Whence Sires First Winner in Louisiana

All of Us won his second career start Feb. 28 at Delta Downs.


Averett Farm’s Whence , a multiple-winning sprinter by Scat Daddy, sired his first winner Feb. 28 when his 3-year-old son All of Us  won a five-furlong maiden claimer at Delta Downs by three-quarters of a length in his second start.

All of Us is the first foal out of the winning Half Ours  mare Mine Yours an Ours  and was bred in Louisiana by Gerald Averett Jr. The mare has a 2-year-old by Ocean Knight  and is in foal this year to a full sibling to All of Us.

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Asmussen Makes History With 10,000 North American Wins

Hall of Fame trainer made history for a second time Feb. 20.


Steve Asmussen became the first trainer to win 10,000 Thoroughbred races in North America when Bet He’s Ready won the fifth race at Oaklawn Park Feb. 20.

Asmussen also has two additional wins overseas, including Curlin  ‘s victory in the 2008 Dubai World Cup (G1).

A Hall of Famer, Asmussen became the winningest trainer in North American history on Aug. 7, 2021, when Stellar Tap  won a maiden race at Saratoga Race Course, giving him his 9,446th win and pushing the late Dale Baird into second. Since then, Asmussen has continued to win races at a high rate, drawing ever closer to the latest milestone.

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HISA Opponents Seek National Injunction

HISA officials downplay move, say Congress’ amendment has addressed concerns.


An amended complaint filed in a Louisiana federal court names a host of new states and other entities seeking a national injunction against oversight of important areas of horse racing by the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority.

The case referenced originally was filed by the states and racing commissions of Louisiana and West Virginia, the Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and others. A preliminary injunction issued by Judge Terry Doughty of the U. S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana led to a halt of rules enforcement in the two named states by HISA and the Federal Trade Commission.

According to the amended complaint, four other states are now involved in the lawsuit: Arkansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Pari-mutuel racing is held in all of those states except Mississippi. In addition to the racing commissions of Louisiana and West Virginia, new plaintiffs include the Oklahoma Racing Commission and Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission. Although the state of Arkansas is named in the case, the Arkansas Racing Commission is not a plaintiff.


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Sam Houston Race Park Puts Simulcasting On Hold

The Houston track steps back from announcement to resume simulcasting Feb. 3.


On the day Sam Houston Race Park intended to resume interstate simulcasting, the Houston racetrack took a step back and has put that plan on hold citing the need for a legal review of the “many complexities” surrounding recent court action and law amendments by Congress related to the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority.

“We have determined more time is needed to fully evaluate the many legal complexities surrounding recent court decisions and the HISA amendment enacted by Congress at the end of last year,” said a statement released by Sam Houston Feb. 3.

The decision to resume simulcasting followed a Jan. 31 ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that denied a request by HISA and the Federal Trade Commission to reverse a decision that the HISA is facially unconstitutional. The appellate court had Nov. 18 reversed a decision of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas that had upheld the constitutionality of the HISA after it was challenged by the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, multiple state HBPA affiliates, the State of Texas, and the Texas Horse Racing Commission. Since the initial Fifth Circuit ruling, Congress amended the language of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act to include “clarifying language” that shores up the FTC’s oversight of HISA.


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With Law Changed, HISA Back in Court

Formal motion to set aside unconstitutionality ruling to be filed Jan. 3.


An attorney for the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority this week asked a federal appeals court panel to set aside its ruling declaring the entity’s underlying legislation facially unconstitutional, citing a recent amendment to the law.

A letter signed by Pratik A. Shah Dec. 29 on behalf of HISA formally notified the three-judge panel “that on December 23 Congress passed, and on December 29 President Biden signed into law an amendment” that gives the Federal Trade Commission more power to regulate the Authority.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in New Orleans, had declared the legislation facially unconstitutional for failing to give the FTC adequate oversight over the Authority, a private entity created by the legislation.


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Biden Signs Omnibus Bill With HISA Language Into Law

The sweeping bill contains clarifying language that gives more authority to the FTC.


As expected following passage from the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, President Joe Biden on Dec. 29 signed into law a $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill that among its many items contained legal clarifying language related to the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority and the act that authorized it. Additionally, the bill, known as H.R. 2617, the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023,” calls for consolidated appropriations for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2023, and provides emergency defense assistance to Ukraine.

HISA was created to implement national, uniform rules in Thoroughbred racing. The first of HISA’s two programs, the Racetrack Safety Program, had already gone into effect in July of this year. It was HISA’s second program, the Anti-Doping and Medication Control Program, that was placed on hold. The ADMC program was originally slated to go into effect Jan. 1, 2023, but its implementation, even with the passage of H.R. 2617, remains delayed.


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Mandy Lynn Delahoussaye, 47, Passes Away

Daughter of Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye.


Mandy Lynn Delahoussaye passed away Dec. 30 at Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center in Lafayette, La. She was the daughter of retired jockey Eddie Delahoussaye, who was inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1993. Eddie Delahoussaye serves as a commissioner with the Louisiana Racing Commission and on the board of directors for the Edwin J. Gregson Foundation.

The Martin & Castille Funeral Home-Southside in Lafayette will host a visitation Jan. 4 at 1 p.m. CT, followed by a memorial service at 2 p.m. at Martin & Castille’s La Fleur de Lis Chapel. Deacon Cody Miller will officiate the memorial. A private inurnment will be held later in the Holy Family Cemetery and Mausoleum in New Iberia.


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Grassley, Manchin Fight HISA Amendment

Grassley, Manchin want to remove a HISA-related amendment from spending legislation.

U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Joe Manchin of West Virginia have jointly filed an amendment that would strip changes to the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act from an omnibus spending bill being considered this week in Congress.

The single sentence added to the spending bill is intended to place the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority on sounder legal footing by clarifying the Federal Trade Commission’s oversight. This change is a reaction to a U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling last month that determined HISA’s enabling legislation was unconstitutional on the grounds that it inappropriately gives federal power to a private organization.

Nine state attorneys general also reportedly sent a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky asking for the HISA language change not to be included in the spending bill, according to a Dec. 21 press release from the Iowa Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association. The initial HISA legislation was adopted as part of the 2020 COVID-19 relief bill.

Grassley filed his amendment Dec. 19, and Manchin signed on as a sponsor.

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Anti-HISA Ruling Could Be Delayed for Months

Fifth Circuit refuses to order accelerated issuance of mandate.


The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which in November ruled the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act is unconstitutional, turned down a Dec. 15 request by the states and racing commissions of Louisiana and West Virginia to give the decision effect on Dec. 19. The upshot is enforcement of a lower court injunction against HISA could be delayed for months.

The two-line order denying the request was entered Dec. 16 by the same three Fifth Circuit judges who reversed a Texas federal district court ruling in favor of HISA. The lower court injunction against HISA was entered by a federal district court in Louisiana, which is also in the Fifth Circuit.

The Fifth Circuit’s anti-HISA decision cannot take effect unless and until a mandate issues. A publication of the American Bar Association says, “At its most basic, the mandate is the device by which an appellate court closes an appeal.”


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Fair Grounds Suspends Turf Racing

The Louisiana track entered its meet with plans to begin with limited turf racing.

Officials at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots this week suspended turf racing through at least late December to allow the track’s grass to recover from damage to the inner portion of the course. The New Orleans track entered its meet that began Nov. 18 with plans of a reduced schedule of turf racing, utilizing only its outermost running lane.

According to Gary Palmisano, executive director of racing for Churchill Downs Inc., which owns Fair Grounds, the course did not experience its customary growth this fall. Amid dry conditions, a well the track used for watering the grass was intruded with salt water when the Gulf of Mexico pushed into city freshwater supplies due to drought across much of the areas surrounding the Mississippi River, he said. Saltwater can kill grass.

Initial use of another water source and recent rainfall in the area has allowed officials to irrigate the turf, he added.


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