News and Media
Weighing In with Martha Claussen
September 26, 2012 – Texas Tidings
Live racing will return to Sam Houston Race Park on January 18, 2013, but stay in touch with timely industry news and updates on the top Texas horses, trainers, jockeys and breeders in this bi-monthly posting by Martha Claussen.
Let Texans Decide Legislative Mission Launched
The Texas legislature will convene in 2013, and once again, Sam Houston Race Park and each of the Texas tracks are hopeful that gaming legislation will receive strong consideration. Texas is surrounded by states (Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma) that have slot machines and casino gaming which significantly boost the economy and offer greater purses for racing.
Sam Houston Race Park is solidly behind Let Texans Decide! The campaign is a coalition of state business leaders, horsemen, community organizations, and Texas citizens committed to passing legislation at the Texas Capitol that will put expanded gaming on the ballot for the voters of Texas to decide. The mission is to press state leaders to pass legislation outlining a responsible, conservative plan for gaming and provide citizens the opportunity to vote on where Texas dollars get spent.
It is a frustrating reality that billions of Texans’ dollars – $1 billion to Oklahoma alone each year – are creating jobs and paying for healthcare, schools, and more in Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Texas breeders, trainers, and horsemen are also forced to leave Texas to work and race in our neighboring states for bigger purses
Trainer Danny Pish has been one of the leading Thoroughbred trainers in Texas since 1995. He resides in Cibolo, Texas, and has won 3 leading trainer titles at Sam Houston Race Park, 12 at Retama Park and added his first title at Lone Star Park in July. In his first decade operating a stable, he was able to make a living on the Texas circuit, occasionally shipping out of state for a key stakes race. In recent years, Pish, 46, has had to expand his stable to Oklahoma and Louisiana to stay solvent.
For the past ten years, Pish and many Texas horsemen have done their part to inform legislators that expanding gaming will benefit the economy and education as well as the racing industry. He feels strongly that the voters should have the opportunity to decide and encourages racing fans to get involved.
"Of course I agree that Texans should have the right to decide," said the Texas-born conditioner. "It's what should be done, and surveys throughout the years have indicated that Texans would vote for it if it were on the ballot. Horsemen have wholeheartedly agreed with that and hope that the people of Texas can have a voice in 2013."
Racing fans can get involved by writing letters to their legislators or simply signing an online petition. To learn more, visit Let Texans Decide!
Connally Turf Cup Winner Scrappy Roo Still Winning Races
Scrappy Roo, the Texas-bred turf warrior who was the upset winner in the 2008 Grade 3, Connally Turf Cup at Sam Houston Race Park, continues to rack up the wins!
The 9-year-old son of Roo Art went undefeated in 2008 at Sam Houston Race Park, winning each of his five starts on the Connally turf course, culminating with a victory in the $200,000 Connally Turf Cup. He was voted Horse of the Meeting. Champion Texas-bred, Turf Horse and Champion Colt or Gelding of the Meet.
The win in the Connally was the first graded stake victory for his trainer, John Locke, jockey Paul Nolan and his owner and breeder, Dr. David Taylor, a chiropractor who resides in Oklahoma.
Claimed for $10,000 in April, 2010 by Steve Asmussen, Scrappy Roo continues to prove his affinity for the turf, racking up 11 wins at tracks including Fair Grounds, Lone Star Park and Remington Park. Not just claiming and allowance wins either as the bay gelding won the $50,000 Richard King Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park on January 21 as part of Texas Champions Day weekend.
Scrappy Roo - Coady Photography
Last Saturday, he entered the winner's circle once again at Remington Park getting the nod in a photo finish in a $33,000 allowance/optional claiming feature on the turf. Former Sam Houston Race Park leading rider, Lindey Wade had the call for Asmussen, and guided Scrappy Roo from off the pace to score the victory.
Scrappy Roo has won 22 of 48 career races with 20 of those over turf courses. He has earned $410,509, and is the only Texas-bred winner of the Grade 3, Connally Turf Cup.
"I was blown away by his win at Remington last weekend," said Taylor. "It was an unbelievable finish. There were four of them across the wire, but Scrappy got it done. He's almost 10, but still keeps winning."
Big Day of Racing This Sunday at Remington Park
Remington Park, in Oklahoma City, will host one of their marquee racing events on Sunday afternoon. The stakes filled day gets underway at 1:30 p.m. (CT) highlighted by the 24th-running of the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby.
The draw for the Oklahoma Derby will take place on Thursday morning, but several top 3-year-olds are already at Remington Park preparing for the nine-furlong main track event.
Trainer Steve Asmussen has shipped in Daddy Nose Best, who won the Grade 3, $200,000El Camino Real Derby in February followedby the Grade3, $800,000 Sunland Park Derby in March.The son of Scat Daddy finished 10th the 2012Kentuck yDerby.Asmussen is alsoexpected to saddle Master Rick, winner of the $100,000 Northern Spur Stakes at Oaklawn Park in April. Anothervery capablerunner is WillyBeamin from the barn ofRichard Dutrow. He has won six of his seven starts in 2012, includingback-to-back stakes at Saratoga with just 72 hours between his victory in the $150,000 Albany Stakes and his seven furlong score in the Grade 1, $500,000 King’s Bishop Stakes at seven furlongs on August 25.
In addition to the Oklahoma Derby, Remington Park will present the $250,000 Remington Park Oaks, the $200,000 Remington Park Sprint Cup, the $125,000 Remington Green Stakes and the $50,000 Ladies on the Lawn Stakes with total purses for the Sunday card to top $1 Million.
Watch and wager on the Remington Park card at Sam Houston Race Park.
Santa Anita Meet Begins On Friday, September 28
Racing fans will certainly be following the action at Santa Anita when their 2012 Autumn meet gets underway on Friday, September 28. The southern California track will host a 24-day Thoroughbred season prior to hosting the 29th Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships on November 2 and 3. The premier North American racing event features 15 stakes with purses of $26 million, highlighted by the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic.
Friday's opening day festivities include the running of the inaugural Grade 3, $100,000 Eddie D Stakes on the Camino Real Turf Course. The stakes is named in honor of jockey Eddie Delahoussaye, who was one of the nation's premier riders from 1968 -2003. The Louisiana native won the 1982 and 1983 Kentucky Derby and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003.
For a complete listing of all the Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing stakes as well as track opening days, visit shrp.com.
Cold Cash 123 Retains His Top Ranking in Quarter Horse Racing
Top-ranked Cold Cash 123 coasted to a handy score Sunday in the$100,000 Go Man Go Handicap (G1) at Los Alamitos and was made the unanimous choice as the No. 1 older horse in the land in this week’s AQHA Racing-Horseplayernow.comNational Top-10 Poll.
The intrepid 4-year-old gelding was named 2011 AQHA world champion, and is continuing his 2012 campaign in stellar fashion. The son of Oak Tree Special, owned by Carolyn Bay and trained by "Sleepy" Gilbreath, is undefeated this year, winning the Grade 1 Leo Stakes and Grade 1 Remington Park Invitational Championship at Remington Park. The long term goal is a victory in the Grade 1, $750,000 Champion of Champions on Saturday, December 15 at Los Alamitos, and his impressive score in Sunday's Go Man Go proved that he can adjust to any racetrack in North America.
Regular rider Roy Baldillez was in the irons as Cold Cash 123 captured the 400-yard Go Man Go in :19.511. He was won 12 of his 17 career starts and amassed a bankroll of $1,240,281.
For more information on the AQHA Top 10 poll, log onto aqha.com.
Cold Cash 123 - Photo Credit: Scott Martinez