Dollars and Sense: Texas-Sized Returns

 

At last thrown a relatively small bone by state lawmakers two years ago, Texas racing is taking full advantage.

In September 2019 Texas lawmakers approved legislation that would commit an additional $25 million to the state’s horse racing industry, split equally between Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse purses. Texas has made the most of that small investment.

While Texas is surrounded by racing states that boost purses with money from added gaming—Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico—it has found a way forward behind its equine and racing tradition along with a pair of quality tracks in major metropolitan areas built in the 1990s in Lone Star Park, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area; and Sam Houston Race Park, in Houston.

 

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Texas Yearling Sale Updates – Online Bidding Registration Deadline, Help Wanted at Sale

We are looking forward to the August 30 Texas Summer Yearling and Horses of Racing Age Sale at Lone Star Park and wanted to share some important updates!
ONLINE BIDDING REGISTRATION DEADLINE
If you are interested in online bidding on the catalogue of more than 250 head, you must register and submit a credit application by August 23. This deadline applies to new registrations only, so if you have been approved as an online bidder for a previous sale there is no need to register again and your previously established credit limit will still apply. If you are a new bidder, CLICK HERE to register and submit a credit application. Again, the deadline to register and submit a credit application is August 23.
HELP WANTED BY CONSIGNORS AT SALE
Get on the job Thoroughbred sales experience by helping consignors at the sale and get paid! Several consignors will need help for three to four days between August 27-30. You must have Thoroughbred experience, but sale experience is not required. Contact the TTA at 512-458-6133 or maryr@texasthoroughbred.com to make your name available for consignors to contact.
SALE CATALOGUE AVAILABLE ONLINE
To view the interactive sale catalogue or get more information about the sale, go to www.ttasales.com.

More than 120 Horses Consigned to Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale

The catalogue is now available for the Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale with more than 120 head consigned to the auction set for Wednesday, April 7, at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie. The under tack show will be held Monday, April 5, at Lone Star, which co-sponsors the sale with the Texas Thoroughbred Association. 

 

“After being forced to cancel last year’s 2-year-old due to COVID-19, we are very pleased to get back on track this year, especially with the excitement from the increased overnight purses in Texas and the strong stakes schedule coming up at Lone Star Park,” said Tim Boyce, sales director.  

 

First-year sires Klimt, Practical Joke, Lord Nelson, Gormley and Midnight Storm lead a strong stallion list, along with Texas freshman stallions Texas Chrome and Eagle. National and international sire power should be enticing to all buyers with Bernardini, California Chrome, Honor Code, Kitten’s Joy, Maclean’s Music, Malibu Moon and Street Sense among those represented. As usual, offspring of many of the Southwest’s top sires are in the sale, including Bradester, Custom for Carlos, Den’s Legacy, Half Ours, My Golden Song and Star Guitar.  

 

The mailing of catalogues was delayed due to February’s winter weather in Texas, but copies are expected to mail next week. The complete catalogue is now online, and as the sale approaches photos will be posted along with videos following the under tack show. Online bidding will again be available, and interested bidders can register now. 

 

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

Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale Set for April 7, 2021

The Texas Thoroughbred Association and Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie have announced that the 2021 Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale will be held on Wednesday, April 7, at the Dallas-area track. The breeze show will be held Monday, April 5.  

 

The sale will be held about two weeks before Lone Star Park kicks off its expanded Thoroughbred meet with 48 days of racing starting on April 22. The track has announced an enhanced stakes schedule worth more than $2.2 million and the revival of Lone Star Million Day. As usual, the Texas Thoroughbred Sales Futurity, for TTA Sales graduates and those made eligible through a consignor berth, will be held at Lone Star with two divisions at $100,000-estimated apiece.  

 

“With daily purses at Lone Star expected to be around $250,000 and maiden races at $36,000, this sale will offer buyers the chance to get an almost immediate return on their investment,” said Tim Boyce, sales director. “In addition to the Sales Futurity in July, Lone Star will be running two divisions of the Clarence Scharbauer Jr. Texas Stallion Stakes for 2-year-olds in June, so that’s another opportunity for Texas-sired horses.”  

 

The entry deadline for the 2-year-old sale is January 15, 2021, and consignment forms are now available at www.ttasales.com.

Grade 1 Winner and Leading Sire Competitive Edge to Valor Farm in Texas

Competitive Edge, a Grade 1 winner and nationally ranked first- and second-crop sire over the past two years, was purchased by Douglas Scharbauer to stand at Valor Farm in Pilot Point, Texas. The son of Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Super Saver previously stood at Ashford Stud in Kentucky. His 2021 fee will be $5,000.

 

Bred by WinStar Farm LLC and sold for $750,000 as a 2-year-old, Competitive Edge broke his maiden at first asking by more than 10 lengths at Saratoga Race Course. Then in just his second career start, he romped to a 5 ¾-length win in the historic Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes, also at Saratoga.

 

His win streak continued as a 3-year-old, when in consecutive starts he won the Tamarac Stakes at Gulfstream Park and the Grade 3 Pat Day Mile Stakes at Churchill Downs, stopping the timer at 1:34.18. All told, he earned $519,280 on the track.

 

Competitive Edge, who also covered mares in the Southern Hemisphere while with Ashford, was North America’s #6-ranked first-crop sire with more than $1.3 million in progeny earnings in 2019. He is currently ranked among the top 15 second-crop sires, with total progeny earnings of nearly $3.6 million thorough early December. He is represented by 12 stakes horses, including Saratoga stakes winners Fierce Lady and My Italian Rabbi, Grade 2- and Grade 3-placed Reagan’s Edge and Grade 3-placed Edgeway.

Registration Open for Online Bidding on Texas Yearling Sale, Return of Winter Mixed Sale Announced

Registration Open for Online Bidding on Texas Yearling Sale, Return of Winter Mixed Sale Announced 

 

The Texas Thoroughbred Association is pleased to announce that registration is now open for online bidding on the August 24 Texas Summer Yearling and Horses of Racing Age Sale at Lone Star Park. Buyers must register in advance and submit a credit reference form in order to bid online. Registrations are now being accepted at www.ttasales.com. 

 

“We are very excited to offer the option to bid online, and we encourage all interested bidders to register well in advance of the sale,” said Tim Boyce, sales director. “We are also taking all the recommended safety precautions to allow buyers to attend the sale in person at the sales pavilion at Lone Star Park.” 

 

The TTA also announced the return of the Texas Winter Mixed Sale, which will be held December 6, 2020, at Lone Star. This will be the first standalone mixed sale to be held in several years and now gives the TTA three annual auctions as this sale joins the 2-year-old sale in the spring and the yearling sale in the summer.  

 

“Despite the challenges during this health pandemic, Lone Star Park just completed a successful Thoroughbred meet and this upcoming sale attracted double the number of yearlings compared to last year, so we think this is the right time to bring back the Texas Winter Mixed Sale,” said Mary Ruyle, executive director of the TTA. “Purses and breeding incentives in Texas have been boosted significantly thanks to the passage of HB 2463, so we expect there to be a lot of demand for broodmares and racing stock.” 

 

The entry deadline for the Texas Winter Mixed Sale is October 2, and consignment contracts are available at www.ttasales.com.   

Texas Champions to be Honored with Online Video Presentation; Dr. Charles Graham, Bret Calhoun and Jeff Hooper Announced as Award Winners

The 2019 Texas Champion horses and horsemen, which normally would have been honored during the Texas Thoroughbred Association’s annual meeting and awards banquet, will instead be showcased online with a video presentation highlighting their achievements. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the TTA’s annual event in March was postponed.

“We still hope to get our members and award winners together for an event later this year, but due to the uncertainty of whether that will happen we decided to put our awards video online to honor all the winners,” said Mary Ruyle, executive director of the TTA. “We invite TTA members and all horsemen, horsewomen and racing fans to join us on our Facebook page (facebook.com/TexasThoroughbredAssociation) on Sunday, June 14 at 5 p.m. Central to watch the premiere of the video, and it will be available for replay after that. That’s the same day Lone Star Park will present the Texas Champion Day stakes originally scheduled to be held at Sam Houston Race Park, so we are likely to see some future and current champions in action on the track.”

The equine award winners, topped by Texas Horse of the Year Mr Money Bags, were announced in January, but the human award winners are not normally revealed until the awards banquet.

The human award winners for 2019 are three of the most accomplished horsemen in the Lone Star State. There are two recipients of the Allen Bogan Memorial Award, named for the longtime Texas turf writer and formerly known as the TTA Member of the Year.

Noted veterinarian Charles W. Graham earned his second Allen Bogan Award for his efforts to help pass House Bill 2463, which injects up to $25 million annually into the Texas horse industry. Dr. Graham previously earned the TTA’s T.I. “Pops” Harkins Award for lifetime achievement and is a member of the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame, the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame, among many other accolades and awards.

The co-winner of this year’s Bogan Award is longtime industry executive Jeff Hooper. Over a span of decades working in Texas, Hooper has held top positions at the TTA, National Cutting Horse Association and Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie. Like Dr. Graham, Hooper was instrumental in the effort to pass House Bill 2463. Hooper currently works as chairman and CEO of Highlander Training Center in Sulphur Springs, Texas.

The T.I. “Pops” Harkins Award for lifetime achievement goes to native Texan Bret Calhoun. Perennially among the leading trainers both in Texas and nationally, Calhoun has trained two Breeders’ Cup winners, Chamberlain Bridge and Dubai Majesty, both for Texas connections. He’s also had great success with Texas-bred runners over the years, most notably in the colors of Texas’ Valor Farm. All told, Calhoun has trained more than 3,100 winners with earnings of nearly $85 million.

Following is the complete list of the 2019 champion horses:

2-Year-Old Filly: Gee She Sparkles (by Race Day) • Owners: GFB Racing LLC and Danny Pish • Breeder: Inside Move

Co-2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding: Bubba Bling (by Too Much Bling) • Owner: Darren Fleming • Breeder: James Wessel

Co-2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding: Moro Said Ready (by Moro Tap) • Owners: Penn Family Racing and Kevin Clifton • Breeder: Kevin Clifton

3-Year-Old Filly: Ima Discreet Lady (by Discreet Cat) • Owners: Duane Coker and Raymond Todd White • Breeder: Larry Huntsinger

Older Filly/Mare: Shes Our Fastest (by Oratory) • Owners: Mark Norman and Norman Stables LLC • Breeder: Eureka Thoroughbred Farm

Older Horse: Redatory (by Oratory) • Breeder/Owner: James Wessel

Champion Broodmare: Miss Photogenic (by You and I)

Champion Claimer: Smart’s Kingdom (by Sir Smart) • Breeder/Owner: Bradley Martin

Paddock Foundation OTTB of the Year: Tenpin Sugar • Owner: Katherine Deichmann Horse of the Year and 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding: Mr Money Bags (by Silver City) • Owner/Breeder: Roy Cobb

June 15 Deadline Reminder for the Texas Summer Yearling and Horses of Racing Age Sale

Horsemen are reminded that Monday, June 15 is the entry deadline for the Texas Summer Yearling and Horses of Racing Age Sale to be held August 24 at Lone Star Park.
The TTA is pleased to have a consignor incentive program for the sale. 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.
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.
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 and a consignment form, go to www.ttasales.com.

Spectators Permitted At Lone Star Park Starting With Sunday’s Texas Champions Day Program

Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, on Sunday hosts Texas Champions Day featuring seven stakes races celebrating Texas-bred horses, and for the first time this year the grandstand will be open for spectators and for wagering on every live racing day throughout the remainder of the 2020 Thoroughbred racing season. The season, which began on Friday, May 22, without spectators is set to continue, now with spectators, through Wednesday, August 11, pending race date approval by the Texas Racing Commission.

Admission will be free and guests will be able to enter through the East Gate (near the Grandstand Valet Circle) only. All guests will be temperature checked as they approach the gate and asked a brief CDC questionnaire. Face masks are available for guests and everyone is encouraged to wear them. Social distancing guidelines will be implemented.

On live race days, the areas within Lone Star Park’s grandstand will be limited to the 2nd Floor as well as the east apron, east paddock and east side of the 1st Floor. Occupancy is limited to 50% in each respective area. If demand exceeds the occupancy limits, then additional areas of the grandstand may be opened.

Additionally, the 2nd Floor of the grandstand will be made available every Saturday beginning at 10:30 a.m. CT for simulcasting to accommodate overflow from Lone Star Park’s simulcast facility, Bar & Book. The area will open at 9 a.m. CT on Saturday, June 20, for Belmont Stakes Day.

Every day that the grandstand is open concessions and bars with limited offerings will be available as well as programs. Valet parking service has been suspended until further notice. General parking and preferred parking will be free.

Lone Star Park’s remaining Thoroughbred racing season continues through August 11 as follows:

–Every Monday through August 10: Gates Open at Noon/First Race at 1:35 p.m.

–Every Tuesday through August 11: Gates Open at Noon/First Race at 1:35 p.m.

–Every Wednesday through July 29: Gates Open at Noon/First Race at 1:35 p.m.

–Every Sunday* through August 9: Gates Open at 1:00 p.m.

–First Race at 3:05 p.m. Saturday, June 27: Gates Open at 1:00 p.m.: First Race at 3:05 p.m.

  • No racing on June 21.

Dozens Of Texas Horses Dead; Cause Unclear

Dozens of horses have died in Texas and the cause is still unclear. The horses lived in Wichita and surrounding counties. Wichita County Agricultural Extension Agent David Graf is investigating the deaths and thus far has found no definitive cause. Officials are still investigating and hope to gain a better understanding of what happened to the horses.

Graf suggested that kleingrass toxicity may be to blame; though kleingrass is a good grazing forage for livestock, it can damage the liver and cause death in horses, sheep and goats. Kleingrass was found in a bale of hay on a deceased horse’s farm. Two other horses were treated for liver failure. However, samples from other deceased horses showed low toxicity, meaning kleingrass may not be responsible for all of the deaths.

In coming weeks, officials from Texas A&M and the Natural Resources Conservation Service will inspect the fields where the horses had lived in hopes of finding more clues. The investigation is ongoing.

Read more at KFDX-TV.