NTRA THOROUGHBRED NOTEBOOK
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INTERNATIONAL CAST PRE-ENTERED FOR BREEDERS' CUP
Led by European star Galileo, defending Horse of the Year Tiznow, Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Aptitude, Arc de Triomphe winner Sakhee and 2-year-old standout Officer, 104 horses have been pre-entered for the 2001 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
The 18th running of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, consisting of eight grade I races with purses and awards totaling $13 million, will be run on Saturday, Oct. 27, at Belmont Park and will be televised live by NBC Sports (1:00-6:00 p.m. EDT). This is the fourth time that The New York Racing Association (NYRA) will host the Championships. Belmont Park hosted the event in 1990 and 1995. Aqueduct Racetrack was the site in 1985.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Breeders' Cup Limited and NYRA are dedicating this year's event to the families of New York firefighters, police officers, emergency services personnel and other victims in the surrounding communities who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. A special fund of NTRA Charities has been established to receive contributions.
One of the strongest European contingents ever to race in the Breeders' Cup is led by Galileo and Fantastic Light, both of whom will face top American horses in the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic at 1ĵ miles. The 3-year-old Galileo, owned by Susan Magnier and Michael Tabor and trained by Aidan O'Brien, has been Europe's best horse this year, winning six of seven career starts including the English and Irish Derbies and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes. The O'Brien-trained Giant's Causeway just missed winning the Classic last year, finishing a neck behind Tiznow.
Galileo's unbeaten streak was ended last month by the 4-year-old Fantastic Light in a stirring stretch drive at the Irish Champion Stakes. Trained by Saeed bin Suroor for Godolphin Racing, Fantastic Light has won three stakes races this year and is primed for this highly anticipated rematch with Galileo.
The American challengers in the Classic are led by Edmund Gann's Aptitude, who has won the Hollywood Gold Cup (through disqualification), the Saratoga Breeders' Cup and the Jockey Club Gold Cup in his last three starts.
Trained by Bobby Frankel, the 4-year-old Aptitude was second in last year's Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes. Frankel, the Eclipse Champion trainer of 2000, is having a career season, punctuated by 13 grade I victories.
Defending Horse of the Year and 2000 Classic winner Tiznow has also been pre-entered for the Classic. The 4-year-old colt, trained by Jay Robbins, was sidelined for five months after winning the Santa Anita Handicap in March. He has two third-place finishes in the Woodward and Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap in his last two starts. Also pre-entered in the Classic is Albert the Great, winner of the Suburban and Brooklyn Handicaps; Include, who captured the Pimlico Special and Massachusetts Handicap; and Macho Uno, last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner.
The Classic is the finale of the eight Breeders' Cup races. But the day begins with the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on the main track. Frankel may have the favorite in this race with the 3-year-old Flute, who has won the Kentucky Oaks and the Alabama Stakes this season. Another top 3-year-old is Exogenous, who was second to Flute in the Alabama but has since gone on to win the Gazelle and the Beldame Stakes, a race where Flute finished third. The top entrant from the West appears to be Tranquility Lake, who has won three stakes races this year. Defending Distaff champion Spain, second in the Beldame, has also been pre-entered.
Last year, the Bob Baffert-trained Point Given, the eventual Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner, lost the Breeders' Cup Juvenile by a nose to Macho Uno. This season Baffert and the Thoroughbred Corp. return for the $1 million Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile at 1 1/16 miles with another potential superstar in the undefeated Officer. A dominating winner of the Champagne Stakes at Belmont last time out, Officer is 5-for-5, with four victories in California this summer.
Trainer Eoin Harty, a former Baffert assistant, will send out the top two finishers in the Norfolk Stakes, Essense of Dubai and Ibn Al Haitham. Came Home, winner of the Hopeful Stakes in Saratoga, is unbeaten in three starts.
From Kentucky comes Lane's End Breeders' Futurity winner Siphonic. Johannesburg, 6-for-6 for trainer Aidan O'Brien in Europe this year, has also been pre-entered.
Baffert and Frankel may have the top two stars in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, also at 1 1/16 miles. Habibti, owned by the Thoroughbred Corp. and trained by Baffert, won the Del Mar Debutante this summer. On the East Coast, You, owned by Edmund Gann and trained by Frankel, proved she was the best in New York with a 6 3/4-length victory in the Frizette Stakes over the Belmont track.
The $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf is the richest of the three grass races on the World Thoroughbred Championships program. Godolphin has an emerging star in Sakhee, a six-length winner of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp and a seven-length winner of the Juddmonte International in August. Bobby Frankel has pre-entered Timboroa, a wire-to-wire winner of the 1½ mile Turf Classic at Belmont and the Del Mar Handicap prior to that. The other top American star could be Augustin Stable's With Anticipation, who has won four stakes in a row, including the Man o' War, the Sword Dancer and United Nations Handicap.
In the $1 million Breeders' Cup Mile on turf, Godolphin has a formidable runner in Noverre, who won the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood and was recently second in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot. Forbidden Apple has won both the Manhattan Handicap and the Kelso at Belmont Park this year for trainer Cristophe Clement. The hot horse from the West Coast is Val Royal, recent winner of the Oak Tree Mile at Santa Anita.
The first two runnings of the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf-this year run at 1ĵ miles-have been captured by North American horses. That could change this year, as Sheikh Maktoum's Lailani, winner of the Flower Bowl at Belmont for trainer Ed Dunlop, comes into the race as a solid favorite. England's Legend, trained by Clement and second to Lailani in the Flower Bowl, has won the Beverly D and the New York Handicap.
Kona Gold seeks a repeat in the $1 million Penske Auto Center Breeders' Cup Sprint at six furlongs. Last year, the 7-year-old Bruce Headley trainee set a Breeders' Cup stakes and track record at Churchill Downs, winning the Sprint in 1:07.77. Challengers include Swept Overboard, who beat Kona Gold in the Ancient Title Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita; Delaware Township, winner of the Forest Hills at Belmont; and the 9-year-old Bet on Sunshine, who took the Phoenix Breeders' Cup Stakes at Keeneland in his most recent start. The top European is the Aidan O'Brien-trained Mozart, a winner of his last three stakes in England.
Post positions for all eight Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships races will be drawn Wednesday, October 24, at 10:00 a.m. ET.
CHAMP HEADS COMPETITIVE FIELD FOR SATURDAY'S BREEDERS' CUP STEEPLECHASE
Steeplechase Eclipse Award winner All Gong will take on eight opponents in the $250,000 Breeders' Cup Steeplechase to be run Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Far Hills Races in Far Hills, N.J.
The field of nine includes six Grade I winners, and boasts combined steeplechase earnings of more than $1.6 million. "It's a very select group, they are all very competitive," said trainer Bruce Miller, who will saddle All Gong and Yellowroad. "Whoever gets the best trip is going to have the best chance of winning."
The trip shapes up to be a tactical one with speedy types like It's a Giggle, Quel Senor and All Gong in the field. Pinkie Swear, Yellowroad and Praise The Prince ought to be able to stalk while closers Flasher, Hokan, Lord Zada will hope to be pulled along by a fast pace before making their moves. All Gong set a course record of 4:53 4/5 for the 2 5/8 miles while racing close to the pace last year, but Miller would rather see his horses back off the early speed.
"I hope Itıs a Giggle runs his race on the front end and puts some speed into the race," said Miller. "I would like to see a speedy race early."
Trainer Jonathan Sheppard put enough speed into It's a Giggle this summer for the horse to win three races at Saratoga. The streak began in a $35,000 claiming hurdle and culminated in a wire-to-wire win in the New York Turf Writers Cup. Idle since that win on Aug. 30, It's a Giggle carries championship hopes and stands third on the National Steeplechase Association earnings list. Top English jockey Mick Fitzgerald will be in for the ride. Sheppard also remains poised to pull off the first-ever Breeders' Cup Steeplechase/Turf double should It's a Giggle win the Breeders' Cup Steeplechase and With Anticipation, also trained by Sheppard, win the Breeders' Cup Turf, a 1½ miles flat race over the grass seven days later at New York's Belmont Park.
All Gong, installed as the 4-1 second choice in a mythical morning line (there is no betting at Far Hills) by National Steeplechase Association director of racing Bill Gallo, has finished second in all four of his 2001 starts. The latest came in a Sept. 29 prep for the Breeders' Cup at Shawan Downs in Maryland. Fourth in his tune-up race before the Breeders' Cup last fall, All Gong needs to win to keep any hopes of repeating his 2000 seasonal championship. Regular jockey Blythe Miller, the daughter of Bruce Miller, again gets the riding call for her father. Ironically, Miller also rode It's A Giggle for much of the year.
Stablemate Yellowroad could provide a serious test for All Gong. The 6-year-old makes his 2001 jump debut, but is unbeaten in two starts over the Far Hills course including a win over superstar Pompeyo. The son of Badger Land won training flat races on each of the past two weekends, and is as ready as Miller can have him. David Bentley gets the jockey assignment.
Despite being the 2001 earnings leader with $208,242, Praise The Prince gets overshadowed in the field thanks to a record built mostly against restricted competition. The New Zealand bred won two-thirds of the Steeplechase Triple Crown against novice hurdlers this spring, and won an open stakes at Saratoga, only to then come up short in the Turf Writers. He is listed at 9-5 by Gallo. Trained by Sanna Neilson, who also entered Lord Zada, Praise The Prince will be ridden by leader Gus Brown, the runaway leader in this year's steeplechase jockey standings.
The Breeders' Cup Steeplechase is the richest race run over fences in the United States, and will be contested at 2 5/8 miles. The weight-for-age race is part of a championship day at Far Hills, which offers six races worth $475,000 in total purses. First post is 1:00 p.m. (ET), with the Breeders' Cup set to run at about 3:00 p.m. as the day's fourth race. The Far Hills Races will be run for the 81st time, with another sellout crowd of 45,000 or more on hand. The steeplechase meet benefits New Jerseyıs Somerset Medical Center, and has contributed more than $12 million over the years. A portion of the day's proceeds will also be contributed to the NTRA Charities-New York Heroes Fund which benefits rescue workers, emergency personnel and other victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The Breeders' Cup Steeplechase will be televised on a one-day delay as part of the "Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships" series' final installment, Oct. 21, on ESPN2 at 2:30 p.m.
The field in post position order with owner; trainer; jockey and mythical morning line (all starters carry 156 pounds):
ALL-STAR ANNOUNCER DAY SET FOR OCT. 26
Announcers from racetracks of all sizes will gather at Belmont Park to participate in 2001 All-Star Announcer Day on Friday, October 26th as part of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championship festivities. New York Racing Association Track Announcer Tom Durkin, the voice of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships on Saturday, October 27th, will host All-Star Announcer Day. He and the other announcers present that day will each do one race on the 10-race, Oct. 27 card.
The track announcers, in alphabetical order with track affiliation, are:
NYRA AND NTRA TO HOST FAN FEST OCT. 22-23 AT ROCKEFELLER CENTER
The New York Racing Association (NYRA), the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), and Breeders' Cup Limited announced today that they will host the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Fan Fest, presented by I Love NY, from Monday and Tuesday, October 22-23, from 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. in the lower concourse of 30 Rockefeller Center, which is located at 49th and 50th Streets between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in midtown Manhattan. More
MGM GRAND TO HOST NATIONAL HANDICAPPING CHAMPIONSHIP IN 2002
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) today announced that the MGM Grand, "The City of Entertainment," in Las Vegas, will again host the $212,000 Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship. The Championship, now in its third year, is slated for Jan. 25-26, 2002. More
October 19 Thoroughbred Classics, Breeders' Cup Sprint, 7:00-7:30 a.m., ESPN Classic
October 20 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN
October 21 Breeders' Cup Steeplechase (Far Hills Race Meeting, Far Hills, N.J.), 2:30-3:00 p.m., ESPN2
October 21 NTRA 2Day at the Races; Empire Classic Handicap (Belmont Park), Ticonderoga Handicap (Belmont Park), Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (Keeneland); 5:30-6:00 p.m., ESPN2
October 23 Thoroughbred Classics, Breeders' Cup Classic, 7:30-8:00 a.m., ESPN Classic
October 23 Thoroughbred Classics, Breeders' Cup Juvenile, 5:30-6:00 p.m., ESPN Classic
October 24 Thoroughbred Classics, Breeders' Cup Juvenile, 7:30-8:00 a.m., ESPN Classic
October 24 Thoroughbred Classics, Breeders' Cup Classic, 8:00-8:30 a.m., ESPN Classic
October 24 Thoroughbred Classics, Breeders' Cup Classic, 5:30-6:00 p.m., ESPN Classic
October 24 Racehorse Digest, 2:00-2:30 p.m., ESPN2
October 24 Thoroughbred Classics, Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, 6:30-7:00 p.m., ESPN Classic
October 25 Thoroughbred Classics, Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, 7:30-8:00 a.m., ESPN Classic
October 25 Thoroughbred Classics, Breeders' Cup Juvenile, 8:00-8:30 a.m., ESPN Classic
October 25 Thoroughbred Classics, Breeders' Cup Juvenile, 5:00-5:30 p.m., ESPN Classic
October 25 Thoroughbred Classics, Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, 5:30-6:00 p.m., ESPN Classic
October 26 Thoroughbred Classics, Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, 7:00-7:30 a.m., ESPN Classic
October 26 Breeders' Cup Special, 4:30-5:30 p.m., ESPN2
October 27 Cox Plate (Australia), 1:25-1:35 a.m., ESPNEWS
October 27 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN
October 27 Thoroughbred Classics, Breeders' Cup Classic, 10:00-10:30 a.m., ESPN Classic
October 27 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships (Belmont Park), 1:00-6:00 p.m., NBC
October 31 Racehorse Digest, 2:00-2:30 p.m., ESPN2
Oct. 18, 1956: Nashua, ridden by Eddie Arcaro, was paraded at Keeneland in his last appearance at a racetrack.
Oct. 18, 1973: The owners of Secretariat announced that his last race would be the Canadian International Championship Stakes at Woodbine Racecourse.
Oct. 18, 1976: MacK Miller swept the top three spots in the Long Island Handicap with his trainees Javamine, Nijana and Fun Forever.
Oct. 18, 1978: Jockey Dave Gall became the first rider to win eight races during a single program. He rode 10 consecutive races for the day at Cahokia Downs, finishing second and fifth in his two losing efforts.
Oct. 20, 1923: Zev, winner of the 1923 Kentucky Derby, defeated England's hero Papyrus, winner of the 1923 Epsom Derby, in a $100,000 match race at Belmont Park. The race, the International Special, marked the first time an English champion had been sent to the United States to race. For his victory, Zev was awarded $80,000 and a gold cup valued at $5,000. Public interest in the race was so great that it was broadcast on the radio-a first. Within two days, films of the race were distributed at movie theaters in New York City and, eventually, across the nation.
Oct. 20, 1954: Bill Shoemaker rode his 2,000th winner, Florence House, at Tanforan.
Oct. 21, 1961: Eddie Arcaro won The Jockey Club Gold Cup for a record tenth time. His mount, Kelso, won the Gold Cup five straight years, 1960-64, setting the mark for most consecutive victories in a stakes race.
Oct. 22, 1945: El Lobo and Featherfoot became the first Thoroughbreds to be transported by airplane. They were flown from Los Angeles to San Mateo in a twin-engine Budd transport plane piloted by Maj. William Hoelle of the Flying Tiger Line, who landed the plane in the parking area at Bay Meadows. On Oct. 27, El Lobo won the Burlingame Handicap at Bay Meadows, proving that horses could fly (and win).
Oct. 22, 1955: A rare triple dead-heat for first took place at Mexico's Caliente in the eighth race. Stormsorno, Chance Speed and Beaufair were the three winners.
Oct. 22, 1964: Jockey Bill Shoemaker won the 5,000th victory of his career aboard Slapstick at Aqueduct Race Track.
Oct. 22, 1973: Secretariat was flown to Woodbine Racecourse, where he would compete in his final career race, the Canadian International Championship Stakes.
Oct. 24, 1877: Congress adjourned to see a race between Parole, Ten Broek and Tom Ochiltree, which was held at Pimlico.
Oct. 24, 1953: Tom Fool won the Pimlico Special Stakes by eight lengths, capping a perfect four-year-old campaign with 10 stakes wins in as many starts. The Special was his fourth consecutive race run as a non-betting exhibition. Tom Fool was voted Horse of the Year for 1953, acing out Native Dancer, who lost only one of his 10 stakes races that year, the Kentucky Derby.
Oct. 25, 1870: Pimlico, the nation's second-oldest Thoroughbred racetrack, began its inaugural meet.
Oct. 25, 1947: After winning the Gallant Fox Handicap at Jamaica, a former $1,500 claimer, Stymie, became the world's leading money-winning Thoroughbred, with earnings of $816,060. Stymie raced two additional years and retired in 1949, at age eight, with lifetime winnings of $918,485.
Oct. 26, 1949: Bill Shoemaker rode to his first stakes victory, the George Marshall Claiming Handicap at Bay Meadows, aboard a five-year-old horse named Al.
Oct. 26, 1990: Jockey Julie Krone rode her 2,000th career winner, aboard John Forbes-trained Rainbow Quartz, at The Meadowlands.
Oct. 26, 1996: The Breeders' Cup was held outside the U.S. for the first time, at Woodbine Racecourse in Toronto, Canada. At Woodbine, Jenine Sahadi became the first female trainer to saddle a Breeders' Cup winner when she sent Lit de Justice to victory in the Breeders' Cup Sprint.
Oct. 27, 1870: Preakness won the Dinner Stakes at the newly opened Pimlico Racecourse. In 1873, the first Preakness Stakes, a race was named in his honor, was held at Pimlico.
Oct. 27, 1990: Bayakoa (ARG) became the second horse to win two consecutive Breeders' Cup Championship races. Both of her victories came in the Breeders' Cup Distaff.
Oct. 28, 1972: Secretariat won the Laurel Futurity by eight lengths, sent off at odds of 1-10, at Laurel.
Oct. 28, 1973: With jockey Eddie Maple substituting for Ron Turcotte, who was sidelined by a suspension, Secretariat concluded his racing career with a 6 1-2-length victory in the Canadian International Championship Stakes at Woodbine Racecourse. It was his second victory in as many tries on the turf.
Oct. 28, 1983: Jacinto Vasquez had his 4,000th career winner, aboard Sunshine O'My Life, at Aqueduct.
Oct. 28, 2000: Laffit Pincay Jr., the world's winningest rider, gained his 9,000th career victory aboard Chichim in the $150,000 California Cup Distaff at Santa Anita Park.
Oct. 29, 1948: Calumet Farm's three-year-old Citation entered the Pimlico Invitational Special Stakes unopposed and won in a walkover, earning $10,000 for galloping the 1 3-16 mile course in 1:59 4-5. Another great Calumet runner, Whirlaway, also won the Special in a walkover in 1942.
Oct. 29, 1955: Charlie Whittingham and Bill Shoemaker scored their first stakes victory as a trainer-rider team with Mister Gus in the William P. Kyne Handicap at Bay Meadows.
Oct. 29, 1998: Triple Crown winner and 1970s icon Secretariat was selected as one of 15 subjects to be honored with a commemorative postal stamp in 1999.
Oct. 30, 1937: Sir Barton, the first American Triple Crown winner, died at age 21. After an undistinguished career as a sire, Sir Barton was sent to the U.S. Army's Remount Division in Nebraska, and then to a ranch in Wyoming, where he remained until his death.
Oct. 30, 1988: After the blinkers on his mount, Roaring River, worked loose, jockey Francisco Torres grabbed them and placed them between his teeth to keep his hands free for riding. Roaring River won the race, at Hawthorne, by three lengths.
Oct. 31, 1944: The saddle cloth numbers of the first five race winners at Jamaica corresponded to the number of the race in which each horse started.
Oct. 31, 1964: Seven-year-old Kelso won his fifth consecutive Jockey Club Gold Cup, a record. In each of those races, Kelso was the odds-on favorite.
Oct. 31, 1987: Jockey Chris Antley became the first rider to win nine races in a single day. He rode four winners from six mounts at Aqueduct and five winners from eight tries during The Meadowlands' evening program.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20
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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25
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