Southern Racehorse - November/December 2012

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w w w . s o m NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012


A Division of Center Hills Farm Breeding • Boarding • Foaling • Lay-ups • Sales Prep Standing:

• Air Commander (Point Given-Santaria, by Star de Naskra) A Grade 2-winning son of Horse of the Year POINT GIVEN

• RA RA SUPERSTAR (Deputy Minister-Miss Ra He Ra, by Rahy) Two Breeders’ Cup champions in bottom side of pedigree

• Save Big Money (Storm Cat-Tomisue’s Delight, by A.P. Indy) Versatile, record-setting multiple stakes-placed runner out of G1 millionaire

• The Visualiser (Giant’s Causeway-Smokey Mirage, by Holy Bull) $1 million yearling and graded stakes-placed son of GIANT’S CAUSEWAY

• Toccet (Awesome Again-Cozzene’s Angel, by Cozzene) Multiple G1 winner with progeny earnings of nearly $10 million

• Kipling (Gulch-Weekend Storm, by Storm Bird) Now standing in Oklahoma at Mighty Acres! Sire of Breeders’ Cup winner and all-time leading Oklahoma-bred KIP DEVILLE ($3.3 million in earnings)

For Sale: Oklahoma-Bred Mares • Yearlings • Weanlings

Mighty Acres

675 W. 470 Rd. • Pryor, Oklahoma 74361 Phone: 918-825-4256 • Cell: 918-271-2266 • Fax: 918-825-4255

New to Lane’s End Texas

TOUCH TONE Pick Up the Phone-Super Seniorita, by El Baba

2013 STUD FEE: $1,500 LIVE FOAL

A TOP GENERAL SIRE IN TEXAS IN 2012 Sire of 61% Winners/Starters, incl. HIDDEN RECIPE - Listed SW OF $131,286 IM A BEAR - Multiple Listed SW of $122,060 NO OTHER TONE - 6X Stakes-Placed of $168,468 PERFECT MEADOW - Listed Stakes-Placed Winner DRUNK DIAL - Lone Star Park Record Setter

Grasshopper • Sing Baby Sing • Supreme Cat • Too Much Bling • Touch Tone • Valid Expectations Owner - W. S. Farish | Manager - Danny Shifflett | 26685 Mitchell Rd., Hempstead, TX 77445 (979) 826-3366 Cell: (713) 303-8509 Fax: (979) 826-9405 | E-mail: Photo: Dan Shugart

Louisiana-bred and Texas-bred Thoroughbred Yearlings (Foals of 2011) For Sale! Broke & Galloping • From $3,000 and up

For information and pedigrees, contact Asmussen Horse Center (956) 723-5436 or (956) 763-8907 (Keith’s cell) • • Western Rock: LA-bred gelding by Intimidator out of Ms Classic Jones (dam of stakes-placed Authentic Jones) • Pocket Lucky: LA-bred gelding by Heckle out of Lookin Lucky (2-time stakes winner with earnings of $215,760) • Primistal Peak: TX-bred filly by Primal Storm out of Horseshoe Peak (dam of two $100K winners) • Primal Lad: TX-bred gelding by Primal Storm out of Famous Lady Jones (dam of stakes-placed Jones Focus) • Pining Play: LA-bred filly by Intimidator out of Pining Jones (dam’s first foal placed in first start this year) • Pepper Jones: TX-bred filly by Seneca Jones out of Pepper Rossi (dam of multiple winner Fueled by Kaffine) • Ms Jones Calling: TX-bred filly by Seneca Jones out of Cuvee Call (first foal of winning Cuvee mare) H First Trick: LA-bred gelding by Primal Storm out of Estrick (Full brother to $117k earner ESTRICKATOR, winner of the Texas Stallion Stakes) • Cope with Seneca: TX-bred gelding by Seneca Jones out of Cope with the Cat (young dam by Tale of the Cat) • Cats Gone: LA-bred gelding by Intimidator out of Cats Rule (dam of 4 winners from 5 starters) • Mr Rockin West: LA-bred gelding by Intimidator out of Mr Rockin Jones (only starter is a winner) • Seneca Spirit: TX-bred gelding by Seneca Jones out of Hannah’s Royalrock (2-time SW and winner producer) • Desert Jones: TX-bred filly by Seneca Jones out of Grayfulness (dam of stakes-placed Seneca Prowler) • Racin’ Lass: TX-bred filly by Seneca Jones out of Frances Slew (young mare by Slewacide) • Yazi West: LA-bred by Intimidator out of Ethel is Best (dam of Seneca Woman, who produced $110K earner) H Starator: LA-bred filly by Intimidator out of Star Legend (foal is full brother to SW & $144K earner WESTERNATOR) • Empress Storm: TX-bred filly by Primal Storm out of Empress Jones (young mare by Seneca Jones) • Primal Revival: TX-bred gelding by Primal Storm out of Our Revival (dam by Ide earned $150K with 7 wins) • Saras Lad: TX-bred gelding by Seneca Jones out of Saras Boots (dam’s first foal is already a winner) • Titan Jones: TX-bred gelding by Seneca Jones out of Ana’s Lady Bird (dam earned $71K in 2 wins) • Kendras Play: LA-bred filly by Intimidator out of Kendras Jones (young mare by Seneca Jones) • Unnamed: LA-bred gelding by Intimidator out of Lady Seneca (dam of SW LADY PRIMAL) • Unnamed: LA-bred gelding by Intimidator out of Lady Cuvee (young mare by Cuvee) • Unnamed: LA-bred gelding by Intimidator out of Karitsas Punch (young mare by Two Punch) • Unnamed: TX-bred filly by Primal Storm out of Fortunate Way (dam of 6 winners) • Unnamed: TX-bred colt by Seneca Jones out of Victoria Regia (young mare by Theatrical [Ire]) • Unnamed: LA-bred filly by Intimidator out of Ruellia (first foal of Candy Ridge [Arg] mare) • Unnamed: TX-bred gelding by Primal Storm out of Ms Classic Seneca (first foal of 2-time stakes winner) • Unnamed: TX-bred filly by Seneca Jones out of Dixie’s Destiny (young mare by Dixieland Band) • Unnamed: LA-bred filly by Primal Storm out of Readylight (first foal has earned $31,280 as 2-year-old) • Unnamed: PA-bred filly by Primal Storm out of Princess Cashtime (dam of 7 winners) Asmussen Horse Center • Keith Asmussen • P.O. Box 1861 • Laredo, TX 78044 Phone: 956-723-5436 • Fax: 956-723-5845 • •

ASH! NEWS FL ed the

ATOR sir INTIMID oth divisions of fb winners o 0 Texas Stallion ,0 5 the $7 0 etama Park. Stakes at R to breeder/owner tions Congratula cherr on new stakes S TOR Connie STRICKA winners E ALATOR! and ESSC


Keith and Marilyn Asmussen

No better breeding for the money! Thoroughbred yearlings (2-year-olds of 2013) for sale! Broke and galloping! Contact us for more info!


Valid Appeal – Mepache, by Iron Constitution A full brother to perennial leading Texas stallion VALID EXPECTATIONS, LITTLEEXPECTATIONS has already sired the earners of nearly $4 million, including Grade 2 winner and Grade 1-placed KING OF THE ROXY. LITTLEEXPECTATIONS offers breeders an incredible value!


2013 Fee: $1,500

Gone West – Colonial Play, by Pleasant Colony

2013 Fee: $1,500

INTIMIDATOR swept both divisions of the $75,000 Texas Stallion Stakes at Retama Park as ESSCALATOR (2 wins in 3 starts, earnings of $64,457) and ESTRICKATOR (3 wins, 3 stakes-placings in six starts, earnings of $117,418) both won by daylight! INTIMIDATOR is also the sire of WESTERNATOR (earnings of $144,092), who just won the $150,000 Louisiana Legacy Stakes going a mile at Delta Downs.


Storm Boot – Primistal, by Stalwart Grade 3 winner PRIMAL STORM already has a stakes winner with LADY PRIMAL and is the sire of talented 2-year-olds like Texas-bred Primed and Ready, who has five second-place finishes in Southern California with earnings of more than $28,000; Texas-bred Primal Way, an eight-length maiden winner at Monmouth Park; and Louisiana-bred Primal Zone, who won by 6 1/2 lengths at first asking at Remington.

2013 Fee: $1,500 Asmussen Horse Center • Keith Asmussen • P.O. Box 1861 • Laredo, TX 78044 Phone: 956-723-5436 • Fax: 956-723-5845 • •

THINK TEXAS-BREDS DON’T SELL AT AUCTION? Yearlings by Valor Farm stallions do! At this year’s Fasig-Tipton Texas Summer Yearling Sale they sold for $40,000, $26,000 and $25,000. Check out the averages for Valor stallions below.

EARLY FLYER $29,000 average xas at F-T Te g in l Year ! e l a S

Gilded Time – Bistra, by Classic Go Go The #3 overall sire in the state of Texas, EARLY FLYER has already sired 20 stakes horses with average earnings per starter of over $33,000! EARLY FLYER is the only stallion to sire two 2011 Texas Champions – SWORD TRICK and TAMTASTIC.

2013 Stud Fee: $3,000

$15,25 0 aver a g e at F-T Texa s Year ling Sale!

my golden song

Unbridled’s Song – Golden Par, by Gold Meridian

A talented son of sire of sires UNBRIDLED’S SONG, MY GOLDEN SONG ran third to BARBARO in the Holy Bull Stakes (G3). Texas’ leading freshman sire last year and leading second-crop sire this year already has four stakes horses.

2013 Stud Fee: $2,000

WIMBLEDON $7,500 average xas at F-T Te g Yearlin ! Sale 2013 Stud Fee: $1,500

Wild Rush – Strawberry Clover, by Darn That Alarm Formerly Texas’ leading freshman and second-crop sire, WIMBLEDON has eight stakes horses, including $233,644-earner DAPHNE ANGELA.

• also standing •


A.P. Indy – Mountain Girl, by Mountain Cat A winning son of the great A.P. INDY, INDYGO MOUNTAIN brings an impeccable pedigree to the Lone Star State. His female family includes Grade 1 winner SIPHONIC and millionaire DIXIE DOT COM. 2013 Stud Fee: $1,000


Phone Trick – Jet Route, by Alydar JET PHONE’S first runner, ACES N KINGS, is burning up the track with four stakes wins and earnings of more than $239,000. JET PHONE has the speed and pedigree to get you a runner!


2013 Stud Fee: $1,000

Unbridled’s Song – Proposal, by Mt. Livermore From a family loaded with speed and soundness, SILVER CITY was a brilliant sprinter who had the stamina to go around two turns (second in the G3 Southwest Stakes at a mile). His dam’s full brother, G3 winner and G1-placed MULTIPLE CHOICE, raced until age 8!

2013 Stud Fee: $2,000 Clarence Scharbauer, Jr. Ken Carson, General Manager Donny Denton, Farm Manager • David Unnerstall, Attending Veterinarian Post Office Box 966 • Pilot Point, Texas 76258 (940) 686-5552 • Fax (940) 686-2179



Racehorse November/ December 2012


An ex-racehorse finds success away from the track


Doubling down on Texas and Oklahoma

Departments Editor’s Letter Fast Furlongs TTA News TRAO News Texas/Oklahoma Stakes Winners The Marketplace Classifieds

7 8 16 17 18 44

Features Making the Grade 20 Politicallycorrect wins Remington Park’s $400,000 Oklahoma Derby, which is set to become a Grade 3 race next year Sooner Showcase 24 Oklahoma Classics at Remington Park offer $1-milllon payday for state-breds Will Work for Carrots 28 Former racehorses find new jobs with help of The Paddock Foundation Upping the Ante 32 Mike Grossman bets on Texas and Oklahoma with his stallions at Eureka Thoroughbred Farm and River Oaks Farms

39 Feeding for two

Beyond Pickles and Ice Cream: 39 Feeding the Pregnant Mare Monitoring a mare’s physical condition before, during and after pregnancy is vital Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 5

Southern Racehorse Advertisers Index 7S Racing Stables............................44 Asmussen Horse Center.................2-3 Betty Matthews Racing Silks...........44 Bigheart Training Center.................38 Carter Sales Co...............................22 Diamond G Ranch Inc...................15 Fasig-Tipton Texas............................27 Gene Palmieri/ Bob Heyen Realty...........................10 JEH Stallion Station – Oklahoma..... IBC Keen Farms......................................38 Lane’s End Texas...............................1 Mighty Acres.................................. IFC Liquor Cabinet (Ire).........................23 Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission/TRAO..........................26 palaMOUNTAINS..............................37 Prime Ltd. Horse Transport..............44 River Oaks Farms Inc.......................13 Rockin’ Z Ranch..............................14

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 and the surrounding region. Southern Racehorse goes to more than 4,000 members of the Texas Thoroughbred Association (TTA) and Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma (TRAO), making it the region’s largest magazine. For more information about advertising in Southern Racehorse, including ad rates, deadlines and specifications, go to or contact Denis Blake at (512) 695-4541 or info@southernracehorse. com. Published by Pangaea Enterprises LLC d/b/a Southern Racehorse Southern Racehorse P.O. Box 8645 Round Rock, TX 78683 (512) 695-4541 Physical Address Southern Racehorse 1341 Meadowild Drive Round Rock, TX 78664 Editor/Publisher Denis Blake

Art Director Amie Rittler Contributing Writers Sara Farris Shelby O’Neill Natalie Voss Photographers Coady Photography Merri Melde Thomas B. Shea Lindsay Simon Cover Photo Merri Melde

Copyright ® 2012 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.

Sepulveda Racin & Ropin Ranch.....31 Silver Spur Ranch Services..............44 Special Rate...................................BC


Unbridled’s Heart............................37


Valor Farm..........................................4

For the most up-to-date racing and breeding news for Texas and Oklahoma, visit Southern Racehorse online at or on Facebook at You can also sign up for the free monthly email newsletter, the Southern Racehorse Express.


Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

Editor’s Letter

Since the first issue of Southern Racehorse came out this fall, I’ve received numerous emails and phone calls from horsemen telling me how happy they were to have a magazine again for Texas and Oklahoma. With the recent bankruptcy of Thoroughbred Times and the well-documented struggles of newspapers, magazines and other print media in recent years, I definitely received some strange looks when I told people that I wanted to start a new print magazine, especially one covering the horse racing industry. But as I’ve heard many times from Texas Thoroughbred Association and Thoroughbred Once again, Racing Association of Oklahoma members over the last couple of months, there’s I want to thank something unique about being able to hold a magazine in your hand and read it at the TTA and your leisure. I’m certainly not one of those people who shuns new technology (when TRAO for it comes to Christmas shopping, if I can’t order it online and have it delivered to helping to my door then it’s off the list), and I encourage you to check us out online at make this and, but for whatever magazine possible, reason I think there really is a fair amount of truth to print media having a leg as well as all up on digital media in many ways. And the response to the first issue has proven to the advertisers me that there is still a need for a print magazine to cover this region of the country. who have Of course, if you do prefer the feel of an iPad, Kindle or Nook, you can read the supported the magazine in a digital format at In this issue, you’ll find a feature article by Sara Farris about her experience with publication. an off-the-track Thoroughbred (OTTB) and The Paddock Foundation created by the Texas Thoroughbred Association to help find new homes and careers for former racehorses. In our next issue, we’ll profile the Oklahoma Thoroughbred Retirement Program (OTRP), and in future issues you can look forward to more stories about former racehorses. Also in this issue, you can learn about broodmare nutrition and how to prepare your mare for the upcoming foaling and breeding season. There is also a feature on Mike Grossman, who stands a strong battery of stallions in both states. Plus, we have pictorials to cover the two biggest events at the Remington Park meet, the Oklahoma Classics and Oklahoma Derby. Once again, I want to thank the TTA and TRAO for helping to make this magazine possible, as well as all the advertisers who have supported the publication. As always, feel free to contact us with your feedback at or (512) 695-4541. Denis Blake, Editor/Publisher

Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 7

fastfurlongs Mary Ruyle named TTA Executive Director Mary Ruyle accepted an offer from the Texas Thoroughbred Association (TTA) Board of Directors to succeed Dave Hooper as executive director, effective November 1. Earlier this fall, Hooper announced his resignation to take a position as association steward at Fair Grounds Race Course. Ruyle will reach her 25th anniversary working for the TTA on January 16, 2013. She was first employed as bookkeeper for the association, and in subsequent years, additional duties were added, and her title was changed to office manager. She has worked in the areas of accreditation, horse auctions, TTA-sponsored races, membership, meeting planning, the Political Action Committee, the Texas Thoroughbred Educational Fund and The Paddock Foundation. In 2000, she was named business manager, a position she has held ever since. “She knows every aspect of the organization’s operations and statutory responsibilities,” said Hooper. “She also knows more members on a personal basis than any staff member that I know. She is readily accessible

and knowledgeable on all aspects of the Texas racing industry, and she knows the major players within the various organizations. The Board could not have made a better choice.” Commenting on her appointment after the TTA Board action on October 4, Ruyle said, “It has been my great fortune to work along- Mary Ruyle side and learn from some of the most knowledgeable people in horse racing, and I look forward to expanding my role in the industry.”

Retama adds new stakes race, donates to Wounded Warriors Fund Retama Park CEO Bryan Brown has announced a $25,000 donation will be made to the Wounded Warriors Fund. The donation comes in conjunction with an additional stakes race added to the 2012 Thoroughbred meet and through collaboration between Retama and a member of the TTA Board of Directors. “We are very pleased to arrange this significant gift from an anonymous donor to wounded heroes who engage in combat in faraway lands to protect our freedom at home,” said Brown. “An additional stakes race, the $35,000 Wounded Warrior Mile, is set for closing night December 29.

“The one-mile race on the turf will be run for Texasbred horses and helps close out the 2012 live racing season,” Brown added. “This has been a good year for Retama Park, the horsemen who race here and our fans. We hope that in some modest way we can help give back to the military community.” Nominations for the race close December 19. The Wound Warrior Mile is restricted to accredited Texas-breds, 3-year-olds and up, who have never won a sweepstakes. For more information, go to

Simulcasting coming to Amarillo Yellow Rose Entertainment completed a December 14 opening for Saddle Brook Jockey Club, a pari-mutuel wagering establishment that company President Drew Alexander called “a preamble” to a proposed Saddle Brook Park racetrack on 286 acres west of Amarillo. The Texas Racing Commission approved the application for a temporary off-site simulcast wagering site in August. The license is good until October 14, 2014, a deadline by which Yellow Rose must transfer the activities to the permanent Saddle Brook Park facility. The Amarillo simulcast facility, located at 4332 SW 45th Avenue, 8

Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

will be the first off-site facility authorized in the state, commission spokesman Bill Childs said. Simulcasting will net funds to build both purse monies for use at the future track and other tracks across Texas and to gain access to capital for construction of the live racing facility. An estimated $800,000 per year in purses and breeders’ awards from an annual handle (total wagered) of $10.3 million are expected to be generated. Check and www.southernracehorse. com for future updates.


Shutdown of Fair Meadows likely averted, live racing to return in 2013 It appears that live racing at Fair Meadows in Tulsa will continue in 2013 after the Tulsa County fair board on December 12 reversed course on a plan that would have eliminated racing at the track. At issue is a naming rights agreement that the fair board voted unanimously to approve on November 1. The deal with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation would have not only changed the name of the QuikTrip Center at Expo Square but also included a provision to cease live racing. The most recent vote deferred action on that deal. The agreement called for the tribe to pay the fairgrounds $120,000 a month, or $1.44 million a year, to put its name on the 448,400-square foot event center currently called the QuikTrip Center. County and track officials justified the elimination of live racing as a cost-saving measure. “The expenses of the live meet just continue to go up,” Ron Shotts, Fair Meadows’ race director, told the Tulsa World. “Our drug test costs, the costs of jockey insurance—those two items in and of themselves pretty much covered our gross revenue from the live meet. “We paid two bills and basically started losing money,” he added, saying that the live meet annually lost approximately $600,000 in recent years with losses at close to $900,000 expected this year. The meet operated with the help of a $2-million annual payment from the three Tulsa-area tribes in exchange for not installing gaming machines at the track. The deal would have ended that payment, resulting in the loss of racing opportunities and purses for horsemen. In a follow-up story in the Tulsa World, Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission Executive Director Tino Rieger expressed surprise at the announcement. “I am extremely disappointed that the Horse Racing Commission had to read about such a dramatic revelation in the press,” he was quoted as saying in the newspaper on November 2, one day after the fair board vote. “Obviously, we’re disappointed at losing more opportunities and even more so ... the tribal fund money that was available for purses,” he added about the approximately one-third of the $2-million annual payment that went to purses. Now, thanks to quick action from horsemen and members of the general public and especially the Oklahoma Horse

Racing Commission, Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma (TRAO) and State Representative Don Armes of Faxton, live racing should return in 2013. Armes had asked Governor Mary Fallin and Attorney General Scott Pruitt to investigate the closing of Fair Meadows and how the decision, which was done with no input from or notice to the horse racing industry, was reached. “This job-killing, industry-terminating deal does not pass the smell test,” Armes said in a media statement. “What appears to be an obvious effort to circumvent terms of a compact needs to be exposed before an important sector of our economy leaves Oklahoma forever.” The vote on December 12 rescinded two previous votes affirming the naming rights agreement. “Well, it’s positive,” said Joe Lucas of TRAO to 2NEWS. “It’s what we’ve been asking for all along. It’s what we were promised and told they were going to do since back in June, which is run races in 2013.” With live racing now set for continue in 2013, horsemen and track officials have the chance to discuss the future of the Tulsa facility. “We would like an opportunity to show them that maybe their perception that they were losing money was not an accurate perception,” said Debbie Schauf, executive director of the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association, to the Tulsa World. “I would like to work with them to show them how this could be a bird’s nest on the ground and they can make a lot of money off this race meet and do good for all of Oklahoma.” Mark Andrus, president and CEO of Expo Square, would not comment on racing beyond 2013. “After the board meeting, it is our intent to race in 2013,” he said to the newspaper. “I don’t know what will happen after that.” The TRAO would like to thank Representative Armes for recognizing the lack of transparency Tulsa County officials used to conceal their dealings with the Creek Nation. Representative Armes is the last remaining Republican State House member who supported SB1252 (which later became SQ712) in 2004. The TRAO is asking members to let Mr. Armes know how much they appreciate his continued support of Oklahoma’s racing and breeding industries. He can be contacted at (405) 557-7307 or

“Well, it’s positive. It’s what we’ve been asking for all along. It’s what we were promised and told they were going to do since back in June, which is run races in 2013” – Joe Lucas of TRAO



FOR AS LITTLE AS $25 PER ISSUE! Contact Denis Blake at or (512) 695-4541 Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 9


Sam Houston adds $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic to stakes schedule

Sam Houston Race Park has announced a revamped stakes schedule for 2013 that will include the richest Thoroughbred race currently in Texas and in Sam Houston Race Park history. The $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic is set for Saturday, January 26, as part of a special stakesfilled card including the Grade 3, $200,000 John B. Connally Turf Cup. In total, the meet will feature 23 stakes races, including four new stakes for Texas-breds, paying more than $1.7 million in purses. The $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up will be contested at a distance of 1 1/16 miles over the nationally renowned main track at Sam Houston. “Fillies and mares have been the superstars of the racing industry for the last three years,” said Andrea Young, Sam Houston Race Park’s president. “We are proud to bring Houston and Texas its richest race, and we look forward to the Houston Ladies Classic anchoring an unprecedented day in Texas Thoroughbred racing.” The Houston Ladies Classic will highlight a premier day of stakes races. In addition to the cumulative $600,000 in purses for the Ladies Classic and Connally Turf Cup, the track will present the $75,000 Champion Energy Services Stakes for 4-year-olds and up at five furlongs on the turf and the $50,000 Allen’s Landing Stakes for 3-yearolds at six furlongs on the main track. In celebration of this historic day in racing, Sam Houston Race Park will offer owners an added incentive—the new Ship Assist Program. The program was created to encourage owners shipping a horse for the Houston Ladies Classic to also consider shipping horses for the Connally Turf Cup, Champion Energy Services and Allen’s Landing. For any owner starting a filly or mare in the Houston Ladies Classic and at least one additional horse in one of the accompanying stakes races, Sam Houston will waive the owner’s original pre-entry fee or $2,000 of the $10,000 supplemental nomination fee. “We understand the financial considerations owners have to make every day, so we are pleased to provide special assistance for this exceptional day of racing in Texas,” said Eric Johnston, Sam Houston Race Park’s vice president of racing. Promotions for the January 26 racing festival will be plentiful, including a fundraising event to benefit the Houston affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Since 1982, Komen has led the way in the fight against breast cancer. Sam Houston Race Park will donate $1 for each guest attending the races on January 26. “We are thrilled about the opportunity to partner with Sam Houston Race Park for the $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic,” said Dr. Adriana M. Higgins, Komen Houston executive director. “We look forward to everyone coming out to enjoy the races and supporting Susan G. Komen for the Cure Houston in our efforts to provide 10

Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

community funding for breast cancer research, education screening and treatment. Last year, we granted over $3 million dollars to support local programs and over $1 million for research. This year we want to do even more.” Nominations for the Houston Ladies Classic will close on Friday, December 28. To nominate or for additional information, contact the Sam Houston racing office. Sam Houston’s 20th annual live racing season will kick off its 30-day Thoroughbred meet on Friday, January 18. Sam Houston is awaiting approval from the Texas Racing Commission to extend the meet by four additional days for a total of 34 days of live Thoroughbred racing ending on March 17. The Thoroughbred meet will host approximately 10 live races each Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and each Saturday will culminate with a stakes race featuring a purse of $50,000 or more. Other highlights of the stakes program include Texas Champions Weekend on January 18-19 with $400,000 in stakes purses for Texas-breds and the $100,000 Maxxam Gold Cup on March 2. For a complete stakes schedule, go to

!9:;<=>9*><:;?@>* :9?AB Beautifully situated along Medina Highway-Rte. 16, 7 miles south of Kerrville, TX

! !"#$%&%'($)*+,%)(*-.'/*"$0*%-.$*#")(0** ($)-1*).*"*234"'-(*,.-5(6"$75*0-("68 *! 21 shedrow stables with a 1BR-1B apt., covered riding arena, half-mile track with chute, paddocks and grazing, 1500’ elevated mountain riding trails with fabulous views overlooking track, live water Lamb Creek, 3,000 sq. ft. 3 BR-3.5B luxury rock and stucco home, 2 cabins each with 2 BR-1B, all high fenced and secure. $1.7 million. Contact Gene Palmieri, Bob Heyen Realty, Hondo, TX 210-844-8857 !

Grade 1 winner Latent Heat to stand in Oklahoma Latent Heat, a Grade 1-winning son of Maria’s Mon and a leading second-crop sire, has been relocated to stand the 2013 breeding season at Lori and Francisco Bravo’s River Oaks Farms in Sulphur, Oklahoma. Latent Heat The 9-year-old stallion will stand for a $3,500 fee as property of Mike Grossman. Latent Heat ranks among the top 15 second-crop sires in North America by progeny earnings. His progeny earnings of nearly $1.7 million through the end of November this year would easily put him atop the Oklahoma list of second-crop sires and rank him second on the overall list of all sires in the state.

On the track, Latent Heat won half of his 12 starts with two seconds and a third with earnings of $450,400. As a 3-year-old, he won the seven-furlong Malibu Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park, defeating eventual Eclipse Award Champion Sprinter Midnight Lute. Latent Heat also found success around two turns with a second in the Long Branch Breeders’ Cup (G3) at Monmouth Park and a third in the Santa Catalina Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita, both going 1 1/16 miles. As a 4-year-old, Latent Heat captured the seven-furlong San Carlos Handicap (G2) at Santa Anita. Latent Heat is one of three graded/group stakes winners out of the Grade 2-winning Capote mare True Flare. The mare’s other foals include Grade 2 winner Indian Flare and Group 3 winner Art Master. From two crops to race, Latent Heat has sired multiple stakes winner Softly Lit and Grade 3-placed True Feelings and Jamaican Smoke. For more information, go to

Texas stallion Evil Minister gets first stakes winner Texas stallion Evil Minister had a big month of October as he recorded his second winner on October 2 when the filly Uptown Justice won a maiden event at Hoosier Park in Indiana, and then three days later at the same track, his son Dread the Pirate easily captured the $89,150 Crown Ambassador Stakes for Indiana-breds to become his first stakes winner. Later in the month, Dread the Pirate won the $89,200 Indiana Futurity. The 2-year-old colt broke his maiden against special weight

company in August and has a record of 4-3-0-1 with earnings of $124,019. Evil Minister, who stands at Eddie George Ranch in Briscoe, Texas, is a son of Deputy Minister out of the Grade 3-winning Piccolino mare Evil’s Pic. Evil Minister won the Sapling Stakes (G3) at Monmouth Park and finished third in the Futurity Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park. For more information, call (806) 375-2577.

Oklahoma stallion Liquor Cabinet (Ire) takes lead on freshman sire list Freshman Oklahoma stallion Liquor Cabinet (Ire) took the top spot on the list of first-crop sires in the state after his second winner during the Remington Park meet. The stallion was represented by his first winner on September 29 as his son Irish Dancer won a maiden claiming sprint at Remington. Then on November 16, Oklahomabred Yonder scored a victory in a $34,300 maiden special weight race in his first start around two turns. The gelding, who was bred by Janet Corlis and runs for owner Jean Haas, picked up a check for $19,695 and helped boost Liquor Cabinet’s progeny total to $47,150 through the end of November, just ahead of Mighty Acres stallion Air Commander with $44,658. Liquor Cabinet, who stands at Dr. Joe Carter’s Oklahoma Equine in Washington, Oklahoma, is an 11-year-old son of Hennessy who ran first or second in 10 of his 12 career starts, including a victory

in the Aqueduct Handicap (G3) by nine lengths with a 113 Beyer Speed Figure. His dam is the Grade 1-placed Jade Hunter mare Key Hunter, and his female family also includes Grade 2 winner Pants on Fire, Group 1 winner and champion Ministrella and Horse of the Year Saint Liam. Liquor Cabinet stands for a $2,500 fee. For more information, go to www.okequine. Liquor Cabinet (Ire) com.

Oklahoma stallion Air Commander sires first stakes winner Air Commander, a Point Given stallion who stands at Mighty Acres in Pryor, Oklahoma, had his first stakes winner when Iron Oaks LLC’s Rah Rah Rachel closed with a rush to take the fillies division of the $55,000 Oklahoma Stallion Stakes on November 30 at Remington Park. Air Commander, who won the San Fernando Stakes (G2) and finished second in the San Felipe Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park, is also the sire of

multiple winner Bushy’s Pirate in his first crop. The stallion is out of the stakes-winning and Grade 1-placed Star de Naskra mare Santaria, who is also the dam of multiple graded stakes winner Medallist. Mighty Acres is a division of Dr. Warren Center’s Center Hills Farm, which also bred Rah Rah Rachel. For more information, go to Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 11


Gaff takes command of Texas’ freshman sire list

Louise Reinagel

Gaff, a son of Maria’s Mon who stands at Seguin Horse Center in Seguin, Texas, has jumped out to a big early lead on the list of the top freshman sires in the Lone Star State. The multiple Grade 3 winner, who previously stood in Florida and Louisiana, already has three winners in his first crop with progeny earnings of $110,854. His top earner is Bloody Smart, a Florida-bred filly who has banked $49,418 with a record of 8-2-0-3. Gaff won eight of 23 career starts while earning nearly $570,000 on the track. He won five stakes, including Gulfstream Park’s six-furlong Mr. Prospector Handicap (G3) in track record time and the Aegon Turf Sprint Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs, and placed in five others while running in the U.S., Ireland and the United Arab Emirates. Gaff will stand the 2013 season for a $1,500 fee. For more information, call (830) 491-1412.

Gaff Stallions Kipling, Touch Tone, Podium relocated Kipling, who sired 2007 Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) winner and all-time leading Oklahoma-bred earner Kip Deville, has relocated from Crestwood Farm in Kentucky to Mighty Acres, a division of Center Hills Farm, in Pryor, Oklahoma, for the 2013 season. His fee has been set at $2,500. Kipling previously stood at Mighty Acres before going to Kentucky. In addition to $3.3-million earner Kip Deville, the 16-year-old Gulch stallion has sired 24 other stakes horses with progeny earnings approaching $9 million. His second-leading earner is Texas-bred Dreamsandvisions, who won six stakes, placed in the Texas Mile (G3) and banked more than $500,000. Kipling is a full brother to multiple Grade 1 winner Court Vision, and his dam, Weekend Storm, is a sister to prolific sires Summer Squall and A.P. Indy. For more information, go to Texas stallion Touch Tone, the sire of the first two finishers in a division of this year’s Texas Stallion Stakes at Lone Star Park with Im a Bear and Perfect Meadow, will stand the 2013 season at William S. Farish’s Lane’s End Texas near Hempstead, Texas. Touch Tone formerly stood at JEH Stallion Station near Pilot Point, Texas. His fee is $1,500. Touch Tone hit the board in all but one of his starts with dominating wins in the Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows and Alysheba Breeders’ Cup Stakes at Lone Star. He also ran a strong second to Horse of the Year Point Given in the $1.5-million Haskell Invitational Handicap (G1) and hit the board in three other graded stakes for owner Tom Durant. He retired with earnings of $632,850. Touch Tone, a son of Pick Up the Phone, has sired four stakes horses and the earners of nearly $1.5 million. For more information, go to Podium, a $500,000 Keeneland September Sale yearling who stood last season at Bigheart Thoroughbreds in Garber, Oklahoma, has been relocated to Ellen Caines’ Caines Stallion Station near Wynnewood, Oklahoma, for the 2013 breeding season. His fee is $1,000 as the property of Bigheart Thoroughbreds and Scott L. Pierce. The 8-year-old Podium is bred similarly to successful stallion Sky Mesa, as both are by Pulpit out of a graded stakes-producing Storm Cat mare. Podium is a half brother to Grade 2 winner and young stallion Half Ours, and his dam, Zing, is a full sister to successful sire Yankee Gentleman. Podium’s first foals are yearlings of this year. For more information, go to 12

Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

Truluck returns to stand in Texas

Multiple Grade 3 winner Truluck, who previously stood at Lane’s End Texas before moving out of state, has returned to stand in the Lone Star State at CrossLeiseth Racing in Valley View. He will stand for a private fee. The 17-year-old son of Conquistador Cielo earned more than $400,000 in his 25-race career with victories in the Salvator Mile Handicap (G3) at Monmouth Park and the Fifth Season Breeders’ Cup at Oaklawn Park. He also finished third in the Jim Beam Stakes (G2) at Turfway Park. As a stallion, Truluck has sired the earners of more than $3.3 million, including five-time stakes winner and Grade 3-placed Texas-bred General Charley, who earned more than $500,000 in his career. Truluck is also the sire of Texas-bred stakes winners Truly Lucky and Forrest G. For more information, call (817) 235-4978.

Storm Cat stallion Habayeb relocates to Texas

Habayeb, a son of Storm Cat who previously stood in Ohio, has been relocated to Texas and will stand at Fairytail Farms in Purdon as the property of Janine Winslow. A four-time winner on the track, Habayeb sold for $3.3 million to top the 2001 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale, and his full sister Saudi Poetry brought $1.7 million as the highest price as the same sale in 1999. She went on to become a multiple graded stakes winner and sold for $2.2 million as a broodmare. Habayeb is the sire of four stakes winners and three stakes-placed runners. He will stand for a $1,500 fee with a special buy-one, get-one free offer to introduce him to Texas and Oklahoma breeders. For more information, contact Winslow at (214) 882-1634.

Jockey Cliff Berry reaches 4,000-win milestone at Remington

Dustin Orona Photography

Cliff Berry rode his 4,000th Thoroughbred winner on October 27 at Remington Park to become the 65th jockey in North America to accomplish the riding feat. The win came aboard the Richter Family Trust’s Oklahoma-bred Brown Okie, who

Dustin Orona Photography

The jockeys and horsemen of Remington Park congratulate Cliff Berry on his 4,000th win. Berry gets a cake to the face after posing for the group photo.

was the 4-5 favorite in the third race. Berry, a 50-year-old native of Joplin, Missouri, has resided in Jones, Oklahoma, for more than 20 years and has won the Remington Park leading jockey title on 14 occasions. Nearly half of Berry’s wins have come in Oklahoma City, as he has recorded more than 1,900 Thoroughbred wins at Remington Park since the track opened in 1988. Berry also is the all-time leading rider at Remington Park, winning his first Remington riding title in the 1996 spring meeting; he then won the title again in 1998, 1999, 2000 fall/winter, 2001 fall/winter, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010 and last year’s 2011 meet with 68 wins. “I felt the pressure in the gate; I guess it was because I knew this one could be the one,” said Berry. “It felt like I was riding in a million-dollar race. I’m amazed that I could go this far. I’ve been lucky and never have been hurt too bad. I didn’t do too well in the early days, so I want to thank all those who stuck behind me. I guess you might say I’m a slow learner.” In 2011, Berry was inducted into the Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame. He is also the all-time leading rider at Lone Star Park and won the riding title at Oaklawn Park in 2011 and 2012. He earned his first career win on June 3, 1981, at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, Louisiana.

RIVER OAKS FARMS INC. The Premier Thoroughbred Farm in Oklahoma proudly offers:

u Stallion services u

CHITOZ – A Grade 3-placed son of FOREST WILDCAT LATENT HEAT – New for 2013! A Grade 1 winner by MARIA’S MON READ THE FOOTNOTES – A graded stakes winner at 2 and 3 TIZ WEST – A Grade 3 winner by sire of sires GONE WEST u State-of-the-art mare and foal care, including foaling with mare and foal boarding u Breaking and training u Sales prep – yearlings and 2-year-olds in training For information: River Oaks Farms Inc.

sulphur, oklahoma phone: (580) 622-4412 • fax: (580) 622-4411 • francisco bravo: (940) 367-4457 • lori bravo: (940) 356-4380

Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 13

New equine certificate available for Texas A&M students The Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University has established a new equine certificate that lays out a curriculum designed for students with a strong interest in equine science and industry. Beginning this fall, students of any major can complete 22 credits in select equine courses and receive the equine certificate in addition to their bachelor’s degree. “The equine certificate provides a structured curriculum for students with a strong interest in equine science,” said Dr. David Forrest, associate head for academic programs. “The equine industry offers significant employment opportunities for qualified graduates. Texas leads the nation with more than one million horses and more than 500,000 people involved in the diverse components of the horse industry. The requirement to complete an equine internship will enhance the experiential learning of students to prepare them for a successful career.”

The coursework includes many existing courses as well as three new equine courses: equine industry and career preparation, equine disease and epidemiology and issues in the equine industry. Upon completion, students will have knowledge in equine nutrition, reproduction, disease, handling, management, career preparation and industry issues. “Students have the opportunity to learn from equine expert faculty here at Texas A&M and use the facilities and animals already available” said Dr. Martha Vogelsang, senior lecturer in the Department of Animal Science. “Now they will get recognition for a strong, solid equine education, which can potentially enhance their career opportunities and increase their exposure as being part of the equine science program at Texas A&M.” For more information on seeking an equine certificate, contact the Texas A&M University Department of Animal Science advising office at (979) 845-7616.

Fearless Eagle to stand in Texas Multiple stakes winner Fearless Eagle has been retired to stand stud in Texas at C.M. Stables in Cameron. The 8-year-old son of Kentucky Derby (G1) runner-up Invisible Ink raced for five years and compiled a record of 406-5-5 with earnings of $315,190. He will stand his first season for a $500 fee. Fearless Eagle spent most of his career on the Florida circuit, where he

won three turf stakes at Calder Race Course and another at Tampa Bay Downs. He earned graded black-type with a third-place effort in the Miami Mile Handicap (G3) at Calder. His two other victories were on the main track, including a maiden win at Gulfstream Park. For more information, call (254) 697-3131.


TACTICAL CAT Storm Cat – Terre Haute, by Caro (Ire)

LUCKY LIONEL Mt. Livermore – Crafty Nan, by Crafty Prospector


Unbridled’s Song – Wichitoz, by Affirmed Edmond, Oklahoma Contact R.G. Gammill (405) 359-5712

$1,000 LFG – Payable Oct. 1, 2013

Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 15

texas Thoroughbred Association News


President’s Letter The temperatures are cooler, our horses have grown their winter coats and the holidays are upon us. With a new breeding season right around the corner, I would like to remind everyone of some real bargains on stallion fees to be found in the Texas Thoroughbred Association Online Stallion Auction. Please support this project of the TTA and participating stallion owners. You can view the available stallions at As we move forward into this wonderful time of the year, I want to reflect on the past several months and share some perspective. I am sure each of us had a chance to watch part of the Olympic Summer Games. It was not the athletes’ individual performances that struck me; it was their contribution to the overall United States team. Each athlete gave everything they had to move the team forward. This level of unyielding teamwork reminded me of the amazing performance of the TTA staff, directors, committees and members. Great work, folks—you definitely deserve a gold medal. Regarding people and places, after 15 years of dedicated service to the TTA and the horse industry in the state of Texas, Dave Hooper resigned as executive director of the TTA on October 31, 2012. Through his guidance, knowledge and inspiration, Dave carried the torch of our organization. He will continue his career as association steward in Louisiana at the Fair Grounds. Thank you, Dave. Likewise, after 25 years of dedicated service to the TTA, Mary Ruyle, former business manager, was promoted to the position of executive director by a unanimous vote of the board of directors. She assumed her position on November 1, 2012. In 2008, Mary received the Allen Bogan Memorial Award as someone who has brought distinction and recognition to the industry in Texas. Congratulations to Bill Casner, T.I. “Pops” Harkins and Valid Expectations upon their induction into the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame. The 12th annual gala was held at Retama Park on November 10. Bill Heiligbrodt, a TTA director for 14 years, has chosen not to run for re-election. His experience, wisdom and leadership have always been appreciated. He and his wife, Corinne, were recipients of the coveted T.I. “Pops” Harkins Award for lifetime achievement in 2009. Bill and Corinne have bred and raced many champions in the state and nation. Finally, since election season is upon us, I hope that you all cast your vote by mailing your ballot to the TTA office by the December 14 deadline. The results will be posted online around the time you receive this issue. Yours truly, Gearald Farris, D.C. TTA President


Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

December 31, 2012, is the deadline to: 1) Nominate eligible foals of 2012 to the Texas Stallion Stakes Series for $100 2) Nominate eligible foals of 2011 to the Texas Stallion Stakes Series for $500 3) Nominate eligible Fasig-Tipton Texas sale graduates and Accredited Texas-Bred foals of 2011 to the 2013 TTA Sales Futurity (Accredited Texas-Breds that did not go through a Fasig-Tipton Texas sale must be nominated by berth; contact the TTA office if you need a berth). 4) Nominate accredited stallions that will be standing in Texas in 2013 to the Texas Stallion Stakes for the 2013 breeding season


December 31, 2012, is the deadline for accrediting yearlings (foals of 2011) for $200. The fee to accredit foals of 2011 after December 31, 2012, is $1,500. This is the time of year to check the accreditation of your mares in foal. If you are not certain that a mare is accredited, please call or email TTA to verify before she has a 2013 foal. If a mare is not accredited when she has a foal, the only way a mare owner will receive breeder awards on that foal is to pay the supplemental mare accreditation fee of $150 during the foal’s weanling year. If you had a foal in 2012 out of a mare that was not accredited, you have until December 31, 2012, to accredit the mare for $150 if you want to be eligible for breeder awards on her 2012 foal. If you accredit a mare before she foals, the fee is $75. If you have not sent TTA a copy of a Report of Mares Bred for 2012, you may send it in now and TTA will examine it and advise you of any mares that are not yet accredited or have not been converted from racing to breeding stock. Please contact TTA with questions at (512) 458-6133 or email Accreditation/Racing Manager Jennifer Gibbs at




Mark your calendars for February 16, 2013, at Sam Houston Race Park, and make plans to join us for the TTA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet. Look for more information soon at

Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma News

Incentives With the running of the 20th Oklahoma Classics, the Thoroughbred industry continues to make strides when it comes to racing and breeding in the state of Oklahoma. Approximately $1.1 million in purses were paid out during a full card of stakes for accredited Oklahoma-breds. Rivaling other state programs, Oklahoma has become a competitive state-bred program.

Dates to Remember


Remington Park backside closes H December 27 Return board ballots H December 31 Counting of ballots H January 7 Will Rogers Downs meet H March 4 to May 18 Stallion Stakes VI forms must be postmarked H January 31

Remington Park Meet Remington Park concluded its Thoroughbred meet on December 9.

Heritage Place Sale

TRAO Board Elections The 2012 Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma (TRAO) Owner/Breeder Board of Directors will be elected. Ric Hedges, CPA, will count the ballots with the election committee present. Please contact the TRAO if your address has changed.


The inaugural Thoroughbred sale was held December 8 at Heritage Place on closing weekend of Remington Park in conjunction with the TRAO general membership meeting. For sale results, go to

Facebook Keep up with the latest updates on Facebook by searching for “TRAO racing.”

Nominations ended: November 3 Candidacy affidavits deadline: November 20 Ballots sent out by CPA firm: November 22 Deadline for return ballots to be postmarked: December 31 Ballot counting: January 7

Want to advertise in the next issue of Southern Racehorse? • Contact Denis Blake at (512) 695-4541 or

for more, visit

Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 17

Texas/Oklahoma Stakes Winners Congratulations to the following black-type stakes winners for races run in Texas or Oklahoma or for horses bred in Texas or Oklahoma.

$75,000 Kip Deville Stakes

Dustin Orona Photography

Dustin Orona Photography

Dustin Orona Photography

9/28/12 • Remington Park • 6 furlongs The Drifter (2-year-old gelding by Seeking a Home out of Lady Radkey, by Cutlass Fax) Breeder: Leonard Warf and Patricia Clark (Bred in Louisiana) Owner: Charles Fletcher Trainer: Cody Autrey Jockey: Cliff Berry

$50,000 E.L. Gaylord Memorial Stakes $50,000 Flashy Lady Stakes

Coady Photography

Dustin Orona Photography

10/5/12 • Remington Park • 6 furlongs Burst of Life (6-year-old mare by Soto out of Flora’s Temple, by Halo) Breeder: Green Hill Farm LLC (Bred in Kentucky) Owner: Lori Bravo Trainer: Francisco Bravo Jockey: Bryan McNeil

$100,000 Clevor Trevor Stakes

11/9/12 • Remington Park • 7 furlongs King Henny (2-year-old colt by Henny Hughes out of Queens Carousel, by Afternoon Delites) Breeder: Betz/Kidder/Lamantia/J. Betz (Bred in Kentucky) Owner: Keith Asmussen and Erv Woolsey Trainer: Steve Asmussen Jockey: Jamie Theriot 18

10/26/12 • Remington Park • 6 ½ furlongs American Sugar (2-year-old filly by Harlan’s Holiday out of I Love America, by Quiet American) Breeder: Fares Farm LLC (Bred in Kentucky) Owner: Poindexter Thoroughbreds LLC Trainer: Lynn Chleborad Jockey: Alex Birzer

Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

$75,000 M2 Technology La Senorita Stakes

11/10/12 • Retama Park • 1 mile (turf) Kitten’s Dumplings (2-year-old filly by Kitten’s Joy out of Granny Fanny, by Grand Slam) Breeder: Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey (Bred in Kentucky) Owner: Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey Trainer: Michael Maker Jockey: Victor Lebron

$75,000 El Joven Stakes

Coady Photography

Dustin Orona Photography

Coady Photography

11/10/12 • Retama • 1 mile (turf) Admiral Kitten (2-year-old colt by Kitten’s Joy out of Reachinforthestars, by Grand Slam) Breeder: Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey (Bred in Kentucky) Owner: Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey Trainer: Michael Maker Jockey: Victor Lebron

$50,000 Silver Goblin Stakes (Oklahoma-breds) $50,000 Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (Texas-breds)

Dustin Orona Photography

Dustin Orona Photography

11/10/12 • Retama Park • 1 1/16 miles Skip a Smile (5-year-old gelding by Skip Away out of Strawberry Smile, by Strawberry Road [Aus]) Breeder: Rose Mary Chandler (Bred in Texas) Owner: Rose Mary Chandler Trainer: Steve Asmussen Jockey: Jamie Theriot

11/23/12 • Remington Park • 6 1/2 furlongs Okie Ride (5-year-old gelding by Candy Ride [Arg] out of Tic Tac, by Geiger Counter) Breeder: Richter Family Trust (Bred in Oklahoma) Owner: Richter Family Trust Trainer: Kenneth Nolen Jockey: Luis Quinonez

$50,000 Oklahoma Stallion Stakes (Fillies Division) $50,000 Oklahoma Stallion Stakes (Colts/Geldings Division) 11/30/12 • Remington Park • 6 furlongs Chuck (2-year-old colt by Evansville Slew out of Holdthebaby, by Marquetry) Breeder: Norma Lee Stockseth (Bred in Oklahoma) Owner: Wayne Stockseth Trainer: Don Von Hemel Jockey: Lindey Wade

11/30/12 • Remington Park • 6 furlongs Rah Rah Rachel (2-year-old filly by Air Commander out of Rachel’s Commander, by Deputy Commander) Breeder: Center Hills Farm (Bred in Oklahoma) Owner: Iron Oaks LLC Trainer: Gene Jacquot Jockey: David Cardoso

Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 19

Making the Grade

Lindsay Simon

Politicallycorrect wins the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby, which is set to become a Grade 3 race next year. Remington Park offered more than a million reasons to come to Oklahoma City on September 30, and horsemen around the country responded by shipping in some of the best Thoroughbreds in training to compete in the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby and a stakes-filled undercard. In the day’s featured event, prolific owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey captured the victory as their homebred Politicallycorrect rolled down the outside to win a thrilling finish with Kent Desormeaux up for trainer Wesley Ward. The strength and depth of this year’s Oklahoma Derby field, including Grade 1 winner Willy Beamin (finished second), multiple graded stakes winners Prospective (fifth) and Daddy Nose Best (sixth) and graded stakes-placed Called to Serve (third), Master Rick (seventh) and Speightscity (ninth), plus the past success of the race, contributed to the Oklahoma Derby being awarded Grade 3 status for 2013. Following is a pictorial recap of Oklahoma Derby Day. Jockey Kent Desormeaux takes a call after Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Politicallycorrect won the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park.

$400,000 Oklahoma Derby • 1 1/8 miles


Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

Dustin Orona Photograph

Politicallycorrect (3-year-old gelding by Kitten’s Joy out of Exceedexpectations, by Tale of the Cat) Breeder: Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey (Bred in Kentucky) Owner: Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey Trainer: Wesley Ward Jockey: Kent Desormeaux

$250,000 Remington Park Oaks 1 1/16 miles

$125,000 Remington Green Stakes 1 1/16 miles (turf)

Lockout (3-year-old colt by Limehouse out of Non Sibi, by Wild Deputy) Breeder: Columbiana Farm (Bred in Florida) Owner: John Oxley Trainer: Mark Casse Jockey: Jermaine Bridgmohan

Dustin Orona Photograph

Dustin Orona Photograph

Dustin Orona Photograph

Sticks Wondergirl (3-year-old filly by Stevie Wonderboy out of Y Country, by Quiet American) Breeder: Steve Kent and Brownell Clark (Bred in Kentucky) Owner: Beth Burchell and Alvin Haynes Trainer: Greg Burchell Jockey: Jon Court

$200,000 Remington Park Sprint Cup 6 furlongs Alsvid (3-year-old gelding by Officer out of Reagle Mary, by Afternoon Deelites) Breeder: Yanagawa Stud LLC (Bred in Kentucky) Owner: Black Hawk Stable (James Rogers) Trainer: Chris Landeros Jockey: Chris Hartman

Dustin Orona Photograph

$50,000 Ladies on the Lawn Stakes (Oklahoma-breds) 7 1/2 furlongs (turf)

Skedee (7-year-old mare by Sefapiano out of Phuri Dai, by De Sarmiento) Breeder: Robert Poteet and John Lowder (Bred in Oklahoma) Owner: Robert Poteet and John and Mary Lowder Trainer: Mary Lowder Jockey: Benny Landeros

Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 21

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Sooner Showcase


Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

Dustin Orona Photograph

Lindsay Simon

Oklahoma Classics at Remington Park offer $1-million payday for state-breds. The 20th running of the Oklahoma Classics, which for the first time boasted total purses of more than $1 million, proved to be a compelling showcase for accredited Oklahomabreds on October 19 at Remington Park, and the victors of the night’s two richest races highlighted the diversity and success of the Sooner State’s breeding program. The winners of the $155,500 Chickasaw Nation Oklahoma Classics Cup powered by TVG and $128,900 Oklahoma Classics Distaff Stakes presented by the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma could not have been much more different. On one end of the spectrum is Fifth Date in the Cup, a 20-1 longshot by an obscure sire who had recently been claimed for $18,000, and on the other end, She’s All In, a mare by a leading Kentucky stallion sent off at 1-10 to win the Distaff for the third consecutive year. Both ended up in the winner’s circle in Oklahoma City, and both epitomize the success of the Oklahoma-bred program. Following is a pictorial recap of Remington’s biggest day of racing for state-breds.

$111,000 Oklahoma Classics Sprint presented by Kaw Nation • 6 furlongs Okie Ride (5-year-old gelding by Candy Ride [Arg] out of Tic Tac, by Geiger Counter) Breeder: Richter Family Trust Owner: Richter Family Trust Trainer: Kenneth Nolen Jockey: Luis Quinonez

$80,400 Oklahoma Classics Juvenile presented by Chickasaw Nation • 6 furlongs Jump and Go (2-year-old gelding by Jump Start out of Princess Jen, by Stutz Blackhawk) Breeder: Young Stables LLC • Owner: Beverly J. Lewis Trainer: Don Von Hemel • Jockey: Shane Laviolette

Dustin Orona Photograph

$112,400 Oklahoma Classics Distaff Turf presented by Cherokee Nation Entertainment 7 1/2 furlongs Dustin Orona Photograph

Soonerette (3-year-old filly by Master Command out of Gigi’s Skywalker, by Skywalker) Breeder: Robert H. Zoellner Owner: Robert H. Zoellner Trainer: Donnie Von Hemel Jockey: Luis Quinonez

Dustin Orona Photograph

$113,050 Oklahoma Classics Distaff Sprint presented by Global Gaming Solutions 6 furlongs

[Chi], by Sadlers Congress [Ire]) Breeder: James and Marilyn Helzer and Tom Durant Owner: Pat Sheetz and Phil Hoedebeck Jr. Trainer: Brent Davidson Jockey: Glen Murphy

Miss Natalie (5-year-old mare by Fistfite out of It’s the Berries, by Slew the Slewor) Breeder: Center Hills Farm Owner: Gar Oil Corp. Trainer: Joe Offolter Jockey: Cliff Berry

Dustin Orona Photograph

$83,100 Oklahoma Classics Lassie presented by Coors • 6 furlongs Motivare (2-year-old filly by Mr. Trieste out of Pelusada

$128,900 Oklahoma Classics Distaff presented by the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma 1 mile and 70 yards

Dustin Orona Photograph

Dustin Orona Photograph

Dustin Orona Photograph

She’s All In (5-year-old mare by Include out of Georgia Ok, by Hickory Ridge) Breeder: Robert H. Zoellner • Owner: Robert H. Zoellner Trainer: Donnie Von Hemel • Jockey: Luis Quinonez

$155,500 Chickasaw Nation Oklahoma Classics Cup powered by TVG • 1 1/16 miles

$127,780 Oklahoma Classics Turf presented by Choctaw Nation 1 mile

Fifth Date (8-year-old gelding by Cherokee Five out of Miss Owl’s Affair, by Black Tie Affair [Ire]) Breeder: Al J. Horton Owner: Danny R. Caldwell Trainer: Federico Villafranco Jockey: Alex Birzer

Ridge Road (4-year-old colt by Fistfite out of New Direction, by Time for a Change) Breeder: Laura Bufford Owner: Boyd Caster Trainer: Boyd Caster Jockey: Lindey Wade

Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 25

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Will Work for


Former racehorses find new jobs

with help of The Paddock Foundation By Sara Farris • Photos by Thomas B. Shea


Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

Growing up on a small breeding farm, I used to look over each foal in the spring with the same thought my dad had: “Will this one be our next stakes winner?” As they grew up, it became almost a game trying to predict which ones would go on to earn their way at the track and which ones would flop. It wasn’t until after college, as my event horse got older, that I started looking at the weanlings and yearlings with a new eye. I’d pick out the ones with good gaits and outgoing personalities and think to myself, “I hope this one doesn’t make it running, so I can take him and turn him into a jumper.” In 2008, my hope became a reality as one of our Accredited “Tucker,” who raced under the moniker Turk’s Texas-bred Thoroughbreds beCountdown, did not find much success in two came my first project horse. Retirstarts on the racetrack, but he’s turned into a ing my loyal and seasoned horse winner in the show world for owner Sara Farris. in his 20s, I jumped right into training a 4-year-old gelding that had been off the track for nearly a year, living the care-free life Formed by TTA, The Paddock Foundation is a non-profit corporaon our farm. I had no clue what I had signed up for. tion with a mission to support and advance the care of Thoroughbred racehorses after their racing careers by supporting rescue, retirement, What I didn’t know about OTTBs rehabilitation, re-training and rehoming. Having ridden my entire life and shown competitively at This year, along with the TAKE2 program, The Paddock Foundavarious levels, I considered myself to be an experienced and tion sponsored the Texas Thoroughbred Jumper Challenge in the AA capable rider. However, a few months into training this young hunter/jumper circuit in the effort to raise awareness and encourage and energetic off-the-track Thoroughbred (OTTB), my confithe use of former Thoroughbred racehorses in the show-horse arena. dence in my abilities went downhill. The Paddock Foundation provided a display and information table in Every ride was work. Each day presented new achievements the Retama Park grandstand on December 8, and The Paddock Founand new challenges. Working full-time, I had to enlist my dation President Ken Carson was on hand to make the winner’s circle trainer to supplement my riding during the week. As the bills presentation for the $50,000 Fiesta Mile and raise awareness of OTTBs. came in and the ups and downs continued, I often thought “The Texas Thoroughbred Association is proud to support The Padto myself, “My friends are at happy hour having fun, and I’m dock Foundation and encourages all members to get involved or make paying a ton of money to come out here and be frustrated.” a donation,” said Mary Ruyle, TTA Executive Director. “Many TTA I still joke that if it weren’t for his good looks and charming members and directors, including Mike Kindred and Ken Carson, have personality, I might have given up. graciously donated their time to make this program a reality for Texas.” Fortunately, persistence won out, and soon my OTTBs For more information about The Paddock Foundation, go to amazing talent as a jumper began to be realized., or for show information, tions gave way to humor as I began to understand some of contact Patrick Rodes at (940) 367-1217. his unique quirks, many which are common for young Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 29

Thoroughbreds (just new to me!). With each year of maturity, he excelled at an unbelievable rate. After two years, I sold him to a young rider who had the time and commitment to take his talent to the next level.

Third time’s a charm Now I’m on my third OTTB, and with each one, it gets easier and easier. I’ve learned that patience and persistence are the best approach to re-training an OTTB. My current Thoroughbred, Tucker (registered as Turk’s Countdown), has proven to be just the right fit for my needs, and it’s fulfilling to see the progress we have made in a year. While nowadays so many flock to buy expensive Warmbloods for jumping and dressage, I still favor the athleticism and mindset of a Thoroughbred (not to mention the price tag). OTTBs offer a great work ethic, competitiveness, keenness and appreciation for having a job to do. They are often good at handling diverse environments, having traveled from training facilities to the track and everywhere else in between. Plus, they usually embody a bold attitude and are willing to take on new tasks.

racing, polo or recreational riding. The Paddock Foundation, a non-profit corporation established by the Texas Thoroughbred Association, is one such organization looking to encourage the transition of racehorses to their new careers off the track. By raising awareness of the talents these young OTTBs offer as well as providing incentives in the show arena, The Paddock Foundation is building upon the rich history of Thoroughbreds in Texas and providing a better future for these courageous athletes. The foundation’s primary goals are to: • Educate, encourage and facilitate the placement of retired or unsuccessful racehorses Looking for information about • Support organizations that retrain Thoroughbred Thoroughbred retirement and horses for second careers retraining in Oklahoma? The January/ • Support organizations that provide for the retirement February issue of Southern Racehorse and care of the Thoroughbred racehorse will profile the Oklahoma • Support therapeutic riding programs and equine educational programs Thoroughbred Retirement Program I applaud and am excited to support The Paddock (OTRP). Find more information Foundation and similar organizations across the country as online at we serve a common goal to provide not only great homes but great purpose for our OTTBs. We’ll need continued Building a foundation of support support from our horse community to ensure the regrowth of ThorAs large as the pool of available OTTBs seems to be, the resources for oughbred prominence in Texas and beyond. the rehabilitation and re-training of these athletes is limited. If it weren’t In the meantime, I’m looking forward to entering Tucker in an for the wonderful trainers I’ve worked with over the years, I would not upcoming Texas Thoroughbred-sponsored class. His show name may have tackled the re-training of a young horse. However, with training, be All Tuckered Out, a fitting depiction of his track career, but my there’s a cost. I’m excited to see organizations forming to help OTTBs OTTB is just beginning to show off his untapped talent for all to see. find their second career, whether it’s jumping, eventing, dressage, barrel Riders up! H 30

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• Upping the Ante •

Mike Grossman bets on Texas and Oklahoma with his stallions at Eureka Thoroughbred Farm and River Oaks Farms • By Shelby O’Neill •

Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

William Jones Miller (above), Doug Carpenter (below)


Much of the discontent in the Texas horse racing community centers on 22 acres right in the heart of downtown Austin. Smack dab in the middle of that land, inside the Texas Capitol Building, 181 state legislators (with the help of the man who lives around the corner in the Governor’s Mansion) have been dragging their feet for more than a decade on provisions to improve the state’s deteriorating horse racing industry. But 70 miles west of that pink granite dome, right on U.S. Hwy. 290, lies an oasis of hope, where breeder and owner Mike Grossman is bucking trends by bringing stallions, mares and money to the Lone Star State. And when it comes to optimism about Texas, Grossman may be the perfect man for the job. After all, he hails from another state that at one time had a bleak racing future—Minnesota. Grossman, now retired from his career as an automobile dealer, first got involved with racehorses three decades ago, and for 20 years, he had a front-row seat for the decline of Minnesota’s industry as Canterbury Downs (now Canterbury Park) filed for bankruptcy and temporarily shut down amid booming business at the state’s legalized casinos. Things have now turned around in Minnesota, and Grossman hopes to see the same thing happen in Texas. In 2001, Grossman planted new roots in the Texas Hill Country hamlet of Fredericksburg, an old German enclave that has since become a tourist destination on the strength of its scenery, antique shops, live music and food. “We were on our way to Kerrville, stopped for lunch in Fredericksburg, and the bungee cord kept bringing us back,” Grossman said with an accent he jokes is a dead giveaway that he’s not from these parts. “It’s just a great place. It’s a toss up between the weather and the people for my favorite part. The people are very friendly, it’s very pretty and there is a nice pace to life here. Especially compared to Minnesota, the weather is very pleasant. The soils here are what sold us.” On 176 acres just east of town, Grossman and his wife, Pam Wright, built their breeding operation from the ground up, and the property now includes a Eurocizer, round pen, training track, paddocks as far as the eye can see and barns outfitted with airplane-hangar style garage doors to allow air to circulate in the steamy Texas summers. Named Eureka Thoroughbred Farm after the Minnesota township where Grossman got his start in racing some 30 odd years ago, the farm also boasts strong Texas ties in the form of farm managers Bill and Joan Tracy, the longtime managers of Don and Frannie Stewart’s Oak Tree Ranch in nearby Bandera. The Tracys came aboard at Eureka last year and have played a crucial role in assisting with some other new Eureka additions, stallions Oratory (by Pulpit) and Angliana (by Giant’s Causeway). Oratory, a graded stakes winner out of a Grade 1-winning Dehere mare, ranks first on the overall Texas sire list with $1.4 million in progeny earnings this year through December 1. Angliana, a Grade 1-placed

William Jones Miller

Bill Tracy (left), former manager of Oak Tree Ranch in Bandera, now manages Eureka Thoroughbred Farm for Mike Grossman.

The barns at Eureka are designed to maximize airflow during the hot Texas summers. William Jones Miller

Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 33

Grossman has about 50 horses at Eureka, and while he sells commercially, he’s also happy to keep any that don’t sell and run them in his own colors. son of a graded stakes-winning daughter of Jade Hunter, will have his first crop of foals hit the track in 2013. In addition to the stallions, Eureka is also home to around 50 other horses, 17 of which are Grossman’s mares, with 21 foals set to debut this spring. Those other horses include mares boarded at the property for breeding, yearlings and Grossman’s retired band of racehorses, which he works to retrain for other careers. “There’s a personal connection when you think about these horses that have raced for you,” manager Bill Tracy said. “We’ve got a retired group here that have been racehorses and done well and not so well, some terrible, but they’ve still got a home. We ride them and get them acclimated to life away from racetrack and try to find homes for them. We take the time with them to get them back to being a horse. This is a not a throw-‘em-to-the-wind operation. You hear people telling all these stories about retired racehorses, and they have no idea about the tears that go on when we lose our horses.”

Sooner State security Combining integrity, like he has shown with his retired runners, with shrewd business sense paid off for Grossman in his previous professional career, and it likely will again. He may be making a sizable bet by investing in Texas racing, but he’s got a little more security in the fact that he doubled-down by also setting up shop in Oklahoma. Grossman has brought four high-profile stallions to River Oaks Farms in Oklahoma, which is run by Grossman’s trainer at the track, Francisco Bravo, and his wife, Lori. “We chose Oklahoma for a combination of reasons—the purse structure, the breeders’ money, economics,” Grossman explained. “I think the market will continue to thrive in Oklahoma, and we were 34

Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

William Jones Miller

able to get some stallions that I think are very well-suited to that market.” Grossman knew Bravo was the perfect man for the job because of their long history. The two first met in Minnesota in the late 1980s, and in fact, Bravo’s first winner as a trainer at the racetrack came with one of Grossman’s horses. “The horse always comes first with him,” Grossman said. “He’s got a great depth of knowledge. He’s extremely good with horses. He may not win the most races because he won’t sacrifice a horse to do that. We have a very similar philosophy in terms of how you handle a horse, how you race them. If you look at the ground manners, you will always see a superb horse with Bravo.” Bravo also extolled the value of their partnership, as well as the benefits of the Oklahoma racing program. “Mike and I became pretty good friends,” Bravo said. “He knows that I’m a fair horseman and that I’ve been fair with him in business, so that’s what kept us working together. As for Oklahoma, right now it’s one of the local markets that offers pretty good incentives, and it’s an opportunity to do some business where we live. I think that’s the part we feel pretty excited about. It’s worked out pretty good. We like the Oklahoma program, and I think if it continues on, it offers some opportunities for Mike to recover his investments.” The Oklahoma band of stallions includes two-time Grade 2 winner Read the Footnotes (by Smoke Glacken), who has already sired the earners of more than $5 million, including Grade 1 winner Rightly So, and currently ranks third on the Oklahoma sire list through December 1. He is joined by younger cohorts Chitoz, a Grade 3-placed son of Forest Wildcat, and the Gone West stallion Tiz West, who is a half brother to Grade 1 winner Paynter out of a sister to Horse of the Year Tiznow.

Grossman added another promising stallion “Basically, everything we do here is based on prospect to the roster this year in Latent Heat, the horse not on money,” Grossman continued. a Grade 1-winning son of Maria’s Mon who “We don’t race a horse that shouldn’t, and we has already sired two graded stakes runners don’t push a horse that isn’t ready. We let the and the earners of more than $2 million in his horse speak to us. We’re not here because this first two crops. His progeny earnings in 2012 is the hotspot of racing; we’re here because we rank him second on the overall Oklahoma list, like living here and we think the conditions are just ahead of Read the Footnotes. good for the horses.” “The expense of breeding and the logistics Raising the stakes of breeding better horses made us think we Like many in the industry, Grossman and could bring a better stallion to both states,” Denis Blake Grossman said. “Everything about this in- A successful trainer on Tracy believe that the decline in the sport is not affecting just Texas but is also systemic and dustry has a long learning curve. So far, I the track, Francisco something that will likely require a creative think we made good selections, and I think Bravo also consigns they have good potential in both states. In horses to sales in Texas solution. “I think you have to educate from the botboth states, we brought in stallions with and Oklahoma and runs River Oaks Farms tom up,” Tracy said. “I think you have to go proven records who have done well and have with his wife, Lori. to the kids, and I think it has to be fun to do. depth of pedigree.” When those stallions’ progeny reach the track, Grossman plans on I’ve never seen parents sit around and beg their kids to go to Six Flags selling what he can and racing the rest. Eureka currently has about 15 or SeaWorld. The kids are dragging the parents. There are so many horses in training, split between Texas and Oklahoma, and he gives things that could be done to make kids say they really want to go there. We’ve lost a lot of the glamour in horses over the years.” them all a fair shake. Tracy cites the horse-centric television shows he grew up with, “Some of them may have a flaw here or there, and we’re happy to race them where the market won’t necessarily accept them,” he said. including Roy Rogers and The Lone Ranger. Instead, the few places to “Our best 2-year-old in training is the crookedest. He wouldn’t have catch horses on television today include TVG and HRTV. “On TV, so much emphasis is on the gambling, which is brought anything at the sale.

In addition to a new stallion this year in Grade 1 winner Latent Heat, River Oaks also has a new stallion barn.

Doug Carpenter

Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 35

understandable because that’s their business,” Tracy continued. “But they say 3-4-6-8; they don’t mention the names of the horses. There are so many good stories in this business, and there are people that they just tend to skip over. It’s like listening to stock market quotes. But what about the participants who are involved, the people who do this? So many times the general public thinks it’s all gangsters and millionaires, but there are lots of regular folks in this business who are good people.” Those personal stories hit closer to home when it comes to trying to convince the Texas legislature of the profound economic effect that industry-friendly legislation could provide for the state and especially for those who work in the horse racing and breeding industry. “All the legislators look at it as wealthy people betting on horses, but what we’ve got is an agricultural business,” Tracy said. “The horse industry is not just that horse hitting the finish line and paying $65; it’s bagging the hay, selling the feed, mucking the stalls, having a tractor. When people drive by and see the farm, they say, ‘Oh, that must be rich guys.’ Maybe it is, but think about all the employees that work there, and that could be multiplied, multiplied and multiplied here in Texas if we had a level playing field.” As a farm owner, Grossman sees those personal stories play out every day with his employees and those who work in the industry. “I know this sport is not being driven by money because I had a trainer win the other day and the jockey must have had two million teeth,” he said. “You see the joy. I come in here and talk to the guy cleaning the stalls, and he’s all teeth because that’s the culmination of all their work. It brings fulfillment. I’m always getting asked about a horse that’s aged from the people who worked with a horse.” Like everyone involved in Texas racing, Grossman hopes to make the legislature see those personal connections and understand how deeply the Thoroughbred industry’s legacy runs in the state. He also knows that by betting on Texas, a state with such precipitous drops in stallions, mares, purses and race dates, there is always a chance he may lose. “It is a high risk expanding right now, but I think going counter-trend, if it yields, it will yield at a high-

River Oaks offers a complete menu of services, from stallions to breaking and training to sale prep and consignment. 36

Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

er rate,” Grossman said. “We’ll be well-established if it happens. It’s crazy what could develop here in Texas. It could be the most outstanding state in the nation, but they’re so far behind it’s going to take a long time to catch up. Texas truly loves their horses, and yet it’s being held up by a limited number of state legislators with no support from the governor.” In the meantime, Grossman and Bravo will try to prove their young stallion roster in Oklahoma, and Grossman and Tracy will continue their work at Eureka while also preparing for another run at alternative gaming in the upcoming 2013 session of the Texas legislature. “We’ve been working at it for the last 20 years,” Tracy said. “Maybe we’ll be an overnight success. We’ve all gotten our hearts broken a lot of times. We’re not in this because we’re losers. When you stop and think that there’s 10 entered in a race and 90% of ‘em lose, you keep coming back, saying that if the ground hadn’t been so soft today, if the gate had opened a little bit faster, if my jockey hadn’t gotten blocked. Whatever it is, you come back again. That’s the part that the legislators miss.” H

Doug Carpenter



8:13 PM

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Beyond Pickles and Ice Cream: Feeding the Pregnant Mare

Monitoring a mare’s physical condition before, during and after pregnancy is vital. By Natalie Voss Photos by Merri Melde (First published by Quarter Horse News)

As a new year and a new winter blow into your farm and foaling season begins, you’re probably nervously watching the ready-to-pop mares and eagerly awaiting your first glimpse of spindly new foals, and you may be planning which stallions to send your mares to this season. With a new year comes the opportunity for new resolutions about how you are going to improve your breeding operation. Whether you’ve got a backyard broodmare or a large-scale commercial breeding operation, in this economy you are probably concerned with maintaining reproductive efficiency and keeping your mares and foals healthy. One way to do this is by carefully monitoring the intake needs of your mare at different stages of pregnancy and lactation. For many mares, this means adjusting her feed even before her first breeding. One way to assess whether your current feeding program is working is to determine what your mare’s body condition is by noting how much fat her body has stored away. A good system to use for this is the Henneke Body Condition Scoring (BCS) system, developed by the late Don Henneke, PhD, at Texas A&M University during his graduate work in 1983. Dr. Henneke developed the system in order to properly assess the fatness or thinness of a horse irrelevant of breed or body type. It is especially tricky to assess broodmares as they get farther along in gestation and their sides begin expanding. Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 39

In actuality, horses have several fat storage sites on their bodies, some of which might surprise you. The areas to check, both visually and physically, for fat are: • Behind the point of the shoulder • Over the ribcage • Over the withers • Along the crest of the neck • Over the tailhead • Over the spine The Henneke BCS system assigns a number ranging from one though nine to each horse depending on the amount of fat they have in storage. Body condition scores of five and six are considered ideal, with one indicating a severely emaciated

horse and a nine indicating a morbidly obese horse. For example, a horse with a BCS of five has ribs that are not visible but palpable under a thin layer of fat, a neck that is not cresty or thin and withers, spine and hip structures that are not bony and easily visible. Mares tending toward either extreme are at an increased risk for complications carrying and raising a foal. For horses with moderate body condition, ribs should be palpable but not visible with minimal covering on the crest, tailhead, withers and behind the shoulder. When viewing the horse from behind, the spine should neither appear as a raised ridge (indicating that the body is slim on either side of it) or as a crease (indicating that the body is wider on either side of the spine). When horses’ energy demands are greater than the supply they get from their feed, they tap into their fat stores. The broodmare is especially inclined to do this, and as her energy needs change across gestation, foaling and lactation, she should be carefully monitored throughout the reproductive cycle. The most important thing to strive for, according to Laurie Lawrence, PhD, equine nutrition expert and professor in the University of Kentucky’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences, is to try to keep the mare’s body condition at or above a five as consistently as possible throughout the reproductive process. The best way to ensure this is possible is to adjust the mare’s body condition before she takes on the additional energy demands of a foal.

The Non-Pregnant Mare

With a new year comes the opportunity for new resolutions about how you are going to improve your breeding operation. 40

Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

The time to begin worrying about a mare’s body condition is not right before she foals or even mid-gestation—it’s before she’s bred. Research has consistently shown that mares with body condition scores below five have a reduced chance of getting pregnant, and for those that do conceive, they often require more cycles to do so. For breeders hoping to breed mares in late winter or spring for a foal born early in the calendar year, this can mean more time and money spent in veterinary checks or hormone treatments, all for a later foaling date. For broodmares in some regions of the country, holding weight during the winter can prove challenging. Horses use the heat generated from grazing and digesting to stay warm in the coldest months of the year, and when they aren’t creating

enough heat on their own, they tap into their fat stores. Even supplement to your mare’s diet if she is on pasture and hay, though they may not be in work through the winter, the cold even if she is maintaining her body condition. A “balancer can stress mares and reduce their body conditions from the pellet” is designed to provide the nutrients and minerals fall, so they should be re-assessed in colder temperatures. necessary to a mare’s diet that may not be available in her Winter is also the time when many pastures tend to lose pasture. For mares on a commercial grain mix, Lawrence says a balancer their luster. For horses that are outside constantly, it may be a good time to consider supplementing their diet with an pellet is often unnecessary. It is a good idea to consider switching appropriate quality hay or grain to keep them sufficiently her grain mix to one specifically formulated for gestating mares, plump. Lawrence suggests only feeding as much concentrate as this will be better suited to her changing needs. as is necessary to keep body condiChoosing the Right Hay: Mid-Term Mare tions at an appropriate level. Contrary to outward appearancAccording to one study cited by Cutting vs. Maturity es, the growth rate of the foal starts Lawrence, there does not appear Whether the hay you’re looking at is a grass hay or to increase around the middle of to be a clear, increasing advantage a legume (a plant species with nitrogen-fixing bacteria gestation and increases steadily with each body condition score that makes it high in nutrient content), you need to until it is born, even though its weight above five. In fact, she says that consider the maturity of the comprising plants when deciding whether it is right for your horse. Most doesn’t increase drastically until the broodmares that are too heavy are farmers are able to get three to four cuttings of hay last two months of gestation. prone to issues as well. off the same field in the hay growing season, and “The thought has always been “One of the things that we worry many owners think that the time of cutting is that you don’t need to feed the mare about when they get too heavy is equivalent to the hay’s maturity. In reality, it’s the stage of the plants at harvest that above maintenance until the last that mares can get footsore, and third of gestation,” said Lawrence. then they don’t move around very determine the hay’s maturity and thereby the relative richness of the hay. Hay made of plants that have In fact, a recent study at the much and that might be a problem, already bloomed and have seedheads, for example, is especially if they’re already prone to more mature, stemmy and less nutritious than hay cut University of Kentucky found that mares gain a significant amount of founder,” said Lawrence. “They’re from young, nutrient-rich plants. In warm regions of weight during the middle portion carrying an extra 150 or 200 pounds the country where warm season grasses like Bermuda grass are most prevalent, stage of maturity is especially of their pregnancy. Lawrence around (in foal weight), and if you important, as those grasses tend to be higher in fiber speculates that this phenomenon add another 100 pounds, that’s a even at their youngest stage than cool season grasses like timothy or orchard grass. may have ties to their instincts as lot.” Legumes like alfalfa and clover tend to yield richer herbivores and prey animals. hay than grasses. Grass and legume blends are often The Early-Term Mare “It sort of makes sense when you good mid-level hays. Choose your mare’s hay based Your mare’s energy requirements on the plant variety and maturity in relation to her think about it,” she said. “They’re energy needs. are not drastically different in the animals that have to prepare when beginning of her pregnancy from food is readily available for when what they were before breeding, but this is a good time to [it] might not be. If you’re an animal that’s going to be foaling examine your herd structure. in the spring, it might make sense to put on some extra body If you have a large breeding operation, consider group- stores in the fall rather than wait until spring and hope that ing mares of similar body condition score together to make it there’s adequate food availability then.” This means that mid-gestation is the time your mare’s energy easier to serve everyone’s energy needs. Also keep an eye on each group’s behavior. As herd animals, horses form a needs begin increasing, even though she may not look heavily hierarchical structure when in groups, and the “boss mare” pregnant yet. Depending on the season she was bred, the natuoften expresses her dominance by chasing lower-ranking mares ral increase in nutrient content of your pastures might take care away from feed, hay and water. If submissive mares are losing of this. If not, consider adding hay or concentrate to her diet. Keep in mind that as the foal’s skeleton begins to develop, body condition after being chased away from feed, consider the mare’s calcium and phosphorus needs will increase. As is removing the aggressive mare from the group. This also may be a good time to add a nutritional true for energy needs, the mare will often mobilize her own

Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 41

calcium stores to provide for the growing fetus if the diet doesn’t meet its needs. This makes mid-gestation another good time to add a balancer pellet or a broodmare-formulated commercial grain to her diet.

Late-Term Mare

The last months of gestation are the time of greatest energy need during your mare’s pregnancy. The foal grows the most during this time, and the mare’s calcium needs continue to increase as she prepares for foaling and lactation. While a pregnant mare can eat around two percent of her total body weight per day during pregnancy, that number often decreases slightly right before foaling as she begins to feel full more quickly from the ever-growing foal. This is the time to prepare for the heightened energy and nutrient needs your mare will have during lactation, at which time she can consume two-and-a-half percent of her body weight daily. Lawrence says a good policy is to gradually increase the amounts of feed offered to the broodmare around foaling time but to try to keep the types of feed consistent. Suddenly switching from a grass hay to a rich alfalfa, for example, might shock the mare’s system and cause digestive upset.

The Lactating Mare

Once the foal is on the ground and nursing, your mare’s nutritional needs are at their highest. As you increase her daily feed intake, keep in mind the way the horse is built. “Horses are nibblers by nature,” said Lawrence. Unlike cows, their digestive tracts are not designed to break down large amounts of food at one time but instead to process numerous small snacks throughout the day. This means that the small intestine can be overwhelmed and lose effectiveness in digesting all the nutrients. Her suggestion is to give smaller, more frequent meals to mares getting grain. As with the pre-season mare, Lawrence suggests


Southern Racehorse • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

While a pregnant mare can eat around two percent of her total body weight per day during pregnancy, that number often decreases slightly right before foaling as she begins to feel full more quickly from the ever-growing foal.

adding more of their type of hay to the diet rather than changing hay types during pregnancy. She also suggests that the addition of the right hay can prevent the need for grain in the mare’s diet. Lawrence says one of the most common questions she gets about broodmare nutrition is whether there is anything owners can feed the mare to affect milk content or quality. At the moment, she says, the research has not indicated that feed types themselves affect milk quality, although it is true that extremely emaciated horses may have difficulty producing adequate milk for their offspring.

Beware Tall Fescue Toxins Tall fescue is a relatively common variety of pasture grass in most of the country, but broodmare managers should think twice before turning out or bedding herds on tall fescue pastures or straws late in gestation. Tall fescue can become infected with a fungus called an endophyte at as high a rate as 80 percent of pastures exhibiting more than 50-percent contamination, according to the University of Tennessee’s extension service. The toxic endophyte is known to cause a thickening of nonrupturing placenta in late-term mares, difficult foalings or prolonged pregnancies. Those mares on infected tall fescue that do deliver their foals may have difficulty producing milk, and some have difficulty maintaining early pregnancy when bred back after foaling. Lactating mares on infected fescue can often benefit from additional Vitamin E supplementation in the last month of pregnancy and lactation. Managers can give mares on fescue pasture domperidone oral paste beginning 25 days before their due date to allow them to safely stay on fescue. Another option is moving mares off fescue pastures at around 300 days of gestation and replacing them after foaling. If you need help identifying or testing fescue in your pastures, contact your local extension office.


After the foal is weaned, you’ll (rightly) be concerned about keeping it well-fed and growing, but don’t forget about the mare. Postweaning is the time to replenish her energy and nutrient stores, particularly the calcium she lost during lactation. Like humans, nursing a baby can cause a mare to metabolize calcium stores in her bones, increasing the risk of fracture, so don’t assume that she no longer needs a mineral-rich diet. For commercial operations where mares are bred back fairly soon after birth, this period is especially important since it’s her only chance to rebuild before the energy demands of mid-gestation threaten to diminish her energy stores again. This can mean that mares who are constantly in production can miss out on a chance to catch up and restore their body condition. The bottom line is that whether your mare is a commercial bluehen producer or a friend and family pet, you can set her up for reproductive success through personalized monitoring and care. H

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

From Southern

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