Lone Star Park Postpones Stakes, Hopes to Reopen in May

Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, informed horsemen April 16 in a letter distributed on social media by the Texas Thoroughbred Association that “we still hope to be able to open the stable area and race meet sometime in May.”

Its spring/summer meet, which was to begin Thursday, has been indefinitely delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The season runs through July 19.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has expressed a desire for a gradual reopening of the state following restrictions issued to slow the spread of the virus.

Nearly 17,000 Texans have tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in more than 400 deaths. Dallas County, where Lone Star Park is located, has more than 2,000 cases and 50 deaths from the virus.

Both the Bluebonnet Stakes, which had been set for opening day at Lone Star Park, and the Steve Sexton Mile Stakes (G3), originally planned for April 26, have been postponed and will be rescheduled “after we have a better idea of when opening day will be,” said the Lone Star letter attributed to the track’s racing department.

There has been no Thoroughbred racing in Texas since Sam Houston Race Park in Houston concluded its meet prematurely after racing concluded March 21 and after conducting racing for approximately a week without spectators. Sam Houston also canceled its entire Quarter Horse meet.

The TTA reported that due to the reduction in simulcast and on-track wagering, recent incentive awards for breeders, owners, and stallions were lower than usual.

Texas is one of a select number of states in which online betting for horse racing is prohibited by state law.

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Consignor Incentive Program Announced for Texas Summer Yearling and Horses of Racing Age Sale

(Austin, Texas – April 16, 2020) – The Texas Thoroughbred Association is pleased to announce a consignor incentive program for the August 24 Texas Summer Yearling and Horses of Racing Age Sale at Lone Star Park. Thanks to the passage of H.B. 2463, which injects up to $25 million annually into the Texas horse industry, funds are available to rebate up to half of the $400 consignment fee for all horses passing through the ring, including horses not bred in Texas. Entries are due by June 15.

 

A similar incentive was previously announced for the Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale. That auction was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and all consignment fees were refunded. Instead of a live auction, horses entered in that sale are currently being showcased on the TTA Sales website with potential buyers being able to connect directly with consignors to negotiate private sales with no additional fees.

 

The Texas Summer Yearling Sale has traditionally included a mixed session for broodmares and weanlings, but for this year’s auction only, that format will change to a horses of racing age session focused on 2-year-olds. If there is sufficient demand, an under tack show may be added prior to the sale.

 

“We know that these are challenging times for horsemen, so in order to adapt to the current situation we rolled over the consignment incentive to this sale and changed the format to give consignors an option for selling 2-year-olds and other horses of racing age,” said Mary Ruyle, executive director of the TTA. “We had a record number of entries for the 2-year-old sale, so we expect to have strong participation in this sale as well. We are truly thankful for all the consignors and buyers that have helped make this such an important sale for the Southwest region.”

 

For more information about the sale, go to www.ttasales.com.

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Texas Summer Yearling Sale Adds Horses of Racing Age Session

(April 8, 2020 – Austin, Texas) – The Texas Thoroughbred Association and Lone Star Park have announced that the upcoming Texas Summer Yearling Sale on August 24 will now include a horses of racing age session in lieu of having broodmares and weanlings. For this year only, the mixed session will only be open to 2-year-olds and older horses of racing age. The change is due to the cancellation of the Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale, which could not be held due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

“After talking to consignors, we found there was strong demand for a horses of racing age session, especially for 2-year-olds,” said Tim Boyce, sales director. “We realize these are unique times for consignors and buyers, so we are working to support them by being flexible with the format of this sale. For any 2-year-olds who have published works, we will include those on the sale website along with any videos that consignors wish to provide. And if we have enough demand for an under tack show, we will work to make that happen prior to the sale.”

 

The entry deadline for the sale is June 15, and consignment contracts are being mailed soon. More information, along with a downloadable consignment contract, is available at www.ttasales.com.

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Texas 2-Year-Old Sale Cancelled, Consignments to be Promoted Online

(March 23, 2020 – Austin, Texas) — The Texas Thoroughbred Association and Lone Star Park have announced that the Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale scheduled for April 3 has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. All entry fees for the sale will be refunded.

 

It was also announced that all horses currently nominated to the Texas Thoroughbred Futurity at Lone Star Park will remain eligible provided the final payment of $350 is made. All horses entered in the 2-year-old sale will be considered to have passed through the sales ring for the purposes of eligibility for the race. Additionally, the April 15 due date for the final payment has been pushed back to May 15. The Texas Thoroughbred Futurity, with a fillies and colts/geldings division for a $100,000-estimated purse apiece, is scheduled for July 12 at Lone Star. The TTA and Lone Star will make a future announcement should a date change be needed.

 

“We are obviously disappointed to cancel this sale, especially with a record number of consignments, but it’s really the only option at this point and postponing the sale simply was not feasible,” said Mary Ruyle, executive director of the Texas Thoroughbred Association. “We are leaving the sale catalogue online and making some enhancements so that potential buyers can view photos and videos submitted by consignors and make contact to negotiate private sales.”

 

In the coming weeks, the TTA will accept photos and videos from consignors to be added to the sale website at www.ttasales.com. The online repository will also be opened to help consignors market their horses. Each consignor’s contact information will be listed so that buyers can make direct contact about a private sale. The TTA will not track or collect commissions on any private sales.

 

“We feel this was probably the best group of horses to be catalogued to this sale in over a decade, so we encourage potential buyers to view the horses being offered,” said Tim Boyce, sales director. “We truly appreciate all the support from consignors, so we are working to make the best of this situation and help buyers and sellers get connected.”

 

The Texas Summer Yearling Sale is set for August 24 at Lone Star and will also include a horses of racing age session.

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Texas Summer Yearling Sale Set for August 24 at Lone Star Park

(Austin, Texas – March 5, 2020) – This year’s Texas Summer Yearling and Mixed Sale has been set for Monday, August 24, at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie. This will mark the fifth renewal of the auction held jointly by the Texas Thoroughbred Association and Lone Star Park. The entry deadline is June 15.

“We have a record number of entries for the Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale on April 3, and we anticipate added interest in this auction thanks to all the positive things going on with Texas racing,” said Mary Ruyle, executive director of the TTA.

Up to $25 million annually is being pumped into the Texas horse industry thanks to legislation passed last year, and purses at the current Sam Houston Race Park meet and upcoming Lone Star Park meet are at their highest levels in many years.

“With the enhanced purses at Texas tracks and added incentives for accredited Texas-breds, the Southwest region has never been stronger,” added Tim Boyce, sales director. “In addition to an added number of horses, we anticipate an increase in quality just like we saw with the consignments for the 2-year-old sale.”

For more information, go to www.ttasales.com.

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Record Number of Entries in Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale, New Incentives Announced

The Texas Thoroughbred Association and Lone Star Park are pleased to announce a record number of consignments to the Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale. A total of 182 head, pending the addition of supplements, have been entered in the sale set for Friday, April 3, at 12 noon at Lone Star. The under tack show will be held Wednesday, April 1, at 10 a.m. at the track.

This year’s head count is up nearly 35 percent from last year’s 135 (including supplements) and more than double the number in the 2016 sale, which was the first held jointly by the TTA and Lone Star.

“We expected to have more entries after the passage of beneficial legislation in Texas last year, but we were a little surprised by just how much interest there’s been from both consignors and buyers,” said Mary Ruyle, executive director of the TTA. “We are excited about the two incentive programs related to this sale and the overall increase in purses in Texas and incentives for Accredited Texas-breds.”

The passage of H.B. 2463 is expected to inject up to $25 million annually into the Texas horse industry, and its effect is already being seen with increased purses in 2020 for the current Sam Houston Race Park meet and upcoming Lone Star meet.

In addition, money generated by H.B. 2463 is being used to provide a rebate of up to one-half of the entry fee to consignors at this sale. Plus, all graduates of this sale will be eligible for a new purse incentive program for all races this year at Texas tracks. The incentive is available for all graduates, regardless of where they were bred.

As always, sale graduates will be eligible for the Texas Thoroughbred Futurity this summer at Lone Star with divisions for fillies and colts/geldings offering purses of $100,000-estimated apiece.

The list of nationally prominent stallions in the sale is far more extensive than in recent years, including Animal Kingdom, Bodemeister, Candy Ride, Fusaichi Pegasus, Goldencents, Kitten’s Joy, Maclean’s Music, Overanalyze, Palace, Tapiture and Uncle Mo.

This year’s catalog includes offspring of many of the Southwest’s leading and emerging stallions, including Astrology, Bradester, Court Vision, Custom for Carlos, Early Flyer, Flat Out, Half Ours and Too Much Bling.

For more information and the online catalog, including photos and videos after the under tack show, go to ttasales.com.

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Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale Moved to April 3

The Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training and Horses of Racing Age Sale will be held April 3, 2020, at Lone Star Park. The date was originally set for March 31 but has been pushed back to better fit with the national sales schedule and with the start of the Lone Star Park Thoroughbred meet. The breeze show will be held April 1. Presented by the Texas Thoroughbred Association and Lone Star Park, the sale will also include a horses of racing age session.

“We’ve already seen some added interest from consignors and potential buyers now that purses are on the upswing in Texas thanks to recent legislation,” said Tim Boyce, sales director. “Sam Houston Race Park has announced a lucrative purse structure for their upcoming meet, and Lone Star Park is also expected to have larger purses this year. I expect there to be added demand for the Texas-breds in this sale now that buyers will have a chance to run for some nice money this summer, including the $100,000-estimated Texas Thoroughbred Futurity in two divisions for sale grads.”

The entry deadline for the sale is January 15, 2020.

 

For more information, go to ttasales.com.

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Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale Set for March 31

The 2020 Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale has been scheduled for Tuesday, March 31, at Lone Star Park. The breeze show will be held at the Dallas-area track on Sunday, March 29. The auction is a joint venture by the Texas Thoroughbred Association and Lone Star Park. 

“Our yearling and mixed sale at Lone Star Park in August had gross sales and average prices both jumping by more than 20 percent, and we expect that momentum to continue into the 2-year-old sale,” said Tim Boyce, sales director. “The Southwest area has been strong for many years, and now with this very important legislation recently passed to boost the industry in Texas the region will get even stronger.” 

Sale graduates will be eligible for the 2020 Texas Thoroughbred Futurity to be run in divisions for fillies and colts/geldings at Lone Star in July. The estimated purse for each division is $100,000. 

“With new legislation passed to enhance purse money at Texas tracks and funds for the Accredited Texas-bred program, there is a lot of optimism for 2020 and beyond,” said Mary Ruyle, executive director of the Texas Thoroughbred Association. “We’ve already noticed an uptick in interest as breeding season approaches, so that bodes well for the future of Texas racing and breeding.”

The entry deadline for the sale is January 15, 2020, and consignment contracts and more information is available at www.ttasales.com.

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Amber Doege Joins TTA as Accreditation Manager and Racing Coordinator

The Texas Thoroughbred Association is pleased to announce the hiring of Amber Doege as Accreditation Manager and Racing Coordinator. Doege is replacing Jennifer Gibbs, who is retiring later this year after 20 years of service at the Lone Star State’s largest breed organization.

Doege, whose father, Glenn, was a longtime trainer based in Texas, brings nearly 20 years of experience in the industry. Her previous positions in horse racing include assistant racing secretary, stakes coordinator, horse identifier, paddock judge, placing judge and claims clerk at tracks around the region such as Retama Park, Lone Star Park, Delta Downs and Fair Grounds. Doege earned a bachelor’s degree at Texas State University with a major in animal science.

Doege’s responsibilities will cover the Accredited Texas-bred program, Clarence Scharbauer Jr. Texas Stallion Stakes and Texas Thoroughbred Futurity as well as the two Thoroughbred sales held jointly by the TTA and Lone Star Park.

“I’m very excited to be joining the TTA team,” said Doege. “I know that I have big shoes to fill but Jennifer has spared no effort to make sure this transition is smooth.”

“I know I speak for countless TTA members in saying that we will miss the knowledge and passion that Jennifer brought to the position for many years, but we are also thrilled to welcome Amber to the team,” said Mary Ruyle, executive director of the TTA. “She brings a wide range of experience in the industry, and she’ll do a great job serving our membership, especially now with an increase in purses and Accredited Texas-bred program funds thanks to the recent passage of legislation.”

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Louisiana Bred Tops Texas Yearling Sale

Texas Yearling Sale Records Big Jumps in Average and Gross

 

The Texas Summer Yearling and Mixed Sale held Monday at Lone Star Park concluded with strong gains in average and gross receipts, signaling that the recent passage of legislation could be having a positive impact on the industry. The sale was sponsored by the Texas Thoroughbred Association and Lone Star Park.

In the yearling session, 42 of 65 head sold for a total of $506,000, which was an increase of 22.1% from last year when 44 of 82 sold for $414,300. This year’s average came in at $12,048, up 28% from last year’s $9,416. The median this year dropped to $5,000 from $7,750. Buybacks at this year’s sale were 35.4% compared to 46.3% last year.

“Even with a smaller catalog this year it’s encouraging that we were able to increase the gross sales along with a big surge in the average,” said Tim Boyce, sales director. “With as much as $25 million annually expected to be added to the Texas racing program thanks to the bill that was passed, that can only do good things for this sale and for the entire Southwest region in the coming years.”

Hip 61, a Louisiana-bred colt by champion Shanghai Bobby, topped the sale with a $115,000 bid from Summer Grove Farm. Consigned by Clear Creek Stud LLC, agent, the March 5 foal is out of the winning Cobra King mare Viva Vega, who has produced eight winners including stakes winners Southern Dude and Viva Vegas. 

viva vega-colt
Hip # 61, Louisiana-bred Shanghai Bobby-Viva Vega colt.

While the sale-topper was bred in Louisiana, the next three highest-priced horses were all Texas-breds by leading Texas stallion Too Much Bling. Tops among the Texas-breds was Hip 42, a colt consigned by Benchmark Training Center, agent, and sold for $60,000 to Anton Kubacak. He is out of the multiple stakes-producing Devil His Due mare Red Thread.

In the mixed portion of the sale, 13 of 17 head sold for a total of $33,100. Show Me the Bling, a winning and Grade 3-placed daughter of Too Much Bling, topped the mixed session, going to CJ Thoroughbred for $14,000. Benchmark Training Center, agent, consigned the 11-year-old broodmare who sold in foal to Alternation.

Next up on the Texas sale calendar is the Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale. It will be held in the spring of 2020 at Lone Star Park with a date to be announced soon.

For complete results, go to www.ttasales.com.

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