Texas Racing’s Future Remains Uncertain; Several Stakeholders Hoping To ‘Find A Way To Participate With HISA’

by Paulick Report Staff

Sam Houston Race Park in Houston, Texas

With simulcasting unavailable due to ongoing disputes with the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority, Sam Houston Race Park saw total handle down nearly 93 percent this year, from over $101 million in 2022 to about $6.39 million in 2023, reports the Thoroughbred Daily News.

Purse levels have remained fairly steady, thanks to a state sales tax on equine products, but several Texas stakeholders shared their concerns with the TDN for the industry’s future.

“We have some serious concerns about the direction that Texas Thoroughbred racing is headed given the resistance to participate with HISA,” Jeff Hooper, chairman and CEO of Texas’ Highlander Training Center, told TDN. “We’re certainly not saying HISA is 100% hitting on all cylinders. [But] we feel that it is in Texas’s long-term best interests to find a way to participate with HISA.”


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Texas Casino Legislation Gives Licensing Edge To Racetracks

Texas State Rep. Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth) on Friday filed House Joint Resolution 97 that would authorize casino gaming at seven destination resorts across the state and require license applicants be limited to racetrack associations or designees of those associations.

The legislation seeks to amend the Texas Constitution and give Texans the opportunity to vote on the issue this November. State Sen. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston) previously filed a similar resolution in the Senate.

If passed and approved in a statewide vote, the casinos would be regulated by a newly created Texas Gaming Commission. Geren projects the casinos would create tens of thousands of jobs, billions of dollars in economic development through tourism, and billions more in tax revenue to state and local governments.


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Too Much Bling Filly Tops Record-Setting Texas Summer Yearling Sale

(Austin, TX) – A Texas-bred filly by Too Much Bling led the way at the 2022 Texas Summer Yearling Sale, topping the sale when the hammer dropped at $100,000.

Hip 19. Olivia Friesen photo.

Cataloged as hip 19, the grey filly, out of the Action This Day mare Soft Music, is a full sister to 2016 Champion Texas-bred Two-Year-Old Filly Bling on the Music. Mansfield Racing signed the ticket on the filly out of the Highlander Training Center consignment. Hip 60, a Louisiana-bred colt by Take Charge Indy, was the top selling colt at $90,000. The colt, out of the stakes-winning Half Ours mare All Woman, was purchased by Mansfield Racing from the Clear Creek Stud consignment.

“We’re obviously thrilled that a Texas-bred by one of our state’s most influential stallions led the sale,” TTA Director Foster Bridewell said. “She was a beautiful filly and the full sister went through this same sales ring before going on to become a Texas champion. We’re thankful to breeder Danele Durham and Highlander Training Center for allowing us the opportunity to offer her here.”

The 2022 Texas Summer Yearling Sale set records for TTA Sales. One-hundred-sixty-one horses sold for $3.41M in total sales, up from $3.2M last year. The average price was $21,186, up from the $18,246 average price in 2021. The median price was $14,500 this year, up from $10,000 last year.

“We can’t thank our breeders, owners, consignors, and buyers enough for such a great sale,” Bridewell said. “The record results are an indication of the strength of the industry in this region right now and a testament to the hard work a lot of people put in to prepare these yearlings for this year.”

For full results, visit www.TTAsales.com. 

HISA Faces New Legal Challenge in Texas

Lawsuit says the authority’s enforcement systems are unconstitutional.


A lawsuit filed on July 29 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas challenges the authority of the Horseracing Integrity & Safety Authority.

The suit was brought by Lone Star Park owner Global Gaming, the owner of a Texas greyhound track seeking approvals to run horse races, and two entities trying to develop racetracks for horses in Texas. The suit and a motion for preliminary injunction motion argue that members of the HISA board of directors should have been appointed by the President on the advice and consent of the Senate, and that the Authority is unconstitutionally structured because the President cannot superintend the authority’s execution of laws.


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TTA Addresses HISA Questions Regarding Racing, Wagering, and Sales in Texas


HISA Questions Regarding Racing, Wagering, and Sales in Texas

To All Owners/Trainers/Breeders/Consignors:
As of July 1st, HISA plans to implement their rules and regulations in this country, about which we’ve received several calls and e-mails related to potential impact to racing and sales in Texas.
Beginning July 1, Lone Star Park will cease exporting their simulcast signal through the end of the current Thoroughbred meet, so HISA authority will not apply. This is per action this week by the Texas Racing Commission’s Executive Director. On July 1, you CAN STILL wager on Texas horse racing in Texas -AND- you will still be able to wager on horse racing from other parts of the country at a Texas racing facility.
For our August 2022 Yearling Sale, there is no HISA impact whatsoever on our sale or for our consignors. Neither sales horses nor persons working or attending the sales need to be registered with HISA.
We’ve also had contact from some of our Two-Year-Old Sales Consignors. We’ve been told by HISA officials that two-year-old sales horses and those working or attending those sales are NOT considered “covered” under HISA rules. Therefore, we’ve been told there is no need to register.
As of today, this is what we’ve been told relating to sales. The racing at Lone Star Park’s 2022 Thoroughbred meet will continue through the scheduled end of the meet and on track/in-state wagering will continue.

Texas Racing Commission Threatens To Shut Down Racing Over HISA Oversight

by Ray Paulick


The Texas Racing Commission has said pari-mutuel wagering will not be conducted at Texas racetracks on live or simulcast wagering if the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority asserts control over regulatory supervision on July 1, 2022, as scheduled.

The Paulick Report obtained a copy of a May 20 letter to HISA chief executive officer Lisa Lazarus from Amy F. Cook, executive director of the Texas Racing Commission, in which Cook asked to be provided “specific dates, races, and horses that the Authority intends to regulate … within the jurisdiction of Texas.”

Cook cited the Texas Racing Act in stating that “no pari-mutuel wagering is permitted for live or simulcast export wagering for races our Commission does not supervise. Accordingly, there will be no such pari-mutuel wagering or simulcast wagering in Texas on those dates which the Authority asserts jurisdiction.”


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TTA Reminds Texas Breeders of May 31st Accreditation Deadline

The deadline for accrediting Texas-foaled yearlings (foals of 2021) at the TTA Member rate of $75 is a postmark, fax or email date of May 31, 2022. The non-member fee to accredit foals of 2021 is $125. Membership packages begin at $60 for a full year. If you are not a TTA member or your membership has expired, you may pay the $60 to become a current member and then pay the $75 accreditation fee. If you are not sure of your membership status, call the TTA office.
Please submit a completed application along with the appropriate fee. TTA will apply a virtual Accredited Texas-Bred stamp to your digital Jockey Club certificate once the foal’s registration is complete.
Applications after the May 31 deadline will require an accreditation fee of $200 (members) or $250 (non-members).
NOTE: A yearling nominated to the Texas Stallion Stakes Series has not necessarily been accredited. To verify accreditation status, contact the TTA office.
Thank you!
Dominique Oxner
Racing/Accreditation Manager
Texas Thoroughbred Association
192 Cimarron Park Loop, Suite A
Buda, TX 78610
Phone: 512-458-6133
Fax: 512-453-5919


The Texas Thoroughbred Association and Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie have announced that the 2022 Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale will be held on Wednesday, April 6, at the Dallas-area racetrack. The breeze show will be held Monday, April 4.


The 2022 Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale comes on the heels of the strong 2021 Texas Summer Yearling Sale. That sale saw an increase in the number of horses cataloged and sold, as well as a positive jump in the average and median sale prices.


“Based on what we saw with the Texas Summer Yearling Sale, I think there’s a lot of anticipation for the upcoming Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale in April,” TTA Sales Director Foster Bridewell said. “I think we’re uniquely positioned in the 2-year-old sales landscape to provide a quality sale for our owners, trainers, and breeders and still attract out of region buyers and sellers.”


The sale will be held about three weeks before Lone Star Park kicks off its 2022 Thoroughbred meet with 48 days of racing starting on April 28th. As usual, the Texas Thoroughbred Association Futurity, for TTA Sales graduates and Accredited Texas-breds made eligible through consignor or buyer berths, will be held on closing weekend at Lone Star with two divisions, each at $150,000 guaranteed.


Graduates of the Texas Yearling or 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale will also be eligible for the new Texas Thoroughbred Association Derby and Oaks for 3-year-olds. Both will be held at Sam Houston Race Park in 2023.


“The expanded stakes program for Texas Thoroughbred Association sales graduates certainly gives buyers something extra to think about when they’re bidding on horses,” Bridewell said. “Our graduates have had success in the Texas Thoroughbred Association Futurity, and that’s carried over in other stakes races around the country, including the first, second, and third place finishers in this year’s Clever Trevor Stakes at Remington Park.”


“Also, thanks to the passage of HB 2460 in 2019, the Texas horse industry benefits from the infusion of $25 million per year, increasing purses and Accredited Texas-bred incentive awards,” Bridewell added. “It really does pay to breed, sell and race in Texas.”


The Entry Deadline for the Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale is January 17, 2022, and consignment forms are now available at www.ttasales.com.

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!
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.
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.
To view the interactive sale catalogue or get more information about the sale, go to www.ttasales.com.