Texas Commission Approves 42-Day Lone Star 2021 Season

The Texas Thoroughbred Association sought a longer meet from Lone Star Park.

During a teleconference meeting Sept. 29, the Texas Racing Commission approved a schedule for 2021 race dates in which Sam Houston Race Park and Lone Star Park will be the only tracks to run Thoroughbred meets in the state. The state’s other major track, Retama Park, will run exclusively Quarter Horses next year.

Because Retama Park agreed to transfer some of its Thoroughbred purse money, Sam Houston extended its application and was approved for seven more days than what it had originally planned. The track will now run a 46-day Thoroughbred meet from Jan. 8-April 3 before Thoroughbred racing in the state shifts to Lone Star Park for a 42-day race meet from Apr. 16-July 18. Both Sam Houston and Lone Star will also run shorter Quarter Horse meets.

The 42-day meet by Lone Star is a reduction of approximately seven race days from historical averages since 2012, Mary Ruyle, executive director of the Texas Thoroughbred Association, told commissioners before their vote, while opposing the shorter schedule.

 

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American Racehorse Magazine to Resume Printing with Stallion Register Issue

American Racehorse magazine will resume publishing later this year starting with the Stallion Register issue in December. Just like in past years, the Stallion Register will be mailed to every member of the Texas Thoroughbred Association, as well as many other state breeder associations in the Southwest and Midwest. The advertising deadline is October 12!
For more information, contact Denis Blake at info@americanracehorse.com or 512-695-4541
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Texas Summer Yearling and Horses of Racing Age Sale Posts Big Gain in Gross as Average and Median Trend Up

The Texas Summer Yearling and Horses of Racing Age Sale, held jointly by the Texas Thoroughbred Association and Lone Star Park, posted a big gain in gross sales on Monday. The average and median also increased compared to last year, even with a much larger catalog on tap this year. The sale was held in the sales pavilion at Lone Star with appropriate safety measures in place, and online bidding was offered for the first time at the Texas sale.  

For the yearling session, 106 head from 137 offered sold for a total of $1,347,700, compared to 42 of 65 sold last year for $506,000. That represents a 166.34% increase in gross sales. The average this year was $12,714, up 5.5% from last year’s $12,048, and the median rose to $5,100 from $5,000 for an increase of 2%. The buyback rate this year was 22.6% compared to 35.3% last year. 

The format was altered this year to include a horses of racing age session, in part because of the cancellation of the 2-year-olds in training sale earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The session had 15 horses sell from 18 offered for a total of $162,500 and an average of $10,833.  

Last year’s summer auction had a traditional mixed session with 12 sold for $31,100. 

“The results of this sale were strong on their own, and especially against the backdrop of a health pandemic,” said Tim Boyce, sales director. “With twice as many yearlings as last year, the fact that our average and median still went up shows that there’s a lot of demand in this region for quality stock. We were pleased with the response to online bidding as well.”  

Al Pike, agent, bought the three highest priced horses, topped by hip 218, a Louisiana-bred colt from the first crop of Grade 1 winner Klimt. Consigned by Eaton Sales, agent for Coteau Grove Farms LLC, the January foal is the first out of the unraced Ghostzapper mare Ms. Character and sold for $120,000. 

Pike also signed the ticket on the hip 203, who sold for $100,000 as the top filly and second-highest overall. Consigned by H & E Ranch, Roger Daly, agent, the Kentucky-bred daughter is also from the first crop of a Grade 1 winner in Classic Empire. She is out of Just Like Pop, by Unbridled’s Song, whose only foal to race is a multiple winner.  

Pike also got the third-highest price from H & E Ranch and Daly with hip 243, a Kentucky-bred Lemon Drop Kid colt for $70,000. 

From the horses of racing age session, the top price was hip 16, an unraced 2-year-old filly by Twirling Candy. Martin Racing Stable LLC bought her for $27,000 from Eaton Sales, agent.  

Eaton Sales, agent, participating in the Texas sale for the first time, topped the list of consignors with gross sales of $454,800 from 28 sold. Roger Daly, agent, had the top average with eight sold for an average of $31,800.

 

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

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Racing Resumes at Lone Star Park

The track has raised purses and added racing Aug. 5 and Aug. 12, per the TTA.

 

Lone Star Park, which suspended racing after the first race July 5 when officials were notified an employee involved in operations tested positive for COVID-19, resumed July 19, according to a statement from Kym Koch Thompson, a track spokesperson.

Texas has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been more than 310,000 confirmed cases in state and in excess of 3,700 deaths.

The track has carded four stakes July 22 that were delayed as a result of its suspension of racing.

According to the Texas Thoroughbred Association, Lone Star has increased purses 18%, effective with its reopening Sunday. The TTA-announced increase is not reflected in the purses listed on the track’s drawn races through July 22. Maiden special weight races are shown carrying a purse $34,000, for example, as they were earlier this meet.

The TTA also states that the track will add two additional race days: Aug. 5 and Aug. 12.

Both divisions of the $100,000-estimated Texas Thoroughbred Futurity have been rescheduled for Aug. 11, but the second legs of the Texas Stallion Series have been canceled due to “necessary changes to the race schedule,” the TTA wrote on its website. The TTA said the hope is to run those races in January at Sam Houston Race Park.

Lone Star began a COVID-19-delayed meet May 22 that had originally been scheduled to end Aug. 11.

 

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TTA Cancels Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet, Extends Membership Promotion

The Texas Thoroughbred Association has announced that its 2020 Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet will not be held this year. The event was originally scheduled for March at Sam Houston Race Park but could not be held then due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it was ultimately decided to cancel it for this year. The awards video honoring the 2019 Texas Champions was unveiled earlier this month on the TTA’s Facebook page (click here to view the video), and all award winners will have their trophies shipped to them. Any TTA members who previously registered for the event will have those fees refunded.
“As much as we wanted to hold our annual meeting and awards banquet this year, it simply was not feasible,” said Mary Ruyle, the TTA’s executive director. “We do intend to bring back the event in 2021 and will be looking at how we might be able to honor the 2019 and 2020 Texas Champions then.”
The TTA also announced that it has extended its “Texas Trifecta” membership promotion through the end of 2020. Originally scheduled to end on June 30, the promotion allows new and renewing TTA members to get a free year of membership when they buy two years. Additionally, $20 from each membership will be donated to a Thoroughbred aftercare organization of the member’s choice among LOPE Texas, Remember Me Rescue or The Paddock Foundation.
More information on the membership promotion is available by clicking here.
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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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