Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame Inducts New Members

TX Hall of Fame honors new inductees, including Leo Wood and Jerry Rheudasil.

Press Release

Jerry Rheudasil and Leo Wood will join the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

The Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame will once again honor individuals who have enriched the tradition and sport of horse racing in Texas on Saturday, October 18, at Retama Park Racetrack in Selma, Texas.

The celebration will be held before and during the races starting at 5 p.m. and will include valet parking, cocktails including Tito’s Vodka, a gourmet buffet dinner featuring prime rib, induction of the honorees, silent auction and live Thoroughbred races. 

All proceeds from the gala, which is open to the public, will benefit the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the legacy of the horse racing industry and those individuals who have contributed to its development.  Proceeds from the 2013 gala benefitted the Saddle Light Center and Groom Elite, as will the proceeds from this 2014 event.  Past honorees are listed at www.txhorseracingmuseumandhalloffame.org/past-honorees.html.

Featured speaker will be Anthony Sanfillippo, the Chief Executive Officer of Pinnacle Entertainment, a casino resort entertainment company that is the management company for the Retama Park Racetrack.  Pinnacle Entertainment owns and operates 16 casinos throughout the United States including L’Auberge Casino Resorts in Lake Charles and Baton Rouge Louisiana. Pinnacle Entertainment has over $2 billion dollars in annual revenue and is publically traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol PNK. The company employs 15,000 team members and operates in eight states. Anthony grew up in the East Texas town of Longview.

The emcee for the evening will be Australian-bred Dave Appleton, a former superstar on the professional rodeo circuit.  In 1988 he became the first Australian and first non-American to win a world rodeo championship when he was named the “World Champion All-Around Cowboy.” He has provided color commentary on ESPN and other networks; he continues his broadcast work during the race season at Lone Star Park and commercial appearances and speaking engagements.  Dave has been inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Australian Rodeo Hall of Fame.  Now retired from competition, Dave primarily concentrates his time in the oil and gas industry and as a managing Bloodstock agent for several Thoroughbred syndicates.

The 2014 Hall of Fame honorees are:
•    Jerry Rheudasil (deceased), breeder of On A High, who won the All American Futurity in 1983.  
•    Leo Wood (deceased), Quarter Horse trainer who was, in large part, responsible for the building of Lubbock Downs.  He also trained Pie In The Sky and Mighty Deck Three.
•    Art Preston, who entered the Thoroughbred racing industry when he bought a $10,000 claiming horse named Old Sew and Sew. Preston and his three brothers established Prestonwood Farm near Versailles, Kentucky; it was later sold and renamed Winstar Farm in 2000.
•    Joe McDermott of McDermott Ranch, owner of a leading Thoroughbred breeding facility in the southwest in 1999.
•    Cecil Perkins, owner of Witch Doctor Farms just outside of Austin in Bee Caves. He was a columnist for the Texas Thoroughbred Association Magazine for 12 years, and was named TTBA Man of the Year in 1984. Mr. Perkins was instrumental in passage of pari-mutuel racing in Texas.

For more information or to purchase tickets for the gala at $125 per person, visit www.txhorseracingmuseumandhalloffame.org, or contact Sharolyn Grammer at (210) 651-7000 or txhorseracinghof@gmail.com.

Generous sponsorships are available.The Retama Park Racetrack is located at 1 Retama Pkwy, Selma, TX.

Joe Straus, Jr. is founder and Board Chairman of the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame, and an inductee into the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame. A breeder and owner of Thoroughbreds, Straus is a co-founder of Retama Park and the former chairman of Retama Entertainment Group (the former management company of Retama Park). The mission of the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame is to promote the character and integrity of the horse racing industry and highlights the enjoyment the sport provides. The Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame celebration recognizes the accomplishments of Texas racing legends (individual and horses).  The foundation will document, preserve, and promote the rich history of the horse racing industry; recognize and honor Texas racing legends; and educate the public on the sport of racing.

Located northeast of San Antonio in Selma, Retama Park Racetrack is open for simulcast wagering daily, with live racing on Fridays and Saturdays in 2014. Quarter Horses racing runs June 6 through August 9; Thoroughbred racing will run Sepember 5 through November 29. Now owned and managed by Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. — a casino entertainment company that owns and operates 15 gaming entertainment properties located in Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada and Ohio, including  L’Auberge Casinos — Retama Park Racetrack features a wide variety of dining options including Terrace Dining on the finish line and the Race Book & Sports Bar offering delicious fare enjoyed while watching simulcast racing or your favorite sports team; or more casual options at the concession stands throughout the facility.

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