Reserved Seats Available for Lone Star

Reserved seating for Lone Star Park’s 2021 Thoroughbred Racing Season will go on sale Monday, Mar. 22. The season opens Thursday, Apr. 22 and continues through Sunday, July 11.
Lone Star Park has implemented a new ticketing system for 2021. Customers can purchase any ticket type, including general admission for any date at http://www.LoneStarPark.com/Tickets beginning Monday at 6 a.m. or by calling the reservation line at 972-263-PONY at 9 a.m. Monday.

General Admission is just $5 and reserved seating options range from $10 to $25 per person (includes admission) on most race days except on big event days and Kentucky Derby Day, which have separate pricing plans.

Stud Farms Sue Over 140-Mare Cap, Allege ‘Blatant Abuse of Power’ by The Jockey Club

By T. D. Thornton

Spendthrift Farm, Ashford Stud and Three Chimneys Farm are suing The Jockey Club in federal court over the “stallion cap” rule that went into effect in 2020, alleging that the 140-mare breeding limit now being phased in amounts to a “blatant abuse of power” that acts as an “anti-competitive restraint” and threatens to disrupt the free-market nature of the bloodstock business.

The plaintiffs contend that the stallion cap “serves no legitimate purpose and has no scientific basis” while alleging that the nine stewards of The Jockey Club who voted to adopt the rule change purportedly did so based more on a desire to satisfy their own “conflicting economic interests” rather than their organization’s stated purpose of “facilitating the soundness of the Thoroughbred breed.”

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Record Handle at Sam Houston During Houston Racing Festival

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Letruska winning the GIII Houston Ladies Classic S. | Coady Photography

Sam Houston Race Park set a record for handle during its 10-race Houston Racing Festival card Sunday, Jan. 31. Besides the $300,000 GIII Houston Ladies Classic S. and $200,000 GIII John B. Connally Turf Cup S., the fixture also featured the $200,000 Texas Turf Mil S., $100,000 Pulse Power Turf Sprint S., the $75,000 Stonerside Sprint S. and the $75,000 Jersey Lilly Turf S. A record total of $5.3 million was wagered at the Houston-area track.

“We are thrilled with the success of this year’s Houston Racing Festival and setting a record handle of $5.3 million,” said Frank Hopf, Senior Director of Racing. “It was a team effort from everyone at Sam Houston and our thanks go out to all the horsemen and owners for supporting our meet. This would not be possible without our horseplayers, both here in Texas and nationally. It was a great day.”

Desormeaux Returns to Action After Rehab

Kent DesormeauxBenoit

By Dan Ross

When racing returns to Santa Anita Dec. 26, it does so in a blitzkrieg of high-octane firepower, with races like the GI Malibu S., GI La Brea S. and GI American Oaks luring headline grabbers from across the country.

As things go, race three on the card–a $16,000 claimer–is a far less exulted companion to its starrier cousins. But the race contains its own prodigal return…that of Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux after a hiatus from the saddle. Still, it’s just the sort of low-key call to arms the jockey is looking for.

“It’s not something you get control of and go tell the world about your accomplishment,” said Desormeaux, of his newly established sobriety after a tumultuous six-month period culminating from decades of struggle.

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Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act Passes Senate

By Bill Finley

Included in a year-end government funding bill that included a $900-billion COVID-19 relief package, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act was passed by the House of Representatives and Congress Monday night. The bill is expected to be signed into law shortly by President Donald J. Trump, which would mean that the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, once considered a longshot to pass, will become a reality.

The passage of the bill was a a bipartisan effort led by Congressmen Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Andy Barr (R-KY) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

“Kentucky’s cherished horseracing traditions deserve to be protected. I’m proud the Senate agreed to my legislation to preserve our signature racing industry and the 24,000 workers who support it,” McConnell said in a statement. “With the leadership of Congressman Andy Barr and the partnership of sport leaders, horse advocates, and fans, we’re one step closer to promoting fairness and safety across Thoroughbred racing. As Majority Leader, I made this Kentucky-focused legislation a top priority in the Senate. I look forward to this major advancement for our beloved sport becoming law.”

 

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Battered By Hurricane Laura, Delta Downs Is Back in Business

By Bill Finley

Take a quick glance at the opening day card at Delta Downs and it might seem like nothing has changed. The fields for Tuesday’s races are full, perennial leading trainer Karl Broberg has seven entered and the feature is a $60,000 stakes for Louisiana-breds that has attracted horses from the stables of Tom Amoss and Steve Asmussen.

But this will be a meet unlike any other at the track that sits just a few miles east of the Texas-Louisiana border. Delta Downs was directly in the path of Hurricane Laura, a Category 4 storm with winds reaching 150 miles per hour that all but tore the place apart when it hit land on Aug. 27. Since then, there’s been a full-court press to get the track ready for a delayed opening day of a meet that will be conducted during the day.

 

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Tom’s Ready Arrives at Old Friends

Tom’s Ready | Coady

Tom’s Ready (More Than Ready), a three-time graded-stakes winner around one turn, has been added to the roster at Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Georgetown, Kentucky.

The 7-year-old, trained by Dallas Stewart for Gayle and Tom Benson’s GMB Racing, was runner-up in the GIII Lecomte S. and GII Louisiana Derby in 2015, but cut back to one turn to win the GII Woody Stephens S. over seven furlongs and the GIII Ack Ack S. going a mile that season. Winner of the GIII Bold Ruler H. in 2016, the Pennsylvania-bred originally entered stud at Spendthrift and was later relocated to Red River Farms in Louisiana.

“It gives us great pleasure to have our wonderful Tom’s Ready retire to Old Friends,” Gayle Benson said. “He was our first purchase, he is a Grade II winner, and he raced in the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders’ Cup, so we are very proud of him and he is deserving of the great care that Old Friends will provide.”

Coteau Grove Goes To $500K for Contributing at KEENOV

Continuing with their high level of activity at the Keeneland November Sale, Louisiana-based Coteau Grove Farms went to $500,000 to acquire hip 958, the 6-year-old Contributing (Medaglia d’Oro–Taegu, by Halo) from the Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales consignment. Cary Bloodstock’s Andrew Cary signed the winning ticket on behalf of Coteau Grove’s Keith and Ginger Myers. Campaigned by Heider Family Stable, Contributing won four of 15 career starts, including the 2019 Pan Zareta S. while under the care of Brad Cox, and bankrolled $150,225. She was bought back on a bid of $260,000 at last year’s November sale and was put in foal to Speightstown for her first cover. Contributing is a half-sister to Grade II-winning juvenile filly Classic Elegance (Carson City) and to El Fasto (El Prado {Ire}), the dam of GI Kentucky Oaks winner Believe You Can (Proud Citizen). The resulting foal will be bred on the same cross responsible for Grade I winners Rock Fall and Competitionofideas and Grade III winner Strike Power. Coteau Grove has acquired nine head for gross receipts of $2.88 million at Keeneland November thus far.

Horologist to Supplement to Breeders’ Cup, Will Race in 2021

Horologist | Susie Raisher

By Bill Finley

The New Jersey-bred star Horologist (Gemologist) will be supplemented to the GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff at a cost of $160,000, her co-owner Cameron Beatty confirmed Wednesday.

The decision came after her owners participated in a conference call Monday, at which time they also decided to bring her back for another campaign next year at age five. Horologist is cataloged to sell as hip 29 through Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, at next month’s Keeneland November sale.

The decisions came after Horologist scored the biggest win of her career Sunday at Belmont in the GII Beldame S. Taking on a group of challengers that included Grade I winner Dunbar Road (Quality Road), Horologist scored a surprisingly easy three-length win as the longest shot on the board at 7-1. After struggling for much of the year, Horologist has won two of three starts since being turned over to trainer Bill Mott.

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Fair Grounds Must Pay Record Fine in Clean Water Act Settlement

By T. D. Thornton

In an attempt to resolve years of federal Clean Water Act (CWA) violations at its Fair Grounds racetrack in New Orleans, Churchill Downs Louisiana Horseracing Company, LLC, has agreed to pay a $2.7 million penalty–the largest civil fine ever paid by a concentrated animal feeding operation in a CWA matter.

Under the terms of the settlement announced Sept. 29 by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), the limited liability company that runs Fair Grounds must also implement $5.6 million in operational changes and construction projects to eliminate the unauthorized discharges of manure, urine, and wastewater from the track’s stable area.

 

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