House Bill 398 Update: Bill Deferred

House Bill 398 was heard in the House Committee for the Administration of Criminal Justice on Tuesday, May 7. After brief discussion, the bill was voluntarily deferred.

This bill would have repealed the Purse Transfer Law that we passed, with the support of the industry, last year.

Sincere appreciation to those of you who contacted members of the Administration of Criminal Justice Committee asking them to support the Horse Racing Industry by maintaining the ability to transfer Purse Funds. Your involvement makes all of the difference.

Blue Star Racing to Stand Breaking Lucky

Stallion is a half brother to the dam of Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Country House.

Blue Star Racing in Louisiana announced May 7 it will add Breaking Lucky, a graded stakes-winning half brother to the dam of Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) winner Country House, to its stallion roster for 2020. The farm near Scott, La., bought the millionaire son of Lookin At Lucky prior to the Arkansas Derby (G1) from a racing partnership that included West Point Thoroughbreds, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Eric Young, and R. A. Hill Stable. Breaking Lucky has been retired.

“We are so excited because we are adding another graded stakes-winning millionaire to our roster,” said Blue Star Racing owner Dex Comardelle, who started standing multiple grade 1 winner Real Solution  in 2018. He leases the son of Kitten’s Joy  from Calumet Farm. “This is an opportunity for the breeders in our area to tap into a sire line that is red hot in Lookin At Lucky. You also are tapping into a very deep female family as well.”

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TIF: Is North American racing ready to modernize the rules to a more consistent standard?


The stewards correctly applied the rules, as written in Kentucky, when demoting Maximum Security in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.
But would a different set of stewards, perhaps in a different state and with different wording within those rules, have made the same decision? Is it not slightly maddening to think that the rules of racing across North America are different from state to state or province to province?
Imagine if pass interference rules in football or traveling violations in basketball varied depending on the location of the stadium or arena where the game was played. What was pass interference in New Orleans might not be pass interference in Los Angeles.
That is the situation North American racing is faced with, not just when it comes to adjudicating the Kentucky Derby, but every race, every day. Stakeholders do not know what to expect given the variance of the rules.
While North America applies what is known as Category 2 rules – if a horse suffers interference, the interfering horse is placed behind the sufferer of the interference – an alternative is available.
The Category 1 rules philosophy offers a more consistent experience for all involved in racing, while maintaining safety for all participants through an enhanced penalty structure for offending jockeys.
The TIF released “Changing The Rules” in November, and we invite you to revisit the paper, particularly in light of the attention on rules administration following the Derby.
While the full version of this white paper is quite lengthy (at more than 7,000 words), we believe it offers a comprehensive review of a complex situation. Please take the time to read.
“The Kentucky stewards applied the rules of the state appropriately, there should be no question regarding that,” says Thoroughbred Idea Foundation Executive Director Pat Cummings. “However, the Category 1 rules philosophy presents a better alternative, not because they are accepted in every other global jurisdiction, but because they are much easier to understand for all involved and present a more consistent experience to our customers.
“It is a preferable alternative to our current system and implements a proper system of deterrents through an enhanced penalty structure designed to maintain safety of all participants.”

Country Day daughter Break Even wins the G2 Eight Belles Stakes

Undefeated Break Even Romps in the Eight Belles Stakes

Richard Klein’s homebred filly went gate-to-wire to win by 5 1/2 lengths in 1:22.13.


The home team took a runaway victory in the $250,000 Eight Belles Stakes Presented by Derby City Gaming (G2), where the Klein family homebred Break Even won the first graded stakes on the May 3 Churchill Downs card.

“This is a homebred on homebred,” said Richard Klein, who owns the 3-year-old filly’s sire Country Day and raced her dam, Exotic Wager, who tragically had to euthanized earlier this year. “This is emotional because my parents aren’t here to be a part of it, but I went to the cemetery yesterday and told them we were going to have a good weekend, and they would be a part of it. I told them just hold each other’s hands and smile.”

The family bred and raced Break Even’s sire, graded-placed stakes winner Country Day, a son of Speightstown , who was relocated from Crestwood Farm to Peach Lane Farms in Louisiana for this year’s breeding season.

Klein said he and trainer Brad Cox had some reservations about Break Even’s first test at seven furlongs, but they had no concerns about her speed.

“She is a very talented filly that we knew was good from day one. This is as good a sprinter as we have ever had and we’ve had some good ones,” the owner/breeder said.

As expected, Break Even and jockey Shaun Bridgmohan flew out of the gate and had opened up a 2 1/2-length lead ahead of the field of eight other challenges by the opening quarter, which she rocked in :22.08. When she blew through the first half-mile in :44.14, Cox began to worry a bit.

Break Even, now undefeated in four starts, broke her maiden Jan. 1 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots by five lengths. Since then, she won consecutive races by 4 1/2 lengths each, including the listed Purple Martin Stakes at Oaklawn Park.

“The most impressive thing about Break Even is how laid back she is,” Cox said. “A lot of times horses that go that fast are keyed up in the mornings; they pull, pull, pull. Not this filly. She gallops around every morning nice and easy. This filly handled everything well today. She is a very mature filly from a mental standpoint.”

Cox said Break Even won so impressively she will be considered for the June 8 Acorn Stakes (G1) going a mile at Belmont Park. He said they’ll wait to see who comes out of the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) and aims for the stakes on the Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G1) under card.

Break Even is the third black-type winner for Country Day. The others are grade 3 winner Will Call and black-type winner Play On, all of them bred and raced by Klein and trained by Cox.

Country Day is a graded-placed, multiple stakes winner, who banked more than $500,000 when he was retired. To date he has sired 37 winners out of 57 to race. His progeny have earned more than $2.32 million and average $40,721 per runner. He is standing at Peach Lane Farms in Opelousas, Louisiana.

“It is tough standing a stallion, but I hope people will start taking a look at him,” Klein said.


Amoss Gives Public Insider’s View of Kentucky Oaks Winner Serengeti Empress

Even as he watched a race unfold that would lead to the biggest victory of his 30-plus-year training career, Tom Amoss’ attention turned to a more important matter..

Amoss, who saddled Joel Politi’s Serengeti Empress to victory in the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) May 3 at Churchill Downs, took his eye off his frontrunning filly early in the 1 1/8-mile race at Churchill Downs to check on the health of Positive Spirit and her jockey, Manuel Franco, after the pair fell a few steps out of the gate when they clipped heels with Jaywalk.

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Carrol Castille’s Whispering Oaks Co-owns G1 La Troienne winner She’s A Julie

Bradley Thoroughbreds, Whispering Oaks Farm, Team Hanley, Madaket Stables, and Tim and Anna Cambron’s She’s A Julie had her work cut out for her in the stretch of Friday’s Grade 1 La Troienne, but was able to run down the erratically-moving Secret Spice to win by about a half-length on the wire. Ridden by Ricardo Santana for trainer Steve Asmussen and sent off at 5-1 odds, the 4-year-old daughter of Elusive Quality covered 1 1/16 miles on Churchill Downs’ fast main track in 1:43.58.

“I felt this would be the right spot for her,” Asmussen said. “I got extremely nervous with all the rain this morning, with a sloppy track. It seemed like her sloppy track run last season caused the dip. But she’s a Grade I-winning mare and deservedly so. I got concerned going into the second turn, it seemed that she had to wait for traffic a bit. But she showed her heart. She’s a monster physically, and it just shows that time helped her come together.”

Read Paulick Report Article

Two U.S. Senators To Introduce ‘Racehorse Doping Ban Act of 2019’

Ahead of Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) announced that next week they will introduce the Racehorse Doping Ban Act of 2019, which would establish consistent medication rules across the industry and strict doping penalties for horse races already governed by federal law.

“It is past time that Congress stop rewarding the horse racing industry for its inhumane doping violations with sweetheart gambling privileges and millions in casino slots subsidies,” said Udall. “This weekend, shielded from the eyes of fans, horses competing in the Kentucky Derby will be injected with painkillers before being loaded into the starting gate. With racehorse death rates higher than in any other country, the U.S. industry has completely failed to self-regulate its doping and corruption abuses. Legislation to ban doping in horseracing is the meaningful action we need to end the abuse of these iconic animals. Headlines around the country make it clear the future of this sport is in serious doubt, and this may be the last chance for meaningful reform—it’s time for industry leaders to take the blinders off.”

“It’s clear industry leaders are more concerned with their profits than protecting these iconic creatures,” Wyden said. “It’s time for Congress to step in and end the cycle of abuse by banning the cruel practice of doping in horseracing once and for all.”

While horse racing showcases the beauty of an iconic animal, chronic abuse of performance-enhancing drugs is commonplace and undermines the safety and viability of the sport.  Drugged up with painkillers and performance-enhancing substances, racehorses can be pushed beyond their limits, leading to break downs with potentially fatal consequences for horses and jockeys.

Congress considered banning drugs in horse racing in the 1980s but left that decision up to individual states.  As a result, almost every horse is given race-day medication — banned in other countries — and no uniform medication rules or doping penalties exist across the states. A recent New York Times report stated that the U.S. has a racehorse fatality rate that is up to five times greater than in other countries with nearly 10 horses dying a week. The scale of the tragedy was made shockingly clear earlier this year when twenty-three racehorses died in a span of three months at the famous Santa Anita Track in California, prompting the owners to close the track temporarily and consider new reforms.

Under Udall and Wyden’s legislation, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) – which is the official anti-doping body for US Olympic sport – would develop rules for permitted and prohibited substances and create anti-doping education, research, testing and adjudication programs for horse racing.  The bill would also:

  • Put an end to race day medication;
  • Set a harmonized medication policy framework for all races with interstate “simulcast” wagering;
  • Require stiff penalties for cheating, including “one and done” and “three strikes, you’re out” lifetime bans for the worst cases; and
  • Ensure racehorse drug administrations meet veterinary ethics.

Alternative legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives that would not specifically ban the most harmful doping practices but rather create an industry dominated panel to list approved racehorse drugs.

Udall has fought for years to reform the horse racing industry. He and Wyden sponsored similar legislation in 2013, and in 2015, following the failure of the U.S. industry to agree to meaningful reform legislation, Udall and former Representative Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) introduced legislation to eliminate the federal statute that allows most wagering on horse racing to encourage the sport to end doping and crack down on cheaters.

Some members of the horse racing community have voiced strong support for the Racehorse Doping Ban Act of 2019.

“We wholeheartedly support Senator Udall’s Racehorse Doping Ban Act of 2019. It is time for American to join the rest of the world.  Horse racing is a beautiful popular sport in Great Britain, France and Hong Kong. Any type of doping is absolutely prohibited. If our country wants to join the global racing community we must get on board with this no drug policy. More importantly: our country and our horses deserve fair treatment and a fair sport. We would like to honor and commend Senator Udall for working towards this venerable goal,” said George Strawbridge, Jr and Julia Jenkins, owners of Augustin Stable.

“Roy and I have supported the Pitts, Udall Bill since it’s conception. The Racehorse Doping Ban Act of 2019-based on the Senator Udall’s 2013 bill is a well stated, well thought out comprehensive bill. It will save Thoroughbred Horse racing from extinction. It comes at the right time to offer support to the industry in the right way. Giving it guidelines and all-important protection for our beloved racehorses,” said Gretchen Jackson and Roy Jackson, owners of Lael Stables.

Feds Plan to Accept Petitions for 30,000 “Supplemental” H-2B Visas Beginning Wednesday, May 8

Copyright © 2019 American Horse CouncilPermission to pass on the AHC Washington Update to your members, readers, or others is granted on the condition that it is forwarded in its original form or directly linked with the AHC logo and a link to the AHC website.

The American Horse Council is a non-partisan organization based in Washington, DC that works daily to advocate for the social, economic, and legislative interests of the United States equine industry.

May 6, 2019

Feds Plan to Accept Petitions for 30,000 “Supplemental” H-2B Visas Beginning Wednesday, May 8

The American Horse Council (AHC) has received advance notice of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) planned, formal announcement on May 8 to issue 30,000 “surplus” H-2B visas for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019.  As you recall, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019 passed in mid-February authorized federal regulators to effectively double the number of H-2B visas awarded during a given year, which immigration statutes currently cap at 66,000.  In late March, DHS released a notice announcing its intent to release 30,000 H-2B visas above the statutory cap, subject to conditions to be included in an upcoming rule from the agency.  Finally, on Wednesday, May 8, DHS is expected to formally publish its final rule in the Federal Register.  Please see a copy of the below notice distributed to select congressional offices outlining the agency’s next steps:
Starting on the expected date of May 8, 2019, eligible petitioners seeking additional H-2B workers can file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and must submit a supplemental attestation on Form ETA 9142-B-CAA-3 with their petition. Details on eligibility and filing requirements are available in the final rule and on the Increase in H-2B Nonimmigrant Visas for FY 2019 at USCIS.govNote that the rule is expected to be published and effective on May 8, 2019. USCIS will begin accepting petitions after the rule is published.
Below is an excerpt from a formal announcement expected from DHS and the Department of Labor (DOL) regarding the work permits.  Please note that the supplemental visas are restricted to returning workers:Today, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Labor will publish a joint rule making available an additional 30,000 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas for Fiscal Year 2019. These supplemental H-2B visas are available only to returning workers who received an H-2B visa, or were otherwise granted H-2B status, during one of the last three fiscal years (FY 2016, 2017, or 2018), and availability is restricted by prioritizing only those businesses who would suffer irreparable harm without the additional workers.

DHS then pivots to their ongoing pitch to congress to address worker shortage issues through more comprehensive immigration reform:

The DHS continues to urge lawmakers to pursue a long-term legislative fix that both meets employers’ temporary needs while fulfilling the president’s Buy American and Hire American executive order to spur higher wages and employment rates for U.S. workers …. The truth is that Congress is in the best position to establish the appropriate number of H-2B visas that American businesses should be allocated without harming U.S. workers. Therefore, Congress – not DHS – should be responsible for determining whether the annual numerical limitations for H-2B workers set by Congress need to be modified and by how much, and for setting parameters to ensure that enough workers are available to meet employers’ temporary needs throughout the year.

To view a “pre-publication” version of the final rule, please see the following link:  As details unfold related to practical considerations emerging from the final rule, AHC will share information that members might find helpful in moving forward with supplemental work permit petitions.

As a reminder, AHC will be conducting a panel discussion featuring congressional leaders on labor issues on Tuesday, June 11, in Washington, D.C., as part of the association’s annual meeting.   To learn more about guest worker visas and broader immigration policy developments, please contact AHC’s Bryan Brendle at or 202-296-4031.



POWER JET - Equine Sales Derby - 05-04-19 - R08 - EVD - Finish
Power Jet wins the 2019 Equine Sales Derby. Coady Photography.


Equine Sales Derby
Evangeline Downs, 5-4-19, 1 mile
Three-Year-Olds, $75,000

Power Broker–Zada Rae
Breeder: Joseph Adcock
Owner: William T. Reed
Trainer: W. Bret Calhoun
Jockey: Chris R. Rosier

Paynt Battle
Breeder: Fred W. Hertrich III (KY)
Owner: Norman Stables, LLC
Trainer: Lonnie Briley
Jockey: Kerwin D. Clark

Fat Clemenza
Closing Argument–Bronze Abe
Breeder: Chrislin LLC (LA)
Owner: Darrah Wentworth
Trainer: Harvey Lourd, III
Jockey: Ashley Broussard

OPELOUSAS, LA – The $75,000 Equine Sales Derby at Evangeline Downs on Saturday night featured an intense speed duel between the 4-5 favorite, Fat Clemenza, and the 2-1 second choice, Boston Repo. All that did was set things up for a closer and the one that closed the best was Power Jet, who rallied from last in the field of 10 to finish first in a final time of 1:38.96 for the mile over the fast track.

Fat Clemenza and Boston Repo were one-two through the strong early fractions of 23.25 seconds for the quarter-mile and 47.20 for the half. A pair of longshots then made aggressive bids as the field moved on the far turn. Power Jet, sent off at 10-1, and Paynt Battle, sent off at 40-1, attacked the two leaders and as the horses entered the stretch, they had Fat Clemenza surrounded. Power Jet had rallied in the clear four-wide and surged away from Paynt Battle, who encountered slightly more traffic, to record a 2-1/4 length victory.

Power Jet returned $23.20 to win, $11.20 to place and $4.80 to show. Paynt Battle paid $29.60 to place and $9.60 to show, while Fat Clemenza paid $2.60 to show.

Power Jet was bred in Louisiana by Joseph Adcock. He is owned by William T. Reed, trained by Bret Calhoun and ridden to victory by Chris Rosier. Power Jet is a 3-year-old colt by Power Broker and is out of the Unbridled’s Song mare, Zada Rae. He has won twice in nine lifetime starts and the $45,000 first-place purse increases her lifetime earnings to $99,210.

For more information on the Thoroughbred season at Evangeline Downs, visit the track’s website at Evangeline Downs’ Twitter handle is @EVDRacing and the racetrack is also accessible on Facebook at



FORTUNE GOT EVEN - Equine Sales Oaks - 05-03-19 - R06 - EVD - Finish 1
Fortune Got Even wins the 2019 Equine Sales Oaks. Coady Photography.


Equine Sales Oaks
Evangeline Downs, 5-3-19, 1 mile
3-Year-Old Fillies, $75,000

Stephen Got Even – Fortune in Gold
Breeder: Wendell A. Templet
Owner: Ricky Courville
Trainer: Ricky Courville
Jockey: Ashley Broussard

Apriority–Inner Peace
Breeder: 4M Ranch
Owner: Tin Roof Farms LLC
Trainer: Samuel Breaux
Jockey: Diego Saenz

Flat Out Flirty
Flat Out–Flirty Fitz, by Seattle Fitz (ARG)
Breeder: Darlene Wahman & Jeff Wahman (KY)
Owner: DW2 Equine, LLC
Trainer: Ronnie P. Ward
Jockey: Alexander Castillo

OPELOUSAS, LA – The $75,000 Equine Sales Oaks at Evangeline Downs was won by Fortune Got Even, which continued a steady streak of strong performances for her when Ashley Broussard is given the riding assignment. When Broussard is aboard the 3-year-old filly, she has now recorded two wins and two seconds. This victory came by just a neck over Snowball, who challenged her all the way through the stretch. The final time was 1:40.31 for a mile over the fast track.

The early fractions were set by Cohenscollegefund, who took the lead out of the gate and held control through a quarter-mile of 24.22 seconds and a half of 48.77. Meanwhile, Fortune Got Even was sitting in sixth and it was once the field reached the far turn and Broussard swung her four-wide that she made an aggressive run to the lead. She held on through the lane, repelling Snowball to win by a neck. It was 7-3/4 lengths back to a photo for third, which Flat Out Flirty won over Sweet Amelia.

Fortune Got Even was sent off at 5-2 by the betting public and returned $7 to win, $3.40 to place and $2.60 to show. Snowball paid $5.20 to place and $3.40 to show, while Flat Out Flirty returned $5 to show.

Fortune Got Even was bred in Louisiana by Wendell A. Templet. She is owned and trained by Ricky Courville. Fortune Got Even is by Stephen Got Even and is out of the Secret Romeo mare, Fortune In Gold. She has won three of nine lifetime starts and the $45,000 first-place purse increases her lifetime earnings to $110,965.

For more information on the Thoroughbred season at Evangeline Downs, visit the track’s website Evangeline Downs’ Twitter handle is @EVDRacing and the racetrack is also accessible on Facebook at


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