NTRA THOROUGHBRED NOTEBOOK
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|News and notes from around the Thoroughbred racing world, compiled
by NTRA Communications, (212) 907-9280.
"ROAD TO THE WORLD THOROUGHBRED CHAMPIONSHIPS" TAKES TO THE TURF AT SARATOGA WITH SATURDAY'S SWORD DANCER INVITATIONAL
Grade I, $500K Handicap to air on ESPN From 5:00-6:00 p.m. (ET); ESPN Classic to air Sword Dancer Retrospective Friday
It's on to the turf for this week's edition of "Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships," the three-month racing series airing on the ESPN Networks, with Saturday's Grade I, $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational at Saratoga from 5:00-6:00 p.m. (ET) on ESPN. The top three finishers in the Sword Dancer receive World Thoroughbred Championship points in the Breeders' Cup Turf Division. More
NATIONAL FOOTBALL ALUMNI TO VISIT THE SPA
Saratoga Racecourse, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., will host National Football Alumni Association Day on Sunday, August 12. An autograph session, featuring Hall of Fame players from the Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, New York Jets, the Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders, Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins, will be held from 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (ET). Fans wanting to dine with Hall of Fame players like Lenny Moore, Bobby Bell, Charley Taylor and Bobby Mitchell can purchase tickets for $65.00. Proceeds will benefit the Center for the Disabled and Double H Hole in the Woods. For more information call (518) 437-5611.
WEST VIRGINIA DERBY RICHEST EVER
The nine-race West Virginia Derby, held at Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort in Chester, WV, on August 11 will have added- and guaranteed-money purses totaling in excess of $875,000, making it the richest single day of Thoroughbred racing ever conducted in the state of West Virginia. This year's edition of the West Virginia Derby will have a guaranteed purse of $500,000.
2001 Kentucky Derby winner and 1999 Eclipse Award recipient jockey Jorge Chavez will pilot Thunder Blitz, winner of the Grade III Flamingo Stakes at Hialeah Park. Hall of Fame rider Pat Day, who rode Beau Sham to victory in the West Virginia Derby in 1978, will ride Buckle Down Ben for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
Providing valuable insight and information for racing fans, Byron King, handicapper for the "Daily Racing Form," will host a seminar with Chris Lincoln, host of ESPN's Racing Digest, and renowned announcer Dave Johnson.
A field of 10 horses are expected to compete. Others are Outofthebox, Marciano, Niner's Echo, Western Pride, Saratoga Games, X Country, Sunshine Jack, and Trion Georgia.
KUTZ RETURNS TO THE SADDLE
Jockey Dean Kutz (44), ranked among the most popular jockeys in the Kentucky circuit, began riding in 1972. Kutz won 2,773 races and amassed more than $32 million in purse money by the time he rode his last race in February 2000, when he was diagnosed with throat cancer.
Wednesday, August 8, Kutz returned to the track, aboard the appropriately named two-year-old filly To the Test, at Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky. Although the pair finished eighth, Kutz said he felt like he won by "just getting a leg up."
Using a battery-operated voice box to communicate, Kutz said, "The only thing that has changed about me is I have to have a different way of communication. Other than that, I've got the same outlook." He went on to say, "Cancer is really bad, but it's not the end of the world. I feel like I can prove that to a lot of people and inspire them to go out and not sit back and feel sorry for themselves."
Kutz was this year's recipient of the esteemed George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, Calif., an award that honors riders whose careers and character reflect positively on themselves and the sport.
Although his doctor said Kutz could do anything he wanted after his surgery in March 2000, it wasn't until this summer that he felt up to the challenge of racing. In the meantime, he worked on his Woodford County farm to get fit. Now, he is accepting riding engagements and is listed on the favorite in today's second race at Ellis.
Kutz is very much back in the saddle.
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
August 16 Thoroughbred Classics presented by the NTRA, Arlington Million, 7:00-7:30 a.m., ESPN Classic
August 17 Thoroughbred Classics presented by the NTRA, Arlington Million, 9:30-10:00 a.m., ESPN Classic
August 17 Thoroughbred Classics presented by the NTRA, Arlington Million, 5:30-6:00 p.m., ESPN Classic
August 18 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN
August 18 Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships, Arlington Million and Beverly D. Stakes (Arlington Park), 4:00-5:00 p.m., ESPN
August 19 AQHA 2Day at the Races: Trials--All American Futurity (Ruidoso Downs--taped from Aug. 17); Trials--All American Derby (Ruidoso Downs-taped from Aug. 16); 1:00 a.m.-1:30 a.m., ESPN2
August 19 Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships, Pacific Classic (Del Mar), 5:00-6:00 p.m., ESPN
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.
Aug. 16, 1930: Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox was beaten by 100-1 shot Jim Dandy in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse.
Aug. 16, 1946: Rockingham Park began to film its races from the vantage of a helicopter, using the equipment as a "mechanical patrol judge."
Aug. 16, 1954: Native Dancer concluded his 22-race career with a victory in the Oneonta Handicap, a non-betting exhibition race at Saratoga Racecourse that he won by nine lengths while carrying 137 pounds. Although he raced only three times in 1954, Native Dancer was subsequently voted Horse of the Year, partly because he had been denied that honor in the previous year, despite having won nine of 10 races, all of them stakes. Tom Fool, 1953 Horse of the Year, had had a perfect 10-for-10 record.
Aug. 16, 1965: John Longden rode his 6,000th winner, riding Prince Scorpion to victory while at Exhibition Park.
Aug. 16, 1972: Secretariat won his first stakes race, the Sanford Stakes, at Saratoga Racecourse. The time for the six-furlong race was 1:10, the fastest time for the distance at Saratoga that year.
Aug. 16, 1976: John Campo swept the top three spots in the Adirondack Stakes with his trainees Harvest Girl, Bonnie Empress and Drama Critic.
Aug. 17, 1918: Samuel D. Riddle purchased the yearling Man o' War for $5,000 in a sale of August Belmont II's bloodstock at Saratoga.
Aug. 17, 1977: Jockey Steve Cauthen rode Affirmed for the first time, winning the Sanford Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse by 2 3/4 lengths.
Aug. 17, 2000: Zippy Chippy, loser of all 86 of his lifetime races, was defeated again--this time by minor-league baseball player Jose Herrera in a 40-yard dash. The race, called the "2000 Red Wings Derby," was held prior to a home game of the International League's Rochester Red Wings.
Aug. 18, 1923: The Jockey Club announced that the owner of Papyrus, winner of the Epsom Derby, had accepted an invitation to compete in an international match race in the U.S., against an American horse. Zev, winner of the 1923 Kentucky Derby, was chosen to represent the U.S. against Papyrus in the race, scheduled for October.
Aug. 18, 1961: Trainer Dale Baird saddled his first winner, New York, at Ellis Park.
Aug. 19, 1978: In the conclusion of their 10-race rivalry, Alydar scored his third "success" against Affirmed in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse, when his adversary was disqualified from first place.
Aug. 19, 1990: Jockey Earlie Fires became the eleventh rider in Thoroughbred racing history to win 5,000 victories when he guided Tex's Zing to victory in the ninth race at Arlington International Racecourse. He joined history-making jockeys Bill Shoemaker, Laffit Pincay Jr., Angel Cordero Jr., John Longden, Jorge Velasquez, Larry Snyder, Sandy Hawley, Dave Gall, Carl Gambardella and Chris McCarron.
Aug. 20, 1966: Ogden Phipps' Buckpasser, ridden by Braulio Baeza, became racing's first three-year-old millionaire after he won the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse.
Aug. 20, 2000: Ron Ardoin became the 16th jockey in North America to win 5,000 races when he guided Heart of an Angel to a three-length victory in the seventh race at Louisiana Downs.
Aug. 22, 1972: In preparation for his next start, the Aug. 26 Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse, Secretariat worked a half-mile in :46 2/5.
Aug. 22, 1998: Hall of Fame trainer Woodford Cefis "Woody" Stephens died in Miami Lakes, Fla. He was 84.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 10
SATURDAY, AUGUST 11
SUNDAY, AUGUST 12
MONDAY, AUGUST 13
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15
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