NTRA THOROUGHBRED NOTEBOOK
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|News and notes from around the Thoroughbred racing world, compiled
by NTRA Communications, (212) 907-9280.
POINT GIVEN HEADS TO THE JERSEY SHORE, STABLEMATE CONGAREE TAKES TO THE SPA
Three-year-old colts take center stage in this week's edition of "Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships," the three-month racing series airing on the ESPN Networks, and the main attractions are expected to be Point Given, Congaree, and A P Valentine, three of the dominant horses in this year's Triple Crown series.
Featured this week on "Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships" are a pair of Grade I, one-and-one-eighth-mile races, Saratoga's $600,000 Jim Dandy, airing on ESPN Saturday, Aug. 4, from 5:00-6:00 p.m. (ET), and Monmouth Park's $1.5 million Haskell Invitational, Sunday, Aug. 5, from 6:00-7:00 p.m.(ET)on ESPN2. The top three finishers in both the Jim Dandy and Haskell will earn Breeders' Cup Classic Division points. Point Given currently leads the division standings with 36 points.
Returning to the racetrack for the first time since smashing victories in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, Point Given tries for his third Grade I win in a row in the Haskell, where a field of seven or eight, including Burning Roma and Hero's Tribute, is expected. Haskell competitors who went on to capture the Breeders' Cup Classic are Alysheba (2nd in 1987 Haskell, won 1988 Classic), Concern (3rd in 1994 Haskell, won 1994 Classic), Skip Away (won 1996 Haskell and 1997 Classic) and Cat Thief (2nd in 1999 Haskell, won 1999 Classic). Cherokee Run finished fourth in the 1994 Haskell before winning the same year's Breeders' Cup Sprint.
The Jim Dandy will pit Point Given's stablemate, Congaree, who posted an easy win in last month's Swaps Stakes, against A P Valentine, the Preakness and Belmont runner-up. Point Given and Congaree are trained by Bob Baffert, who leads the nation's trainers in 2001 earnings. A P Valentine is handled by New York mainstay Nick Zito. The Jim Dandy's past winners include such champions as Affirmed (1978), Conquistador Cielo (1982) and Arts And Letters (1969). Awesome Again (1997 Jim Dandy winner) went on to win the Breeders' Cup Classic in 1998.
"Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships" began with Congaree's victory in the Swaps and culminates with a one-hour Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Special on Oct. 26 on ESPN2, the day before the eight-race, $13 million Championships at Belmont Park. Including Saturday's Jim Dandy and Sunday's Haskell, the series will feature 14 hours of horseracing coverage on both ESPN and ESPN2. Hosting Saturday's telecast will be Jim Kelly, joined by analysts Randy Moss and Charlsie Cantey and essayist Jack Whitaker. Sunday's telecast will be hosted by Jeff Medders, working with Moss and Kenny Rice.
"This year's Triple Crown races attracted a great deal of attention across the nation, and we're delighted that three of the horses who helped generate that excitement will be running on the 'Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships' this coming weekend," said Breeders' Cup President and NTRA Vice Chairman D.G. Van Clief Jr.
WOODWARD AND MAN O' WAR TO BE TELEVISED ON SEPT. 8
The Sept. 8 Woodward Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., will air live on ESPN2 from 5:00-5:30 p.m. (ET) in a special edition of the "Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships." The telecast also will include the Man o' War Stakes from Belmont on tape delay. Hosting the "Road To" show will be Jim Kelly, joined by analyst Jeannine Edwards.
The Woodward and Man o' War - both Grade I stakes - are among the premier divisional races leading up to the Oct. 27 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, to be held this year at Belmont Park. The Woodward, in the Classic division, is expected to feature a rematch between Lido Palace (CHI) and Albert the Great, one-two finishers in the July 28 Whitney Handicap. The Turf division Man o' War may include Arlington Handicap winner Make No Mistake.
CLAIMING CROWN 2001
The fields are set for the third renewal of the Canterbury Park Claiming Crown, a card consisting of six races, worth $550,000 in purses at Canterbury Park, Shakopee, Minn. TVG will provide live racing coverage for Saturday's event, with in-depth analysis starting at 2:00 p.m. (ET). TVG's regular "Trackside Live!" coverage will be highlighted by interviews, news and reports from Canterbury by analysts Todd Schrupp and Matt Carothers.
The nation's leading owner in wins, Rick Englander, has four horses entered in the Claiming Crown. In the $150,000 Jewel, 7-to-2 morning line Sing Because has the fourth post position. Clever Actor received the ninth spot in the $125,000 Emerald. Lady Di Huntley will be trying for the $75,000 Glass Slipper from the four hole. In the $50,000 Iron Horse, Slew Can Go, trained by Scott Lake, the nation's leading trainer in wins, will emerge from the inside post.
Four may be Lake's lucky number, as three of his five trainees received that post position: Sonofaqueen, the morning-line favorite in the $100,000 Rapid Transit, The Maccabee in the $50,000 Express and Bellweather in the Iron Horse. Glass Slipper morning line 7-to-2 favorite French Teacher got the ninth position.
James Jackson's Dignitas Dancer, the morning-line favorite in the $125,000 Emerald, received the fourth position. The five-year-old gelding recently lost the $300,000 Dallas Turf Cup at Lone Star Park by a neck.
BESSEMER DONATING TELEVISION TIME TO EQUINE CHARITIES
Bessemer Trust Company N.A. has announced that it will donate approximately 30 spots of national television time to three equine-related charities. The availability of the television spots represents a portion of Bessemer's recently announced sponsorship of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. More
FIRES AND MANDELLA RACING'S HALL OF FAME INDUCTIONS
Champion runners Holy Bull and Paseana (ARG), veteran jockey Earlie Fires, trainer Richard Mandella and Horse of Yesteryear Maskette will be inducted into Thoroughbred racing's Hall of Fame, Monday, Aug. 6.
A panel of 145 members of the media votes on the Hall of Fame inductees after three candidates in each division have been selected by the Hall of Fame Nominating Committee of 14 individuals. Beginning this year, the Nominating Committee was given the additional option of bypassing any category if it reached a consensus that there were not three strong candidates, but the committee found that the standard of nominees in every category again justified a Hall of Fame election.
Returning Hall of Famers are expected to include jockeys Braulio Baeza, Jerry Bailey, Walter Blum, Pat Day, and Julie Krone, steeplechase jockeys F.D. "Dooley" Adams, Jerry Fishback and Mike Smithwick. Trainers expected to attend are Allen Jerkens, P.G. Johnson, Tommy Kelly, Bill Mott, John Nerud and Scotty Schulhofer.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will take place in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion. The ceremony, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 10:30 a.m. (ET). Award-winning sportswriter and author Frank Deford, a member of the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame, will give the keynote speech.
PRIVMAN TO SIGN BREEDER'S CUP BOOK AT SARATOGA
Author Jay Privman will be signing copies of his book, "Breeder's Cup: Thoroughbred Racing's Championship Day," at Saratoga Racecourse on Saturday, Aug. 4, from 11:00 a.m-1:00 p.m. at the track's Pony Tales bookshop and at the National Racing Museum and Hall of Fame on Tuesday, Aug. 7, from 10:00 a.m-12:00 noon. The 208-page book, with foreword by Bill Shoemaker, is a retrospective of the first 16 years of the Breeders' Cup, one of the world's premier sporting events. The book also contains more than 300 full-color photographs and has been critically acclaimed by "Sports Illustrated," the "Chicago Tribune" and the "Baltimore Sun," among others.
AFTER FURTHER REVIEW...
Rene Douglas, currently the leading rider at Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Ill., had three "winners" last Friday. The first, Among Friends in the fifth race, resulted in a disqualification for interference. In the ninth race, Douglas finished first astride Saint Damien, but that horse also was disqualified for interference.
In the day's final race, Douglas finished first again, aboard Sneek a Flight. This time, the result stood.
RIVER DOWNS GOES TO THE DOGS
River Downs in Cincinnati, Ohio, pays tribute to the dog days of summer with its 7th annual 'Wiener Dog Summer Nationals,' Saturday, Aug. 4. The event - not to be confused with a hotdog-eating contest - features races starring Dachshunds, the ultimate 'wiener' of the pet world.
The dogs, 70 in all, will race on the track after the last Thoroughbred race of the day. They'll be tested in 10 separate heats, racing from one end of a 20-foot lane to the other. Handlers at the finish line will be dangling their pets' favorite treats or toys to encourage them to stay the course.
"Dachshunds abide by the rules a bit better and go for their toys," explained River Downs Director of Publicity John Engelhardt. "We tried Jack Russells [terriers], but it got out of hand - they were too busy taking nips at one another."
The race is being overseen by track veterinarian John Piehowicz DVM, who will be 'On Call' to aid any dogs that may be injured during competition. The canine athletes will have their own water bowls as well as a grassy, shaded area in which to cool off.
River Downs Placing Judges will be on hand to record the races with a photo-finish camera.
The winner of each heat receives a $25 gift certificate from Pet Warehouse and the winner of the final heat gets a $250 gift certificate.
IT'S A FAMILY AFFAIR
When Thoroughbreds Fifteen to Life and Get Me Even were two-year-olds, an unwitting farm hand turned them out in the same paddock. Get Me Even was "pasture-bred" that evening and months later was found to be in foal. News of the pending birth was not met with great anticipation by the connections of Fifteen to Life. The colt was soon gelded, putting an end to his days as a sire. The eventual foal, a colt, was named Eight and Change. All three have found their way to River Downs racetrack in Cincinnati, Ohio, this season.
Director of Racing Gary Wilfert is in the process of trying to put together a race card on which all three horses could make a start on the same day. "I'd love to see them all race on the same afternoon," said their trainer, Joe Czyzewski. "It would be a fun family affair, but a long day for me."
August 2 Thoroughbred Classics presented by the NTRA, Haskell Invitational, 7:00-7:30 a.m., ESPN Classic
August 3 Thoroughbred Classics presented by the NTRA, Haskell Invitational, 9:30-10:00 a.m., ESPN Classic
August 3 Thoroughbred Classics presented by the NTRA, Haskell Invitational, 5:30-6:00 p.m., ESPN Classic
August 4 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN
August 4 The Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships, Jim Dandy Stakes (Saratoga), 5:00-6:00 p.m., ESPN
August 5 AQHA 2Day at the Races; Vessels Maturity (Los Alamitos), Iowa Double Gold Futurity (Prairie Meadows), 550 Championship (Ruidoso Downs); 12:30-1:00 a.m., ESPN2
August 5 The Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships, Haskell Invitational (Monmouth Park), 6:00-7:00 p.m., ESPN2
August 8 Racehorse Digest, 3:00-3:30 p.m., ESPN
August 8 Thoroughbred Classics presented by the NTRA, Sword Dancer Handicap, 6:30-7:00 p.m., ESPN Classic
August 9 Thoroughbred Classics presented by the NTRA, Sword Dancer Handicap, 7:00-7:30 a.m., ESPN Classic
August 10 Thoroughbred Classics presented by the NTRA, Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap, 9:30-10:30 a.m., ESPN Classic
August 10 Thoroughbred Classics presented by the NTRA, Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap, 5:30-6:00 p.m., ESPN Classic
August 11 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN
August 11 Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships, Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (Saratoga), 5:00-6:00 p.m., ESPN2
August 12 NTRA 2Day at the Races: Ballston Spa Breeders' Cup Handicap (Saratoga), MBNA Challenge (Ruidoso Downs), West Virginia Derby (Mountaineer Park-taped from Aug. 11); 5:30-6:00 p.m., ESPN2
August 15 Racehorse Digest, 1:00-1:30 p.m., ESPN
August 15 Thoroughbred Classics presented by the NTRA, Arlington Million, 6:30-7:00 p.m., ESPN Classic
Aug. 3, 1971: The yearling Secretariat was shod on his front feet for the first time and transferred to the Meadow training center for breaking.
Aug. 3, 1989: Jockey Jorge Velasquez notched his 6,000th career victory aboard three-year-old filly Maddie Bumpo in the third race at Arlington International Racecourse.
Aug. 3, 2000: Fred. W. Hooper, who won the 1945 Kentucky Derby with the first horse he ever owned and went on to develop one of Florida's leading racing and breeding operations, died in his sleep in Miami, at the age of 102.
Aug. 4, 1973: In his first race against older horses, 1-10 favorite Secretariat was defeated in the Whitney Stakes at Saratoga by Allen Jerkens' four-year-old trainee Onion, who beat him by a length. Secretariat was subsequently found to be suffering from a virus.
Aug. 5, 1988: Trainer Dale Baird won his 5,000th career race with Stuffed Johnnie at Mountaineer Park, becoming the second trainer in history, behind Jack Van Berg, to reach that mark.
Aug. 6, 1951: The National Museum of Racing opened in Congress Park at Saratoga Springs, N.Y. More than 2,000 people attended the opening ceremonies presided over by C.V. Whitney.
Aug. 7, 1900: Trainer "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons had his first stakes winner, Agnes D., at Brighton Beach.
Aug. 7, 1988: Jockey Eddie Delahoussaye won his 4,000th race aboard a two-year-old filly named Fawn and Hahn in the fourth race at Del Mar.
Aug. 8, 1970: Jockey Bill Shoemaker won his 6,000th career victory, aboard Shining Count at Del Mar.
Aug. 8, 1987: Kent Desormeaux set the record for most number of stakes wins by an apprentice jockey, 13, aboard King's Snow in the Primer Stakes at Pimlico. The previous record, 10, was held by Steve Cauthen.
August 9, 1999: Trainer D. Wayne Lukas, jockey Russell Baze, and horses Miesque, Exceller and Gun Bow were inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Aug. 10, 1868: "The Dinner Party Stakes," devised by a group of seven influential Thoroughbred owners after a dinner at Saratoga a few days before, was advertised with a request for nominations. The stakes race, designed to showcase racing in Baltimore, was to be run two years hence, in 1870, at the yet-to-be-built Pimlico Racecourse.
Aug. 10, 1982: Mary Russ became the first female rider to surpass the $1 million mark in earnings when she finished third aboard Bammer in the fourth race at Saratoga Racecourse.
Aug. 10, 1996: Cigar was denied a 17th straight victory when longshot Dare and Go passed him in the stretch of the Pacific Classic at Del Mar.
Aug. 11, 1972: In preparation for his stakes-racing debut, the Aug. 16 Sanford at Saratoga Racecourse, Secretariat worked five furlongs in :59.
Aug. 12, 1943: Representatives of Suffolk Downs donated $625,000 to the National War Fund, the single largest contribution by any sports venue in support of the war effort. Six weeks later, an additional $10,885 was contributed. The track had held an 18-day War Charity meet to fund the donation.
Aug. 12, 1938: In a $25,000 winner-take-all match race, Seabiscuit defeated Ligaroti by a nose at Del Mar. The race pitted father against son, with Charles S. Howard, owner of Seabiscuit, competing with his son Lin, who owned Ligaroti in partnership with crooner Bing Crosby. The race was so closely contested that the jockey for Ligaroti, Noel Richardson, kept rider George Woolf in a leg-lock for part of the stretch run.
Aug. 12, 2000: Hallowed Dreams, bidding to surpass the record of 16 consecutive wins she co-owned with Cigar and Citation, finished third in the Millennium Stakes at Evangeline Downs.
Aug. 13, 1919: Upset scored a win against Man o' War in the Sanford Memorial Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse. The defeat was Big Red's only loss in 21 starts.
Aug. 13, 1938: Mary Hirsch became the first woman to train a Travers Stakes winner when she sent Thanksgiving to victory for owner Anne Corning.
Aug. 13, 1951: At odds of 2-1, Greentree Stable's Tom Fool won his maiden race by four lengths at Saratoga Racecourse.
Aug. 14, 1942: One of racing's oddities occurred at Saratoga Racecourse when Rurales and Joe Burger finished in a dead-heat for first place, giving trainer W.O. Hicks, who saddled both horses, two winners in one race.
Aug. 15, 1972: The 15-race winning streak of England's Brigadier Gerard was ended by John Galbreath's American-bred Roberto, ridden to a three-length victory by Braulio Baeza in the Benson and Hedges Gold Cup at York Racecourse. Brigadier Gerard, who finished second in the Gold Cup, went on to post two more victories before retiring with a record of 18-17-1-0.
Aug. 15, 1987: Kent Desormeaux began his career as a journeyman jockey. Aug. 15, 2000: Jockey Russell Baze rode three winners at Bay Meadows and surged past Angel Cordero into fifth place on the list of all-time winning riders with 7,059 victories.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 3
SATURDAY, AUGUST 4
SUNDAY, AUGUST 5
MONDAY, AUGUST 6
THURSDAY, AUGUST 9
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