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Arkansas Group Seeks To Pair At-Risk Youth With Thoroughbred Industry Jobs

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As horse racing continues, alongside much of the country, to ponder the challenges of diversity and inclusion in its fan base and workforce, one man is hoping he can contribute part of the answer. Michael Davis’ idea is still in the early stages and has come together at a rough time for embarking on new non-profits, but he is determined to press forward anyway. Davis is the president and chief executive officer of the Oliver Lewis Inner City Thoroughbred Jockey Club, which he hopes will connect inner city youth in North Little Rock, Ark., to the Thoroughbred industry. The goal is to provide a diversion for at-risk youth while providing the racing industry a new source for future employees and leaders.

“My mom had moved from the South when I was two years old from to a big city – Milwaukee,” Davis recalled. “She didn’t like it there — there was a lot going on with riots and things like that, so the three youngest kids she sent back to her mom’s house in Mississippi, where her oldest brother had four horses. I learned the rural life, that you could have a horse in your yard.

“They had a calming effect. Just looking into the animal’s eyes, I fell in love with the horses. I learned to ride and ended up buying my uncle three more horses when I got older and got a good job. I had older brothers and sisters so I never was going to get into trouble, but I wanted to be out there with the horses. It can really change a kid’s life when they see there’s something beautiful they can care for.”

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Horse Racing Viewership on Fox Networks Rises 300%

Network will show the Runhappy Travers (G1) and two other stakes Aug. 8.

 

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Finding something positive amid the COVID-19 pandemic is surely as difficult as finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. Yet for Thoroughbred racing and, in particular, the New York Racing Association, the loss of numerous racing dates and on-track wagering at many venues has also created a situation in which the sport has gained far more television exposure with professional and collegiate sports shuttered than it would have in a traditional and less turbulent year.

“Looking across the whole portfolios of sports properties we have across sports television, the two properties that have managed the circumstances (during the pandemic) the best are NASCAR and horse racing. They are the two that have risen to meet this moment and have put themselves in a better position for the future,” said Michael Mulvihill, Fox Sports’ executive vice president of research, league operations, and strategy. “I think horse racing and our NYRA programming has really stepped up to fill the void, and it’s been beneficial to horse racing and to us.”

Mulvihill’s Aug. 6 comments came two days before the $1 million Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course will be presented on a 90-minute, 5-6:30 p.m. (ET) show on the main Fox broadcast channel, providing an added half-hour of coverage this year.

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Retired Racehorse Project’s ASPCA Makeover Marketplace Transitions to Virtual Event

While the in-person horse shopping and adoption experience at the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium may no longer be possible this year with the postponement of the event to 2021, the Retired Racehorse Project (RRP), thanks to a generous grant from the ASPCA, will continue to produce the Makeover Marketplace and promote transitioned Thoroughbreds as premier sport horse prospects online.

Expected to feature dozens of restarted Thoroughbreds, the ASPCA Makeover Marketplace catalog will once again be offered in print as well as digitally. Sign-ups are now open to receive the catalog, which will be printed in the Fall 2020 issue of Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine, the RRP’s award-winning quarterly publication. The catalog will be printed in color and feature each horse’s Jockey Club name and basic details, price or adoption fee, home location, description and photo, as well as trainer contact information. Each advertisement will also include a QR code that will direct smartphone users to the horse’s full online listing, which may include additional information and video.

“The ASPCA Makeover Marketplace has become one of the country’s premier horse shopping and adoption opportunities for equestrians looking for well-started sport horse prospects,” said Jen Roytz, Executive Director of the RRP. “Traditionally, horse shopping includes extensive travel, often going to multiple farms in different states in order to consider horses, but changing mandates and travel restrictions during the pandemic are limiting those opportunities. The Marketplace lets you browse from the comfort of your couch and peruse dozens of photos, videos and descriptions of equine athletes for adoption or sale who have had the proper care, nutrition and training to make a successful transition to a competitive or recreational career after racing.”

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Dewey Square, 2015 Thoroughbred Makeover Marketplace graduate, now owned by Nicholas D’Amore and in training with Kate Chadderton. Photo by Amy Dragoo

The ASPCA Makeover Marketplace has become an adopter’s or buyer’s trusted source for Thoroughbreds for sport or pleasure. Though the Thoroughbred Makeover competition will not be taking place this year, each horse entered in the Marketplace catalog will have undergone preparation for the event, with emphasis placed on a healthy transition from the track and training for a big show environment. Past ASPCA Makeover Marketplace graduates have gone on to successful careers in eventing, hunter/jumper, field hunter, western performance, pleasure and trail riding.

“Creating opportunities for more equine enthusiasts to find their Right Horse is a vital component of our work,” said Dr. Emily Weiss, Vice President of ASPCA Equine Welfare. “The RRP continues to support us in shifting the perspective of who a retired racehorse is and showcasing the incredible potential they will bring to their next homes. While we will miss seeing all the event-goers and talented competitors this year, we celebrate this innovative virtual Marketplace experience that will help transition more great horses to their next chapter.”

The digital catalog will be released at tbmakeover.org the week of August 10, and individual horses will be featured on the RRP’s social media. Watch the RRP’s Facebook page for additional virtual spotlights of Marketplace horses this fall.

Sign up now for the print catalog at tbmakeover.org/catalog. Catalogs will be printed and mailed in mid-September.

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RRP logo

The Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) is a 501(c)3 charitable organization working to increase demand for off-track Thoroughbreds in the equestrian world. In addition to putting on the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, the organization also publishes Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine, hosts off-track Thoroughbred retraining clinics and programming at major horse expos and events around the country, and maintains the online Thoroughbred Sport Tracker (the internet’s only user-driven database tracking second career talent and accomplishments of registered Thoroughbreds). Visit the RRP online at RetiredRacehorseProject.org.

ASPCA MadePossible stack

Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS ANNOUNCES PURSE INCREASE OF $1,500 PER RACE BEGINNING AUGUST 8

The Annual Louisiana Cup Day Will Take Place on Saturday, September19 with the Support of the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association (LTBA)

 

Bossier City, LA – Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is pleased to announce that overnight purses will be increased by $1,500 for the remainder of the 2020 Thoroughbred meet. The adjustment will go into effect on Saturday, August 8 and will continue through the conclusion of the racing season on Wednesday, September 23.

“We thank our local horsemen for their support since the live racing season began on June 6,” said David Heitzmann, Director of Racing at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. “This has been a very challenging year due to COVID-19, so we are pleased to reward these hard working men and women with a purse increase of $1,500 across the board.”

Further good news is that Louisiana Cup Day will be held at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs on Saturday, September 19.  The annual day of racing, which traditionally takes place in August, showcases accredited Louisiana-bred Thoroughbreds. Due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, the event was put on hold, but Roger Heitzmann, Executive Director of the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association (LTBA); Ed Fenasci, Executive Director of the HBPA and David Heitzmann, director of Racing at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, have worked diligently to put the annual stakes day back on the calendar.  On June 16, the LTBA Board of Directors voted to earmark $100,000 for Louisiana Cup Day.

“We are grateful to LTBA for allocating the funds so we can run Louisiana Cup Day once again this year,” added Heitzmann. “This is a very important day for our breeders, horsemen, and of course, the fans at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.”

Louisiana Cup Day Featured Stakes                                   

$40,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile                    2 YO LA-Bred                        Six furlongs

$40,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies          2 YO Fillies LA-Bred             Six furlongs

$40,000 Louisiana Cup Filly & Mare Sprint  3 YO & Up F&M, LA-Bred  Six furlongs

$40,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint                        3 YO & Up LA-Bred              Six furlongs

$40,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic              3 YO & Up LA-Bred              1 1/16 miles (T)

$40,000 Louisiana Distaff                              3 YO & Up F & M LA-Bred  1 1/16 miles (T)

 

Post Times and Racing Dates

The 2020 Thoroughbred racing season at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs got underway on Saturday, June 6. The 64-day meet will run Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday through September 23. Post time is 3:05 pm (Central).

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.

 

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August 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 Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders AssociationWhispering Oaks Farm and  Equine Sales CompanyClick images to link to more information

August 1

  • Jockey Club Report of Mares Bred Due 

August 7

  • Stallion Awards to be Mailed

August 10

  • Delta Downs stall applications due for 2020-21 Thoroughbred Meet

August 18

  • LTBA Board of Directors Meeting.  Prejeans Restaurant, Carencro 6:30 p.m.

August 20

August 24

August 30

  • Louisiana Champions Day Forms to be Mailed

August 31

  • Accreditation Applications Due

Reminder: 2020-21 LTBA Regular Membership Applications and Renewals Due.
$75 before Sept. 30/$85 after Sept 30.
 

Would you like to sponsor a newsletter? Reach @ 2,500 readers.

Please contact Linda 985-386-0360, linda@louisianabred.com or Roger 504-947-4676, roger@louisianabred.com 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, linda@louisianabred.com 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

504-947-4676

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No Parole Going After Consecutive Grade 1 Wins In H. Allen Jerkens Memorial

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A rematch featuring the superfecta of last month’s Grade 1 Woody Stephens will highlight another high-caliber contest, with Louisiana-bred No Parole looking to propel his 3 ¾-length victory into more glory in Saturday’s Grade 1, $300,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial presented by Runhappy on Whitney Day at Saratoga Race Course.

The 36th running of the H. Allen Jerkens, a seven-furlong main track sprint for 3-year-olds, is one of five stakes overall on the 12-race card and part of three Grade 1s, joining the $500,000 Personal Ensign presented by NYRA Bets for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up, and the $750,000 Whitney for 4-year-olds and up going 1 1/18 miles. The Personal Ensign is a “Win and You’re In” qualifier to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff in November at Keeneland, while the Whitney will offer the winner an all-fees paid berth to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Carded as Race 10, the H. Allen Jerkens will have a post time of 6:18 p.m. Eastern. First post is 1:10 p.m. Eastern. Saratoga Live will present full coverage beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern on FOX Sports and MSG Networks.

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Remington Park Cuts Stakes Purses Due to COVID-19

Total stakes purse money for 2020 is $2.88 million, an $820,000 reduction from 2019.

Remington Park, set to begin a 67-date Thoroughbred season Aug. 21, released a stakes schedule July 29 that features 32 races and a reduced purse structure due to COVID-19.

Total purse money for the stakes schedule is $2.88 million, a reduction of $820,000 from 2019. The lower structure is due to two months of inactivity from mid-March to late-May when Remington Park halted simulcast racing and casino gaming for health and safety measures because of the pandemic.

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Negative COVID-19 Tests Required for Keeneland Sale

Tests must be performed on attendees within five days of the sale.

 

In a July 29 announcement targeted toward those planning to attend the upcoming Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Keeneland president-elect Shannon Arvin informed patrons and horsemen that any party entering the grounds will be required to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

Further requirements state that the negative test must be performed within five days of arriving at the sale, which starts Sept. 13 and runs through Sept. 26. For any sales participant who does not have access to testing ahead of the auction, Keeneland has made arrangements for onsite testing to be available.

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Lone Star Hires Patterson As Racing Secretary

Tony Patterson will join Lone Star Park as the new Racing Secretary for both the Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse meets.Patterson will assume his new role Aug. 3, at the tail-end of the Thoroughbred meet which wraps up Aug. 12. Lone Star Park’s Fall Quarter Horse meet begins Sept. 4.

“I am excited to welcome Tony Patterson as the new Lone Star Park Racing Secretary,” said Lone Star Park’s Vice President of Operations, Kent Slabotsky. “His experience, knowledge and enthusiasm make him a perfect addition to our Management team.”

Patterson brings with him 36 years of experience in the horse racing industry. He began his career at Remington Park in 1988 as the Assistant Racing Secretary/Stakes Coordinator, eventually becoming Director of Racing/Racing Secretary at the Oklahoma City track. He has held positions at Sam Houston Race Park, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs and most recently as the Executive Director of the Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association.

“I am looking forward to taking on the role of racing secretary at Lone Star Park and thank Kent Slabotsky, Matt Vance and Tim Williams for entrusting me with this position,” said Patterson. “There are some incredible horsemen that support racing in Texas. I feel certain that we will present a very exciting Quarter Horse meet in the months to come.”

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Reports of Mares Bred Due at The Jockey Club by August 1

The Jockey Club reminds stallion managers to submit their Reports of Mares Bred (RMBs) for the 2020 breeding season by August 1.

“To ensure that the breeding statistics we release in the fall are as accurate as possible, we request that RMBs be submitted by August 1,” said Matt Iuliano, executive vice president and executive director of The Jockey Club. “In addition to the utility of covering information in mare produce records and catalog-style pedigrees available through equineline, the number of mares reported bred each year is an important economic indicator of the health of the Thoroughbred breeding industry.”

Stallion managers who submit completed RMBs by August 1 are among the first to receive their Stallion Service Certificates, which facilitates the timely registration of 2021 foals.

Reports of Mares Bred may be submitted via Interactive Registration at registry.jockeyclub.com or a form is available by email, fax, or mail by contacting inquiries@jockeyclub.com.

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