AUSTIN, (TTA) – The Texas Thoroughbred Association had originally scheduled a conference call meeting for October 4th to consider candidates to run for 3-year terms on the Board of Directors beginning in 2013, but in light of my resignation, which will be effective October 31, the meeting will be held at the TTA offices beginning at 10am.

In addition to the Nominating Committee’s recommendations of Board candidates for the 2013 election, the TTA will also consider the following agenda topics subject to a vote:

* Discussion on filling the position of Executive Director;
*Approval of a Proposal by Sam Houston Race Park to Host TTA’s Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet on February 16, 2013;
*Approval of Allocation of Forfeited Bond Money to Fund 2012 Gillespie County Fairgrounds Thoroughbred Stakes.

In addition, the Board will be brought up to date on the status of negotiations dealing with breed-split agreements on purse revenue generated by simulcasting that will be considered along with 2013-14 horse racing dates at the Texas Racing Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting five days later on October 9th.

Score one for the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory at Texas A&M, which has been publicly recognized as the testing laboratory that confirmed the Dermorphin positives originally reported by the Maddy Laboratory at the University of California-Davis from Quarter Horse trials for the Ruidoso Futurity on May 25.

The confirmations have resulted in a 10-year suspension and $10,000 fine for Trainer John Bassett, two-time winner of Quarter Horse racing’s most recognizable event, the All-American Futurity. Additional sanctions are expected to be made public soon for other trainers responsible for the tests of their
Ruidoso Futurity Trial horses found positive after post-race tests for Dermorphin.

Bottom line: With TVMDL identified as the confirming lab for the split samples found positive by the Maddy Lab, there should no longer be any question about TVMDL’s ability to detect Dermorphin.

Last Friday, September 21, Churchill Downs Inc. filed a federal lawsuit against the Texas Racing Commission in an effort to block the regulatory agency from enforcing the Texas Racing Act which prohibits telephone and Internet wagering on horse races in the state.

Reporting in the Daily Racing Form, Matt Hegarty stated that the suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, “is the first to be filed by a racing company seeking to overturn state prohibitions on Internet and telephone wagering.”

Churchill owns and operates, an ADW company that is the only one believed to be taking bets from Texas residents. All others have honored a letter sent by TRC to cease and desist because of the Texas law that makes it illegal to accept wagers over the phone or Internet. Provisions in the Act only allow wagers to be accepted within a racetrack enclosure in Texas.

After talking about the suit with eminent legal counsel Gene Palmer, who is certified as an expert on administrative law, he opined that Churchill would have difficulty prevailing due to the 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which states: “The Judicial power of the United States shall not be constituted to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.”

When asked about the term “Citizens of another State,” Palmer said that it not only meant individuals, but also corporations such as Churchill Downs.

Under Global Gaming’s ownership, Remington Park will reach a career peak this Sunday when the Oklahoma City track puts $1,025,000 in 5 stakes up for grabs. The stellar card is headed by the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby, which has drawn 10 3-year-olds from both the East and West Coasts.

Texas interest will be focused on the Remington Green immediately prior to the Derby, as Rose Mary Chandler’s 2011 Texas Horse of the Year Skip a Smile takes on nine foes over 1 1/16 grassy miles in a race for the winner’s share of the $125,000 pot.

Fast furlongs…New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is reported to be considering a plan to privatize the New York Racing Association and seek the interest of for-profit entities including major racetrack owners, as well as owners of nationally prominent entertainment companies…Churchill Downs Inc., which owns a minority interest in Kentucky Downs, has filed suit in an effort to force the owners of the Franklin turf track near the Tennessee border to buy its interest, while owners of Kentucky Downs have filed a countersuit…Scrappy Roo, the hard-knocking 9-year-old Texas-bred, has a nose for the finish line and proved it again by just that margin in a $33,000 allowance race at Remington Park that was described as the most exciting race of the season…When River Downs, the little Ohio track situated on the banks of the Ohio River, completes a $250-million transition to a racino that may put the nail in the coffin for its Kentucky neighbor, Turfway Park, to continue operations on the other side of the tributary…The Illinois Derby (G3), which served as a launching pad for War Emblem to become the 2002 Kentucky Derby winner, was the only graded stakes left off the list of point-qualifying races under Churchill Downs’ new tiered-point system for 2013, but Hawthorne officials have been assured that the stakes will be under consideration as a 2014 Run for the Roses qualifier…The Royal Lodge Stakes in Great Britain will be the first of the 36 2013 qualifying races when it is run on Saturday, but is the Royal Lodge better known than the Illinois Derby as a Kentucky Derby prep?…Keeneland’s 2012 September yearling sale ended positively with the average of $87,354 representing a 14% increase over 2011, the median rising 50% to $45,000, and buybacks dropping from 21 to 19% and the number of lots catalogued down 17%…Kentucky Downs plans to add 3 dates in spring 2013 to its 5 fall dates of turf racing…Monterey Downs is being proposed as a new California track on the Central Coast on the former site of Fort Ord…California’s Horse Racing Board is looking into the reasons for a discrepancy in the Pick 5 payoff at Fairplex Park on September 16 and whether the totalizator company Sportech has incorrectly calculated other payoffs by failing to apply the correct applicable takeout rate…TRC Chairman Dr. Robert Schmidt is planning to hold another round table discussion of claiming rules with interested parties at Lone Star Park in October…A sign of the times: Delaware Park cancelled its September 27 program due to a shortage of entries…Top-class racing returns to Southern California with Friday’s opening of Santa Anita’s Breeders’ Cup meet, and several major prep races will be run on Saturday and Sunday on the Arcadia oval while Belmont Park hosts similar preps each day on the East Coast…Congratulations to Steve Asmussen on My Miss Aurelia’s gutsy win over Questing in Parx Racing’s $1-million Cotillion Stakes last Saturday to extend her unbeaten record to six…Tom Durant’s Touch Tone, who ran second in a photo to 2001 Horse of the Year Point Given in the Haskell Invitational Handicap (G1), will stand the 2013 breeding season at Will Farish’s Lanes End Texas with new sire credentials, having been represented by Im a Bear and Perfect Meadow, the one-two finishers in the Got Koko Division of the Texas Stallion Stakes at Lone Star Park last spring…James Leatherman, Retama Park’s racing secretary, reports that he has nearly 90% of his stall space allocated for the opening of the 26-day Thoroughbred meet on October 5…John Cashman, a harness racing industry titan having held many prominent positions and being the recipient of the sport’s highest honors, died on September 22 at age 72. He was a personal friend from days at a New Hampshire summer boys’ camp and his son, John III, has been the general manager of the New York Yankees as they have returned to challenge for championships.