SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK CONGRATULATES 2008 DRF/NTRA HANDICAPPING CONTEST WINNER NICK TAMMARO
HOUSTON (December 3, 2008)—Sam Houston Race Park (www.shrp.com) would like to congratulate Nick Tammaro, winner of the “Last Chance” Daily Racing Form/National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Contest held at The Park on Saturday, November 29. The win earned Tammaro a berth into the 2008 DRF/ NTRA National Handicapping Championship tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 23 & 24, 2009.
Tammaro, a native Houstonian, has participated in only four handicapping contests and plans to donate 10 % of his earnings from this contest to the Hurricane Ike relief fund. The year-long DRF/NTRA Handicapping contest provided both novice and experienced horseplayers with a fun and inexpensive way to qualify for the finals and rewarded participants who are adept at picking winning horses.
Sam Houston Race Park is Houston’s premier racing and entertainment facility, located 15 minutes from downtown Houston, and offers a variety of attractions including 19 luxury suites overlooking the race track, The Pavilion Centre, and award-winning dining options at the Winner’s Circle Restaurant and Jockey Club. The Park’s newest addition, The Showgrounds, is an all-ages venue that hosts annual Country, Classic Rock and Contemporary concert events throughout the year. For more information on upcoming shows, events and tickets, please visit www.theshowgrounds.com.
SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK ANNOUNCES
HOLIDAY SIMULCAST HOURS
Simulcast Operations Closed For Holiday on December 24 & 25, 2008
HOUSTON (December 4, 2008)—Sam Houston Race Park (www.shrp.com) will close simulcast operations on Wednesday, December 24 and Thursday, December 25 in observance of the Christmas holiday. Simulcast operations will return to regular hours of operation, 10:30 a.m. 2:00 a.m. daily, beginning Friday,December 26. For more information and a complete list of track openings, visit www.shrp.com.
DECEMBER SIMULCAST HIGHLIGHTS
Nominations closed on Friday, November 28, for Delta Downs’ two richest races of the year, the Grade 3 $750,000 Boyd Gaming’s Delta Jackpot Stakes and the Grade 3 $500,000 Boyd Gaming’s Delta Princess Stakes, which will be take place on Friday, December 5.
The Grade 1 $250,000 Hollywood Park Turf Cup is set for 3-year-olds and up running a distance of 1 ½ miles on Saturday, December 6. The Turf Cup often features Thorougbred race horses who previously ran in the Breeders’ Cup as this is one of the last major turf race of the year.
Owned by Dr. Gianni Franco Samaja, John Andreini and Vince Genco, Fantastic Corona Jr posted the fastest qualifying time to the nation’s richest Quarter Horse race of 2008, the Grade 1 $2,038,250 Los Alamitos Futurity on Saturday, December 12.
The Los Alamitos $2 Million Futurity will also include A Tempting Dash, a First Down Dash gelding owned by Ron and Denise VanAmburgh and former major league baseball player Jeremy Giambi and his wife, Naia.
The Grade 1 $1 Million Champion of Champions, the most prestigious race in the nation for older Quarter Horses, will run on Saturday, December 13. The Champion of Champions remains the nation’s richest and most prestigious race for older Quarter Horses and is annually held at Los Alamitos Race Course.
The Grade 1 $750,000 CashCall Futurity, formerly the Hollywood Futurity, has served as a springboard for six Kentucky Derby winners in 27 years, and will run this year on Saturday, December 20. The purse was boosted to $750,000 in 2007 with the sponsorship of CashCall, the consumer loans company founded by prominent owner J. Paul Reddam.
The Grade 1 $250,000 Malibu Stakes is a race for 3-year-old Thoroughbredhorses held each December at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, and attracts some of America's best horses following the Breeders' Cup. The race is a distance of seven furlongs on Pro-Ride synthetic dirt, and is the first leg of Santa Anita Park's Strub Series. This year’s Malibu Stakes will be held on Friday, December 26.
Sam Houston Race Park is Houston’s premier racing and entertainment facility, located 15 minutes from downtown Houston, and offers a variety of attractions including 19 luxury suites overlooking the race track, The Pavilion Centre, and award-winning dining options at the Winner’s Circle Restaurant and Jockey Club. The Park’s newest addition, The Showgrounds, is an all-ages venue that hosts annual Country, Classic Rock and Contemporary concert events throughout the year. For more information on upcoming shows, events and tickets, please visit www.theshowgrounds.com
JOCKEY CLUB OPEN
The Jockey Club is excited to offer Bottomless Mimosas for $5.95. Mimosas are a perfect compliment to Sunday brunch, whether you’re watching racing, football or having a leisurely brunch with your family. Come out and enjoy this new Sunday treat!
LUNCH ♦ FRIDAY, DECEMBER 5 BRUNCH ♦ SATURDAY, DECEMBER 6
BRUNCH ♦ SUNDAY, DECEMBER 7
JOKE OF THE WEEK
♦ OTHER NEWS IN RACING ♦
(As previously printed in Blood-Horse)
Total Handle, Purses Decline in November
Wagering on Thoroughbred races fell almost 10% in November compared with November 2007, Equibase reported Dec. 3 in its monthly “Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators.” Purses dropped more than 2%, but race days increased more than 5%.
Wagering on United States races—worldwide commingled handle and separate-pool handle in Canada—totaled $968,996,614 in November, down 9.7% from $1,073,123,772 a year ago. Purses for November 2008 totaled $83,491,704, down 2.35% from $85,500,574. The number of U.S. race days—live programs at each track—was 465, up 5.68% from 440.
For the first 11 months of 2008, total handle on U.S. races was $12,849,838,581, down 6.17% from $13,694,634,151 from January through November 2007. Purses were down 0.60% to $1,100,021,746, while number of race days was down 0.67% to 5,764.
Monthly declines in handle recently have hovered in the 10% range. Between 2000 and 2007, total U.S. handle has remained above $15 billion; if trends hold, it appears that won’t be the case when 2008 is in the books.
Total handle has increased in nine of the past 11 years. The two years of decline were 2004 and 2005, according statistics from The Jockey Club. The high point came in 2006, when total handle on U.S. races hit $15.94 billion.
The increase in race days is partly attributed to an earlier opening at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in Louisiana.
Veterinarian Stewart States His Case
Suspended equine veterinarian Rodney Stewart testified Dec. 3 that he was unaware that a soft-sided cooler he left in a refrigerator in a barn at Keeneland contained the prohibited substance cobra toxin.
Also, during a day-long hearing of Stewart’s appeal of his five-year suspension by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, the vet said he did not know that a box in the back of his truck contained carbidopa and levodopa, both considered Class A medication under Kentucky racing rules.
Trainer Patrick Biancone, who was suspended for six months and agreed not to seek reinstatement for another six months, recently completed his suspension. Stewart testified that Biancone was unaware of the contents of the cooler. Biancone was suspended under the absolute insurer rule that holds trainers responsible for horses in their care.
Stewart was suspended for four years for possession of three sealed vials of alpha-cobratoxin, or cobra venom, a substance used to kill pain. The substance is a Class A medication under the KHRA Uniform Drug and Medication Classification Schedule. Stewart was additionally suspended for one year for the possession of carbidopa and levodopa, both also Class A medications. Both drugs are used to treat Parkinson's disease in humans. The suspensions will run consecutively. He was also suspended for lesser offenses related to the case, with those suspensions to run concurrent to the longer suspensions.
During the day-long hearing before administrative law judge Robert Layton, Stewart’s attorneys attempted to show that any violations of Kentucky’s medication rules by their client were inadvertent and that there has been no evidence that he used or was attempting to use on horses any of the drugs for which he as suspended. The attorneys, Michael Meuser of Lexington and New York-based Karen Murphy, also questioned whether the barn where the cooler was found is actually on property under the racing commission’s jurisdiction. They also provided evidence to show that Stewart is in compliance with orders from the stewards to produce records in the case and produced veterinary practitioners who supported the therapeutic use of cobra toxin.
Attorney Bob Watt, representing the commission, presented witnesses who cited ways in which horses could be endangered by the administration of cobra toxin. He also reiterated that the cobra toxin and other medications found during the June 22, 2007, search of the barn and vehicle violated state racing regulations.
He also presented witnesses that testified the property where the search took place is considered part of Keeneland that is regulated by the commission.
The hearing, which has been continued until Dec. 9 when some unresolved matters will be heard, included evidence from both sides about procedural and technical aspects of the case.
Bid for 20% Interest in Curlin Rejected
A Kentucky state judge has denied the private bid by majority owner Stonestreet Stables for the minority interest in reigning Horse of the Year Curlin, ordering the pertinent parties to work out their differences on their own.
Franklin County Circuit Judge Roger Crittenden sustained two objections to the proposed sale Dec. 1 during a hearing that was intended to provide arguments against the $4 million offer from Stonestreet, which is headed by prominent horseman Jess Jackson, for a 20% interest in Curlin.
Crittenden effectively told those assembled the court was removing itself from the process of selling the interest controlled by a holding company managed by Shirley Cunningham Jr. and William Gallion, who are the principals behind minority owner Midnight Cry Stables.
The two disbarred attorneys are appealing a previously-ordered $42-million judgment leveled against them for their role in alleged mishandling of the $200-million settlement for their former clients in the class-action litigation involving the diet-drug fen-phen. The proceeds from the sale of the Curlin interest, which were facilitated through a court-appointed receiver managing the attorneys’ company, were ultimately intended to help satisfy that judgment.
“I am ending the process,” Crittenden said from the bench after hearing arguments from several lawyers involved in the proceeding. “What the receiver has received as an offer, as far as what the court can tell, is a fair offer. But both the defendants and the plaintiffs object (and) because of the objections, I am going to deny the receiver’s motion (to approve the sale).”
Curlin, who is North America’s all-time leader in race earnings at $10,501,800, was recently retired by Stonestreet to stand for a $75,000 stud fee at Lane’s End Farm near Versailles, Ky.
Santa Anita Announces Stakes Schedule
A total of 75 stakes, beginning with the $250,000 Malibu Stakes (gr. I) on opening day Dec. 26, will be featured during the 84-day 2008-09 season at Santa Anita Park.
The 72nd winter/spring meet includes the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) on March 7 and the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 4, are the traditional highlights.
Initiated in 2003, the Sunshine Millions will once again be hosted by Santa Anita on Jan. 24. Run at Gulfstream Park in Florida and at Santa Anita, the Sunshine Millions is comprised of eight races worth $3.6 million, making it the richest day of state-bred racing in Thoroughbred history. It matches the best California-bred horses against the best horses bred in Florida. The $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic will be run this year at Gulfstream.
“We feel this is the most comprehensive stakes schedule in the country,” said Rick Hammerle, Santa Anita's racing secretary . “We made some adjustments with some of our 3-year-old races last year and they were very well received. This year, we will once again be offering 10 grade I stakes, which should provide some great racing for everyone.”
Chronologically, Santa Anita’s stakes schedule is virtually the same as that of last year.
“As far as the timing and sequence of our races, we didn’t make any changes,” said Hammerle. “With the Malibu on opening day, and given the fact our Pro-Ride synthetic main track performed so well at Oak Tree, we’re confident we’re going to get off to a good start.”
Grade 1 Winner Precious Kitten Retired
Precious Kitten, who ran second in the Nov. 30 Matriarch Stakes (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park, is off to the breeding shed.
"That was her last race,” said trainer Bobby Frankel.The Jacksons plan to have Precious Kitten bred to Street Cry in 2009. She is scheduled to be sent to Mill Ridge Farm near Lexington.
Five-year-old Precious Kitten won eight races and ran second in 10 others from 25 races and earned $1,912,543. She captured the 2007 Matriarch in what was her last start for former owners Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey.
Bred by the Ramseys, Precious Kitten was purchased by the Jacksons prior to her 2008 campaign and campaigned in the name of their Lael Stables.
Precious Kitten also won last year’s John C. Mabee (gr. IT), Palomar (gr. IIT), and Gallorette (gr. IIIT) Handicaps, the last named in course-record time. She finished third in Eclipse Award balloting in the female turf category.
This year, she captured the Gamely Stakes (gr. IT).
In her penultimate race, Precious Kitten ran fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT).By the Ramseys’ stallion Catienus, Precious Kitten is out of the Lear Fan mare Kitten’s First. Two of her half-sisters are stakes producers, including Justenuffheart, a stakes winner herself and dam of champion Dreaming of Anna and grade II winner Lewis Michael.
Texas Thoroughbred Association Dec. 4, 2008
Please contact your Texas Farm Bureau representative about supporting VLTs
For the first time ever, the Texas Farm Bureau's State Resolutions Committee adopted resolutions in support of VLT legislation that will be beneficial to all disciplines making up the Texas horse industry and stop the exodus of horse operations to other states.
The action of the State Resolutions Committee will be considered at the TFB's upcoming 75th annual convention in Corpus Christi on Sunday, December 7th, or the following day.
Texas Thoroughbred Association members who are also TFB members are strongly encouraged to attend this year's TFB state convention and be prepared to address the general session when resolutions affecting the horse industry are considered and TFB policy guidelines are determined. Your remarks will be limited to two minutes, but that is enough time to state the impact the loss of horses has had on your own operations or business.
Even if you can't attend the meeting, please contact your TFB county representative before this weekend and ask them to support the adoption of the proposed resolution to support VLT legislation.
Complete Simulcasting Calendar for this Weekend at The Park!
Come to Sam Houston Race Park for the BEST simulcasting action in town7 days a week!We feature a variety of broadcasts fromOaklawn, Santa Anita, Gulfstream Park, the Fair Grounds, Australia and more! Gates open at 10:30 a.m..
OPENING DAYS IN DECEMBER:
Sunland Park December 12th
Tampa Bay Downs December 13th
Santa Anita December 26th
How the wager works:
Must select the first five finishers in order
The wager is offered in the last race from the particular track. This will vary from track to track.
If there are no winning tickets, the pools will carryover to next time the wager is offered.
Tracks offering the wager:
Boyd Gaming's Delta Jackpot Stakes
Delta Princess Powered by Youbet.com
Delta Mile Stakes
Garland of Roses H.
My Charmer Handicap
Calder Race Course
Tropical Turf Handicap Presented by Southern Comfort
Calder Race Course
Pat whitworth Illinois Debutante S.
Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante Stakes
Hollywood Park Turf Club Handicap
Native Dancer Handicap
Pennsylvania Nursery S.
Zia Park Derby
Damon Runyon S.
East View S.
New Mexico Eddy County Stakes
Zia Park Distance Championship
**All simulcasting tracks subject to the approval of the TXRC.
Super Hi Five Wagers Available at Sam Houston Race Park
PARK REWARDS SPECIALS FOR DECEMBER EVENTS:
Pigskin & Horsehide Handicapping Contest
Showvivor Handicapping Contest
DECEMBER 6th & 12th:
“Just In Time For Christmas” Handicapping Contest
Sam Houston Race Park provides great offers and benefits for our Park Rewards members. All contest rules can be found on www.shrp.com. To become a Park Rewards member, visit the Players Lounge located at the North end of the Grandstand on the Paddock Level. For more information visit the Players Lounge or call 281-807-8278.
Our conveniently located, multi-functional facility can comfortably accommodate 10 to 10,000 for business, pleasure or a combination of the two!