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.

Back to News