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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Texas Congressman Introduces Legislation to Delay HISA

HISA is responsible for creating and implementing uniform safety and integrity rules.

Rep. Lance Gooden, a Texas Republican, introduced legislation Oct. 4 in the United States House of Representatives that would delay the implementation of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act until Jan. 1, 2024, according to a release distributed by the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association.

Some portions of the federal program created by the Act took effect in July, including the Racetrack Safety Program. HISA’s Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority’s Anti-Doping and Medication Control Program is scheduled for implementation Jan. 1, 2023.

Groups from Texas and from a handful of other states are among those challenging the legality of HISA in court. Rulings from judges involved in separate legal cases are anticipated in the coming weeks or months.

 

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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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Lanerie Pursues Elusive ‘Big One’ in Kentucky Derby

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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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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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Graham ‘s Cruiser First Winner for Hard Aces

Hard Aces, by Hard Spun, won the 2015 Gold Cup at Santa Anita Stakes (G1).

 

 

Graham ‘s Cruiser  became the first winner for Louisiana stallion Hard Aces  when he won a state-bred maiden race at Delta Downs Feb. 11.

The 3-year-old raced in fourth for the first three-eighths of a mile before gaining on the leaders and taking the lead in the final furlong. He won by three-quarters of a length, racing five furlongs in 1:00.78 under C. J. McMahon. He earned $22,800 for winning the $38,000 race.

Hard Aces was retired after running 11th in the Berkeley Handicap (G3) at Golden Gate Fields in November 2017 and went to stud the following year at Averett Farm in Louisiana. He currently stands there for a $2,000 fee.

 

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Texas Racing Commission Suspends Hair Drug Testing

Hair testing in racehorses began last May in Texas.

 

The Texas Racing Commission has suspended hair testing of racehorses in the state, the regulator announced Jan. 14.

Amy Cook, executive director of the TRC, wrote in an email to BloodHorse that the move was “a response to the concerns raised by Texas Horsemen’s Partnership that needed to be addressed.” She noted that “specifically, the way the commission implemented the hair testing procedure in May 2021 did not provide adequate notice and transparent procedures to participants.”

Along with existing blood and urine testing, some tracks, organizations, and regulators have added hair testing in recent years. In Texas, shortly after hair testing began last May, the Sam Houston Futurity for Quarter Horses was run as a non-wagering event after the majority of the 10 finalists failed hair tests for either albuterol or clenbuterol.

 

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Grade 1-Winning Sprinter No Parole Retired

Last year he won the Woody Stephens Stakes (G1) on Belmont Stakes Day.

Maggi Moss and Greg Tramontin’s grade 1 winner No Parole has been retired after being eased and finishing last in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Sprint Stakes Dec. 11 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

The victory was the third consecutive distant finish for the 4-year-old Violence   colt. As a younger horse, the Tom Amoss trainee won five of his first six races, including the 2020 Woody Stephens Stakes Presented by Claiborne Farm (G1) on Belmont Stakes Day. After that victory, he went 1-for-7, winning only the Louisiana Bred Premier Sprint Stakes at Delta Downs in February.

“No Parole has been a once in a lifetime horse,” Moss tweeted shortly after Saturday’s race. “He has trained super, sound, healthy—went into the race great—when a horse doesn’t want to do it anymore—we honor that and retire him 100% sound and happy.”

 

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Louisiana Trainer, Racing Official Palmisano Dies at 74

Palmisano trained through 2005 and later became paddock judge at Fair Grounds.

Gary Palmisano Sr., a longtime trainer and racing official in Louisiana, died Dec. 1 in New Orleans after a 19-year fight with cancer. He was 74.

Palmisano trained from 1976-2005, according to Equibase, winning 353 races for owners that included Bryan and Vickie Krantz, who raced as Krantz Stable and were prior owners of Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots and the defunct Jefferson Downs. Led by stakes winners Destiny Calls  and Coach Rags, Palmisano’s horses earned just shy of $4 million.

Palmisano died in the early morning Wednesday with his wife Karen and son Gary by his side. The latter is an executive for Churchill Downs.

 

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