Out-of-State Wagering on Lone Star to Suspend July 1

HISA is scheduled to take effect at the start of next month.


Following through on a previously issued memorandum defying compliance with the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority, Lone Star Park has been denied approval to export its racing signal out-of-state beginning July 1, Texas Racing Commission executive director Amy Cook confirmed June 15.

HISA is scheduled to take effect at the start of next month, although implementation of medication rules and enforcement will be delayed pending either adoption or rejection of the rules by the Federal Trade Commission after a public comment period.

The Lone Star Park Thoroughbred season concludes July 17.


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Texas Commission Airs HISA Concerns to CEO Lazarus

Texas Racing Commission outlines broad slate of concerns to HISA’s Lisa Lazarus.


Texas Racing Commission members laid out their concerns with the impending July 1 launch of the first round of Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority rules during its regular meeting June 8 in Austin. Those concerns include an anticipated statewide shutdown of pari-mutuel wagering and simulcasting related to the new federal rules.

“Although HISA is understood to have a preemptive effect on the various states, in Texas that effect is significant. In Texas, HISA will kill pari-mutuel onsite wagering and result in a prohibition of simulcast export wagering,” said commission chairman Judge Robert Pate during remarks at the start of the meeting, which was attended by HISA CEO Lisa Lazarus and lead counsel John Roach.

“Wagering on horse racing is a unique regulatory responsibility we have under the Texas Racing Act and Rules of Racing, which is inextricably tied to all functions of the Texas Racing Commission. If the Texas Racing Commission is not involved in every aspect of a horse meet and its races, pari-mutuel wagering and simulcast wagering is against the explicit terms of the Texas Racing Act,” he continued.


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2022 Claiming Crown Will Be Held at Churchill Downs

The 2022 Claiming Crown will be held at Churchill Downs in November, according to Dan Metzger, president of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.

Speaking on Horse Racing Radio Network’s Equine Forum June 4, National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association CEO Eric Hamelback first announced the news, saying: “I am over the moon excited to move the Claiming Crown for 2022 to Churchill Downs. Saturday, Nov. 12 is the plan for now. We are appreciative of Churchill Downs, especially to (track representatives) Mike Ziegler and Ben Huffman who wanted this event. We are hoping for as spectacular a day as we have had at Gulfstream over the past years. The long-term plan is to stay within the Churchill Downs family, going to Louisiana (Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots) for 2023.”


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Mattress Mack Set to Wager About $4M at Kentucky Derby

It’s possible—not probable—that he could split the bet among horses.


Horse owner and Houston furniture magnate Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale plans to be at Churchill Downs to bet up to about $4 million again on the Kentucky Derby favorite. The big betting is a hedge on his furniture giveaway for customers if the public’s choice wins.

Ideally, favoritism will be locked in by an hour before the race, but “if both horses are three-and-a-half to one a minute before the race starts, then I’ve got to take a stand,” McIngvale said in a telephone interview. “So if my bet happens to establish the favorite for the Kentucky Derby, then so be it.”

Unlike last year when Essential Quality   was a 2-1 morning line favorite and ended up as an almost 3-1 post time favorite with McIngvale’s money, which horse will be favorite this year may not be known until closer to post time.


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HISA Finds Partner to Build Enforcement Agency

Drug Free Sports International will establish testing and enforcement protocols.


The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority’s board of directors announced May 3 it had secured a contract with an agency to handle the testing, investigative, and enforcement responsibilities for the national regulatory program it is building for horse racing.

Drug Free Sport International was selected to build HISA’s independent Anti-Doping and Medication Control enforcement agency.

Drug Free Sport has existing drug testing and enforcement partnerships with leading sports organizations, including the National Football League, NCAA, National Basketball Association, Ladies Professional Golf Association, PGA Tour, NASCAR, and Major League Baseball. The company will establish the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit, which will be led by a five- member advisory council, to serve as the new ADMC enforcement agency for Thoroughbred racing.


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Lanerie Pursues Elusive ‘Big One’ in Kentucky Derby



Like most jockeys riding in the May 7 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) at Churchill Downs, Corey Lanerie has not yet tasted success in the 1 1/4-mile classic. But he has an inkling of the euphoria he might experience after threatening to win the 2017 race.

Riding the rail on late-running 33-1 longshot Lookin At Lee  , Lanerie grew excited on the second turn as his mount picked off rivals from the back of the pack to pull into second in early stretch, with only Always Dreaming   to catch.


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Un Ojo Out of Kentucky Derby, Ethereal Road Makes Field

Rebel Stakes (G2) winner came up with bruised left fore foot after April 30 work.


Dreams of a Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) victory were dashed for some and sprang to life for others May 2 when Un Ojo  was declared out of the race because of a bruised left front foot, allowing Ethereal Road  to make the body of the 20-horse field.

Un Ojo’s trainer Ricky Courville confirmed the news to BloodHorse Monday.

“He came out of that work Saturday with a bruised foot and it’s just not the right thing to do to run him; he’s still a little tender on it,” Courville said. “We’ll let the dust settle … He might go to the farm here in Kentucky; he might come back home (to Louisiana), or if he’s better in a week, we might find something else for him.”


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OBS Spring Sale Wraps Up With Record Trade



Over the past four days of selling, a strong market was seen at the Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training at Ocala Breeders’ Sales. The final day saw a filly by Munnings   bring $1.6M after selling to OXO Equine’s Larry Best, the fifth horse to shatter the seven-figure ceiling for the sale, creating a new record for the sales company.

After selling Friday, during the fourth session, OBS reported 159 horses changed hands of the 200 through the ring for gross figures of $18,775,000. The final session saw an average price of $118,082 and a median of $60,000. There were 41 horses that failed to meet their reserve to represent an RNA rate of 20.5%.

Comparatively, last year during the final session, 167 horses were sold of the 195 on offer for final receipts of $19,063,000 for an average price of $114,150 and a median of $65,000. The 28 horses who failed to sell represented a buyback rate of 14.3%. These figures include post-sale prices.


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CHRB Unanimously Backs Collecting HISA Fees

Betting is up marginally in the state and equine fatalities are down.


The California Horse Racing Board unanimously approved a motion in a board meeting April 21 to “opt-in” and remit Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority fees upon it receiving the necessary statutory authority.

The board’s actions follow recent similar moves by regulators in Kentucky and Minnesota, CHRB executive director Scott Chaney said. Elsewhere, regulators in New Jersey, Maryland, and Texas chose not to collect HISA assessments, with some citing conflicts with existing state laws.

If regulators decide not to collect and remit HISA assessments, the duty falls to covered racetracks. Federal regulation of the Thoroughbred racing industry under HISA begins July 1.


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Recent Expansion of H-2B Visas Could Help Horsemen

Dollars & Sense With Frank Angst


A federal program that will allow more temporary workers from three Central American countries, as well as Haiti, could provide some options for horsemen.

The federal government recently provided some good news for horsemen searching for labor options by expanding the H-2B program that provides temporary nonagricultural worker visas. Beginning this month and continuing through September, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Labor will make an additional 35,000 H-2B visas available.


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