w w w . s o u t hernracehorse.com MAY/JUNE 2014
Covering the Thoroughbred industry in Texas, Oklahoma and around the region
In This Issue:
• Going to Infinity in Texas • Feeding Young Racehorses • Training Champions in South Carolina • Colt or Filly? Knowing in Advance
A Division of Center Hills Farm
Kipling (Gulch-Weekend Storm, by Storm Bird)
Toccet (Awesome Again-Cozzene’s Angel, by Cozzene)
Save Big Money (Storm Cat-Tomisue’s Delight, by A.P. Indy)
The Visualiser (Giant’s Causeway-Smokey Mirage, by Holy Bull)
Sire of Breeders’ Cup winner and all-time leading Oklahoma-bred KIP DEVILLE ($3.3 million in earnings) 2014 Fee: $2,500
Versatile, record-setting multiple stakes-placed runner out of G1 millionaire Sire of SW MAMA’S MAD MONEY in first crop 2014 Fee: $2,000
Progeny earnings of more than $11.5 million including 2014 SW AZ RIDGE 2014 Fee: $2,500
$1 million yearling and graded stakesplaced son of GIANT’S CAUSEWAY First foals to race are 3yos of 2014 2014 Fee: $1,500
All fees are stands and nurses All stallions are nominated to the Oklahoma Bred Program, Oklahoma Stallion Stakes, Iowa Stallion Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup
675 W. 470 Rd. • Pryor, Oklahoma 74361 Phone: 918-825-4256 • Cell: 918-271-2266 • Fax: 918-825-4255 www.mightyacres.com
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Southern Racehorse covers the racing and breeding industry in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina and provides you with the news and information you need to know!
septe mber /oct
coVe rInG the thor ouGh breD InDu strY In teXa s anD oKLa hom a
Oklahoma-bred million aire Clever Trevor is still enjoyi retirement 20 years ng after his last race
Texas’ Gillespie County Fairgrounds is thriving well into its second century of operation
also In This Issue: Watch Out for West Nile Virus Trainer Karl Brobe Rise to Stardom rg’s Tips to Prevent Stable Vices
Each issue features articles on horse health, second-career racehorses, horsemen and horses in the region and more, plus breeding, racing and sales news.
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Southern Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2014
FIFTYSHADESOFGOLD WINS THE G3 EIGHT BELLES STAKES!
Texas-bred FIFTYSHADESOFGOLD, already an easy winner of last year’s $113,400 Debutante Stakes at Churchill Downs and this year’s $75,000 Texas Stallion Stakes (Two Altazano division) at Sam Houston, became a graded stakes winner in front of a national TV audience with a victory in the $200,725 Eight Belles Stakes (G3) at Churchill. She pushed her bankroll to $342,262 with four wins in six starts while defeating a field that included G1 winner and champion 2-year-old filly SHE’S A TIGER.
my golden song
Unbridled’s Song – Golden Par, by Gold Meridian
MY GOLDEN SONG, the leading first-crop, second-crop and third-crop sire in Texas over the past three years, is now the leading overall sire in Texas in 2014. From three crops to race, he has already sired seven stakes winners, including Sam Houston Horse of the Meet and four-time stakes winner TRIUMPH AND SONG ($260,556).
MY GOLDEN SONG
Thank you to all the breeders who supported Valor Farm stallions in 2014!
Unbridled’s Song – Golden Par, by Gold Meridian First foals arrive in 2009!
CROSSBOW • EARLY FLYER • INDYGO MOUNTAIN • JET PHONE MY GOLDEN SONG • SILVER CITY • WIMBLEDON
MY GOLDEN SONG retired with earnings of $101,050 from six starts with two wins at Aqueduct and Belmont Park.
MY GOLDEN SONG finished third to Kentucky Derby (G1) winner BARBARO in the Holy Bull Stakes (G3) and fourth the G1 winner FIRST SAMURAI in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2).
The Estate of Clarence Scharbauer, Jr. Ken Carson, General Manager Donny Denton, Farm Manager • David Unnerstall, Attending Veterinarian
By proven sire UNBRIDLED’S SONG, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and sire of 71 stakes winners, including G1 winners UNBRIDLED ELAINE, OCTAVE, SPLENDID BLENDED, POLITICAL FORCE, FIRST DEFENCE, BUDDHA, MAGNIFICANT SONG and SONGANDAPRAYER, and 2008 Kentucky Derby (G1) runner-up EIGHT BELLES. From a female family known for its soundness – dam is GOLDEN PAR ($318,636), a multiple stakes-winner and graded stakes producer who won nine of 26 starts.
VALOR FARM Inquiries to Ken Carson P.O. Box 966, Pilot Point, Texas 76258 Phone (940) 686-5552 • Fax (940) 686-2179 E-mail: email@example.com • Website: www.valorfarm.com Accredited Texas Stallion • Nominated to the Texas Stallion Stakes Series and Breeders’ Cup
Post Office Box 966 • Pilot Point, Texas 76258 (940) 686-5552 • Fax (940) 686-2179 www.valorfarm.com • www.facebook.com/valorfarm
Southern Racehorse Advertisers Index 7S Racing Stables............................58 Aragon Nutraceuticals...................29 Asmussen Horse Center.............18-19 Biomedical Research Laboratories....9 Camden Training Center...............58 Carter Sales Company...................52 Cedar Creek Ranch Inc............... IBC Channon Farm................................59 Equestrian Art Ltd............................13 Equine Sales Company....................8 Equine Soaker..................................14 Equiwinner........................................11 Eureka Thoroughbred Farm...........42 Flashpoint...........................................7 Harmony Training Center...............46 Inside Move Inc...............................59 JEH Stallion Station.........................BC John Deere/NTRA............................30 Knorpp Bloodstock Insurance Agency Inc.....................................6 Lane’s End Texas...............................1 LOPE Texas.......................................36 Mallory Farm....................................59 Mark Lexton.....................................12 Mighty Acres.................................. IFC Mojo Racing Partners.....................14 My Pal Charlie.................................35 No Escape Ranch/Heidi Bailey......59 OK-bred Yearling for Sale...............59 Paradise Farm Inc...........................58 Pelican State Thoroughbreds........59 Remington Park/TRAO....................37 Rewards Racing..............................59 River Oaks Farms.............................43 Rockin’ Z Ranch..............................25 Sante Fe Horse Transport................58 Sport of Kings Challenge................28 Stephenson Thoroughbred Farms.......59 Texas Thoroughbred Association...57 Thoroughbred Owner Conference.......46 Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma.........................51, 60 Univ. of Arizona Race Track Industry Program.........................56 Valor Farm..........................................3 Wes Carter Training Stable.............55 Winners Circle..................................58 4
Southern Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2014
ADVERTISE IN SOUTHERN RACEHORSE! Southern Racehorse magazine is the most effective and affordable way to reach owners, breeders, trainers and others involved in the horse racing industry in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and the surrounding region. Southern Racehorse goes to more than 5,000 horsemen, including all members of the Texas Thoroughbred Association (TTA), Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma (TRAO), Georgia Horse Racing Coalition (GHRC), North Carolina Thoroughbred Association (NCTA), and South Carolina Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (SCTOBA) plus more than 1,200 Louisiana horsemen, making it the region’s largest racing and breeding magazine by far. For more information about advertising in Southern Racehorse, including ad rates, deadlines and specifications, go to www.southernracehorse.com/advertising or contact Denis Blake at (512) 695-4541 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Published by Pangaea Enterprises LLC d/b/a Southern Racehorse Southern Racehorse P.O. Box 8645 Round Rock, TX 78683 (512) 695-4541 www.southernracehorse.com Physical Address Southern Racehorse 1341 Meadowild Drive Round Rock, TX 78664 Editor/Publisher Denis Blake email@example.com Art Director Amie Rittler firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyeditor Judy Marchman Contributing Writers Ben Baugh Michael Cusortelli Kimberly French Judy Marchman Heather Smith Thomas Photographers Denis Blake Barry A. Bornstein Photography Coady Photography Adam Coglianese Erik Olsen Dustin Orona Photography Steve Queen Cover Photo Horsephotos.com
Copyright © 2014 Southern Racehorse All rights reserved. Articles may not be reprinted without permission. Southern Racehorse reserves the right to refuse any advertising or copy for any reason. Southern Racehorse makes a reasonable attempt to ensure that advertising claims are truthful, but assumes no responsibility for the truth and accuracy of ads.
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For the most up-to-date racing and breeding news for Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, visit Southern Racehorse online at www.southernracehorse.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/southernracehorse. Follow @SRacehorse on Twitter!
Racehorse May/June 2014
Investing in Texas at Double Infinity Ranch
Departments Fast Furlongs
State Association News
The Marketplace Classifieds
Features To Infinity & Beyond
38 South Carolina boasts a long list of champions
47 Know the sex of your foal before it’s born
Entrepreneur Wes Melcher places a bet on Texas with his new Double Infinity Ranch
Palmetto State Proving Ground
The South Carolina Thoroughbred industry is rich in history and champions
Lone Star Park and Will Rogers Downs open their meets with a slew of stakes
Colt or Filly?
Fetal sexing now allows breeders to know the sex of a foal well before he or she is born
Nutrition for the Young Racehorse
Proper feeding of yearlings and 2-year-olds can help lead you to the winner’s circle
Southern Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2014 5
Southern Racehorse â€˘ MAY/JUNE 2014
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Looking for a graded stakes winner? Vicarâ€™s in Trouble, an earner of $788,900 and winner of the $200,000 Lecomte Stakes (G3) and $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2), is an Equine Sales Company yearling sale graduate!
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ILLEGAL DOPING MEETS ITS MATCH Trainers Praise Natural Alternative By: Mark Hansen
The pressure to win is so enormous that many horsemen resort to whatever it takes to get a piece of the purse or a decent sale…even if it means putting their horses’ lives in mortal danger by doping them with illegal synthetic erythropoietin (EPO) drugs to boost endurance. Veterinarian Gary Smith said, “It’s a problem all over the industry. There is no way horses should be put on (synthetic) EPO.” So how do racers win? How do you gain a competitive edge without harming your horses or risking your livelihood? The answer may be found in a safe all-natural horse supplement that supports natural EPO function. Why is EPO boosting so critical? Just like in people, a horse’s muscles require oxygen for fuel. Red blood cells are the body’s oxygen-carrying cells. A higher red blood cell count = more oxygen = more muscle energy. Elevated muscle energy helps the horse perform harder, faster and longer during endurance events. All horses naturally produce EPO in their kidneys to stimulate production of new red blood cells from bone marrow. In short, EPO is a natural “blood builder.” With EPO doping, trainers try to boost the EPO effect to get a winning performance every time. They use a synthetic EPO (recombinant human EPO), even though the side effects can harm the horse. That’s one reason why it’s illegal. Fortunately there’s another option. EPOEquine® is a safe, highly effective natural dietary supplement scientifically engineered for performance horses. A Kentucky trainer who refused to give out his name, said, “I don’t want my competition to know about this.” He found EPO-Equine® to be
so effective that he’s dead set against disclosing who he is, who his horses are, or even where he trains and races. He first started ordering a single jar of EPO-Equine® once a month. Now he’s ordering several CASES each month. And he won’t tell BRL exactly why. He said respectfully, “Sorry – no way.” Bioengineers at U.S. based Biomedical Research Laboratories (BRL), first discovered a completely natural EPO-booster for human athletes (and it’s working miracles for top athletes and amateurs around the world). Seeing these results, horse trainers contacted BRL and asked about using this natural formula for their animals. That’s when the BRL team dug deeper and discovered a proprietary, horse-friendly strain of a common herb that promotes optimal bloodbuilding results. EPO-Equine® is based on the blood-boosting abilities of a certain strain of Echinacea that’s astounding researchers and trainers alike. (It’s not a strain you can find at the local health store.) Veterinarians at the Equine Research Centre in Ontario, Canada ran a double-blind trial investigating the blood building properties of the active ingredient in EPO-Equine® in healthy horses. For 42 days, one group of horses was supplemented with the active ingredient in EPOEquine® and another group of horses was given a placebo. The supplement delivered significant blood building results, increasing red blood cell count and hemoglobin levels. Researchers also observed improved blood quality and increased oxygen transport in the supplemented horses. Improved blood levels leads to elevated exercise physiology and performance. The patent-pending formula in EPO-Equine® contains a dozen different herbs, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components combined to promote natural red blood cell production…for remarkable speed, strength and stamina right out of the gate. Trainers find it easy to add just 1 scoop (3.2 grams) of EPO-Equine® to the horse’s daily feeding routine in the barn or on the road. Within a few weeks of daily use, you can expect to see increased red blood cell levels with no undesirable side effects. An increase in red blood cell levels can improve muscle performance, supercharge endurance, and enhance recovery after hard exercise. Nothing else is scientifically proven to deliver these benefits in a completely safe and natural formula. Compared to the cost of veterinarians, drugs, icing, tapping the knees, and putting the horse on Bute; or even the consequences of being banned for synthetic doping, EPOEquine® is very affordable at the low price of just $59.95 per jar. Or save $180 if you are ready to commit to a larger trial of 12-jar case for just $539.55 with FREE shipping. EPOEquine® can be ordered at www.EPOEquine.com or 1-800-557-9055, and comes with a 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee.
Texas-bred Fiftyshadesofgold Wins Graded Stakes, Louisiana-bred Vicar’s in Trouble Makes History in Derby
Fiftyshadesofgold and Mike Smith
California Chrome’s victory in the 140th Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs on May 3 again proved that a Classic winner can come from anywhere, as the California-bred son of low-priced stallion Lucky Pulpit and an $8,000 mare beat a field of mostly Kentucky-bred bluebloods to win the Run for the Roses. The weekend also featured a graded stakes win by Texas-bred Fiftyshadesofgold and the third-ever appearance by a Louisiana-bred in the Kentucky Derby. Fiftyshadesofgold, who ran a distant second to Untapable in the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) in March, bypassed the chance to face that filly again in the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1), which was likely the right decision as the Tapit filly unleashed another dominating performance to win by 4 ½ lengths with Rosie Napravnik up for trainer Steve Asmussen. Instead, Fiftyshadesofgold ran earlier on the Oaks card in the $200,725 Eight Belles Stakes (G3) at seven furlongs. And run she did. The daughter of My Golden Song, who won last year’s Debutante Stakes at Churchill by eight lengths and took the seven-furlong Two Altazano division of the Texas Stallion Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park this year, left the gate as the 2-1 favorite with Mike Smith aboard for trainer Bret Calhoun. Facing a field that included the Eclipse Awardwinning champion 2-year-old filly She’s a Tiger, Fiftyshadesofgold sat just off the early pace and then seized the lead at the top of the stretch and held a game Milam at bay before hitting the wire a half-length in front with a clocking of 1:22.50. “It was the right call at the end of the day, obviously,” Calhoun said about running in the Eight Belles. “You don’t have a lot of opportunities to run in the Oaks, but at the end of the day, we wanted to win a graded stakes with this filly, and we think this gave us the best chance.” 10
Southern Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2014
“I knew when I locked into that other filly [Milam] at the sixteenth pole, that I had her measured,” Smith said. “We could have gone around again and she wasn’t going to get beat.” Fiftyshadesofgold was bred by Texas icon Clarence Scharbauer Jr., who passed away in February, and she carried his familiar blue-andwhite diamond silks into the winner’s circle at Churchill Downs, where exactly 27 years earlier those same silks were aboard Kentucky Derby winner Alysheba, who ran in the name of Scharbauer’s wife, Dorothy, and daughter, Pam. Fiftyshadesofgold improved her record to 6-4-1-1 with earnings of $342,262, making her the leading runner sired by My Golden Song, who stands at the late Scharbauer’s Valor Farm near Pilot Point, Texas. The Unbridled’s Song stallion, who was Texas’ leading first-crop, second-crop and third-crop stallion from 2011 to 2013, jumped to the overall lead among Texas sires by 2014 earnings. Even though Louisiana-bred Vicar’s in Trouble finished 19th and last in the $2,177,800 Kentucky Derby, the colt made history simply by entering the starting gate at Churchill Downs, joining Real Dare (1982) and Zarb’s Magic (1996) as the only Louisiana-breds to run in the Derby in modern times. He also could have made history as his jockey, Rosie Napravnik, was seeking to become the first female rider to win the Derby. But the Mike Maker trainee made his home state proud just by making it to Louisville. “Having a horse like Vicar’s in Trouble as a Derby contender gives our breeding program a real boost,” said Jake Delhomme, president of the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association. “It would validate our incentive program and ensure that it continues into the future. The program was created for just this reason—to produce top contenders at the best races in the world. It also increases the value of our horses and that makes the horse breeding business more viable.” Bred by Spendthrift Farm LLC and owned by Eclipse Award-winning owners and breeders Ken and Sarah Ramsey, the Into Mischief colt still sports an impressive résumé despite the Derby disappointment. He burst onto the Derby trail with a 6 ¾-length win in the $200,000 Lecomte Stakes (G3) at Fair Grounds Race Course before finishing third in the $400,000 Risen Star Stakes (G2) and taking the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) at the New Orleans track. Not bad for a colt who originally sold for just $8,000 at the Equine Sales Company’s inaugural yearling sale. Mark Toothaker, agent, consigned the colt, who went to Clyde Taylor before selling to the Ramseys for $80,000 as a 2-year-old.
Texas-bred 2-Year-Old Sells for $300,000 in Florida
An accredited Texas-bred son of Pulpit brought a bid of $300,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Florida selected 2-year-olds in training sale on March 24, marking one of the highest prices ever paid for a horse bred in the Lone Star State. Bred by Craig Upham, who with wife Sue Dowling Preach the Word operates Stoneview Farm in Hempstead, Texas, the colt named Preach the Word is out of the Hennessy mare Word oâ€™ Wisdom, who is also the dam of Grade 2 winner Advice. Upham sold the colt as a Keeneland September yearling for $155,000 to Secure Investments, which nearly doubled its investment with the $300,000 sale to buyer Katsumi Yoshida. Afrashad, a son of Smoke Glacken bred by Fred Mehew, is believed to be the highest-priced Texas-bred sold at public auction. He sold for $500,000 as a 2-year-old and went on to win two stakes before retiring to stand stud in Oklahoma and now in Utah.
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Southern Racehorse â€˘ MAY/JUNE 2014 11
ff Triumph and Song Named Horse of the Meet at Sam Houston Texas-bred Triumph and Song, a winner of three stakes in a span of just 35 days, was named Horse of the Meet at Sam Houston Race Park after racing concluded on March 11. Trainer Karl Broberg claimed Triumph and Song on December 29 of last year for $40,000 at Fair Grounds Race Course for Guido and Carolyn Hanek’s H and H Ranch, and the striking gray gelding made his first appearance for his new connections in the $50,000 Spirit of Texas Stakes for Texasbreds on January 18, never relinquishing the lead in the sixfurlong sprint. Just three weeks later, he made his turf debut in the $50,000 Bucharest Stakes, scoring an impressive victory in gate-to-wire fashion while again facing state-breds. On February 22, he captured his third stakes of the meet, blazing to the wire of the six-furlong $50,000 Sam Houston Sprint Cup Stakes in 1:09.39 against open company. “It’s been such a ride,” Carolyn Hanek said. “I hope everyone in our business gets a horse with this type of talent. He answered the turf question, won Texas-bred stakes and competed in open company; what else can you say? Our friends in Horseshoe Bay [outside of Austin] have supported us; it’s been a party for everyone. We love having a horse like Triumph and Song.” Bred by Victoria Ashford and Dr. Troy Carmichael, Triumph and Song is a 5-year-old son of Texas stallion My Golden Song, who stands at Valor Farm near Pilot Point. Total handle for the 32-day meet increased despite one fewer race day in 2014. Overall, total handle grew from $43,917,043 in 2013 to $44,493,991 in 2014. Average daily handle was up 4 percent to $1,390,437. Daily purses were up 3 percent from 2013 to $174,000 per day, compared with $170,000 last year. Live attendance for Friday and Saturday produced a daily average of 6,182, up 20 percent from the 5,051 daily average in 2013. On March 7-8, Sam Houston hosted the third annual camel and ostrich races and the weekend attracted 23,685 fans, topping the record-setting attendance of 18,231 in 2013. Steve Asmussen won his sixth training title at the northwest Houston racetrack, finishing the meet with 29 wins. Danny Pish finished second with 22 wins, followed by Eric Reed with 17 victories and Joseph Smith with 15 wins. Jockey Gerardo Mora has accomplished a great deal in the past three years at Sam Houston. In 2012, as an apprentice, he finished in second-place to veteran Glen Murphy.
Southern Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2014
Last year, Mora won his first Sam Houston leading rider title. Defending was no easy feat, with a very competitive jockey colony that included many returning riders and the first appearance of top Mountaineer Park rider Deshawn Parker. Mora and Parker battled to the wire for leading jockey honors, entering into the final two days of the meet tied with 34 wins each. Mora was able to win his second Sam Houston title with 38 trips to the winner’s circle, edging Parker by just one win. Lindey Wade finished third with 30 victories, and Murphy and apprentice David Cabrera tied for fourth with 23 wins each. Texas businessman Danny Keene won his first Sam Houston leading owner title with 17 wins. He shipped in 36 starters, with the majority trained by Joseph Smith and two by Allen Milligan. Keene, who owns a plumbing contractor company in McKinney, Texas, has been involved in Thoroughbred racing for less than four years. He was honored as owner of the meet last summer at Lone Star Park.
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Mucho Macho Man Day Declared in Georgia
Mucho Macho Man winning the Florida Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park by an easy 14 lengths. On May 1, two days before the Kentucky Derby, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal proclaimed it to be Mucho Macho Man Day
OKC Summer Sale Set for August 18
Record increases at the 2013 OKC Summer Sale have sale officials preparing for an increase in entries for the 2014 sale set for August 18 at the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds. “With a 41 percent increase in average last year we are already getting entries,” Sales Manager Terri Carter said. “Consignors are planning earlier and that is always a good sign. “It helps that racing is so strong in Oklahoma and with Fasig-Tipton moving their Texas August sale to October, we are
in the Peach State. Running in the name of Georgians Dean and Patti Reeves’ Reeves Thoroughbred Racing of Suwanee, Mucho Macho Man has earned $5.6 million in his career, including a victory in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). Governor Deal held a small press conference in Georgia’s capital of Atlanta to make the proclamation. Georgia has a long history of producing some of the greatest champions in sports, from Ty Cobb to Jackie Robinson to Herschel Walker, and now Mucho Macho Man is the first racehorse in Georgia to receive this honor. His trainer, Kathy Ritvo, became the first woman conditioner to win one of the most prestigious races in the world when the son of Macho Uno took the $5 million Classic last November at Santa Anita Park. Mucho Macho Man will retire to Frank Stronach’s Adena Springs in Midway, Kentucky, home to four Breeders’ Cup Classic winners, at the conclusion of his racing career.
getting more interest earlier this year,” Carter continued. The first yearling sale for the Southwest always follows opening weekend at Remington Park, making it a whole weekend event as racing gets underway. As with last year’s sale, there will be a session for horses of racing age in addition to the session for select yearlings. Entries are due by June 10 and forms are available at cartersalesco.com. Southern Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2014 13
Mojo Racing Partners
Southern Racehorse to Cover Thoroughbred Industry in North Carolina
Southern Racehorse magazine has announced that it will provide coverage of the Thoroughbred industry in North Carolina in partnership with the North Carolina Thoroughbred Association (NCTA). In addition to covering the industry in the state, the magazine will include important updates and news from the NCTA and will be mailed to its members. Southern Racehorse has similar agreements with the Texas Thoroughbred Association, Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma, Georgia Horse Racing Coalition and South Carolina Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and also covers the Thoroughbred industry in Louisiana. “We are pleased to welcome the horsemen and horsewomen of North Carolina to the magazine,” said Denis Blake, editor and publisher of Southern Racehorse. “We look forward to highlighting the accomplishments of NCTA members and their horses.” The North Carolina Thoroughbred Association was established in 1979 by a small but dedicated group of Thoroughbred owners and breeders. The NCTA is a nonprofit, all volunteer organization governed by an elected board of directors and officers. The NCTA’s goal is to promote the Thoroughbred industry in the state while providing educational opportunities for its members and developing working relationships as friends and colleagues among them. “The Board of the NCTA is very happy to have the opportunity to work with Southern Racehorse and have another subscription for our members in addition to Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred,” said Joanne Dew, president of the NCTA. For more information about the NCTA, visit ncthoroughbreds.com.
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Fasig-Tipton Texas Yearling Sale Moved to October Date
The Fasig-Tipton Texas yearling sale has been moved to Monday, October 13, from its originally scheduled date of August 25. As always, the Texas Thoroughbred Association-sponsored sale will be held at the Texas Thoroughbred Sales Pavilion on the grounds of Lone Star Park near Dallas. This year’s auction will also include a mixed sale session immediately following the yearling sale session. After multiple consignors and TTA members requested to move the sale to later in the year, the TTA, Fasig-Tipton and Lone Star Park worked together to find an optimum place on the calendar and agreed that a midOctober date would help further strengthen the sale. Fasig-Tipton and the TTA received permission for the date change from the Texas Racing Commission, which was necessary because the new date falls during the American Quarter Horse meet at Lone Star. “There are several benefits to moving the sale to this new date,” said TTA Executive Director Mary Ruyle. “The temperatures should be cooler in early fall, and the later date allows for the addition of a mixed sale session that should attract more buyers and consignors. This has long been the leading yearling auction in the region, and we think these changes will help it grow in the future.” The format change will also fill the void left by the shelving of the separate mixed sale, which was held annually until 2011. For more information about Fasig-Tipton Texas sales, visit fasigtipton.com. 14
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Texas Stallion Stakes Series Renamed in Honor of Clarence Scharbauer Jr. The Texas Thoroughbred Association has announced that the Texas Stallion Stakes Series will be renamed to honor Clarence Scharbauer Jr., the longtime leading Texas owner and breeder who passed away in February. The series of races for progeny of Texas stallions will now be known as the Clarence Scharbauer Jr. Texas Stallion Stakes Series. The $450,000 series of races has three sets of stakes with a $75,000 purse in divisions for fillies and colts/geldings. The series annually begins in the fall at Retama Park with a six-furlong sprint for 2-year-olds and then moves to Sam Houston Race Park with a seven-furlong test for 3-year-olds before concluding at Lone Star Park with 3-year-olds going a mile in the spring. The Texas Stallion Stakes divisions will retain their individual names honoring great Texas-breds of the past: Darby’s Daughter, My Dandy, Two Altazano, Jim’s Orbit, Got Koko and Stymie. “Mr. Scharbauer did so much to support the Texas breeding and
racing industry through Valor Farm, and renaming the Texas Stallion Stakes Series for him is a fitting way to show our appreciation,” said TTA Executive Director Mary Ruyle. Scharbauer, who owned and operated Valor Farm near Pilot Point, Texas, had become synonymous with the Texas Stallion Stakes as horses he bred and owned or those sired by his stallions were consistently in the winner’s circle throughout the history of the series. His most recent victory came in the February 15 Two Altazano division of the Texas Stallion Stakes at Sam Houston, where his homebred Fiftyshadesofgold, a daughter of Valor stallion My Golden Song, won by an easy 2 ½ lengths. Scharbauer passed away six days after that race. “Clarence would be so proud and honored to have his name on the Texas Stallion Stakes,” said Ken Carson, longtime general manager of Valor Farm. “He loved racing in Texas and did well with Texas-breds over the years, especially in the Stallion Stakes.” Scharbauer was a perennial leading owner and breeder of Texasbreds but is perhaps best known in racing circles for Alysheba, the 1987 Kentucky Derby winner and 1988 Horse of the Year who ran in the name of his late wife, Dorothy, and daughter, Pam. A statue of Alysheba sits outside the entrance to Lone Star Park.
Marchman Meets Marchman
Who would ever think they’d have the chance to watch a racehorse carrying their name cross the finish line first? In a graded stakes, no less. On April 12 at Keeneland Race Course, I had the thrill of experiencing just that. While I can’t claim Marchman as my namesake, per se, that didn’t lessen one whit the excitement and joy of witnessing his wire-to-wire victory in the Grade 3, $100,000 Shakertown Stakes— and being able to share that with some newfound relations. A Kentucky-bred 4-year-old son of Sharp Humor, Marchman races for Dallas residents Bill and Stephanie “Stevie” Martin and is trained by Bret Calhoun, who also hails from the Metroplex. The colt is named for Stevie—her maiden name is Marchman, which means she and I are in all likelihood related somewhere down the line. Typical of horse lovers, since first connecting earlier this year, we’ve been far more Texas-owned Marchman (red cap) wins the Grade 3 Shakertown Stakes at Keeneland. that my Kentucky travel plans and Marchman’s racing plans would coininterested in discussing the equine Marchman than cide at Keeneland, we couldn’t wait to meet each other, and they were our own pedigrees. The Martins, who have been in racing for 30 years, have made their share so generous in including me in such a special day. It was a tremendous of trips to the winner’s circle, including for the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Filly moment none of us will soon forget. Following his Keeneland win, Marchman captured the Grade 3, & Mare Sprint (G1) with Dubai Majesty and the 2008 Shakertown with Mr. Nightlinger, who now stands at JEH Stallion Station in Wynnewood, $167,550 Twin Spires Turf Sprint Stakes at Churchill Downs on the Oklahoma. But, according to Stevie, Marchman’s Shakertown victory Kentucky Oaks undercard. His record now stands at 13-5-2-3 with earnings “ranks up there with our best. It’s such an emotional run! I know all our of $325,354. By Judy Marchman Judy Marchman is an Austin-based freelance writer and editor, and serves as parents are hitching a ride!” In addition to meeting Marchman, getting to know Stevie and Bill has copyeditor for Southern Racehorse. She worked for Blood-Horse Publications in been such a wonderful experience for me personally. When we determined Lexington, Kentucky, for 15 years before returning to Texas in 2007.
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ff Rare Triple Dead Heat at Evangeline Downs
Half Ours Filly Tops Stars of Tomorrow 2-Year-Old Sale at Evangeline Downs
Designer Soxx, an accredited Louisiana-bred filly by Half Ours, topped the Stars of Tomorrow 2-year-olds in training sale at Evangeline Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel on March 9. After a spirited bidding duel, Velton Vidrine made the winning bid of $75,000 on behalf of Scott and Belinda Roy’s Roy Investments LLC. Consigned by Clear Creek Stud LLC, agent, the filly is from the stakes-winning and stakes-producing mare Elegant Designer. Elegant Designer, who won eight of 18 career starts with stakes wins at Calder Race Course, Sam Houston Race Park and Monmouth Park and earned $416,785, is also the dam of Louisiana-bred Designer Legs, a daughter of Graeme Hall who last year won the Adirondack Stakes (G2) at Saratoga Race Course and ran in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Santa Anita Park.
Charlotte Stemmans Clavier, president of Stemmans Inc., the administrator of the sale, stated, “We concentrated with breeders and consignors to upgrade the overall quality of the sale, and we were pleased with how the buyers responded to the top end of the catalog.” Clavier added, “As part of our incentive program, Evangeline Downs has created a pair of stakes races, the Evangeline Downs Star and Evangeline Downs Starlet, which, including bonuses for 2-year-olds that ran through the sales ring, feature a total purse of $100,000 each and will be contested in late August 2014.” The complete numbers for the sale were as follows: 95 juveniles were cataloged with 11 declared from the sale and 84 sold for a total of $682,400, an average of $8,124. Buybacks were not reported.
Fasig-Tipton Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale About Even with Last Year The Fasig-Tipton Texas 2-year-olds in training and horses of racing age sale, sponsored by the Texas Thoroughbred Association and held April 1 on the grounds of Lone Star Park, ended with similar numbers compared to last year’s sale. All told, 80 horses from 124 offered sold for a total of $1,818,700 with an average of $22,734 and median of $15,000. Last year’s auction grossed $1,743,750 with an average of $23,564 and median of $20,000. Compared to last year’s auction, which had posted big gains over the prior year, this year’s auction recorded a 4.3 percent increase in gross, a 3.5 percent decrease in average and a 25 percent drop in median. The buyback rate was 30.2 percent last year and 35.5 percent this year, although Fasig-Tipton Texas Director of Sales Tim Boyce reported that a number of private sales occurred this year after the auction that would bring the buyback rate to a similar level as last year. Two horses topped this year’s sale at $135,000 apiece. First up was a 16
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For the first time in almost a half-century of Thoroughbred racing at Evangeline Downs, a triple dead heat for first was recorded when three horses hit the wire together on April 11 in the card’s fifth race, a sixfurlong $15,000 claiming event for Louisiana-breds. In the frenzied finish, Chessie Slew, All in the Art and Memories of Trina were inseparable at the wire, just a length in front of fourth-place finisher Lady Bistineau. The photo finish showed all three horses’ noses touching the wire, so Evangeline racing officials and stewards declared the triple dead heat. The three-way tie for first is so rare in Thoroughbred racing that only a half-dozen such dead heats have occurred since 1990, the most recent being at the now closed Hollywood Park in Southern California in December 1997.
Kentucky-bred colt by Harlan’s Holiday who worked a co-fastest eighthmile in :10 1/5 in the under tack show. The colt’s dam is a half sister to Grade 1 winner and millionaire Include. The January foal went to Dennis Foster from the consignment of Wolf Creek Farm, agent. The other horse to go for $135,000 was a Louisiana-bred filly by Munnings and half sister to stakes winner Southern Dude. Carrol Castille made the purchase from Inside Move Inc., agent. Inside Move also consigned the only other horse to hit six digits, a Louisiana-bred daughter of Pomeroy who sold for $100,000 to Charles Castille Jr. Twin Oaks Training Center topped the consignor list with 15 sold for $395,500, followed by Benchmark Training Center with 18 sold for $361,200 and Inside Move with 12 sold for $336,800. Bradley Raney was the top buyer with five purchases for $257,000. For hip-by-hip results, go to fasigtipton.com.
Equine Sales Company Finds Success with First 2-Year-Old Sale A Louisiana-bred daughter of Half Ours sold for $69,000 on April 28 to top the inaugural Equine Sales Company 2-year-olds in training and horses of racing age sale in Opelousas, Louisiana. It marked the first juvenile auction for the company, which has previously held three yearling auctions, including one with a mixed session. In the 2-year-olds in training session, 36 of 59 horses that went through the ring sold for a total of $604,900, which equates to a healthy average of $16,803 and a median of $11,500. In the horses of racing age session, 14 of 15 head sold for a total of $63,600 with an average of $4,543. All told, total sales for the auction hit $668,500. “Equine Sales is grateful for the support of both the buyers and consignors at our first 2-year-old sale,” Sales Director Foster Bridewell said. “The results show there is plenty of demand from buyers for 2-year-olds and an ample supply of quality horses to meet that demand. We look forward to growing this sale for years to come.”
The sale-topping Half Ours filly went to Energy Solutions Consultants. Consigned by Twin Oaks Training Center, agent, and named Winning Answer, the filly worked a co-fastest eighth-mile in :10 3/5 during the breeze show. She is out of the stakes-winning Peteski mare Answer to Me, who is the dam of stakes winner Sports Town. Nearly equaling that $69,000 sale-topping price was a Louisianabred colt by Lydgate, which sold for $67,000 from the consignment of C.J. Woodley, agent. Named Missy’sprettyboy and purchased by Joe Duhon, agent for Jim Donnan, the colt is the first foal out of the winning Double Honor mare Double Stuff, who is a full sister to Grade 1-placed stakes winner Lovely Isle. Next up on the Equine Sales Company calendar is the Consignor Select Yearling Sale on September 3. To view the complete results of the sale or for more information, go to equinesalesofla.com.
Will Rogers Downs to Manage Fair Meadows Meet According to an article in the Tulsa World, the live racing meet at Fair Meadows in Tulsa will be managed this year by Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Oklahoma. The arrangement was approved during a meeting of the Tulsa County Public Facilities Authority and calls for Will Rogers to receive $149,750 and to provide video and photo finish services for the meet in Tulsa, as well as a manager and director of racing. The longtime director of racing at Fair Meadows, Ron Shotts, retired in December. The Fair Meadows meet is scheduled for June 5 to July 26. “Fair Meadows has been a valued and respected partner and neighbor to Will Rogers Downs, and we’re happy to help provide some management assistance to their summer meet,”
said Shawn Slaton, CEO of Cherokee Nation Businesses, owner of Will Rogers, in a statement. “This is just one more way we can show our support for horsemen and the entire horse racing industry in Oklahoma. This agreement also helps strengthen our relationship with Tulsa County.” “I think it will be good for everybody,” said Joe Lucas, a member of the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission and executive vice president of the Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma. “It gives them time to have their new people come in and work with Will Rogers’ people for the future. Horsemen have known that they’ve been working on this and we’ve been included on both sides of it. I don’t see anything in here at all that’s alarming. We support it.”
CANTER-Texas Launched, Moves Six Ex-Racehorses to New Homes in First Week
CANTER (Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses) is now offering its nationally recognized service to Texas horsemen with the opening of CANTER-Texas. Volunteers are visiting tracks to offer free sales listings that include a photo, a description and contact information to trainers and owners looking to move their ex-racehorses—Thoroughbreds, American Quarter Horses, Paints and Arabians—on to second careers. “We sold our first horse through the free listing service in three days after we started posting horses for sale on the CANTER-Texas website,” said Laura Holmes, executive director of CANTER-Texas. “There has been very positive feedback from trainers and buyers who are looking forward to owning an ex-racehorse. We are very excited to be able to provide this program to the Texas racing industry and help find new careers for these talented and versatile horses.” CANTER-Texas volunteers will be serving Lone Star Park, Sam Houston Race Park and Retama Park. CANTER is a fully credited 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping racehorses find new careers after the finish line. Nationwide, this free program has helped more than 14,000 horses transition from racing since its inception in 1997. Sisters Jen Bradford (left) and Lisa Freytag with the CANTER-listed horses they To find an ex-racehorse, submit a listing, volunteer or make a bought at Sam Houston Race Park. donation, visit canterusa.org/texas.
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El Primero Training Center and Asmussen Horse Center would like to congratulate UNTAPABLE, our newest millionaire graduate!
H H H
Keith and Marilyn Asmussen
H H H
wins the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) with ease to record her fourth graded stakes win and make her an early favorite for an Eclipse Award!
UNTAPABLE’S sire, TAPIT, as well as her dam, FUN HOUSE, were both given their early education at El Primero Training Center, along with hundreds of high-quality racehorses over the years. We can help put your young racehorse on the road to success!
We are so thankful and blessed to be able to work with such classy, quality people and horses!
Trainer: Steve Asmussen Owner: Winchell Thoroughbreds Manager: David Fiske Jockey: Rosie Napravnik
P.O. Box 1861 • Laredo, TX 78044 • Phone: 956-723-5436 • Fax: 956-723-5845 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Website: www.asmussens.com
Horses are, and always have been, our only business!
Keith and Marilyn Asmussen’s GRADUATES INCLUDE
5 Eclipse Award-Winning Champions 2 Breeders’ Cup Winners 12 Millionaires
The Southwest’s Most Complete Equine Facility • Bloodstock Agency
Buying, Selling, In-Training and Yearlings
• Sale Prep • K.C. Horse Transportation ICC Permitted in 48 States
• Asmussen Horse & Rider Equipment Complete Line of Race, English and Polo Tack
• A 53-Year Reputation of Success Built On: Experience, Hard Work, Knowledge, Dedication, Honesty, Integrity
• El Primero Training Center
/ -Mile Track, 10-Horse Gate, 430 Stalls, 3 Round Corrals, Six 6-Horse Walkers
H H H
195 Stakes Winners
73 Graded Stakes Winners
ASMUSSEN HORSE & RIDER EQUIPMENT P.O. Box 2325, Laredo, Texas 78044 Janie Stewart • (956) 722-1601
ASMUSSEN HORSE TRANSPORTATION Gwen Rodriguez • (956) 763-7004
• Asmussen Horse Farm Breeding, Boarding, Lay Ups and Foaling
ASMUSSEN HORSE CENTER
• FDA Approved Quarantine Facility
EL PRIMERO TRAINING CENTER
• Crossing and Brokerage Arrangements to Mexico
Email: email@example.com Website: www.asmussens.com
P.O Box 1861, Laredo, Texas 78044 Dee Martinez, Manager • Cell (956) 763-7594 Office: (956) 723-5436 • Fax (956) 723-5485
P.O. Box 1785, Laredo, Texas 78044 Keith Asmussen • (956) 763-8907
STATE ASSOCIATION NEWS
TEXAS THOROUGHBRED ASSOCIATION NEWS TTA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner Set for June 14 at Lone Star Invitations for the June 14 Texas Thoroughbred Association Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner at Lone Star Park were mailed to all TTA members in April. We hope you will make plans to join us as we honor the owners and breeders of the 2013 Texas Champions, as well as the recipients of the Allen Bogan Memorial Award for TTA Member of the Year and the T.I. “Pops” Harkins Award for Lifetime Achievement. The registration deadline is June 2.
June 14 will also feature the third running of the $50,000 Lane’s End Stallion Scholarship Stakes for Texas-bred fillies and mares going 7 ½ furlongs on the turf. Current and past Texas Thoroughbred Educational Fund scholarship recipients will be on hand. We are seeking sponsorships and auction items to benefit the TTEF and The Paddock Foundation for retired racehorses. For more information, contact the TTA office at (512) 458-6133.
Midland Man Named 2013 Texas Champion Claimer
Don’t Forget to Use the New TTA Address
The TTA has moved office locations, so please send all paperwork and correspondence to: TTA, 4009 Banister Lane, Suite 230, Austin, TX 78704. The former address on La Posada Drive and the P.O. Box address are no longer valid.
TTA Adds More Horsepower to Social Media
TTA is launching a renewed social media effort designed to engage current members, attract new members and raise the profile of Thoroughbred racing in the state of Texas. The campaign will integrate the TTA’s website, email database, Facebook page and Twitter account. Watch for more information in the near future and be sure to check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/texasthoroughbredassociation and on Twitter at twitter.com/thoroughbredtx or @ThoroughbredTX. 20
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at first asking in June 2008 at Lone Star and since then has run at tracks in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Illinois. Midland Man and his con- Midland Man nections will be honored at the TTA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner at Lone Star Park on June 14 along with the other Texas Champion horses and horsemen.
Ronald Ellerbee’s Midland Man has been named the 2013 Texas Champion Claimer after winning an online poll among all accredited Texas-breds with three or more claiming victories at Texas racetracks last year. The award is presented by the TTA to honor the hard-working claiming horses that fill the majority of races every day. Nearly 300 votes were recorded through the TTA’s website. Bred by the late Clarence Scharbauer Jr. and sired by Valor Farm stallion Early Flyer, Midland Man won three of five starts last year with two victories at Lone Star Park and one at Retama Park. He was conditioned by Allen Milligan. All told, Midland Man has compiled a record of 40-10-5-6 with earnings of $87,871. The now 8-year-old gelding broke his maiden
Important Deadlines for Texas Horsemen Paperwork for Racing Accredited Texas-breds: Please be sure that TTA has your correct email address. If we have a valid email, ownership of a horse can be verified without the owner needing to fill out a transfer form. Accreditation: The deadline to accredit foals of 2013 for $75 is a fax date, credit card payment or postmark dated no later than June 2, since May 31 is a Saturday. The TTA member rate is $75; non-members must add $50 or become a member for $60. After that date, the fee to accredit foals of 2013 increases to $200 for members and $250 for non-members. Do not send in the original Jockey Club certificate; we only need a copy of the front and back of the certificate. If it is nearing the deadline and you have not received the Jockey Club certificate, simply send in your application and fee to make the deadline and then you may send in a copy of the certificate when available. A yearling nominated to the Texas Stallion Stakes Series has not necessarily been accredited. If you are not certain of a yearling’s accreditation status, please check with the TTA office.
THOROUGHBRED RACING ASSOCIATION OF OKLAHOMA NEWS 2013 Oklahoma Champions Honored in Tulsa
The third annual Oklahoma Thoroughbred Champion Awards Banquet was held May 9 at the Tulsa Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Hosted by the Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma, the event honored the 2013 Oklahoma-bred champions and leading owners and breeders. Congratulations to all the winners!
HORSE OF THE YEAR, CHAMPION THOROUGHBRED RACING STOCK AND CHAMPION 3-YEAR-OLD THOROUGHBRED FILLY More Than Even (Stephen Got Even—Sallybrooke) Breeder/Owner: Doyle Williams
CHAMPION 2-YEAR-OLD THOROUGHBRED FILLY Dustin Orona Photography
Xray Vision (Pollard’s Vision—Lucky M) Breeder: Allen Poindexter Owner: Poindexter Thoroughbreds LLC
CHAMPION 2-YEAR-OLD THOROUGHBRED COLT/GELDING Alpha and Omega (Omega Code—Holy Belle) Breeder/Owner: Robert H. Zoellner
CHAMPION 3-YEAR-OLD THOROUGHBRED COLT/GELDING
More Than Even
My Brother Don (Fast Play—Cherry’s Hunter) • Breeder: Ron Wise • Owner: Ron Wise and Aaron Swan
CHAMPION AGED THOROUGHBRED MARE
Sooner Superstar (Ra Ra Superstar—Skip a Dare) • Breeder: H. Allen Poindexter • Owner: Marti Rodriguez and Dwayne Scruggs
CHAMPION AGED THOROUGHBRED STALLION/GELDING Imahit (Whywhywhy—Halo Hit) • Breeder/Owner: C.R. Trout
CHAMPION OKLAHOMA-BRED THOROUGHBRED HORSE, MIXED MEETS A Kiss for Mady (Forestwood—Kiss My Grits) • Breeder: Rockin BB Ranch LLC • Owner: Clifton D. Brooks
CHAMPION FEMALE SPRINTER Eye Love Jeanie (Showing Up—First at the Wire) • Breeder/Owner: Robert H. Zoellner
CHAMPION MALE SPRINTER AND CHAMPION MALE TURF RUNNER Okie Ride (Candy Ride [Arg]—Tic Tic) • Breeder/Owner: Richter Family Trust
CHAMPION FEMALE TURF RUNNER Fast Resource (Bob and John—Colee Bear) • Breeder: Dr. Dan W. White Owner: K. and J. Hall LLC and Young Stables LLC
LEADING OWNER OF THOROUGHBRED RACING STOCK Richter Family Trust
LEADING BREEDER OF THOROUGHBRED RACING STOCK Richter Family Trust
LEADING SIRE OF THOROUGHBRED RACING STOCK Evansville Slew • Owner: Stallions LLC
INDUSTRY SERVICE AWARD John Lowder
Southern Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2014 21
STATE ASSOCIATION NEWS
THOROUGHBRED RACING ASSOCIATION OF OKLAHOMA NEWS Thoroughbred Athletes Sport of Kings Challenge Set for June 21-22 at Remington Park The Sport of Kings Challenge is coming to Remington Park June 21-22 and promises to be a weekend packed full of fun. If you ride or compete with a retired racehorse, then please mark your calendars. The Sport of Kings Challenge horse show will be open to all breeds of retired racehorses and all types of riders. Whether you compete in hunter/jumper, dressage, barrel racing or simply love horses, we will have something to fit your needs, including Western and English flat classes. The event will also feature clinics, competitions and other festivities. For those of you who bring your family, we will have exhibitions, a food truck derby, cash awards, awesome prizes and a “Barn Bash” fundraiser that Saturday evening. The three judges for the Sport of Kings Challenge include prominent Thoroughbred owner Maggi Moss, Retired Racehorse Project founder Steuart Pittman and U.S. Dressage Foundation bronze and silver medalist Robin Hessel. The Sport of Kings Challenge will benefit Thoroughbred Athletes Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Guthrie, Oklahoma, dedicated to the rehabilitation, retraining and rehoming of off-track Thoroughbreds while giving young people a chance to develop new skills. The goal of Thoroughbred Athletes Inc. is to teach retired racehorses a new skill set that will afford them a second career beyond racing and keep them from situations that may lead to neglect, starvation or slaughter. For more information, go to thoroughbred-athletes.com or sportofkingschallenge.com.
Stallion Stakes Reminder for Foals of 2015 Nomination forms for the Oklahoma Stallion Stakes, for foals of 2015 from the 2014 breeding season, have been mailed out. Please keep an eye open for this form! If you did not receive one, you can obtain a copy on our website at traoracing.com or call the TRAO office at
(405) 427-8753. Stallion nominations must be postmarked no later than June 30, 2014. REMEMBER: All progeny of the nominated stallions for the breeding season of 2014 will be eligible with no nomination fee.
The TRAO Office Has Moved! Our new office is on the backside of Remington Park, and we are now up and running. We are excited to be
able to help our horsemen even more effectively. Our new address is 1 Remington Place, Oklahoma City, OK 73111.
What Is the Oklahoma Breeding and Development Fund Special Account? The OBDFSA is an incentive fund that increases income for Oklahoma horse racing and breeding enterprises. Purse supplements and stallion and broodmare awards are paid to owners and breeders of qualifying accredited Oklahoma-bred horses through a system of restricted and open company races at Oklahoma racetracks. The OBDFSA is funded by unclaimed tickets, breakage and
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a percentage of the exotic handle. Payouts are based on the handle at each track and vary slightly according to the track and the racing breed. The program was established by the Legislature in 1983 and, as is required by law, is administered by the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission. For more information, go to ohrc. org/okb.html.
A Tornado Story, One Year Later By Bobbie Steenbergen
then I rented a paddock for him and a yearling that still needed doctoring. Getting the debris removed so fencing and shelters could be rebuilt was my first priority. So many people were gracious enough to help in this time of need. Nelda and Larry Kettles fostered and doctored two mares and a foal for two months. Express Ranch was gracious enough to let me stay at their apartment for two months while rebuilding my fence. After I was able to bring all of my horses home, I bought a fifth wheel to put on my property. Tammi Didlot, who co-owns Sugar, and I planned to put him back in training in May to get ready for Remington Park. He still has a few knots and scars, but the vet thinks he is sound enough to run. Sugarcreekdancer I appreciate so much the support that came from the horse industry, my family and friends, as well as strangers who seemed to appear out of nowhere to help clear the debris. Juan and Charlie Padilla were so helpful, not only coming to pick up the horses and taking them to the vet, but they also doctored and cared for a retired racehorse for several months. It is wonderful being able to move into a house with a safe room and saying goodbye to the fifth wheel. I was certainly nervous when the high winds and storms came. The horses were not the only ones spooked. I have rebuilt my barn, fences and shelters. Things are somewhat back to normal. Just praying we have a calm spring.
Friday, May 31, 2013, started out to be a beautiful day. I had three of my Sunday school ladies over for lunch and they enjoyed taking pictures and petting the horses. Of course, their favorite was a three-month-old foal picking on his mother. About 4 p.m., my daughter called and said, “Mom, are you watching the weather?” My company left and I headed out to feed the horses. I had 11 head here at the farm. Little did I know what to expect that night and the next morning after an EF5 twister destroyed my home, barn, fences and horse shelters, as well as the lives of six horses. My daughter, granddaughter and great-grandbaby and I went to the neighbors’ basement at about 5:15 p.m. We had only been there about 15 minutes when the power went out, and after that we could hear the awful wind noise, then a silence, and then it was even louder than the first time. I prayed for the horses because I knew with the strength of the wind that it was going to be serious for the horses and my property. The next morning, I saw one horse dead in the pasture and Mika’s Top Gun in the field standing about three-quarters of a mile from where he was the night before. I drove on my road and there stood Sugarcreekdancer, also about three-quarters of a mile from his paddock. Many friends came to help with their trailers. The horses were all so cut up and scared. They were all taken to Equine Medical Associates, where the vets said they looked like they had been sandblasted. Four had to be put down, including Mika’s Top Gun, and one of the mares lost her foal. Sugarcreekdancer was at EMA for three weeks, and
GEORGIA HORSE RACING COALITION NEWS Georgia Finds an Old Friend
The Georgia Horse Racing Coalition, a group of leading business and civic leaders who are dedicated to bringing first-class horse racing to Georgia, have announced a partnership with Old Friends, one of the nation’s leading Thoroughbred rescue and aftercare organizations. Old Friends, a nonprofit Thoroughbred retirement center in Georgetown, Kentucky, cares for more than 125 horses representing some of the finest bloodlines in American racing, including Bluesthestandard, a multiple graded stakes winner and Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) runner-up who was bred in Georgia. “The Georgia Horse Racing Coalition supports efforts to help find all racehorses—once their racing careers are over— a new home and a new job,” said Dean Reeves, president of the Georgia Horse Racing Coalition and owner of 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Mucho Macho Man. “Financial support of these retired athletes will be an integral
part of our legislative efforts to bring racing to Georgia. Partnering with Old Friends is an important first step in our commitment to this standard of care for horses after they leave the track.” “Our partnership with the Georgia Horse Racing Coalition will help us in our mission to spread the word about the necessity for dignified retirement and second careers for these great horses,” said Old Friends founder Michael Blowen. “By promoting these celebrated horses at Old Friends through a campaign of education and tourism, we draw attention to all retired Thoroughbreds and all equines in need, and we appreciate the support of GHRC.” Old Friends is considered a “living history museum of horse racing,” attracting nearly 20,000 tourists annually to see such stars of the turf as Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Gulch, multiple stakes winners Rail Trip and Commentator and the losing-est horse in the history of Thoroughbred racing, Zippy Chippy. Learn more about Old Friends at oldfriendsequine.org.
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STATE ASSOCIATION NEWS
NORTH CAROLINA THOROUGHBRED ASSOCIATION NEWS
President’s Notes Hello to our membership! I have very little to report at this time of the year, but I am proud of our membership and all the horses we have bred, owned and raced that are doing so well at the tracks around the nation. For a very small association, we are quite active in the horse world. I would also like to say something about our new members. Dan Davidson is our newest member, and he has already offered to help me post the entries for our horses when I am not able. Eileen Williams has been a great help for the past two years in posting our results on our Facebook page. You can find us by searching for North Carolina Thoroughbred Association on Facebook, and please follow us as we post pictures, news and other items of interest to our members. We also have links to many more horse sites there. Dan’s farm name is Sycamore Bark in Concord, North Carolina, and he is involved in breeding, racing and pleasure horses. It is very nice to have a new member like this. I was at the races in April at Keeneland, where I had a horse running without real good results, but to my amazement I ran into Chris Stiller, another new member, who had been at the sale. It was a pleasure seeing a member at the races; sorry I did not win so he could get in a picture. I hope all members pulled for We Miss Artie in the Kentucky Derby. He has connections to North Carolina as his sire, Artie Schiller, was owned by the late Tom Walsh, Denise Walsh and Denise’s father, and they still own part of the stallion. The dam of We Miss Artie is owned by Hubert Vester, who bred her and sold her as a yearling and then bought her back as a broodmare after she had We Miss Artie, who runs for Ken and Sarah Ramsey. I hope all have had a good spring and would love to have you send your pictures of all the foals and mares to post on Facebook, the NCTA website at ncthoroughbreds.com, in the NCTA newsletter and in Southern Racehorse, so please send away! Joanne Dew, NCTA President firstname.lastname@example.org
NCTA Member Racing News WINNERS:
CHOSEN, a Pennsylvania-bred 4-year-old filly (Cougar Cat—Dixie Lass, by Misbah), won at Mountaineer on March 31 at 5 ½ furlongs in a maiden special weight. She was bred by Jim Chandley and is owned by Corrigan Racing Stables Inc. and trained by Jim Corrigan. Congratulations to Jim. Misbah is also his stallion standing in Pennsylvania. DARING KATHY, a Florida-bred 3-year-old filly (Wildcat Heir—Dare to Mambo, by Kingmambo), won at Gulfstream Park on March 25 going 7 ½ furlongs in an allowance/optional claiming race. She is a homebred for John Eaton and Steve Laymon and is trained by David Fawkes. Looks like Steve may be on his way to another good horse to follow Dayatthespa. DIXIE JACKPOT, a Kentucky-bred 5-year-old mare (Bandini—Dixie Lass, by Misbah), won at Turfway Park on March 30 going six furlongs in an allowance/optional claiming race. She was bred by Jim Chandley and is owned by Jim and Tammy Freeman and trained by Tammy’s husband, Todd Freeman. She is Chosen’s half sister (see above), so double congratulations to Jim Chandley! ICE FOR THE LADY, a Kentucky-bred 3-year-old filly (Flatter—Zephyr Ice, by Military), won at Tampa Bay Downs on April 21 going six furlongs in an allowance/optional claiming race. She is owned by her breeder Kenan Rand Jr. and trained by Gerald Bennett. This is a filly to keep an eye on; she is really running well. ABEL A., a North Carolina-bred 3-year-old colt (Chelsey Cat—Carol’s Littlebit, by Above Normal), won at Parx Racing on April 19 going 5 ½ furlongs in a claiming event. Bred and owned by Nancy Shuford, the colt is trained by Cathal Lynch. Nancy owns and stands Chelsey Cat (by Storm Cat) at her Rock House Farm in Hickory, North Carolina. It is really nice to see a North Carolina-bred in the winner’s circle.
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2 N a
BIG Dreams. BIG Goals. BIG Results. KENNEDY
A.P. Indy - Lovely Regina, by Deputy Minister
By Red Hot Sire of Sires A.P. INDY. Three-Parts Brother to Champion BERNARDINI. There are 4 Stakes Winners from the A.P. Indy line in his immediate family, including 2012 Grade 1 SW LOVE AND PRIDE ($985,760, by A.P. Indy), sold for $4,900,000 at 2013 Fasig Tipton Kentucky Sale. Second Dam is Grade 1 Winner& Broodmare of the Year CARA RAFAELA ($884,452) 2014 Fee: $2,000 LIVE FOAL Stands & Nurses Nominated to Breeders’ Cup, OK Bred Program, OK , Illinois, Kansas, and Iowa Stallion Stakes.
In Excess - Truly Blessed, by French Deputy
#1 Second- Crop OK Sire by 2013 Earnings. #2 OK Sire by 2013 Juvenile Earnings. Top Ten OVERALL OK Sire by 2013 Progeny Earnings. Sire of 10% Stake Performers. Sire of 100% Juvenile Stakes Winners from Stakes Winners, including 2013 Razorback Futurity winner WARGAMER, 2013 4-length South American SW Awesome Gem and 2012 5 1/2 -length Canadian SW Risky Call. Three Time Graded Stakes Winner of $733,240 from the Sire line of Leading Sire Indian Charlie. 2014 Fee: $2,000 LIVE FOAL Stands & Nurses Nominated to Breeders’ Cup, OK Bred Program, OK , Illinois, Kansas, and Iowa Stallion Stakes.
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STATE ASSOCIATION NEWS
North Carolina Thoroughbred Association News (cont.)
PLACES: BOOGUCHI BOY, a West Virginia-bred 5-year-old horse (Mr. Sekiguchi—Denimsanddiamonds, by Private Terms), ran second at Charles Town on April 1 going seven furlongs in a claiming race. He is a homebred for James Anderson and is trained by Titus Hagy. GENERAL PARTNER, a Kentucky-bred 7-year-old gelding (Pulpit—Maze, by Broad Brush) was second at Aiken going two miles over hurdles in an allowance/optional claiming race on March 22. General Partner also ran third at Stoneybrook on April 5 going 2 3/8 miles over hurdles in a claiming race. He is owned by one of our new members, Johnny Eason, and was the North Carolina Thoroughbred Association Champion Steeplechaser for 2013. He may be on the way to getting another award this year.
SHOWS: SPECIAL CONGRATS, a Florida-bred 5-year-old gelding (Congrats—Frisky Cheerleader, by Roar) was third at Parx Racing on April 1 going 1 1/16 miles in an allowance race. He is owned by A and B Stables, trained by Frank Pollara and was bred by Beth Muirhead. Special Congrats was named Champion Allowance Horse at our last awards dinner, and Beth was our Breeder of the Year. MUGGLES, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old filly (Chelsey Cat—Ruggles, by Strawberry Road [Aus]), ran third at Penn National on April 2 going a mile in a claiming race. She was bred by Nancy Shuford, is owned by Peggy Serviss and trained by John Locke. BROCK SAYS, a Kentucky-bred 5-year-old gelding (Jump Start—Russian Bride, by Saratoga Six) ran third twice at Emerald Downs in 5 ½-furlong claiming races, one on April 12 and the other on April 20. He was bred by Hubert Vester and is owned by Randall and Rossi LLC and trained by Frank Lucarelli.
BREEDING: Courtesy Shelly Williamson
Shelly Williamson has sent us a photo of a Thoroughbred filly named Collins (Iron Social—Baby Chase, by Lac Ouimet) from the family of Pleasant Colony and Northern Dancer. Iron Social stands at White Pine Farm and is available for bookings. Contact Shelly Williamson at (704) 782-7341.
SOUTH CAROLINA THOROUGHBRED OWNERS AND BREEDERS ASSOCIATION NEWS Early Bird Nominations for Residency Races Close with 134
The early bird nominations for the 10th renewals of the South Carolina residency races, the Donna Freyer Stakes and Christopher Elser Memorial Stakes, closed with 134 nominations. This was down 23 percent from the 174 early bird nominations for last year. The races will be run at Parx Racing in November on a date to be determined. The Donna Freyer, for 2-year-old fillies, and Christopher Elser Memorial, for 2-year-old colts and geldings, will be contested at 6 ½ furlongs and are restricted to horses who spent at least 90 days in South Carolina prior to June 30, 2014. The last editions of the South Carolina residency races were held in February after twice being
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postponed by quarantines at Parx. Aunt Ellipsis captured the Donna Freyer with Elevated taking the Christopher Elser Memorial. The nomination lists include 62 colts/geldings and 72 fillies. As in past years, there is considerable sire power among the nominations with male offspring of such stallions as Colonel John, Discreet Cat, Malibu Moon and Scat Daddy and female nominees by Curlin, Harlan’s Holiday, Quality Road and Into Mischief, among others. Nominations will remain open with the regular nomination fee of $200 due by June 30. Nomination forms are available at sctoba.org.
South Carolina-trained Edge of Reality Named PTHA 3-Year-Old Colt of the Year Edge of Reality, who spent time training in South Carolina, was named the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association’s 3-Year-Old Colt of the Year. The Pennsylvania-bred is owned and was bred by Stuart Grant’s The Elkstone Group LLC. Grant also owns Camden Training Center.
The son of Lawyer Ron, who was conditioned by Anthony Dutrow and Philip Serpe during the year, won four of 10 starts and banked $367,695. The colt showed a particular affinity for Parx Racing, where he won four times in five starts and captured the $350,000 Smarty Jones Stakes (G3). Congratulations to Stuart and Edge of Reality.
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Congratulations to former SCTOBA President Ted Hoover, who sold a homebred Curlin colt for $700,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company spring sale of 2-year-olds in training. The Kentucky-bred, who is out of the graded stakes-winning millionaire Silent Eskimo, tied for the second-highest price at the auction.
Block House Steeplechase Honors SCTOBA Director J. Kelly Murphy III The Tryon Riding & Hunt Club is pleased to announce that the 68th Block House Steeplechase, held Saturday, May 3, at FENCE, was run in honor of SCTOBA officer J. Kelly Murphy III. Murphy has been a Block House volunteer for more than 20 years. Murphy grew up without horses in New York City and Philadelphia but became a foxhunter and steeplechase fan while at the University of Virginia School of Architecture. Having been on a Navy scholarship, he spent four years in the service after graduation and then worked at a Philadelphia-area architecture firm before opening his own practice in Chester County. Murphy’s wife, Annette, was a horse trainer and foxhunter herself, so the couple was active in the sport during their years in Pennsylvania. When they decided to look for a home in the South, access to J. Kelly Murphy III horses and hunting was a priority. They moved to Landrum, South Carolina, in 1988, and have since bred and raised Thoroughbreds for racing and other sports on their Keeping Time Farm near the founding Block House racecourse. Murphy began volunteering with the steeplechase in the early 1990s thanks to his neighbor, Jarrett Schmid, a longtime horsewoman who was chairman of the Block House for 12 years. Murphy has since served as a patrol judge, amateur race coordinator and officials coordinator, all roles that have benefited from his riding background.
As the officials coordinator, Murphy recruits and organizes all of the local officials required for the steeplechase, including patrol judges, jump marshals and placing judges. Murphy is also a member of the Block House Race Committee, which meets throughout the year to review all areas of the event, from hospitality to safety of horses, riders and spectators. “It takes a lot of people working in many areas to make things go smoothly,” he said. “It’s the nature of sport that you never know exactly what challenges you might face, so we evaluate each year’s event to consider if and how we can do things better.” Murphy said the committee has been gratified with the reports from the National Steeplechase Association stewards who attend the Block House each year. Erik Olsen “The NSA stewards evaluate every event and we get very good reports and some very nice comments from them,” he said. “It’s good to know that, from the viewpoint of the outside experts, we’re doing a good job.” Murphy was also gratified and surprised to have been chosen as the Block House honoree for 2014. “When TRHC President Nancy Z. Wilson told me, I was amazed. I’m still amazed,” he said. “Both the race committee members and the volunteers make the whole experience fun. It’s a great group of people to work with and I sure do enjoy doing it.”
Southern Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2014 27
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Entrepreneur Wes Melcher places a bet on Texas with his new Double Infinity Ranch by michael cusortelli
Courtesy Double Infinity Ranch
double infinity ranch began operations last year with an open house, and melcher addressed a crowd of several hundred who came to learn more about the sport and becoming an owner.
At an age when most boys are only concerned about making their Little League baseball team or passing a math test, Wes Melcher was planting the seeds for his life as an entrepreneur. A native of West Texas, Melcher began his career just before he became a teenager, when he operated a weekend baseball card business out of the garage of his family home in Canyon, about 20 miles south of Amarillo. At about the same time, he started a lawn-mowing business in which he employed several neighborhood kids to tend to the yards of about 50 homes. “I lined up the clients, and I hired my friends to mow the lawns and paid them by the hour,” Melcher recalled. “We weren’t even old enough to drive at the time, so we had to push our mowers from house to house.” Before he graduated from Canyon High School in 1996, Melcher had established a total of three businesses. His passion for travel eventually led him to the tourism industry, and in 2005 he helped start WorldVentures. Using the direct marketing model, he and his partners built the company into the world’s largest tour company with more than 100,000 members in 27 countries. Melcher, who turned 36 last New Year’s Eve, has also become one of the country’s most prominent young racehorse owners. And he’s just getting started.
A Passion for Travel
Courtesy Double Infinity Ranch
Melcher picked up the racetrack bug at an early age, and he fondly recalls his childhood trips to Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico in the 1980s. “I’ve always loved animals, so the aspect of being around the horses appealed to me,” Melcher said. “But there were other things I liked about racing, like the energy around the racetrack and the competitive nature of the sport. “My dad and grandfather were both entrepreneurs—my dad had car dealerships in Amarillo and near Lubbock—so we didn’t travel much when I was a kid,” he Southern Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2014 31
double infinity ranch features a five-eighths-mile track, and it might be the only thoroughbred facility in texas that also has a bed and breakfast.
Courtesy Double Infinity Ranch
added. “But we had a cabin in Ruidoso, and we’d go there to ski in the winter and attend the races during the summer. I always looked forward to the summertime trips. To me, the racetrack just seemed larger than life.” At age 18, Melcher departed Canyon for San Marcos, where he attended Texas State University on a debate scholarship. Four years later, he graduated with honors and a Bachelor of Science degree in political science and a minor in communications. While Melcher was at Texas State, he worked as a sales rep for Vector Marketing Corporation, a direct sales company that manufactures and markets Cutco cutlery. When he graduated from college, the company tabbed him to manage its Florida region. Melcher actually started his first travel company in 2002, while he was still employed by Vector. “It was a tour company where I took groups of students to Costa Rica,” he recalled. “I’d studied in Costa Rica while I was in college and fell in love with the country, so I did that for a few years until I helped start WorldVentures in 2005. “When we started WorldVentures, all of our members lived in the United States,” Melcher added. “We didn’t start our international expansion until 2009, and we decided to expand outside the U.S. because travel is really an international language. It’s something 32
Southern Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2014
people do all over the world. “Statistically, Americans are some of the least-traveled people in the world, especially when it comes to international travel,” he said. “So many Europeans speak two or three different languages, and they have all kinds of stamps on their passports. They can board a train and go through several different countries in a matter of just a few hours, whereas here a lot of Americans don’t even have a passport.”
Jumping into Racing Melcher’s success in business has enabled him to dive right into the horse racing industry, and he’s wasted no time establishing himself. Last summer, he bought an existing horse farm in northeast Texas and renamed it Double Infinity Ranch. One of Melcher’s biggest successes to date has been with a horse named, appropriately, Worldventurer. A Texas-bred gelding by Texas stallion Wimbledon of Valor Farm, Worldventurer was acquired by Melcher from his breeder, the late Clarence Scharbauer Jr., for $14,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Texas yearling sale in 2011. Worldventurer, the 2012 Texas Champion 2-Year-Old Colt/ Gelding, won four races for Melcher, including three stakes in Texas, and earned $207,932. Last year, Melcher sold the gelding to Peter Redekop BC Ltd. for $150,000 during the horses of racing age
session of the Fasig-Tipton Texas 2-year-olds in training sale. The Interstate 30, Double Infinity Ranch is home to Melcher’s broodgelding was shipped to Washington, where he scored a convincing mare band, which currently totals about a dozen. He also lives on the seven-length victory for his new connections in the $65,000 Emer- ranch, which includes two guest cottages and a bed and breakfast. Double Infinity is managed by Clifford Bailey, a Kentucky native ald Downs Derby and eventually took 2013 Texas Horse of the Year honors, in addition to the title of Texas Champion 3-Year-Old Colt/ and third-generation horseman. Prior to joining Double Infinity, Bailey served as manager for Mary Bonham’s nearby Rafter L Ranch. Gelding. After Melcher acquired the One of Melcher’s current runDouble Infinity property, he added ners is the 3-year-old Florida-bred two 30-stall barns, a round pen, a Flower Alley colt Louies Flower. EuroXcizer horse-training machine A $25,000 buy at the 2012 Ocala and a five-eighths-mile training Breeders’ Sales Company August track. Guests at the ranch’s bed and sale, Louies Flower won three races breakfast can tour the facility and during last year’s Remington Park watch morning workouts. meet, including the $250,000 Rem“The farm was just a few years ington Springboard Mile Stakes at old when we bought it, and it had odds of 23-1. really good existing facilities that Louies Flower ran in this year’s we couldn’t have built for the price Southwest Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn we paid for it,” Melcher said. “It Park and Louisiana Derby (G2) wasn’t my first choice for a locaat Fair Grounds Race Course, and tion, but it just kind of happened. I although he didn’t hit the board, was on my way to Arkansas to visit the experience did give Melcher a family, and the property caught my ride on the road to the Kentucky eye because it sits right on I-30. Derby. “Our first homebred baby will Also, Melcher owns a 2-year-old foal this year,” he added. “We don’t filly in partnership with Silas “Uncle currently stand a stud, but we plan Si” Robertson, one of the stars of to in the future.” the reality television series “Duck One of Melcher’s broodmares, Dynasty.” Named Sithechristmas Courtesy State Farm Shadia, is a 5-year-old winning Elf, the Louisiana-bred filly by uncle si one of the stars of the hit series daughter of Distorted Humor Forefathers is in training with Bret Calhoun and is expected to make duck dynasty is the co owner of the aptly and Smokey Glacken, a half sister by Forestry to champion sprinter her first start this summer. named sithechristmas elf with melcher Smoke Glacken. Melcher acquired “Si is going to do some appearances in conjunction with the filly’s races and with our farm here in Shadia in 2013, and she is currently in foal to emerging sire Pioneerof Texas, so I think it’s going to be a good partnership,” Melcher said. the Nile, a multiple Grade 1 winner and the 2009 Kentucky Derby “He wants to expand public interest in racing and get more fans to runner-up. “I was a big Pioneerof the Nile fan before he hit it big this year,” the track, as do I. “Si’s niece Ashley Howard Nelson and her husband, Jay, are good Melcher said. “I bought two yearlings from his first crop, and I bred friends of mine,” he added. “They both grew up in West Monroe, two of my mares to him last year. I like his sire, Empire Maker, and Louisiana, and I bought this filly at [the Breeders Sale Company of I’ve also seen him in person. A lot of times, people don’t get a chance Louisiana] sale in Monroe. She turned out to be the only horse I to actually see the stallions they breed their mares to, but I think it’s bought at this sale, and because they are from Monroe everything a really good idea.” kind of fell together for this partnership. It has some sentimental Doing His Homework value to it as well.” Melcher describes himself as a hands-on racehorse owner and The Birth of Infinity breeder, but he also attributes much of his success to Bailey and the Located in Sulphur Springs, about 50 miles northeast of Dallas on stable’s trainers, including Calhoun and Scotty Gelner, a veteran
Southern Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2014 33
A Marketer’s View of Racing
danny shifflett of lane’s end texas presents melcher with the 2012 texas champion 2-year-old colt/gelding award for worldventurer. conditioner who is based at Delta Downs during the winter. “I do a lot of research before I go to a sale,” Melcher said. “I’ve never wanted to be an absentee owner who just writes checks. I want to be involved in the actual decision making, so I’ve read just about every book I could find about horse racing so that I can make good decisions. I basically gave myself a horse degree during the 18 or so months before I got in the business.” Melcher also enjoys introducing new people to horse racing. “It seems like every time I go to the track, I take friends—a lot of whom have never been to a track—with me,” he said. “When I went to Oaklawn for the Southwest Stakes, I had about 20 people with me, and for Worldventurer’s last race for us at Sam Houston, we had about 50 in a suite at the track. “One of my business role models is Mark Cuban,” he added, referring to the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. “I don’t have the resources to buy an NBA team, but owning racehorses is just like owning a professional sports team, and it’s a lot more affordable than a lot of people think. “I’d like more people to realize that they can get into racing without spending a fortune,” Melcher said. “There’s a misconception in our industry that a racehorse owner has to be a Whitney or a Vanderbilt, and that’s just not true. We have partners on some of the horses that we currently race, and we’d like to do more of that. Owning racehorses is like owning your own sports franchise. I tell people that all the time. That’s the way I describe the experience.” H 34
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As a successful entrepreneur, Wes Melcher shared his knowledge and know-how as a leading author on the subject of marketing. His book, NetEasy Marketing: Taking the “Work” Out of Network Marketing, hit bookshelves in 2012. It is a guide to marketing a business in the 21st century and covers many of the marketing elements he used to help launch the travel company WorldVentures. Melcher has also invested in Texas racing at a time when many farms have either closed or relocated to neighboring states where purses and breeder awards are enhanced by revenue from alternative gaming. It stands to reason that Melcher would have some opinions on how racetracks should market their product, especially to newcomers. “Racetracks need to bring themselves up to the marketing standards set by organizations like the National Football League and National Basketball Association,” Melcher said. “They’re so much better at marketing their products than we are. “Our racetracks need to be more fan-friendly,” he added. “There’s not enough focus on customer service. Lines at the betting windows can be long, and newcomers who aren’t sure of what they’re doing can get nervous when they finally do get up to the window and there are impatient people behind them in line. That’s not conducive to a comfortable customer experience. “I think tracks should have more roaming bet takers, people who can spend time with customers and explain the different types of wagers to them. So many tracks these days are using antiquated betting systems. Nothing has really been upgraded.” Another thing that could be updated, according to Melcher, is the basic handicapping information presented in the official track program. “When I bring friends to the track and it’s their first visit, a program page looks like hieroglyphics to them,” he said. “It seems like I spend a lot of my time explaining the program to them. These days, people who play video games can pick a team to play a basketball or football game. They can look at the teams and easily compare strength, size, quickness and agility, and if they see a team they like they can say, ‘I’ll pick that team.’ “If track programs included more features like bar charts, newcomers would feel more comfortable making their selections,” Melcher added. “They wouldn’t feel intimidated, and they’d feel like they have a better understanding of what they were doing. That would be more customer-friendly than asking them to read a language they don’t understand.”
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LOPE Texas is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that partners with the Texas racing industry to help find racehorses of all breeds new careers. As part of its mission, LOPE provides ongoing public education on horsemanship techniques.
Southern Racehorse â€¢ MAY/JUNE 2014
Palmetto State Proving Ground The South Carolina Thoroughbred
industry is rich in history and champions
By Ben Baugh â€˘ Photos by Barry A. Bornstein Photography
The signature live oak in the Aiken Training Track infield is also the final resting place of 1948 champion 2-year-old colt Blue Peter, a son of War Admiral who died in Aiken at age 4.
Southern Racehorse â€˘ MAY/JUNE 2014
orse racing in South Carolina goes back nearly 300 years, with the first recorded race run in Charleston in 1734. The Palmetto State is rich in history, and some of the greatest horses to ever race either were broken or trained in the state renowned for its beaches, golf courses, outstanding food and southern hospitality. Despite not having pari-mutuel racing, South Carolina is a vital part of the North American racing picture. What is it about this small state with a modest equine inventory that allows it to produce more than its fair share of stakes winners and
champions? This past winter may have been an anomaly, as it was for much of the country, but South Carolina is renowned for its relatively mild climate, making it an ideal place to send a horse, with its good footing for preparing young horses, for bringing older horses back from layoffs and for helping those in training maintain their fitness. The state’s proximity to racetracks in the Mid-Atlantic, Kentucky, New York, Canada and South Florida is also popular with horsemen. Franklin “Goree” Smith Sr. purchased the Elloree Training Center in 1976, starting with 135 acres and gradually building the facility to its current size of more than 400 acres. Located near the small town of Elloree in the middle of the state, the Elloree Training Center has a six-furlong track, a starting gate that was built in 1939, eight barns and about 215 stalls. “The climate is very conducive to training horses,” said Smith, whose Elloree Trials have been a fixture in the South Carolina Midlands for 52 years. “You get all four seasons. It’s the natural norm. The soil is a great asset. The area has a history.” For a time, Thoroughbred racing was contested on a limited scale in the state, one Saturday a month during the winter, from 1940 to 1947, said Smith. Since then, most of the state’s contribution to the racing industry has been from its bevy of training centers. R.B. McCutchen, who owns and operates the McCutchen Training Center in Kingstree with his wife, Deborah, and their son Jason, is a fourth generation horsemen and, like his great-grandfather, grandfather and father, carries on a family tradition in much the same way others in the state do at their training centers. The McCutchen Training Center, located about 50 miles to the east of Elloree, holds its trials every November. “For the family, this is sort of an ongoing process,” McCutchen said. “The training center has been here for about 40 years. I built this particular racetrack about 25 years ago.” South Carolina’s soil and climate allow horses to be horses, making the state a perfect place to break and train and for horses needing to take a brief respite from the races, opined McCutchen. “We leave the horses barefooted,” he said. “I’m partial to the soil. We’re only 30 minutes from the coast. I think it’s advantageous for the horses to train barefoot. Normally, there’s no snow or ice. It’s great training weather.” A total of 39 champions have trained over the Aiken Training Track, a facility that has had a presence in the sport since 1941 and is located in Aiken’s calming and tranquil horse district, which sits in the western part of the state not far from the Georgia border. Over the decades, legendary horses such as Tom Fool, Kelso and Pleasant Colony have come through
Aiken, and the state as whole has been a home to an even longer list including Damascus, Ruffian and Secretariat. It’s a place where horses have the luxury of getting fit over dirt and clay roads and gradually becoming exposed to their surrounding environment, allowing them to adjust easier when they leave to go to the racetrack. The Aiken Trials, held each March, annually attract crowds of up to 10,000 spectators, despite there being, like at the trials in Elloree and Kingstree, no pari-mutuel betting. “The area’s mild climate is conducive to getting your stuff done,” said Brad Stauffer, president of the Aiken Training Track and co-owner of Legacy Stable where 2013 Belmont Stakes (G1) winner and one of this year’s top handicap horses Palace Malice trained in Aiken. “You get all four seasons. It’s really a great place to be. The track has a nice, natural base surface. Horses seem to love it. It’s a very equestrian-friendly town,
with a number of top veterinarians and farriers. It’s a very popular horse community, and people are very enthusiastic about the horses.” Palace Malice, bred by William S. Farish, runs for the Aiken-based partnership group of Dogwood Stable, operated by W. Cothran “Cot” Campbell. The city is also home to the Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum. Ron Stevens, who owns Legacy Stable in partnership with Stauffer, has raced all over the United States, spending most of that time on the West Coast, but when he came to Aiken in 1986, he found paradise. “In Aiken, you have a wonderful climate that gives you a bit of seasons, nothing real severe, so you don’t miss any training,” Stevens said. “We have a fantastic racetrack that was built with great drainage and cushion, so the horses stay sound. It’s unbelievable. I’ve been on a lot of training centers and a lot of tracks, and nothing comes close to Aiken in my opinion.” In addition to Palace Malice, Dogwood Stable’s Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Summer Squall, Eclipse Award winner Storm Song and six-time graded stakes winner Quality Road are among the graduates of the Legacy Stable program. “Between Brad and I and Legacy, we’ve had over 200 stakes winners with over $100 million in winnings with horses that have trained in Aiken,” Stevens said. “It’s a great place to be.” Southern Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2014 39
Trials are held in South Carolina at Aiken (pictured), Elloree and Kingstree, and although there is no legal betting or purses, the events attract large crowds and serve as a showcase for horses trained in the state.
Aiken,” Stevens said. “It’s a great place to be.” Cary Frommer, who has been among the nation’s leading 2-year-old consignors, is also based at the Aiken Training Track. “I’ve been doing it in Aiken for 30 years,” Frommer said. “The temperature is ideal. The horses get enough winter—it’s good for their immune system and their health—and it’s not a prolonged winter.” Major stakes winners Joyful Victory, Dance to Bristol, More Chocolate and Bradester have come out of Frommer’s program in recent years. “The horses seem to thrive in Aiken,” she said. “People in Aiken send out happy horses. The width of the racetrack is wider than any other track in South Carolina, which allows there to be traffic on the track, making it better for when a horse does ship out because they’re more acclimated to traffic.” The sister-brother team of Wilhelmina and Fred McEwen’s Fenwick Training Center in Rembert offers several unique amenities, but it’s their turf gallop that has attracted clients the past few years. Fenwick’s 350-acre facility has been home to champions Laugh and Be Merry and Caressing. Fenwick is also one of a few places in the region to offer an in-training quarantine facility. “The hill allows the horses to get fit,” Wilhelmina McEwen said. “The older fillies come to freshen up. They see the racetrack and they just settle down. It’s great for them mentally. You can have them walking home on a long rein after a gallop. The muscles a horse uses when galloping up a hill or on the turf is a lot more natural. They trade leads naturally.” The Midlands of South Carolina also has produced numerous outstanding horses. Jane Dunn owns and operates the Holly Hill Training Center in Holly Hill. Secretariat’s trainer, Lucien Laurin, operated the facility, formerly known as the Branchdale Training Center, at one time. Dunn broke and trained the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Blame and the ill-fated multiple graded stakeswinning filly and Kentucky Derby (G1) runner-up Eight Belles at Holly Hill. “I like the change of seasons,” Dunn said. “It’s mild enough that you’re able to train all winter. It helps the young horses, particularly those coming from Kentucky. They adapt a bit better.” The 154-acre facility features a six-furlong training track with 28 grass paddocks, so there is ample room for turnout. “It’s near Charleston, which is a great city, so it works out for my clients,” Dunn said. “So, if they bring their spouse 40
Southern Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2014
and they’re not interested in horses, there’s plenty to do.” The common goal among South Carolina’s training centers is to ensure the horses in their care receive the education and conditioning they need so they’ll be ready for the races. Wes Carter of Wes Carter Training Stable in Bamberg focuses on developing what he refers to as the “complete horse.” Carter’s facility has a five-eighths-mile track, four-stall starting gate and swimming facility. He also gallops his horses on the grass. Carter believes a horse should be sound in mind, body and spirit, and those attributes can be found in the graduates coming out of his training program. “We get horses with some foundation and education, and we condition them,” Carter said. “We’re patient; the horses love it and it’s fun to do. We’re a great believer in positive reinforcement. The horses will walk into the starting gate.” Camden, located a half hour from the state capital of Columbia, is home to Camden Training Center and Springdale Racecourse, the site of the Colonial Cup and Carolina Cup steeplechases, and the National Steeplechase Museum. Several Hall of Fame conditioners, known mostly for their steeplechase racing accomplishments, had or currently have a winter base in Camden, including W. Burling Cocks, Frank Whiteley Jr., Jonathan Sheppard and Janet Elliot. Horses such as Coronado’s Quest, Damascus, Forego, Hoist the Flag, Inside Information, Ruffian, Temperence Hill and Tom Rolfe were conditioned in Camden. The Camden Training Center features three tracks: a one-mile dirt track, a seven-furlong turf course and a half-mile dirt track. “It’s the weather, the soil and the people,” said Kip Elser, whose Camden-based Kirkwood Stables graduates include Plum Pretty, Soaring Softly and Smoke Glacken. “We get a real frost for about six weeks in the winter. A lot of us believe it kills the bugs. The horses grow a coat and shed their coat, so there’s a natural cycle. It’s advantageous. We have a variety of ways to train. We have a wonderful group of horse people and training centers. We’re all pulling for each other. It’s remarkably productive. “I’m in Camden and wouldn’t trade places with anyone,” Elser added.
The Webb Carroll Training Center in St. Matthews has enjoyed great success with 2011 Horse of the Year Havre de Grace, 2002 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem and 2011 Preakness winner Shackleford among the facility’s graduates. The training facility has carried on the tradition of many of the great Thoroughbred operations that used the Palmetto State as its winter base. Names such as Cain Hoy, King Ranch, Woody Stephens, the Prickett family, Odie Clelland, Lucien Laurin, Phil Utman and Othniel Wienges have added to the area’s character, said Webb Carroll, son of trainer William “Billy” W. Carroll Sr., who conditioned the beloved New England-based racehorse Charlie Boy, the winner of 58 races in the 1960s. Webb Carroll recently turned over more of the day-to-day responsibilities to his assistant trainer Travis Durr, but Carroll seems to be as active as ever. The training center has a seven-eighths-mile irrigated dirt track, a three-quarters-mile turf gallop and a half-mile wooded track. The training track allows as many as 18 horses to train abreast. The facility features an eight-horse and a six-horse EquiGym, as well as a swimming pool, which is used by Carroll as a resource for post-op horses and horses that have been sent to the center for rehabilitation. “It’s the climate,” Carroll said about why the area has generated such successful racehorses over the years. “The old timers, who had the best bred horses, would bring them down here for four or five months. It was a cool type of cold but not frigid. Horses are cold weather animals, and the climate is conducive to training. “It’s the accessibility of the area,” he added. “South Carolina is centrally located to a lot of racing jurisdictions. The climate and the conditions of the soil help to prepare the horses. It’s good, textured, sandy soil.” Ultimately, horse racing is about results on the track, and the rich history of South Carolina and long list of stakes horses proves that the state has played and will continue to play a big role in the sport. H For more information about the Thoroughbred industry in the Palmetto State, visit the South Carolina Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders AssociaSouthern Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2014 41
Eureka Thoroughbred Farm Proudly standing:
Pulpit • Arrested Dreams, by Dehere
Average earnings per starter of more than $53,000 with only four crops to race! ORATORY, a son of PULPIT, won the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park in stakes-record time. As a stallion, ORATORY has already sired 14 stakes horses with progeny earnings of $6 million!
2014 Fee: $3,500/LFG ANGLIANA
Giant’s Causeway • Pratella, by Jade Hunter A durable and sound son of GIANT’S CAUSEWAY! ANGLIANA, a listed stakes winner and four-time
G2 and G3-placed runner, faced the starter 31 times and hit the board in 18 of those starts while racing until age 8 and earning nearly $400,000. His first crop of foals are now on the track!
2014 Fee: $1,500/LFG Eureka Thoroughbred Farm
Inquiries to Bill Tracy 6476 U.S. Highway 290 E. • Fredericksburg, Texas 78624 Phone: (830) 688-1709 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website www.eurekathoroughbreds.com
River Oaks Farms
STANDING FOUR OF THE TOP STALLIONS IN OKLAHOMA!
Maria’s Mon • True Flare, by Capote
Already the sire of eight stakes horses and the earners of $5 million in three crops to race! LATENT HEAT won the prestigious Malibu Stakes (G1) and San Carlos Handicap (G2) at Santa Anita, both at seven furlongs, and also placed in two other graded races going two turns. He will have a crop of 81 2-year-olds ready for the track in 2014!
2014 Fee: $3,500/LFG
READ THE FOOTNOTES Smoke Glacken • Baydon Belle, by Al Nasr (Fr) Easily the leading sire in Oklahoma in 2013 with progeny earnings of $2.6 million! READ THE FOOTNOTES, who captured the Remsen Stakes (G2), Nashua Stakes (G3) and Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) during his brilliant career, has sired 22 stakes horses, including G1 winner RIGHTLY SO, with average earnings per starter of $53,000!
2014 Fee: $3,500/LFG
Gone West • Tizso, by Cee’s Tizzy
A Grade 3 winner from one of the best female families of all-time! TIZ WEST proved himself as a racehorse with a Grade 3 win at Hollywood Park, and his pedigree is second-to-none. He is a half brother to Haskell Invitational (G1) winner and Belmont Stakes (G1) runner-up PAYNTER, and his dam is a full sister to Horse of the Year and two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner TIZNOW and $2.8-million earner BUDROYALE! His first foals arrived in 2013 and look great!
2014 Fee: $2,000/LFG
Forest Wildcat • Wichitoz, by Affirmed
A lightning-fast son of FOREST WILDCAT! CHITOZ was fast enough to set a 5 ½-furlong turf course record at Monmouth Park in a stakes and had the stamina to finish second by a neck in the Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Juvenile going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. His first foals are 3-year-olds of 2014 and they are already finding their way to the winner’s circle!
2014 Fee: $2,000/LFG
River Oaks Farms Inc.
3216 U.S. Hwy. 177 North • Sulphur, Oklahoma 73086 Inquiries to Lori or Francisco Bravo Phone: (940) 367-4380 or (940) 367-4457 • Fax: (580) 622-4411 Email: email@example.com • Website: www.riveroaksthoroughbreds.com
Lone Star Park and Will Rogers Downs open their meets with a slew of stakes
Dustin Orona Photography
Dustin Orona Photography
The Southwest was hard hit by winter this year as snow, ice and cold temperatures engulfed the region on several occasions, but a sure sign of spring and warmer weather arrived with the opening of Lone Star Park in Texas and Will Rogers Downs in Oklahoma. Both tracks kicked off their Thoroughbred meets with a solid stakes schedule, including several events for state-breds. Here’s a look back at the stakes through May 3 at both tracks.
SOLAR CHARGE $50,000 Premiere Stakes Lone Star Park 6 ½ Furlongs • 1:17.63 • April 10 7-year-old gelding by Authenticate out of Another Sunlit, by Orbit Dancer Breeder: Carolyn Barnett (Texas) Owner: Carolyn Barnett and Lana and David Alford Trainer: Ellen Williams • Jockey: Glen Murphy
Dustin Orona Photography
$50,000 Wayne Hanks Memorial Stakes Lone Star Park 6 ½ Furlongs • 1:18.52 • April 12 6-year-old mare by Pulling Punches out of Slim’s Secret, by Desert Secret (Ire) Breeder/Owner: Judy Peek (Texas) Trainer: Kevin Peek • Jockey: Chris Rosier
$200,000 Texas Mile Stakes (G3) Lone Star Park 1 Mile • 1:36.68 • April 26 6-year-old gelding by Strong Contender out of My Twilight Dancer, by Twilight Agenda Breeder: Epona Thoroughbreds (Kentucky) • Owner: Maggi Moss Trainer: Thomas Amoss • Jockey: Richard Eramia
Southern Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2014
DIAMOND LUCY $50,000 Wilma Mankiller Memorial Stakes Will Rogers Downs 6 Furlongs • 1:09.91 • March 24 4-year-old filly by Lewis Michael out of Matilda Dancer, by Green Dancer Breeder: Mays Farm (Louisiana) Owner/Trainer: Eleuterio Martinez Jr. Jockey: Glen Murphy
$50,000 Clem McSpadden Memorial Route 66 Stakes Will Rogers Downs 6 Furlongs • 1:10.49 • March 25 4-year-old gelding by Nobiz Like Shobiz out of Aletha, by Conquistador Cielo Breeder: Chris Duncan and Elizabeth Valando (Oklahoma) Owner: Paul L. Sinclair Trainer: Jody Pruitt • Jockey: Jose Medina
Z Rockstar (inside)
$55,000 Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs Classic Distaff Sprint Stakes Will Rogers Downs 6 Furlongs • 1:11.62 • April 14 4-year-old filly by Stephen Got Even out of Sallybrooke, by Dehere Breeder/Owner: Doyle Williams (Oklahoma) Trainer: Roger Engel • Jockey: Cliff Berry
$55,000 TRAO Classic Sprint Stakes Will Rogers Downs 6 Furlongs • 1:09.69 • April 15 5-year-old gelding by Rockport Harbor out of Nasty Little Star, by Nasty and Bold Breeder/Owner: Robert H. Zoellner (Oklahoma) Trainer: Donnie Von Hemel • Jockey: Luis Quinonez
MORE THAN EVEN
FESSTUNE $64,500 Oklahoma Stallion Stakes (colts and geldings division) Will Rogers Downs 1 Mile • 1:38.34 • May 3 3-year-old gelding by Omega Code out of Fess, by Festin (Arg) Breeder/Owner: Clark O. Brewster (Oklahoma) Trainer: Scott Young • Jockey: Justin Shepherd Sire Omega Code stands in Oklahoma at Rockin’ Z Ranch
HEYKITTYKITTYKITTY $55,000 Oklahoma Stallion Stakes (fillies division) Will Rogers Downs 1 Mile • 1:39.40 • May 3 3-year-old filly by Tactical Cat out of Eternal Joy, by New Way Breeder: Diamond G Ranch Inc. (Oklahoma) Owner: Westrock Stables LLC Trainer: Ron Moquett • Jockey: Jose Medina Sire Tactical Cat stands in Oklahoma at Raywood Farm Southern Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2014 45
Join us for a unique opportunity to attend a first-class educational and entertaining experience for current and prospective owners in the sport of Thoroughbred racing. address from Hall of Fame golfer and Thoroughbred owner Gary Player
day of racing at Keeneland Race Course
reception at Adena Springs Farm
learning from racing’s leading owners and trainers
sales and bloodstock professionals on finding athletes
Keeneland Race Course
Visit OwnerView.com for more information & registration details. Hosted by OwnerView, a joint venture between The Jockey Club and Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. Presented by Del Mar, Keeneland, NYRA and The Stronach Group.
HARMONY TRAINING CENTER
TOC-14107 DerbyProgram.indd 1
4/21/14 4:56 PM
Where winners train! HTC, centrally located in Inola, Oklahoma, is the premier location for your Thoroughbred and American Quarter Horse training needs.
Through April of this year, HTC-trained horses have already earned $1,064,822 with several stakes winners! In 2013, HTC-trained horses earned over $3-million!
• Why choose HTC? • • HTC is located near Tulsa and an easy haul of less than 12 hours to 12 tracks, including Remington Park, Will Rogers Downs, Fair Meadows, Lone Star, Sam Houston, Retama and Oaklawn • Approved for official timed workouts • Completely railed, professionally-maintained training track is 40’ wide and 6 furlongs with a 350-yard chute • 152 stalls, each 11’ by 12’ • Round pens, sand pen, walkers and starting gate usage included with stall rental
HARMONY TRAINING CENTER
34396 S. 4220 Road • Inola, OK 74036 • 918-843-2301 (cell) • 918-543-6940 (office) info@HarmonyTrainingCenterOK.com • www.HarmonyTrainingCenterOK.com 46
Southern Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2014
Colt or Filly?
Fetal sexing now allows breeders to know the sex of a foal well before he or she is born
By Kimberly French Denis Blake
Before super mares Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta, there was Fleet Indian, who in 2006 took the distaff division by storm when she reeled off six straight stakes wins by a combined total of more than 30 lengths. But the streak came to a shocking halt in that year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), when the New York-bred daughter of Indian Charlie pulled up with a suspensory injury. She ended her career with 13 triumphs from 19 starts and earnings of $1.7 million, plus an Eclipse Award for Champion Older Mare. Fleet Indian was just getting started as a broodmare when her star-crossed life ended in 2011 due to complications from colic, but not before she made a bit more history. When Fleet Indian went through the ring at the 2007 Keeneland November breeding stock sale, she had recovered from the surgical repair of the injury, but perhaps more notably, the foal the mare was carrying, a colt by Storm Cat, was one of the first Thoroughbred horses whose sex was announced at auction as a result of fetal sexing.
Southern Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2014 47
The Benefits of Knowing For humans, knowing the sex of a child before birth has been commonplace for some time, even if the practical use of such information is often limited to what color to paint the nursery or what kind of clothing to give at the baby shower. With racehorses, however, it’s a whole different ballgame. There are many reasons a breeder would want to know the sex of a foal before its hooves hit the ground. In fact, the new arrival’s gender could be the determining factor as to whether the horse will be kept or sold, and knowing that in advance can give the breeder a head start on those plans. “Experienced veterinarians can identify the sex of a fetus in a matter of seconds or, at most, minutes, with close to 100 percent accuracy,” wrote Regina Turner, VMD, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’s New Bolton Center in a paper at the 2013 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention. “For the rest of us, it can take much longer. Even with lots of time and a patient mare, you will sometimes have to walk away without obtaining the perfect image. When this is the case, coming back the next day and re-examining the mare can really be a big help. The fetus may be in a better position or you might just be luckier that day and find that the perfect image jumps right out at you.” Fetal sexing entails viewing the fetus through a transrectal ultrasound and then analyzing the results. It sounds quite simple, but Dr. Tom Riddle from Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington,
Southern Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2014
Kentucky, states in an article for FriesianWorld.com that it is not exactly a fail-safe procedure, although the results can be up to 99 percent accurate with the correct conditions. “The procedure is difficult to perform, not because it is challenging to interpret the ultrasound image, but rather because it is difficult to place the ultrasound probe in the position necessary to view the required image,” he wrote. “Most mares tolerate this procedure very well, but in some cases, it does require a slightly deeper placement of the ultrasound probe than in the routine pregnancy ultrasound.” Naturally, there are constraints due to the development and positioning of the fetus that determine when fetal sexing is possible. “Determination of fetal gender is possible between about days 55 and 70 and days 110 to 150 of gestation using transrectal ultrasound examination,” Turner wrote. “Prior to day 55, the genital tubercle is located in a relatively neutral position between the hind legs of the fetus. However, after about day 55, the tubercle migrates and becomes located closer to the umbilical cord in the male fetus and underneath the tail head in the female fetus. Identification of the genital tubercle and its position relative to the umbilical cord and tail head thus allows for identification of fetal gender. “Beyond approximately days 80 to 90, the conceptus and the uterus descend over the pelvic brim into the caudal abdomen, usually placing the hindquarters of the fetus out of reach via the transrectal approach,” she continued. “However, around days 110
to 120, the fetus becomes more buoyant and once again can be examined successfully transrectally until approximately day 150. At this stage, gender determination is somewhat trickier and depends on identification of the external genitalia. Nonetheless, with an experienced examiner, gender can be accurately determined over 90 percent of the time. Beyond approximately day 150 and until term, you also can perform fetal sexing via a transabdominal ultrasonographic approach; however, this is much more time consuming, requires specialized ultrasonographic equipment and generally is not as successful as the transrectal approach.”
The Fetal Sexing Process How fetal sexing is performed is fairly straightforward. The mare is restrained in the same fashion she would be for a normal reproductive tract ultrasound. Stocks are the top choice, and the ideal environment is one that has a very low light level to better see the images on the machine’s screen. If the mare is fractious, the veterinarian may opt to sedate her, and even if she does stand quietly there is still merit in administering a mild sedative because it will diminish how frequently the fetus moves in the womb. Of course, top-quality equipment produces the best results, and it also enables the procedure to go much smoother because it makes identifying the minute sex organs easier. Before inserting the scope, the veterinarian will ensure the mare’s rectum is free of manure and then examine the uterus first to confirm the mare is indeed pregnant and to pinpoint where the fetus is within the uterus. Once the veterinarian performs these steps, he or she will need to determine which end of the fetus is the head and which is the rear. The practitioner’s goal is to acquire several different images of the rear of the fetus. A frontal view enables the veterinarian to see the genital tubercle in the male, and a cross-sectional view allows for examining both genders’ tubercles. For a frontal view, the veterinarian will move the transducer into position until he or she sees what is referred to as a long axis section of the fetus. This is usually done by placing the transducer on the underside of the uterus, but on occasion, depending on where the fetus is, the transducer must be moved to the front or side of the uterus to obtain the best possible image. From there, the veterinarian scrutinizes the images and then determines the sex based upon that data. Although the technique sounds fairly basic, Turner cautions it is not quite as simple for veterinarians to learn as one might think. “This is not an easy technique to master,” she wrote. “A good way to learn is to find a few pregnant mares between 60 and 70 days’ gestation that you can examine daily for three to five days. If you
look at the same pregnancy over and over, you will become more confident with what you see. For example, if you have seen what you think is a positive male view four days in a row, then you will feel more confident that you have gotten it right. One problem with this technique is that you don’t get to know whether your call was right or wrong for about nine months after you do the exam. By that time, it is easy to forget what you saw during the exam that made you think the fetus was a colt or a filly. For this reason, when you are starting out, take excellent notes of what you see and save still pictures or, even better, digital video of your exams so that you can go back and review your findings after the foal was born and know the answer.”
Window of Opportunity Riddle acknowledges the procedure is accurate during the second time frame of 110 to 130 days, but he suggests performing the examination during the first available opportunity, if possible. “I prefer the earlier window (58 to 76 days) because the fetus is almost always in a location that permits the necessary view of the same anatomy,” he wrote. “With the second window, approximately 15 percent of the time the fetus cannot be viewed properly and a repeat examination at a later date is needed. Because a second examination may be needed, it is best to check the mares early in the second window to allow time for a second examination.” There are a myriad of reasons fetal sexing can be performed on a mare during her pregnancy, but Riddle points out it is usually much more than simple curiosity. “Probably the most common reason for requesting fetal sexing is to provide prospective buyers at the broodmare sales with the sex of the mare’s fetus,” he wrote. “Whether the mare is carrying a colt or a filly may have a significant effect on her value. An analysis of the past 10 Keeneland September yearling sales shows colts averaging 25.7 percent more than fillies (thanks to Mark Taylor of Taylor Made for providing this information). Providing prospective buyers with the sex of the foal the mare is carrying gives the buyer one more piece of information to factor into the price he or she is willing to pay for the mare. “In these challenging economic times,” Riddle continued, “spending money wisely is more important than ever. The decision to fetal sex a mare should be made based on the mare, the owner’s circumstances and the intended use of the information. In many cases, the relatively small investment in the cost of fetal sexing ($135 in our practice) can generate a significant return for the owner.” H
Southern Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2014 49
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Southern Racehorse â€˘ MAY/JUNE 2014 51
THE TREND CONTINUES..... Record Sale in 2013....
Big Sugarush Iowa Stallion Stakes
Record Winners at the track....
The OKC SUMMER SALE
Select Thoroughbred Yearlings and Horses of Racing Age
August 18, 2014
Following Remington Park’s Opening Weekend.
Entries Due June 10, 2014
Miss Natalie SW $280,190
Entries at www.cartersalesco.com • Terri Carter • 405 640 8567
Even as 2-year-olds, racehorses are still growing and have different nutritional needs compared to older horses.
Nutrition for the Young Racehorse Denis Blake
Proper feeding of yearlings and 2-year-olds can help lead you to the winner’s circle By Heather Smith Thomas
Young horses in race training have special needs for nutrition because they are working, becoming fit and still growing. The nutrition choices you make today can have a big impact on future success on the track. Dr. Stephen Duren, owner of Performance Horse Nutrition, is an equine nutritionist who travels around the world consulting with horse breeders and trainers. He said a nutrition plan is especially important for Thoroughbred yearlings starting the breaking and training process after going through a sale. “They have been sales-prepped, which usually includes a high level of nutrition and some basic exercise,” Duren stated. “They’ve been hand-walked or exercised on a mechanical walker to get them fit and looking good. “When they go from the sale to a training center, there is a tendency to not feed them quite as well during the initial stages of breaking,” he added. “Trainers are trying to get hold of [the young horses’] minds and make sure they don’t hurt themselves.” The rationale is that a trainer may not want these young horses to be overly exuberant and bursting with energy from a lot of “hot” feed. Many trainers feel that a lower level of feed will help keep youngsters calmer and tractable during this early training process. “If you take a young horse that has a very basic level of fitness and start him in a training program, he is remodeling bone and trying to keep growing,” Duren explained. “If you back off on the nutrition, he will tend to fall apart or not stay sound. Many of the early injuries we see in young racehorses are due to some of the feeding programs during the initial stage of training. The trainers are not feeding an adequate diet; it’s not fortified as much as these young horses need.” In other words, the demands on their bodies are suddenly increased but the feed is not increased along with it. Southern Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2014 53
A proper nutrition plan is important after buying a yearling at auction to help the young horse transition into training.
“There’s an easy way to fix this,” Duren said. “Trainers can feed a concentrated pellet containing protein, vitamins and minerals rather than a concentrated grain mix. Then these horses won’t be trying to jump out of their skins but will still have enough nutritional building blocks to keep growing and repair the skeleton as it remodels.” The 2007 edition of Nutrient Requirements of Horses, a publication aimed at providing accurate information for horse owners, addresses this topic. “It now lists the nutrient requirements for a long-yearling in training,” Duren said about the publication. “The nutrition scientists realized this was a big blank in our earlier nutrition wisdom. We know how to feed the broodmare properly, get the foal started on feed, prep it as a yearling, but then we went through a 60-day void for feed recommendations while the yearling is being broken and started in training. “The other thing that’s important to realize is that when a horse is in training, the cardiovascular system becomes fit first—much quicker than the body becomes structurally fit,” he added. The horse develops a strong heart and lungs and strong muscles before the bones become stronger. “These horses are ready to run fast before their skeleton can handle it,” Duren said. “By not feeding them properly, we predispose them to bucked shins, many types of fractures and micro-fractures of the cannon bone, etc., because nutrition in some cases is sub-par.” Duren said he was surprised by the number of horsemen and horsewomen who make that mistake, which is easy to prevent by using supplement pellets or balancer pellets to make sure the important nutrients are there. If an owner or trainer is trying to get the young horse used to eating a larger volume of feed without overdoing the carbohydrates, mixing the supplement pellets with something like beet pulp can help. “This makes a larger feeding and the horse feels like he’s getting a more 54
Southern Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2014
satisfying stomach fill,” Duren said. For young horses in training, Duren advised feeding a small amount of alfalfa as well. According to Duren, about two pounds of alfalfa per day is helpful for young horses to provide additional protein and calcium. A young horse needs a lot of calcium when building and remodeling bones. The protein is also important for muscle growth, development and rebuilding. Bone also needs a significant amount of protein to grow and remodel. “The other thing we need to address is that most of the early training diets utilize some grain—which typically is high in phosphorus,” he said. “This needs to be balanced with more calcium, which can be provided by alfalfa. Another thing alfalfa is beneficial for is the buffering effect of calcium in the stomach, to help prevent or give relief from ulcers. It just makes sense to start these young horses on a supplement pellet and a little alfalfa (for its high mineral content) when they come into the breaking process.” The trace minerals in alfalfa are important, but the calcium is especially key because it is the major component of bones. You don’t want to shortchange young horses on calcium at that stage of their training. “If the trainer makes a nutrition mistake and the horse doesn’t hold up and goes lame or is injured, the subsequent layoff results in wasted days,” Duren said. “It takes longer for the horse to recover, become sound again and get back to the track.” That horse will have a longer training period and you’ll have more money invested in him before he can start to race. “The supplement pellets may cost about $1 per day and are cheap considering their value for the horse, since they are not grain-based,” he added. “They are mostly just mineral and protein.” As young horses get farther into training and need a bigger meal, said Duren, you can gradually decrease the amount of supplement pellets and put them on a diet that would be more adequate for a young horse that’s doing more galloping. “By then, these horses can utilize the type of diet you would feed a 2-year-old in training,” Duren added. “The trainer isn’t as worried now about the young horse’s mind and can feed him enough to handle more exercise, using some of the feeds created for 2-year-olds. You can make the transition from the supplement pellet to the 2-year-old feed, but keep feeding the alfalfa.” For winter feeding of 2-year-olds in training, the energy level of the diet is increased. These horses are working harder than they were in their early training and are still growing. “There are several types of race diet at the track,” Duren stated. “Most trainers are feeding higher protein levels with adequate amounts of energy but also a higher level of trace mineral/vitamin package for these young horses. Exercise stimulates these horses to grow. Most people think they are done growing by the time they are 2-year-olds, but they are not. The 2-year-old racehorse needs to be on a higher plane of nutrition than a 3- or 4-year-old.”
As young horses advance into maturity, they can then be fed a more have difficulty maintaining their weight. typical race diet, which, said Duren, has changed from the traditional “Regarding yearlings in training during winter, a person should not be oats to a feed fortified with multiple categories of energy. afraid to feed them according to body condition,” Duren advised. “We “These diets contain some of the soluble carwant to keep them in a high enough body condibohydrates from grains and starchy products and tion that they can train and grow without losing some from the super fibers like beet pulp and soy weight. They are expending more calories and you hulls that are highly fermentable,” he said. “These don’t want a yearling or 2-year-old to be thin. fibers can be digested in the hindgut while producThey need some body reserves to help overcome ing the same energy as an equal dry weight of oats.” the stress of shipping to different places. If they These fibers can supply needed energy without the have a bit of cushion, they are less apt to become risks of colic and laminitis that come with extensive sick and will do much better.” grain feeding, and the use of fats in these feeds can As young horses get closer to racing, their also provide more calories without the risk. condition will pull down a little just because As a result, racehorse diets today are more effecthey are very fit, but you still want to keep some tive and safer than they were 20 years ago. “Feed extra condition so they’ll have some body reserves. companies are making race diets much safer than With a little buffer, they are not right on the edge they were before,” Duren opined. “We don’t get and can bounce back quicker. as much digestive upset, etc. Trainers can make “If they are on the edge, it’s all too easy to Courtesy Performance Horse Nutrition LLC the transition from a supplement pellet/alfalfa for knock them back and it’s harder for them to come “Many of the early injuries we young horses that are just starting the breaking back,” Duren said. “You have to regroup and start see in young racehorses are due process to a diet that is higher in protein and add over if they miss some training days. This costs in to some of the feeding programs some energy back into it for the 2-year-olds. Then, during the initial stage of training,” many ways, with a delay in when the horse can as they mature, we can add more fat when they actually get to the races and realize his potential said Dr. Stephen Duren of get into a full racing campaign—especially if they and become profitable.” H Performance Horse Nutrition.
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Published on May 19, 2014
The May/June 2014 issue of Southern Racehorse features articles on Wes Melcher's Double Infinity Ranch in Texas, the Thoroughbred industry i...