A Texas lawsuit seeking compensation for the death of a 2-year-old gelding in a van accident also broke new legal ground. After months of legal wrangling, Jim and Helen Widener of Irving, Texas, were awarded $65,000 as compensation for the death of their Texas-bred gelding I Stole the Wish in July 1998. The settlement, which included $10,000 for lost state breeders' awards, is believed to be the first time that a United States court officially recognized and placed a value on a state Thoroughbred breeding program.
Efforts to build a new racetrack in Austin, Texas, were dealt a blow last week when a local neighborhood council voted to oppose the Austin Jockey Club. The impact the action will have on the proposed track is unclear, because the council is not an official city agency, nor does it have any authority over local zoning changes.
Record rainfall in Texas has hindered track renovations at Manor Downs near Austin -- renovations that must be completed by Dec. 12 to ensure the track retains its live racing days in 2001 and, thus, its ability to simulcast.
The principle owners of "Instant Racing" are ready to aggressively market their product to racetracks in other states and countries now that a deadline that challenged the legality of the game in Arkansas has passed.
Owner Joe McDermott said he's in the process of finding homes for seven stallions that stood at the Houston-area farm in 2000.
Stakes purses for Texas-breds should increase measurably beginning in 2001 given the Texas Racing Commission's approval of a rule that diverts a portion of racetracks' export simulcasting fees back to the state breed associations.
Jerry Bailey, Middleground, and Stymie were among those feted at the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame gala at Retama Park.
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