statistics compiled through October 8, 2023. These breedings have resulted in 18,143 live foals of 2023 being reported to The Jockey Club on Live Foal Reports.

The Jockey Club estimates that the number of live foals reported so far is 85-90 percent complete. The reporting of live foals of 2023 is down 2.5 percent from last year at this time when The Jockey Club had received reports for 18,609 live foals of 2022.

In addition to the 18,143 live foals of 2023 reported through October 8, The Jockey Club also received 2,018 No Foal Reports for the 2023 foaling season. Ultimately, the 2023 registered foal crop is projected to reach 18,500.

The number of stallions declined 4.2 percent from the 1,303 reported for 2021 at this time last year, while the number of mares bred declined 1.8 percent from the 29,065 reported for 2021.

The 2023 breeding statistics are available alphabetically by stallion name through the Resources – Fact Book link on The Jockey Club homepage at

Kentucky annually leads all states and provinces in terms of Thoroughbred breeding activity. Kentucky-based stallions accounted for 58.9 percent of the mares reported bred in North America in 2022 and 63.7 percent of the live foals reported for 2023.

The 16,827 mares reported bred to 208 Kentucky stallions in 2022 have produced 11,564 live foals, a 0.9 percent increase on the 11,460 Kentucky-sired live foals of 2022 reported at this time last year. The number of mares reported bred to Kentucky stallions in 2022 increased 0.2 percent compared to the 16,796 reported for 2021 at this time last year.

Among the 10 states and provinces with the most mares covered in 2022, four produced more live foals in 2023 than in 2022 as reported at this time last year: Kentucky, New York, Maryland, and Indiana.

The following table shows those 10 states and provinces with the most mares covered in 2022 sorted by number of state/province-sired live foals of 2023 reported through October 8, 2023.

2022 Mares Bred 2022 Live Foals 2023 Live Foals Percent Change in Live Foals
Kentucky 16,827 11,460 11,564 0.9%
California 1,867 1,303 1,138 -12.7%
Florida 1,529 927 829 -10.6%
New York 987 576 590 2.4%
Louisiana 924 570 564 -1.1%
Maryland 744 481 498 3.5%
Ontario 587 402 301 -25.1%
Pennsylvania 448 340 250 -26.5%
Indiana 558 231 243 5.2%
Oklahoma 481 293 220 -24.9%

The statistics include 227 progeny, 46 more than in 2022, of stallions standing in North America but foaled abroad, as reported by foreign stud book authorities at the time of publication.

Country Live Foals Country Live Foals
Australia 2 Republic of Korea 49
Dominican Republic 2 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 71
France 3 Mexico 7
Great Britain 8 Panama 14
Ireland 26 Philippines 12
Japan 32 Sweden 1

The report also includes 67 mares bred to 23 stallions in North America on Southern Hemisphere time; the majority of these mares have not foaled. In 2021, there were 50 mares bred to 19 stallions in North America on Southern Hemisphere time.

As customary, a report listing the number of mares bred in 2023 will be released later this month.

The Jockey Club, founded in 1894 and dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing, is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds. In fulfillment of its mission, The Jockey Club, directly or through subsidiaries, provides support and leadership on a wide range of important industry initiatives, and it serves the information and technology needs of owners, breeders, media, fans and farms. It founded America’s Best Racing (, the broad-based fan development initiative for Thoroughbred racing, and in partnership with the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, operates OwnerView (, the ownership resource. Additional information is available at

Louisiana Native Corey Lanerie Scores 5,000th Career Win Wednesday at Keeneland


New Orleans, La (Oct. 18, 2023) – Jockey Corey Lanerie became the 38th North American rider to win 5,000 races on Wednesday, piloting Denny East, Jerry White, Mark Young, and Michael Post’s I Feel the Need to victory for trainer Chris Hartman in Race 3 at Keeneland.

Hailing from Crankton, Louisiana, Lanerie returned to the jockey colony at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots last season after two years away. While knocking on the door of his 5,000th career win, Lanerie made the most of his homecoming, offering difference-making rides week-in and week-out. His impressive resurgence garnered him 50 wins, a 21% strike rate, and he finished third in the overall standings.

Lanerie’s first career win came on April 19, 1991 at Evangeline Downs aboard High Hopes Banquet for trainer C. D. Delahoussaye.  He moved his tack to Fair Grounds that same year and his first local win came December 1, 1991 aboard Crazy in Love for trainer Guilliam Dronet, who also saddled Lanerie’s first stakes winner later that meet in the Black Gold Stakes. This year, Fair Grounds will be celebrating the 100-year-anniversary of Black Gold’s Louisiana and Kentucky derby victories. Lanerie won his 3,000th career winner at Fair Grounds in 2011.

The son of former jockey-turned-trainer Gerald Lanerie has won 1100 races at FG, which is the fourth-most of any jockey since 1990.

Having won many of the sport’s top races, Lanerie scored his first graded stakes victory in the Razorback Handicap at Oaklawn Park in 1999. He has seven grade one victories to his name, including three at Keeneland, taking the Ashland (G1) with Hooh Why in 2009, Weep No More in 2016, and  Sailor’s Valentine in 2017. In Kentucky Derby 143 he gave Lookin at Lee a brilliant ride up the rail to finish second, his best finish of his six career Derby mounts. The year prior in 2016 he piloted Cherry Wine to a second place finish in the Preakness (G1).

Over his 33-year career, Lanerie has won 19 riding titles at Churchill Downs, second only to Pat Day. He has also been named the leading rider at Ellis Park, Lone Star Park, Sam Houston Race Park and Retama Park. In 2014, Lanerie won the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, presented annually to a jockey riding in North America who demonstrates high standards of personal and professional conduct on and off the racetrack.

Lanerie has won over two dozen of the 65 stakes Fair Grounds currently offers. He’s bagged multiple wins in the Thanksgiving Classic, the Mineshaft (G3), Rachel Alexandra (G2), and he has eleven wins on Louisiana Champions Day, including the 2011 Classic where he piloted the celebrated Louisiana-bred, Star Guitar. In 2011 Lanerie won the Lecomte (G3) aboard Mo Tom for trainer Tom Amoss.

Upon winning his 5,000th race, Lanerie has amassed $159,799,578 in career earnings from 34,597 mounts. The 48-year-old will return to Fair Grounds’ jockey colony for the 2023-2024 racing season and again be represented by agent Anthony Martin.


Pound for Pound – Louisiana’s 2017 2YO Champion – arrives at Blue Star Racing for the 2024 Breeding Season!


Scott, Louisiana USAOctober 16, 2023 – Blue Star Racing is proud to announce the arrival of Louisiana legend, Pound for Pound (Redding Colliery / Buttercup’s Song, by Unbridled’s Song), to their breeding facilities in Scott, Louisiana where he joins Rushie (Liam’s Map / Conquest Angel, by Colonel John), Breaking Lucky (Lookin at Lucky / Shooting Party, by Sky Classic), and Count Alexander (Scat Daddy / Intelyhente, by Smart Strike). 

“We are thrilled to add a local Louisiana legend and Champions Day classic winner to our stallion roster,” said Dex Comardelle of Blue Star Racing.  “With new legislation raising purses across the state, along with breeders’ awards boosted to 25%, now is the time for breeders to invest in Louisiana.”

The precocious Pound for Pound broke his maiden in his first performance and went on to become a stakes winner at two, four, and six, and stakes-placed at three and five. In his juvenile year, he captured the $105k Louisiana Futurity after winning an allowance only eight days prior. At three, Pound for Pound placed second in both the Crescent City Derby and the Louisiana Legends Cheval Stakes. At four, after scoring a second in the Star Guitar Stakes, Pound for Pound went on to win the $150k Louisiana Champions Day Classic Stakes. In his final career season, Pound for Pound, won the $75k Star Guitar Stakes and placed in the EVD Classic Stakes, as well as the Louisiana Champions Day Classic Stakes. Overall, Pound for Pound was nearly 70% ITM during his impressive five-year racing career. 

Pound for Pound was the first stakes winner by his multiple graded stakes winning sire Redding Colliery. The son of Mineshaft, Redding Colliery successfully campaigned in North America, the United Kingdom, and Dubai and at the end of his career had collected five triple digit Beyer Speed Figures.

Pound for Pound is out of two-time Louisiana Broodmare of the Year (2017 and 2021) Buttercup’s Song. A daughter of Unbridled’s Song, she has produced more than $1.7 in progeny earnings with 10 winners from 10 starters. She is the dam of three stakes winners including MSW Flatlined – the winner of the G2 Fort Lauderdale Stakes, the Cliff Guilliams Handicap, and the Old Friends Stakes. 

For more information on about Pound for Pound, Rushie, Breaking Lucky, and Count Alexander call Dex Comardelle of Blue Star Racing at 985-791-6546 or email:  Blue Star Racing is located 1627 Renaud Drive, Scott, Louisiana 70583

AAEP Issues Safety Recommendations for U.S. Thoroughbred Racing

Proposals Emanate from Gathering of Nearly Two Dozen Veterinary Experts

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) published a series of safety recommendations October 11, 2023, with the goal of complementing the current risk assessment processes already in place for Thoroughbred racing in the United States.

The nine recommendations stem from the inaugural Forum on Thoroughbred Safety & Injury Prevention, hosted by the AAEP on September 29–30 in Lexington, Ky. The meeting convened 23 invited private racetrack practitioners, regulatory veterinarians, surgeons and radiologists to explore additional measures to reduce racehorse injuries.

The Forum focused on two key areas: examination of injury data trends from U.S. and international racing jurisdictions, and exploration of new technologies and their potential use for identifying horses at risk for injury.

“The Forum was born out of our desire to help the racing industry at this critical moment for the sport and offer our veterinary expertise to further prevent racehorse injury,” said Dr. Sara Langsam, AAEP Racing Committee chair. “Our group believes additional progress comes through identifying the at-risk racehorse that appears outwardly sound but is silently brewing a significant injury. We are hopeful our recommendations will help the racing industry conquer this next frontier of Thoroughbred racehorse safety.”

Safety recommendations are focused in three areas: Identification of the horse at increased risk of injury, improved access to higher level diagnostic technology, and other means to reduce racehorse injuries. Among the recommendations are:

Issuance of a request for proposal for the manufacture of a cost-effective wearable biometric sensor. Wearable biometric sensors detect gait changes in the racehorse and can serve as an indicator that the horse requires evaluation by its veterinary team. Optimally these sensors will be used on every racehorse for every high-speed exercise event, including breezing and racing.

• Employment of post-entry screening by regulatory veterinarians to help identify horses at increased risk based on training and racing records. California currently utilizes post-entry screening as an extra layer of scrutiny before race day and this additional step has proven helpful in identifying horses at risk for a catastrophic injury.

Creation of regional PET scan centers at centrally located racetracks throughout the U.S. PET is an advanced imaging modality, and research studies have demonstrated the ability of the PET scan to identify abnormalities associated with an increased risk of injury.

The full list of individual safety recommendations and their rationale, along with a list of Forum on Thoroughbred Safety & Injury Prevention participants, can be found in the event’s report, accessible at

About AAEP
The American Association of Equine Practitioners, headquartered in Lexington, Ky., was founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse. Currently, AAEP reaches more than 5 million horse owners through its over 9,000 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.

Former HBPA Prez On 5th Circuit Appeal: ‘No Matter The Result’ Both Sides Expect Supreme Court To Decide HISA’S Fate

U.S. Supreme Court | Getty Images

By T. D. Thornton

Leroy Gessmann, who served as president of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) from 2015 to 2021 and currently works as the Arizona HBPA’s executive director, told commissioners at the Arizona Racing Commission (AZRC) meeting Thursday that regardless of the decision gets handed down by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, both the HBPA and its opponents in a 2 1/2-year-old lawsuit to nullify the Horseracing and Safety Integrity Act (HISA) agree that the nation’s highest court will eventually have to be called upon to settle the matter.

Gessmann spoke in the wake of Oct. 4 oral arguments in the Fifth Circuit case that pits the HBPA and 12 of its affiliates against the HISA Authority and the Federal Trade Commission. On May 4, a lower court deemed that the now-in-effect version of HISA is indeed constitutional because a 2022 rewrite of the law fixed constitutionality problems the Fifth Circuit had identified. Shortly after that lower court’s ruling came out in the spring, the HBPA plaintiffs then swiftly filed for another appeal back to the Fifth Circuit, which agreed to hear the case on an “expedited” basis.

Read TDN Article



Strong Promise is victorious in the Louisiana Legacy Stakes. Coady Photography.


VINTON, LA. – Delta Downs kicked off an exciting weekend of racing on Friday night with a nine-race program that featured a pair of $100,000 Louisiana-bred stakes races. Fans were treated to the Louisiana Legacy and the Louisiana Jewel with the latter featuring 2-year-old fillies. Each race was contested over a fast track and at seven furlongs.

The Legacy featured plenty of drama as 10-1 longshot Good and Stout hit the finish line in front of heavily favored and undefeated Strong Promise before he was taken down by the stewards for interference. The disqualification came after Good and Stout made contact with Strong Promise with three eighths of a mile to the finish.

Following a clean break in the Legacy, Stovall and Good and Stout shared early pace-setting duties, traveling the first quarter mile in 23.31 seconds. Nearing the half mile mark, it was Good and Stout under C. J. McMahon who owned a narrow lead while stopping the timer in 48.35. Soon after that, the pacesetter came down toward the rail, bumping Strong Promise and jockey Casey Fuselier, who then traded bumps with Stovall. For that action the stewards disqualified Good and Stout and placed him last behind Stovall, who was taken back and finished last under the wire.

The official order of finish after the disqualification put Strong Promise first by ½ length over El Dinero second. Rising Koto Star wound up another five lengths behind in third. The final time of the Legacy was 1:27.33 seconds.

The win kept Strong Promise’s record perfect at four wins in as many starts for owner Whispering Oak Farm LLC and trainer Carrol Castille. The $60,000 first place paycheck raised his overall bankroll to $215,400 and he has now won three stakes races in all.

Bred in Louisiana by J. Adcock & Hume Wornall, Strong Promise is a 2-year-old gray or roan colt by Broken Vow, out of the Macho Uno mare St. Jean. He was purchased for $125,000 by his connections earlier this year.

Sent to the post at odds of 1-9, Strong Promise paid $2.20 to win, $2.10 to place and $2.10 to show. El Dinero returned $4.80 to place and $3.20 to show. Rising Koto Star paid $7 to show.



Emily’s Bullet is first to the wire in the Louisiana Jewel Stakes. Coady Photography.


The $100,000 Louisiana Jewel was won by Gerald Bruno, Jr., Chasey Deville Pomier and Out Blue Streaks Stable’s Emily’s Bullet, who got a perfect stalking trip before pulling clear in the stretch to win easily under jockey Vicente Del Cid.

The field for the Jewel was whittled down to just five 2-year-old fillies after Ronnie’s Deal was scratched. When the gate opened Del Cid placed his mount three paths off the rail and right behind Good N Sassy and race favorite Diamond Deal, who proceeded to volley for the lead why covered the opening quarter mile in 23.45 seconds and the half mile in 48.69. As the frontrunners turned for home the pace began to take its toll as Emily’s Bullet then made her move to the lead in the upper stretch.

At the finish line Emily’s Bullet was drawing clear and won by a comfortable 4-¾ lengths, while Diamond Deal held second over a late closing Tommie G, who wound up a length behind the runner-up. The final time for the race was 1:27.78 on the fast track.

The win by Emily’s Bullet, who is trained by Chasey Deville Pomier, was the second of her five-race career and her first in stakes company. She earned $60,000 for the effort and now has a career bankroll of $93,260.

Bred in the Bayou State by Paul Pruett, Emily’s Bullet is a bay filly by Gormley, out of the Wando mare Bessie’s Bullet.

Sent off at odds of 5-2 odds, Emily’s Bullet paid $7.40 to win, $3.40 to place and $2.40 to show. Diamond Deal was worth $2.40 to place and $2.10 to show. Tommie G returned $3.40 to show.



For more information about racing at Delta Downs this season, including a detailed schedule and stakes dates, visit the track’s website at Fans can also get information throughout the season with our social media accounts. The Facebook page is found at ‘Delta Downs Racing’, and the track’s Twitter (X) handle is @deltaracing.

REMINDER – Please submit direct deposit information to LTBA


Dear Louisiana Breeders,


Please remember to submit your Direct Deposit forms for Louisiana Breeders Awards to the LTBA by November 30th, 2023. 


Starting January 1, 2024, breeders awards will be paid via direct deposit. This will benefit breeders, speeding up the process and eliminating problems of checks getting delayed or lost in the mail.


Breeders will be notified via email when funds are deposited in their bank accounts. Notification can be delivered to more than one email address. This will replace the old system of post card notification.
You can download the attached form, complete and return to the LTBA by fax (504) 943-2149, email or by USPS to
P.O. Box 24650
New Orleans, LA 70184
Please include all email addresses on the form that you wish to receive notification of breeders awards. If you have already submitted your direct deposit form, you can add additional email addresses by emailing Beverly Mayard



LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 10, 2023) ― The Breeders’ Cup issued a reminder today that Sunday, Oct. 15 at 11:59 p.m. ET is the last opportunity for horsemen to nominate weanlings of 2023 to the Breeders’ Cup program at the one-time regular nomination fee of $400 USD.

The $400 nomination entitles each foal with lifetime eligibility to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and the Breeders’ Cup racing programs. All foals sired by a fully nominated North American Breeders’ Cup stallion are eligible for nomination to the Breeders’ Cup program in their year of birth at the weanling rate.

Breeders’ Cup Limited has been Thoroughbred racing’s most significant international program for over 40 years. During this time, Breeders’ Cup has allocated purses and awards in excess of $900 million to owners, foal nominators, and stallion nominators through the programs of the Breeders’ Cup including the annual $31 million Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

In addition to the racing benefits, Breeders’ Cup foal nominators will earn $10,000 USD for every victory in the worldwide Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In program and every horse that starts in a Breeders’ Cup World Championship race will earn a nominator award. The individual nominating the foal receives these nominator awards even though the horse may change hands throughout its racing career.

For more information and to nominate online visit

LTBA Board of Directors Ballots

 LTBA Board of Directors Ballots 


Ballots for the LTBA 2023 Board of Directors election were mailed October the 2nd.  Please make your selections and return to MK Elections in the envelope provided with your ballot. Ballots must be received  by MK Election Services in New Haven, CT on or BEFORE October 31st, to be counted. Please allow time for mail to reach MK Election Services. Ballots received after October 31st will not be counted.


Each board member elected shall serve for three years unless elected to fill a vacancy. The board membership terms are staggered which shall result in approximately 1/3 of the board being subject to election annually.


Seven (7) nominees are running for four (4) positions on the board this year:

Nathan Granger

Keith Hernandez (incumbent)

Val C. Murrell (incumbent)

Keith G. Myers

Barry Scott

Lee Thomas

David Tillson (incumbent)

Vote for four (4).
Please allow time for mail to reach MK Election Services. Ballots received after October 31st will not be counted.