The board of directors of the Texas Thoroughbred Association rescinded the accreditation of Texas-bred Chauffe Au Rouge after a lengthy hearing Jan. 18. The vote was 10-4. The move would appear to begin the process of releasing two stakes purses for Texas-accredited horses which have been held in escrow since Chauffe Au Rouge won them last year.
According to one TTA director, the board found that "incorrect information caused the (association) clerk to accredit," the horse.
At issue was not that Chauffe Au Rouge (by Red Attack) was bred in Texas, but whether or not he was eligibile for the accreditation program. Being foaled in 1996, before the state's breed back rule was changed, it had to be shown that his dam, the Barberstown mare High Rent, was intended to be bred back to a Texas stallion.
A letter was faxed to the TTA office apparently stating that the mare was to be covered by a Texas stallion, but testimony was placed in evidence that she was sold for $400 at an Arkansas sale and purchased by an outfit known for selling horses to slaughterhouses. The TTA director said a representative of the purchaser confirmed the mare was dead. He also said three previous owners had tried unsuccessfully told to accredit Chauffe Au Rouge.
The director said "because we felt the letter was done incorrectly, we voted to rescind the accreditation."
Chauffe Au Rouge was claimed for $20,000 at Lone Star Park last July 3 by James C. Donnan and Gerald Mackey. He was trained for them by Cole Norman. He finished second in his next race, then won four straight. His last two victories were in the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame Stakes at Retama Park on Oct. 6 and the Richard King Handicap at Sam Houston on Dec. 1. He earned $60,000 at Retama and $30,000 at Sam Houston.
Gold Nugget finished second in the Retama race and Tin Smithsen ran third. At Sam Houston, D.C. Storm was second and Gold Nugget third.
The matter will be on the agenda of the Texas Horse Racing Commission on Feb. 8.
In December, Sam Houston stewards suspended Donnan for one year.