By Eric Mitchell

Louisiana freshman sire Flashpoint’s rst runner eventually become his first winner when Flashy Coop took a five-furlong maiden claiming race May 19 at Hipodromo de las Americas in Mexico City.

The colt out of Cajun Camp, by Forest Camp, was making his fourth start for the ownership entity Cuadra X and trainer Vicente Flores Lomeli. He placed third in his first two starts and came into the May 19 race off an unplaced effort four weeks ago. In breaking his maiden, Flashy Coop stopped the timer in 1:00 2/5.

Bred by Gerard Melancon in Louisiana, Flashy Coop sold through 5 B Farm’s consignment at the 2016 Equine Sales of Louisiana yearling sale for $1,500 to Enrique Cantarell. Cajun Camp has now produced three winners out of five foals to race.

Flashpoint is a 9-year-old son of Pomeroy—Two Punch Lil, by Two Punch, who raced for John Fort’s Peachtree Stable. He won the 2011 Hutcheson Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park and the Jersey Shore Stakes (G3) at Monmouth Park. He also won or placed in four other black-type stakes. He retired with a 5-1-2 record out of 15 starts and earned $361,722.

The stallion retired to stud at Brett Brinkman’s La Mesa Stallions near Carencro, La., where he stands for $1,500. Flashpoint has 32 foals in his first crop.

Pasture, for the Insulin Resistant Horse?

By Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D.


When is pasture safer for the insulin resistant (IR) horse – late afternoon or early morning? Google this question, ask your vet, or talk to a friend and you will get both answers!  How frustrating! It’s time we cleared this up.

Grass is a living organism and requires NSC (non-structural carbohydrates) for energy in order to grow. NSC is a measure of sugars, starch, and fructans and is produced through the process of photosynthesis when the plant is exposed to sunlight.

In general, the following are true: 

  • Grasses accumulate NSC as the day progresses, making them highly concentrated in NSC by the late afternoon.
  • Once the sun sets, grasses will metabolize NSC for energy, making them lowest in concentration in the early morning hours.

This pattern can be disrupted if the night temperatures remain below 40 degrees F (4 degrees C). When exposed to cold, grasses will hold on to NSC and not relinquish it during the night, making morning grazing less safe for the IR horse.

Other factors that increase NSC:

  • Stressors, such as overgrazing, drought, and too much rain
  • Mowing too short – limit mowing height to no less than 5 inches
  • Letting grasses go to seed
  • Fertilization stimulates growth


Warm season vs cool season grasses

Warm and cool season grasses behave differently during prolonged intense heat and sunlight[i]. Warm-season grasses (e.g., Coastal Bermuda and Teff) will naturally thrive during very hot, sunny days and accumulate substantial amounts of NSC by day’s end. However, cool-season grasses (e.g., timothy, brome, orchard, crested wheat grass, rye, fescue, as well as alfalfa) will actually be lower in NSC during periods of prolonged heat and sunlight, as long as the grass is adequately watered. This apparent contradiction occurs because heat and light stimulate the cool season plant’s enzymes that burn off NSC.


What about cloudy days? 

Here again, there is a difference between warm and cool season grasses. Photosynthesis still takes place during cloudy days. However, clouds usually cool down the temperature. This can potentially decrease NSC in warm weather grasses, but cool season grasses respond to cooler, more moderate temperatures with a higher NSC content.


It is a bit of an art form

You have to know your grasses. You can’t be passive about it. The best way to think about the NSC content in your pasture is to first know the type grass you have, which will give you an idea of what climates it prefers. Then, examine the amount of stress the grass is enduring. Stress will cause all grasses to be higher in NSC.


The best approach is to test your pasture

 It’s true that testing only provides a snapshot since grasses are living organisms and change from day to day. But you can get a good idea of how your grass is performing by testing early and late in the season.[ii]When testing your pasture:

  • Note the weather conditions on the day before you test
  • Choose a sunny day to take your samples
  • Take an early morning sample and a late afternoon sample and note the weather conditions


Interpreting the test results

 There are three measurements to consider:

1)      ESC (ethanol soluble carbohydrates): simple sugars

2)      WSC (water soluble carbohydrates): simple sugars plus fructans (long chains of fructose molecules)

3)      Starch: long chains of glucose molecules

Add ESC + Starch. You want this sum to be less than 11% (on a dry matter basis) to be considered safe for the IR horse. This is because ESC and starch digestion will raise blood glucose and cause a rise in insulin secretion from the pancreas. Elevated blood insulin is the basis for many laminitis cases.

NSC = WSC + Starch. If this number exceeds 13% (on a dry matter basis) and the ESC + Starch sum is below 11%, it tells you that the fructan level is elevated. Fructans do not significantly raise blood insulin and are generally not a concern. However, excessive fructan intake can possibly lead to cecal acidosis and endotoxin-related laminitis as a result of bacterial fermentation in the hindgut.[iii] There is a need for further, in-depth study since a dangerous level has not been established and studies using fructans have inconsistent results.[iv]

Fructans and starches vary according to the type of grasses. Cool season grasses and alfalfa tend to be higher in fructans, while warm season grasses accumulate starch. The sugar content of all grasses, however, can vary dramatically mainly based on environmental factors.


Bottom line

Pasture grazing is the best way to keep your horse healthy. Grasses are not only highly nutritious, but grazing supports both physical and mental health. Get to know your grasses and periodically have them analyzed to offer your horses grazing opportunities at the most opportune times and conditions.


This article updates and expands information in one of Dr. Getty’s previous Tips of the Month. Permission to reprint this article is granted, provided attribution is given to Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D. No editorial changes may be made without her permission. Dr. Getty appreciates being notified of any publication.


Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D. is an independent equine nutritionist with a wide U.S. and international following. Her research-based approach optimizes equine health by aligning physiology and instincts with correct feeding and nutrition practices. Dr. Getty’s goal is to empower the horseperson with the confidence and knowledge to provide the best nutrition for his or her horse’s needs.


Dr. Getty’s fundamental resource book, Feed Your Horse Like a Horse, is now in paperback as well as in hardcover, searchable CD and Kindle versions. All except the Kindle version are available at — buy the book there and have it inscribed by the author. Print and Kindle versions are also available at Amazon (; find print versions at other online retail bookstores. The seven individual volumes in Dr. Getty’s topic-centered “Spotlight on Equine Nutrition”series are available with special package pricing at her website, and also at Amazon in print and Kindle versions. Dr. Getty’s books make ideal gifts for equestrians!


Find a world of useful information for the horseperson at Sign up for Dr. Getty’s informative, free e-newsletter, Forage for Thought; browse her library of reference articles; search her nutrition forum archives; and purchase recordings of her educational teleseminars. Find top-quality supplements, feeders, and other equine-related items, at her online Free Shipping Supplement Store[v]. Reach Dr. Getty directly at



[i] Watts, K., 2008. The influence of solar radiation and temperature on the diurnal fluctuation of NSC in grass. Rocky Mountain Research & Consulting, Inc.

[ii] Equi-Analytical Labs offers instructions on how to test your pasture.

[iii] Johnson, R.J., Rivard, C., Lanaspa, M.A., Otabachian-Smith, S., et. al., 2013. Fructokinase, fructans, intestinal permeability, and metabolic syndrome: An equine connection? Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, 33(2), 120-126.

[iv] Crawford, C., Sepulveda, M.F., Elliott, J., Harris, P.A., and Bailey, S.R., 2017. Dietary fructan carbohydrate increases amine production in the equine large intestine: Implications for pasture-associated laminitis. Journal of Animal Science, 85, 2949-2958.



Longtime Breeder Judy Agular Obituary

Judy Louise Agular passed away suddenly on May 18, 2017 at the age of 66.  Her family and friends will dearly miss her kind and energetic spirit.

For many years Judy was involved in the thoroughbred industry in Louisiana as a breeder and owner of race horses.  A longtime member of the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association, she greatly enjoyed the many relationships she made in horse racing statewide, from the farm to the track.

Judy’s compassion was best expressed through her love of animals, including her many dogs, cats and horses, which she enthusiastically cared for.  Her concern with the welfare of thoroughbred horses led her to become actively involved with the Louisiana Horse Rescue Association, where she served as a Director, helping to raise awareness of aftercare for horses.

A memorial service will be held at 10:00 am on Thursday May 25th in Folsom, LA at Elite Thoroughbred Farm.

In lieu of flowers, donations are requested for the Louisiana Horse Rescue Association, P.O. Box 10204, New Orleans, LA 70181.

Desormeaux Splits With Pegram, Hires Nelson Arroyo As New Agent

Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux has parted ways with agent J.R. Pegram and teamed up with agent Nelson Arroyo, it was announced Monday. Desormeaux, who has been represented by Pegram since March 2016, was also previously represented by the agent in 2012 and 2013 while riding in New York.

“I’ve worked with Pegram a few times over the years and he’s done a good job for me,” Desormeaux said. “We have different views on managing my future, and as a result I thought it best to part ways. Nelson has done a great job as an agent and I am looking forward to him carrying my book.”

Desormeaux, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004, is ranked sixth all-time in jockey earnings with $272,913,629, and has 5,856 wins from over 30,000 career starts. He has won seven Triple Crown races, including three Kentucky Derbies, three Preakness Stakes and the Belmont once.

After a second-place finish in last year’s Kentucky Derby aboard the Keith Desormeaux-trained Exaggerator, the pair went on to capture the Preakness Stakes, finishing 4 1/2 lengths ahead of Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist. He went on to pilot the colt to victory in the $1 million Haskell Invitational last July.

“Before I became a jockey my father encouraged me to watch and learn from Cordero, Pincay, Velazquez and Desormeaux,” Arroyo said. “I never imagined I’d be representing a Hall of Fame jockey and to be representing Kent, along with my brother Norberto, in Southern California is a dream come true.”

Desormeaux is currently riding at the Santa Anita Park meeting where he is fifth in the jockey standings. He rode three winners on the card there Sunday, including the Fran’s Valentine Stakes aboard Moonless Sky.

Stewart String Poised for Top Class Summer


Trainer Dallas Stewart knows how to get the good ones right and that is exactly what he is doing with stable star Forever Unbridled.

Given a little extra time following an ambitious and fruitful 2016 campaign, the daughter of Unbridled’s Song has returned to training for the Kentucky-based, New Orleans native.

“She’s doing great,” Stewart said of the Charles Fipke homebred. “She worked (May 20) going a half-mile in :48 4/5, so she’s coming along well. We’re looking at four races this year, hopefully. We’re hoping to make the (Longines) Breeders’ Cup (Distaff, G1) again. She’s coming along and she looks great.”

The daughter of Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Lemons Forever has two registered works since returning to Stewart’s Churchill Downs barn, including a May 13 three-furlong drill in :37 flat. Last year, she had a 10-month, six-start campaign that included victories in a pair of grade 1 events—the Beldame Stakes at Belmont Park in October and the Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park in April—and the grade 3 Houston Ladies Classic Stakes in January.

Never failing to hit the board in 2016, she arguably put forth her best efforts in defeat. In the Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1), she was caught behind horses turning for home and could not reel in multiple grade 1 winner Cavorting once she broke free, finishing a flying second.

In her season finale, she burst off the rail and into the clear under regular rider Joel Rosario at the top of the stretch in the Distaff, putting forth a furious rally to be the only horse gaining on dueling champions Beholderand Songbird at the wire. Finishing 1 1/4 lengths behind those super-horses, she out-finished phenomenal fillies and fellow 2012 crop members Stellar Wind, I’m a Chatterbox, and Curalina. Stellar Wind since resurfaced to successfully kick off her 5-year-old campaign in this year’s Apple Blossom.

Some wear and tear after such top efforts over the course of a demanding campaign was not unexpected, but luckily it was nothing career-threatening.

“She had minor surgery over the winter and that is why she’s just getting rolling now,” Stewart explained. “She had a small chip taken out of her left front ankle and she’s doing great now; good as new.”

Stewart is over the moon with how the filly looks after a freshening, which is not surprising considering how much praise he threw on his darling over the last couple seasons. Long thought of as one of the best fillies with whom he has been associated—keeping in mind that he used to gallop Kentucky Derby-winning champion Winning Colors while an assistant to D. Wayne Lukas—he is pumped to get her going again.

“She looked good last year and looks just as great this year, if not better,” he said. “She’s just strong-looking all over. She is what a wonderful horse looks like. She’s massive and has a presence to her on the racetrack—you just know she’s a good horse. When she walks into the barn, she’s like an amazon.

“I’m not sure where we’ll point to first,” he continued. “We’ll just have to see where she is. If she’s out there working three-quarters (of a mile) in (a minute and) 12 (seconds) and doing it easily, then I know she’ll be ready to go against the best right off the bat. We’ll just have to see how that comes along. As far as racing (at age 6 in 2018 after an expected light 2017 campaign), you never know with Chuck (Fipke). It’s always possible. He has the mother and the sister (fellow grade 1 winner Unbridled Forever). Her sister just had a Medaglia d’Oro   and her mother just went to Medaglia d’Oro, so you never know.”

If things go according to plan, Forever Unbridled, who has earned in excess of $1.5 million, will become Stewart’s leading earner. At the top of said honor roll with just over $1.8 million is grade 1-winning Rachel Alexandra chaser Macho Again, while such standouts as Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Unbridled Elaine, grade 2-winning and grade 1-placed Dollar Bill, and both of Forever Unbridled’s aforementioned family members are not far behind.

Stewart was also quick to praise two other stable standouts on the improve and with ambitious schedules.

G M B Racing’s multiple graded stakes winner and 2016 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) and Las Vegas Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) alum Tom’s Ready kicked off his 2017 impressively, rallying for third against a top field in the Churchill Downs Stakes Presented by (G2) May 6.

Additionally, Mark Stanley’s 3-year-old Hollywood Handsome exits a driving neck allowance victory against older horses eight days later, also at Churchill. Both are likely to head to Belmont for its biggest day, June 10.

“I really like how (Tom’s Ready) ran the other day,” Stewart said. “He ran hard and stepped up against good horses. We’re looking at the Met Mile next with him. It’s a step forward, but he made a step forward in the Churchill Downs and is doing very well and has since the race.”

A run in the Mohegan Sun Metropolitan Handicap (G1), historically the top open dirt mile event, would mean a return to the site of the colt’s best effort, a rousing victory in last year’s seven-furlong Woody Stephens Stakes (G2). The last time the son of More Than Ready   ran a one-turn mile, he was the winner of the Ack Ack Stakes (G3) last fall.

“Hollywood Handsome is a strong possibility for the Belmont (Stakes),” Stewart continued. “We could have gone to the Preakness after the Illinois Derby, but we just wanted to win a race with him and get his head right. He had a bad trip at Hawthorne and we think he moved forward last time. (Jockey) Florent (Geroux) said that a mile and a half will be right up his alley and he will ride him in the Belmont.”

A photo-finish from being considered for the Kentucky Derby when he placed fourth, a nose astern third, in the Louisiana Derby (G2), the late-running son of Tapizar   has upped his game and could be a longshot to watch—as all Stewart trainees have come to be known in the Triple Crown.

A big effort would signal a turn of the tide in the Stewart barn, which has had its fair share of ups and downs already, including the loss of barn favorite and Stewart homebred Saints Fan.

“So far, so good this year,” Stewart concluded. “We have had some good performances from a lot of our horses and have some babies coming along who look great and we’re taking our time with those. The older horses are fighting it out, so everything is good. I’m happy with where we are and things look good.”

Easy to root for with his friendly disposition and hands-on horsemanship, Stewart keeps things in perspective and seems poised for the pendulum to swing back.

Sandra Duke Obituary

Sandra Kay Duke, wife of trainer Steve Duke passed away on Sunday, May 21, 2017. She was 63.

Sandra was a resident of Texas.

She graduated from Bloomburg High School in 1972.

Services will be 2:00 pm Tuesday May 23 2017 at First Baptist Church in Atlanta Texas under the direction of Hanner Funeral Service with Bro. Jeremiah Moss and Bro. Dale Perkins officiating.Visitation will be from 6pm- 8pm Monday May 22 2017 at Hanner Funeral Service.Interment will be in New Hope Cemetery Bloomburg Texas.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Hospice of Texarkana whose dedicated service and ministry has been a tremendous blessing to Sandra and the family during the past several months.

EHV May Remain Viable In Water For Three Weeks



A new study has shown that some equine herpes viruses (EHV) can remain viable in untreated water for over three weeks, becoming a source of infection for equids, reports Vet Times.

In many parts of the world, water sources are shared by horses, other equids and other species. If a horse that is actively shedding the EHV-1 virus visits the water and sheds the virus, the virus can remain there long after the animal has left.

The study challenges the long-held belief that the herpesvirus is unstable outside the host; it was believed that they are spread by direct aerosol transmission. However, animals like rhinos and polar bears have contracted EHV though they had no direct contact with horses or their relatives.

Conducted by researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research and the Institut für Virologie of the Freie Universität Berlin, the results were reported in Science Daily. The team tested this assumption by spiking the water with EHV under various conditions over three weeks. They then examined  it to see if the viral DNA could be retrieved and how infectious the virus was after having been in the water.

It was shown that the EHV-1 virus remains stable and infectious for up to three weeks. Water temperature and pH played the biggest role in whether or not the virus stayed alive. The addition of soil, which would mimic a natural body of water, actually seemed to “pull” the virus out of the water and into the soil, where it stabilized. This result suggests that EHV-1 can persist for an extended amount of time without infecting other animals. This also shows why some animals can be infected from these bodies of water long after the animal that shed the virus has left.

Read more at Science Daily 

Trainer Richie Scherer Dies at Age 53

Trainer Richard “Richie” Scherer, who enjoyed success at tracks throughout the Midwest and in his native Louisiana, died May 20 at age 53.

Scherer battled papillary kidney cancer for several years. His brother, Merrill Scherer, reported Richie Scherer’s death and saluted him on social media.

“I’ve had many sports athletes that I’ve looked up to growing up as a kid, but really I only had two heroes: my older brothers Richie Scherer and Gary Scherer. A little past midnight on May 20 I lost one of those heroes, my oldest brother Richie,” Merrill Scherer wrote. “After nearly a five-year bout with cancer—which he won by the way he lived his life—Richie is now cancer free and in heaven, where he belongs with all the other angels.”

Richie Scherer trained horses along with his brother Gary and father Merrill. In December 2008, all three won a race on a single card at their hometown track, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

Gary Scherer noted on Facebook that “the rail will never be the same,” following the loss of his brother.

Among Richie Scherer’s 65 black-type stakes wins are five graded victories: the 2012 Colonel E. R. Bradley Handicap (G3T) at Fair Grounds with Mr. Vegas, the 2004 Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (G2T) at Fair Grounds with Mystery Giver, the 1999 Hawthorne Derby (G3T) with Minor Wisdom, and the 1999 Locust Grove Handicap (G3) and Ashland Mile Stakes (G3) both at Churchill Downs and both won by Shires Ende.

Richie Scherer secured his first stakes win in 1990 at Canterbury Parkwith Hero’s Countess.

Evangeline Indefinitely Postpones Start of Turf Racing

By Mary Rampellini

Evangeline Downs, which had delayed the start of turf racing this meet to a tentative date of Wednesday, May 24, will instead be off the grass indefinitely. The track announced on its latest overnight that it would be “off the turf course for an extended period.”

Evangeline hired a new turf consultant this year and changed maintenance procedures in order to build a better course foundation for the long haul, according to Chris Warren, the track’s director of racing. The turf, however, has not grown in as quickly as anticipated, leaving some bare areas. As part of the renovation of the course, it underwent a “sprigging” process Tuesday, according to the overnight. The date the course will be available for usage is to be announced by officials at Evangeline.

Louisiana purse subsidy bill withdrawn

By Matt Hegarty

A Louisiana lawmaker on Monday withdrew a bill [HB 585] that would have diverted $36 million from purse subsidies to a popular scholarship program, in an acknowledgement that the legislation would not pass out of a committee.

Jay Morris, a Republican representing a northern district of the state, voluntarily pulled the bill from consideration after members of the House Appropriations Committee raised objections to the legislation, citing the impact it could have on the racing industry in the state.

“I knew it was a foregone conclusion that this will not make it out of committee,” Morris said after earlier citing the large number of phone calls that racing industry supporters had made to committee members over the weekend. Morris said that he may return with legislation that would call for a study of the potential impact of the bill.

The bill would have cut in half the amount of casino subsidies going to purses and breeders’ awards in the state, redirecting them to the state’s Taylor Opportunity Program for Students, which provides stipends for college education. Horsemen had said that the impact would “destroy” the racing industry in the state.

Committee members said that they supported legislation to shore up the TOPS program, but said that funding for the program should instead come from a source other than the racing industry. Rep. James Armes, who said that he had received 37 calls from horsemen over the weekend, said that he could not support a measure that would “penalize” people who had invested money in their horse operations based on the impact of the subsidies.

“If we take it from them they are going to go out of business, and we’re not going to have a race industry,” Armes said.