|Texas Racing Commission Update; New Executive Secretary Named
The Texas Racing Commission (TRC) met in Austin on Wednesday, June 22,
to consider several rule changes, hear a request by Sam Houston Race Park
to reduce the number of Thoroughbred race days this year, and to consider
the selection of a new executive secretary to fill the vacancy that is
being created by the departure of Paula Flowerday.
The Texas Horsemen's Partnership (THP), in conjunction with the Texas
Thoroughbred Association (TTA), gave testimony opposing the request by
Sam Houston Race Park (SHRP) to drop eight days of Thoroughbred racing
during the months of October, November and December. Although the request
could be justified due to concerns over the availability of adequate purse
funds, the resulting three-day race weeks would have been detrimental
to the Thoroughbred horsemen in this state. An alternative compromise
was proposed to the request that would have allowed Sam Houston Race Park
(SHRP) to drop the first two days of the fall meet and start on a Friday
night rather than a Wednesday night. The compromise proposal would also
cut two races off each night on Wednesdays and Thursdays. However, when
the proposal was rejected by SHRP, the THP and TTA took the position that
race dates should not be altered this late in the year when it is impossible
to make up those lost opportunities. The commission ultimately voted to
allow the reduction of the first two days of the fall meet, but denied
the request to lose more days.
Race dates for next year will be considered at the next meeting of the
TRC, which is scheduled for August 16. At that time, we will have a better
idea of the available purse money for racing and can make appropriate
decisions for 2006.
In other business, the TRC voted unanimously to hire Charla Ann King
as its Executive Secretary, replacing Paula Flowerday. Flowerday is retiring
from the Commission after 17 years of service to the agency.
Ms. King is currently working for the Texas Workforce Commission and
has previously held a position with the Texas Sunset Commission. Although
Ms. King does not officially start her duties until the end of July, she
wasted no time in becoming familiar with our industry. Last week, she
attended the Texas Thoroughbred Association’s annual meeting, which
celebrated the organization's 50th anniversary.
Ms. Flowerday will continue to work in her capacity of Executive Secretary
until the transition has taken place.