Dear Breeders,

There are several items proposed in the current Louisiana Legislative Session which will have an immediate negative impact on our industry. SB226, HB585, HB588, would redirect 50%-100% of video poker and slots at the racetrack, purse supplements, and breeders incentive awards out of current dedicated funding.

Our most effective defense against these devastating actions is for as  many of our members as possible to contact your state representatives and senators.  Below I have outlined several talking points with which to persuade your legislators in our favor.

Talking points.

  • The breeding and racing incentive program does not cost the state treasury any money. All money is derived from video poker franchise fees and slots at the racetracks. Some of the money comes from out of state patrons.
  • The total direct injection of revenue from the Louisiana horse racing industry into Louisiana’s economy for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016 was $578 million.
  • When both direct and indirect impacts are included, the Louisiana’s horse racing industry generated $1.047 billion in total output.
  • Louisiana horse racing created a total of 12,640 Louisiana jobs.
  • This translates into $328 million in earnings generated during the most recent year.
  • Louisiana received over $64 million directly from the horse industry in state taxes during the fiscal year ended June 30, 2016.
  • When taxes generated indirectly are included, state tax revenues from horse racing are over $73 million.

The bills and their specifics are listed below:
Author: Senator Sharon Hewitt
Referred to Committee on Finance.
Click here for a list of Committee members.

Eliminates certain statutory dedication of Video Draw Poker Device Purse Supplement Fund and Pari-mutuel Live Racing Facility Gaming Control Fund and all recipient funds.
Negative impact: Takes all money from racing and breeding incentive program.

HB 588
Author: Representative Jay Morris

The Bill is referred to the Appropriations Committee.
Click here for a list of Committee members

Proposes that 50% of video poker funds be used for TOPS.

  • The negative impact is a loss of thousands of jobs.
  • It would decrease purse supplements by $ 1million currently directed to Louisiana bred only horses. Most of these horses are bred by Louisiana citizens.
  • It would result in smaller purses in races restricted to Louisiana bred horses.
  • Diminished purse money means less money won by Louisiana horse breeders and owners.

It would result in a significant decrease in the need to buy and race Louisiana bred horses.
It would decrease revenue to breeders and owners that would result in a proportionate job loss.

HB 585
Author: Representative Jay Morris

The Bill is referred to the Appropriations Committee.
Click here for a list of Committee members

Proposes that 50% of slot revenue from the racetracks be used for TOPS.

  • All of the above applies at a much larger negative impact to the horse industry and reduction of jobs statewide in Louisiana.
  • Guts the racing industry and resulting horse industry.
  • Potential exit of national race track owners in Louisiana that could result in the industry returning to pre-slots at the track conditions: the industry was dying and on the verge of closing.

In the past, because you have taken an active role, we have been able to put the brakes on legislation that has targeted our monies. The power of numbers is much stronger than one individual. I am asking you to once again be active participants in safeguarding the thoroughbred industry in Louisiana. We sincerely appreciate your continued support!

For more information, please call 1-800-772-1195 or visit

Owner-Breeder Bertram Klein Dies

Bertram Klein, who had much success as a breeder and owner—along with his late wife, Elaine, and son, Richard—died March 24. He was 86.

“The three of us never had a cross word (about the racing business),” he added. “It gave us such joy and pleasure. Everybody seemed to know those lime green silks with the black stripes. Everywhere you go, everybody knows the ‘Bertie’ horses—that was something my father came up with.

“It could not have been a better partnership in a business like this. I know my father’s wish is that I continue to race and carry on the Klein tradition. I will definitely continue in some phase of it.”

From their Louisville base, the Kleins campaigned a number of graded stakes winners in their familiar lime green and black diamond silks, including grade 1 winner Outofthebox and multiple graded stakes winners Allamerican BertieHurricane BertieDe BertieSwept AwayMiz Ida, and Cash Control. The family also raced stakes winner Due Date, who stands at Peach Lane Farm in Louisiana.

Richard and Elaine put together their own racing stable in 1987, which Richard has been running since his parents’ retirement. Bertram, who ran his own outfit of mostly claiming horses, combined forces with his son and wife in 1998.

Bertram scored his first stakes win in 1993, when Obeida won the Ta Da Stakes at River Downs with trainer Bernie Flint.

“Bernie said I grabbed that trophy and ran with it like it was a football in my arms,” Bertram Klein told BloodHorse in 2012.

Since then, the family has visited the winner’s circle many more times, going on to race more than 80 stakes winners. Most recently, Richard and Bertram’s homebred Believe in Bertie won two stakes this year at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

Funeral arragements are scheduled for March 28 at The Temple Adath Israel Brith Sholom in Louisville. In leiu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Grayson-Jockey Club Foundation for the Elaine Klein Career Development Award.

LTBA Announces 2016 Louisiana Bred Champions

The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association has announced the results of the 2016 Accredited Louisiana Bred Champions, 2016 Stallions of the Year, 2016 Broodmare of the Year and Breeders of the Year.

2yo filly ~ Mr. Al’s Gal
2yo colt or gelding ~ Tip Tap Tapizar
3yo filly ~ Big World
3yo colt or gelding ~ Extra Credit
4 & up filly or mare ~ Wheatfield
4 & up male ~ Mobile Bay
Broodmare of the Year ~ Pentatonic
Stallion of the Year ~ Half Ours
Breeder of the Year ~ Irwin Olian (Tigertail Ranch)
High Percentage Breeder (tie) ~ Relentless Racing LLC, and Warren J. Harang III

Accredited Louisiana Bred Champions and Broodmare of the Year are selected by a vote of the membership. Leading Stallion and Leading Breeders are based on statistics.
Award presentations will be made at the 2017 Annual Meeting on Saturday June 10, 2017, at Evangeline Downs Racetrack and Casino, when the overall “Horse of the Year” will be revealed.

Congratulations to all.