Sam Houston Race Park

Texas Once Again Allows Simulcasting Signal Exports

On the back of Tuesday's decision in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denying a motion by the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) Authority for that court to vacate its recent opinion that the law is unconstitutional, the Texas Racing Commission (TXRC) has reopened the door for Texas tracks to beam their signals out-of-state, with Sam Houston set to begin this Friday. Last year, the TXRC argued that it was statutorily barred from joining HISA, and because the enabling federal legislation gave the HISA Authority regulatory jurisdiction over the...

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The Week in Review: Baffert Bigger, Stronger Than Ever

Bob Baffert has certainly taken his lumps ever since it was discovered that Medina Spirit (Protonico) tested positive for a banned substance in the 2021 GI Kentucky Derby. He was hit with a 90-day suspension from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, the New York Racing Association banned him for a year and Churchill Downs banned him for two years. Though Baffert is still fighting the Churchill ban, in all likelihood, he will not be allowed to start a horse in this year's Derby, which would be the second straight year...

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Jessica Paquette Named New Parx Track Announcer

Jessica Paquette, a New England native with nearly 20 years of experience in horse racing, will be the new voice of Parx Racing starting in December. In accepting the position, Paquette becomes the only full-time, year-round female track announcer in the United States. "I am grateful for the women in the racing industry who have paved the way for my generation to work in so many different areas," said Paquette. "My hope is that I can similarly help inspire young women who may want to be part of our sport."...

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Established Handicapper, New Racecaller Nick Tammaro Joins Bettor Things with Joe Bianca

Nick Tammaro has been known in public handicapping and tournament circles for nearly a decade now, but he took on what he calls the "biggest professional challenge" of his life earlier this year at his hometown track, Sam Houston Race Park, when he started his first job as a full-time racecaller. He caught up with Joe Bianca on the third episode of Bettor Things with Joe Bianca.

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Elliott, Asmussen, End Zone Athletics Take Sam Houston Titles

Jockey Stewart Elliott picked up his second leading rider title at Sam Houston Race Park as the meet wrapped up its 50-day stand Saturday. Elliott had the support of trainer Steve Asmussen, riding first call for the Hall of Fame conditioner as he piloted 296 mounts, winning 62 races with earnings of $1,490,006. The successful union between Elliott and Asmussen began in Houston two years ago and has continued at Lone Star Park and Remington Park. "I have to thank Steve Asmussen and all the owners and trainers who gave...

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Hickman, Fixture of Texas, Louisiana Industry, Dies

Willie Stuard Hickman, who served in several roles in the Thoroughbred industry in Texas and Louisiana, passed away Mar. 15. Had been hospitalized with pneumonia and was 64 years old. Born in Red Rock, Texas, Hickman at various times trained racehorses and worked in the racing office at Sam Houston Race Park for over two decades. As stall superintendent, jockey room coordinator and most recently, stakes coordinator, Hickman had lasting relationships with horsemen in both Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing. He also did an excellent job as jockey agent to...

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Former NFL Star Playing for New Team, Texas Racing

With the end of his NFL career right around the corner, Mike Renfro was looking for something to do after his playing days were over. That's why he bought a Louisiana-bred in 1988 named Dr. Death. It couldn't have worked out any better. Dr. Death won his first start for Renfro and would go on to win six stakes races and finish third in the 1988 GI Hollywood Derby. "It was going to be my last season and I was looking to get into the real estate business, but real...

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Texas 2YO in Training Sale Set for Apr. 6

The Texas Thoroughbred Association and Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie have scheduled the 2022 Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale for Wednesday, Apr. 6. The breeze show will be held at the Dallas-area racetrack Monday, Apr. 4. "Based on what we saw with the Texas Summer Yearling Sale, I think there's a lot of anticipation for the upcoming Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale in April," TTA Sales Director Foster Bridewell said. "I think we're uniquely positioned in the 2-year-old sales landscape to provide a quality sale for our owners, trainers,...

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Houston Ladies Classic Gets Purse Bump

The GIII Houston Ladies Classic and GIII John B. Connally Turf Cup headline Sam Houston Race Park's 2022 stakes Thoroughbred schedule, which will offer $2,275,000 in total purses. The expanded 50-day meet will begin Thursday, Jan. 6. With track officials expressing hopes that the North American Graded Stakes committee will boost its status from Grade III for 2022, the purse for the Houston Ladies Classic has been increased from $300,000 to $400,000. Slated this year for Jan. 30 as part of the Houston Racing Festival, the Ladies Classic has been...

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TTA Adds Derby and Oaks

The Texas Thoroughbred Association stakes series will now include a TTA Derby and Oaks, it was announced Tuesday. The new TTA stakes schedule will offer purses totaling more than $500,000 and is restricted to graduates of the Texas Summer Yearling Sale Aug. 30 or Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale next spring. It will feature Futurity divisions for both colts/geldings and fillies, worth $150,000 apiece (up from $100,000), on closing day weekend of the 2022 Lone Star Park Thoroughbred meet; and a $100,000 Oaks and Derby to be contested at a...

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Nick Tammaro New Announcer at Sam Houston

Houston native Nick Tammaro has been named the new track announcer of Sam Houston Race Park. He will step into the role when the 50-day Thoroughbred meet gets underway Jan. 6 and will also call for the Quarter Horse meet, which begins in April. The 37-year-old Tammaro has been following racing since his first trip to Louisiana's Fair Grounds when he was six. He's been officially involved in racing for more than 13 years as a public handicapper, speed figure maker, and oddsmaker. He has competed eight times in the...

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Talented But Troubled Jockey Chapa Dies, Reportedly After Bush-Track Accident

Roman Eric Chapa, a jockey whose promising early career got derailed by repeated rulings-off for using illegal devices to shock horses into running faster, died July 27. Reportedly, the 50-year-old Texan succumbed to devastating injuries he sustained in a March accident while riding in an unsanctioned horse race in Georgia. During his hospitalization, a family member said he spent 45 days in a medically-induced coma. Because of his recent inability to gain licensure at many of the Southwest tracks where he had once been a leading Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse...

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