By Dave Hooper, Texas Thoroughbred Association
AUSTIN, (TTA) – The owners of the Saddle Brook Park Class 2 track license will seek approval for a temporary location to conduct simulcasting in Amarillo when the Texas Racing Commission holds its regularly scheduled meeting next Tuesday, August 14, in Austin beginning at 10:30am. Texas Thoroughbred Association has filed a letter in support of the request.
Saddle Brook officials are also seeking TRC approval to designate an application period for 2013-14 live racing dates.
The TRC agenda also includes an item involving allocation of live race dates for horse racetracks beginning January 1, 2013 and ending August 31, 2014, but it is understood this involves a request of the owners of the Class 2 Laredo Downs license to amend dates previously sought. TRC staff plans to meet with representatives of recognized industry organizations to discuss 2013-14 dates applications before they are considered by Commissioners at the TRC meeting in October.
MACHO MACHO’S WEST VIRGINIA DERBY WIN PUTS TEXAS OWNER IN LIMELIGHT
Hansen received all the pre-race hype leading up to last Saturday’s $750,000 West Virginia Derby (G2), but when the 3-5 favorite began to falter in the last furlong of the 1 1/8-mile stakes at Mountaineer Park, opportunity knocked for jockey Corey Nakatani to urge Macho Macho, owned by Texan Jerry Durant, to a hard-fought victory as the 9-2 second choice.
Durant has had several good Texas-bred stakes runners during his 25-year career as an owner, but he has recently become active at major sales across the U.S. while increasing his investments into the 6-figure purchase range. Durant owns several North Texas car dealerships and is the brother of Tom Durant, whose Touch Tone put him in the national spotlight several years ago when second to Point Given in the Haskell Invitational.
Macho Macho, trained by Steve Asmussen, seems to have picked the right time to be improving with I’ll Have Another and Union Rags both retired. Jerry Durant also has a prominent string of West Coast runners with trainer Jeff Bonde.
Fast furlongs…The first two of five “Summer at Saratoga” racing telecasts begins with the Fourstardave Handicap on Saturday followed by the Adirondack and Saratoga Special on Sunday on the NBC Sports Network…Denis Blake has begun posting daily updates on the new SouthernRacehorse.com internet site with the inaugural Southern Racehorse bi-monthly magazine slated to debut in September…Secretariat’s popular owner, Penny Chenery, has been selected as the 2012 Honored Guest of the Thoroughbred Club of America, which will hold its annual dinner at Keeneland on September 30…Churchill Downs Inc. has added $1 million to its previously held 5 percent ownership interest in Kentucky Downs…Turfway Park officials have cancelled Kentucky Cup Day for the fall meet for the second time in three years which means the track will lose the graded status of stakes traditionally run on that card…Santa Anita Park will host the Breeders’ Cup in consecutive years now that the Arcadia, CA, track has been designated as the 2013 location…The Jockey Club Gold Cup has been restored to $1 million status for its 2012 late September renewal and several other fall stakes on the Belmont Park and Aqueduct schedule have had their value boosted by slots revenue generated by the Resorts World Casino located at the Big A…The report on reasons for the multiple breakdowns occurring during the last winter meet on Aqueduct’s inner track is expected to be delivered August 21…The New York State Racing and Wagering Board will publish veterinary treatment records beginning August 22 for 3-year-olds leading up to the August 25 Travers Stakes…In a related move, the New York Racing Association will require that Travers entrants be on the Saratoga grounds by August 22 when they will be subjected to out-of-competition drug tests and be under added security while quartered in their trainer’s stalls rather than in a separate detention barn…The four major sports leagues, MLB, NBA, NHL and NFL, have filed suit in federal court challenging New Jersey’s legalization of sports betting, which received overwhelming approval in a referendum of state voters…The third weekend of Gillespie County Fair’s 8-day 2012 meet will begin Saturday with 16 Quarter Horse trials followed by a 12-race card on Sunday including three Thoroughbred races to be run as the 9th, 10th and 12th races…Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is supporting legislation being introduced in a special session to add one more casino and legalize table games…Dr. David Stephens, TTA’s immediate past president, will represent the organization at The Jockey Club’s Annual Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing in Saratoga Springs, NY, on Sunday morning…The vast majority of National HBPA affiliates have adopted resolutions in support of the administration of Lasix as the only legal race-day medication…Thoroughbred racing’s economic indicators for July 2012 showed a 7.37% decline in wagering on U.S. races, a 2.63% drop in purses and a 5.43% fall in race days compared with July 2011, but all three categories remain on the plus side for the year to date…California’s new claiming rule, which calls for a claim to be voided if a horse is euthanized on the track, is being challenged after Elivette, injured in a race from which she was claimed for $12,500, was taken off the track in the horse ambulance into the barn area where attending veterinarians determined her injuries were cause for euthanasia, but, by rule, the claim was allowed…Congratulations to Carl Moore, who was on hand last Saturday to root his 2010 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Chamberlain Bridge to victory in the $62,000 My Frenchman Stakes at Monmouth Park…Pete Pedersen passed away last week at 92, seven years after ending a highly respected 50-year steward’s career on the West Coast working the major California tracks and several Breeders’ Cups including the first one that ended with Wild Again being determined the winner of the Classic after he helped resolve inquiries into bumping incidents in the very contentious stretch run. Pedersen, an eloquent writer whose prose made occasional appearances in the Thoroughbred Times, was held in such high regard that he was considered the successor to the late Keene Daingerfield as the “dean of American racing officials.”