While a political battle over historical racing in Texas potentially could shut down the state's racing regulator—which in turn would lead to a halt of live racing—the upcoming Texas Thoroughbred Association 2-year-olds in training sale is a go for April 4 at Lone Star Park.
Tim Boyce, who is managing the sale for the TTA, said they've had 75 juveniles committed to the sale and, with an extended deadline to enter horses, could get to about 80 for the final catalog.
"It a little lower number than we've had in Texas for a while but considering everything in Texas, I think it's pretty good," Boyce said. "Obviously there's a lot going on in Texas right now but I think that we'll have a pretty good showing."
Last year's sale, managed by Boyce for operator Fasig-Tipton, saw 62 of 94 2-year-olds offered sell for a total of $1,127,200 for an $18,181 average and $13,000 median.
The sale's breeze show is scheduled April 2 at Lone Star Park.
Boyce believes political leadership in Texas will work things out and Lone Star will conduct a live race meet this season. If by some chance the racing commission is shut down and live racing is called off, Boyce noted the sale and breeze show would not be affected. They would be conducted as scheduled.
Also, a horses-of-racing-age sale will be conducted after the 2-year-old auction.
"We're going to have a horses-of-racing age section in the printed catalog, but we will have an online listing along with a pamphlet handed out at the sale," Boyce said, noting that this approach will allow consignors more time to commit to the horses of racing age sale.
Boyce thinks ultimately political leadership in the state will make sure live racing is not halted in Texas.
"I feel pretty confident that we'll have a meet at Lone Star and we'll have a full schedule of racing this year in Texas," Boyce said. "I'm pretty optimistic that Texas will get it right at some point and the legislature will realize that it's a very good industry that needs to have the benefit of equal footing with the surrounding states. That said, we keep our fingers crossed that the legislature does what it's supposed to do and actually help."