Texas Racing Notes From Mrs. Tittle

Letters from Mrs. Jill Tittle

Tue, 17 September 1996

Hi Al,
Sorry it has taken me so long to compile everything for the TX notes. Seems to be a little tid-bit here, a little there; before I knew it, I had a bunch of stuff. Of course, over time, some of the details have waned. The price of aging :)

I guess first on the agenda is noting that the Houston Fasig-Tipton sale is next Sunday and Monday. On Sunday, there is a dispersal of horses owned by Joe Archer. He has a variety of animals--mares, yearlings, and weanlings--with pretty decent blood. I hope he does well. Joe is the former president of the TTBA, and he always is very active in all of the TX goings-on. On Monday evening, yearlings will sell. I will be interested to see what the prices are like, after the fiasco in Ft. Worth.

Lone Star Park continues to rise. Skyboxes are being sold now, while work continues on the grandstand. At the same time, work has progressed on the tracks--the limestone base is in place for the main track, and the "green stuff" (I want to call it Hyrdo-mulch, but I don't know if that is right) has been sprayed for the turf course.

However, this all raises the next question being debated amongst the powers that be here. Should Lone Star *actually* open in December as originally planned, for a 14 day live meet? This would mean that the grandstand would not be complete, and people (*customers*) would have to stand in tents. Would be fine if the weather were good. But what are the chances? December in TX can be cold and wet. In addition, there would probably be few horses, certainly few of any quality, since the live racing would only last 14 days. What would such an opening show the public?

The main (and perhaps only) reason live race dates were applied for in '96, was that without at least some live race dates, LSP could not open for simulcasting. The simulcasting was sorely needed to provide money for the horsemen's account (so when racing opened, decent purses could be offered), as well as for helping out on the construction costs. LSP will most likely ask the TRC to allow opening to be delayed until next April, when all would be in place. Sounds like a wise choice to me.

Apparently D. Wayne Lukas is scheduled to be in DFW area in conjunction with a promo for Mane N' Tail products. It is rumored that he may stop in and check out LSP while here.

In QH news (of which I have little usually), it has been announced that LSP will be host to the Texas Classic Futurity and the Texas Classic Derby. These races are expected to have total purses of over $1M, which is great for the QH industry. The trial dates have been set for Nov 13-15, with the finals Nov 29-30. I seem to remember that this year's versions of the same races will be held at Retama Oct. 26th.

Louisiana Downs received race dates for 1997. I know, I know, LA Downs isn't in TX. The interesting thing is, they requested and received, by unanimous vote, racing dates which follow those at LSP. For the past 20 years, LA Downs has raced for at least 100 days, and has raced through May and June. In 1997, they will cut down to 80 race dates, and open July 4, creating, in effect, a circuit with Oaklawn, LSP, and themselves. And both tracks (LA and LSP) will coordinate race schedules to avoid overlapping the same class of stakes races during that period in which they are both live. Cooperation can be a powerful thing.

Remington Park has opened again for live racing. I'm keeping my eyes peeled for a number of my "progeny" to run there--4yo Rocky Ore, 3yo Coast Guard Lady, and 2yo Baltic Coast. And one never knows--maybe I'll see 3yos Sally'sfirstchoice or Itchy Knickers. Regardless of whether my babies run, there will be some good horses running there.

Three year old Will's Way has been making his presence known in the world of racing. Will's Way is co-owned by Bill Clifton of Waco. Bill Clifton was also responsible for bringing KY stallion To Freedom to TX. He stands at Summer's Mill.

This past weekend I had an enjoyable visit with fellow @derby-lister Cathy Cleverly. Cathy hails from Toronto, but was in FW for a business meeting. We spent Saturday travelling to Summer's Mill, where we had an enjoyable walk around the farm (sadly, Ken and Linda weren't there). Cathy, I think, didn't expect to find such nice facilities and horses. She worked for awhile on a big farm there near Toronto--'twas the farm that bred Dance Smartly, and the younger Smart Strike. Cathy had many pictures of her favorite charges, as well as many stories. We had a very nice visit, and she expects to be back at least once a year, perhaps more. We are already planning our next meeting. Isn't the internet wonderful? All these neat people that I've been lucky enough to meet that I otherwise wouldn't have known.

We're still trying to find someone to buy Herbie. We haven't been forced to do "brain surgery" (gelding :) on him yet since he has a pasture of his own. I've been trying to wait until it cools down and some of the insect population goes away. May not be able to wait much longer, though. Wayne tells us that Herbie runs and runs and runs. We're having trouble keeping weight on him he runs so much. I've even cut his protein intake way back in an effort to slow him down a little. I think we may just have to go ahead with his gelding to get him calmed down. Such is life.

I do believe I have covered everything. I'm sure more will come up soon. Hope this finds you and the family well. Until later.


Jill Tittle

Life is not a spectator sport

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