Updated on 09/15/2011 12:30PM

Breeding sales tax relief revived


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - A bill that would eliminate the sales tax paid on Thoroughbred breeding stock bought for use in California may be introduced in the legislature in coming weeks.

Sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Briggs of Fresno, the bill was recently categorized as a "two-year bill," which meant it was unlikely to be presented this year but would be considered next year. There was concern that California, which is cash-strapped due to energy concerns, would not support a bill that would reduce taces.

But earlier this week, Briggs indicated to John Harris, the owner of Harris Farms in Coalinga, Calif., that the bill may be introduced as part of a bill that exempts sales tax for farm tractors.

"It might be resurrected," Harris said. "I thought at one point it was dead, but it has a chance."

The bill would eliminate the eight percent sales tax charged on the sale of Thoroughbred broodmares and stallions brought to the state or sold in the state, Harris said. It would not eliminate the eight percent sales tax paid on claimed horses.

The bill has the support of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, which is hoping the elimination of the sales tax will spur growth in the state's breeding.

"If you brought a nice stallion or bought a nice mare, the sales and use tax really discouraged you from bringing the horse to California," Harris said. "It was a problem if you bought a nice mare for $100,000, you'd have to pay $8,000. You could board them for a year in Kentucky for free for that."

Gerald McMahon, the general manager at the Barretts Sales in Pomona, said the passage of such a bill will help business with California horsemen since out-of-state buyers are exempt from sales tax if the breeding prospect is shipped out of the state.

"This puts local buyers on equal footing with buyers from Kentucky," he said. More might stay here if local people weren't eight percent behind in the bidding."

A Gleam tough spot for Kitty on the Track

The Grade 2 A Gleam Handicap on Sunday is not the ideal spot for a comeback by Kitty on the Track, but trainer Bill Spawr said he had few options. For a few weeks, Spawr had been hoping for an allowance race to fill, but said there were times when Kitty on the Track was the lone entrant.

Consequently, Kitty on the Track makes her first start in 18 months against top-class sprinters such as Go Go and Nany's Sweep in the seven-furlong A Gleam.

The 4-year-old Kitty on the Track won the filly division of the California Breeders' Champion Stakes on Dec. 29, 1999, but has since been sidelined with a hairline fracture in her shoulder, Spawr said.

The stakes win was Kitty on the Track's third consecutive victory, making it hard for Spawr and the partnership that owns her to find a comeback race. "We need a race before Del Mar," Spawr said of the summer meeting that opens on July 18. "She's better now than when we had her before. She's grown a lot."

Kitty on the Track is one of four California-bred fillies and mares in the A Gleam, a group led by race favorite Go Go, who is seeking her fifth stakes win of 2001. The other Cal-bred fillies are the longshots Image of Glory and Miss Belle O.