Texas Revamps Stallion Stakes Series for 2002

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and judging from the size of the 2002 Texas Stallion Stakes Series, the saying is accurate. The retooled series for colts and fillies will be worth a total of $1 million in purse money.

The series consists of eight races on the dirt (four for colts and four for fillies) to be run at various distances within a nine-month period, with the first race in the series offering a consolation race for those not qualifying for the first division.

The first race, to be held in late June or early July during the Stars of Texas Day at Lone Star Park, will be worth a total of $350,000 for fillies and colts. Entry into the first race is based on earnings, and the race will be run in divisions for both fillies and colts. Of the $125,000 available to the winners of the filly and colt divisions, 70% will be awarded to the winners of the first division, and the remaining 30% will be awarded to the winners of the second division.

The second race will offer a total of $250,000 to winners of a six-furlong event at Retama Park. The distance will increase in the one-mile third race, worth a total of $250,000 at Sam Houston Race Park. The final race of the series, a 1 1/16-mile event at Sam Houston in March 2003, will be worth a total of $150,000 to be divided between the filly and colt winners.

"We expect more attention will be focused on Texas stallions under the restructured format, especially since Texas is now represented by Valid Expectations," said Dave Hooper, executive director of the Texas Thoroughbred Association.

Nominees to the series must be sired by nominated Texas stallions, but may be foaled in any state. High earners will have entry preference in each race in the series, which will be limited to 12 starters. The first race in the series will have a consolation for the second 12 highest earners.

Purses for each race in the series will be derived in part by stallion and foal nomination fees, with the balance to come from agreements between each track and the TTA. It involves the use of a 10% simulcast export fee that was directed to the accredited Texas-bred program before it was redirected to the tracks from 1997 until 2001.

There are two opportunities to nominate foals. They can be nominated as weanlings at a one-time fee of $100 by Dec. 15, or as a yearling at a fee of $500 by Dec. 15. The entry fee for each race in the series will be $500, with an additional $1,000 to start.