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NTRA THOROUGHBRED NOTEBOOK

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News and notes from around the Thoroughbred racing world, compiled by NTRA Communications, (212) 907-9280.

NBC SPORTS WINS ECLIPSE AWARD FOR BREEDERS' CUP TELECAST

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) today announced that NBC Sports has won the Eclipse Award for National Television - Live Racing Programming for its production of the 2001 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. The show, expanded from its previous 4-hour format to five hours in 2001, aired Saturday, Oct. 27, from Belmont Park, in Elmont, N.Y., and was produced by David Michaels. The NBC network has won a total of four Eclipse Awards since 1971.

"We're honored to receive this award," said Michaels. "Over the many years of producing the Breeders' Cup and most recently the Triple Crown, we have developed what I call the 'dream team' of on-air talent and production staff.

"This past Breeders' Cup was particularly poignant for a number of reasons. It was the first international sporting event to be held in New York City since the September 11th attacks, and right away we were challenged by the horrible accident with Exogenous [the filly who fell at the opening of the show, while walking onto the track]. Our team handled the incident with sensitivity and class.

"It's this class that set the tone for the day; a day that ultimately was filled with incredible races, culminating with the most exciting Classic ever. To have this collective good work acknowledged by an Eclipse is truly gratifying."

Judges for the National Television - Live Racing Programming category included Ed O'Brien, a morning news anchor at WRGB-TV in upstate New York, Rob Duboff, marketing consultant and executive-in-residence at Boston College, and Terry Hanson of Hanson Enterprises, a sports and entertainment management firm.

"Maybe it was the New York site after September 11 or the drama of the injured horse, but I liked the Breeders' Cup in a narrow win by a nose over the Kentucky Derby," said Hanson. NBC Sports' broadcast of the Kentucky Derby placed second in the Eclipse Award voting.

Eclipse Awards are given to recognize members of the media for outstanding coverage of Thoroughbred racing. Earlier this week, Barbara D. Livingston's photo of a Thoroughbred during a workout, which appeared on the cover of the March/April 2001 issue of The Thoroughbred Chronicle, was announced as the winner of the Eclipse Award for Photography. Last week, Radio 11 WBAL in Baltimore, Md., was named winner of the Eclipse Award for Audio coverage of Thoroughbred racing for its broadcast of the 126th Preakness Stakes.

Eclipse Awards also are bestowed upon horses and individuals whose outstanding achievements have earned them the title of Champion in their respective categories. The Eclipse Awards, presented by the NTRA, the National Turf Writers Association and Daily Racing Form, are named after the great 18th-century racehorse and sire Eclipse, who began racing at age five and was undefeated in 18 starts, including eight walkovers. Eclipse sired the winners of 344 races, including three Epsom Derbies.

Media Eclipse Award winners will be honored at the 31st annual Eclipse Awards Dinner, to be held Monday, Feb. 18, 2002, at the new, $800 million Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Fla. For information, contact Alison Thompson-Murphy at the NTRA, (800) 792-6872, or via email at amurphy@ntra.com.

KEENELAND ANNOUNCES DISTRIBUTION OF $795,301 TO COMMUNITY, INDUSTRY

Keeneland in Lexington, Ky., has announced that it has distributed $795,301 to more than 80 charitable, educational and research organizations during 2001. Through the years, Keeneland has donated more than $10.8 million to the community.

During 2001, Keeneland pledged $250,000 over five years to the Kentucky Historical Society to support an exhibit section in its new Kentucky History Center and $50,000 over five years to the Hospice of the Bluegrass for its Center for Grief Education and Counseling. Keeneland also gave $10,000 to Kentucky State University, the first installment of a three-year, $30,000 gift.

"This has been an unprecedented year for Keeneland, for central Kentucky, and for the world," said Keeneland President Nick Nicholson. "Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome and the tragic world events affected all of us on many levels; however, it is important to remain focused on Keeneland's mission to give back to the community and to the industry."

Major gifts also were distributed to the United Way of the Blue Grass ($30,000), the American Red Cross ($50,000), the Boy Scouts of America ($30,000), the Blue Grass Community Foundation ($20,000), went to the Hispanic Initiative ($25,000), Transylvania University ($25,000), Bluegrass Conservancy, Inc. ($10,000) and the Kentucky Independent College Foundation ($18,000).

Grants from Keeneland will fund programs for the disabled, seniors, "at-risk" youth, the Hispanic community, literacy, historical preservation, education, animal welfare, equine research, and general health and welfare. Keeneland annually donates a share of its profits from Thoroughbred racing, auction sales and simulcasting to charitable, educational and research organizations. Contributions to date now total $10,810,190. Keeneland also makes in-kind donations to organizations not included in this total.

RACING ON THE AIR (all times Eastern)

December 22 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN

December 26 Racehorse Digest, 1:30-2:00 p.m., ESPN2

December 29 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN

January 2 Racehorse Digest, 1:30-2:00 p.m., ESPN2

RACING TO HISTORY

Dec. 20, 1987: D. Wayne Lukas-trained Tejano became the first juvenile millionaire when he won the Hollywood Futurity with Laffit Pincay Jr. aboard.

Dec. 21, 2000: Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze registered the eighth 400-win campaign of his career when he captured the fourth race at Golden Gate Fields aboard Run a Copy. Baze recorded seven consecutive 400-win years from 1992 through 1998 before having the streak snapped in 1999 when he missed five weeks of action due to injury.

Dec. 22, 1991: Jockey Kent Desormeaux, at age 21, won his 2,000th race aboard Saron Lake, trained by Gary Jones, at Hollywood Park. He was the youngest jockey to reach that mark and did so faster than any other rider.

Dec. 23, 1944: James F. Byrnes, Director of War Mobilization and Reconversion, urged that all racing in the United States cease by Jan. 3 as a means of furthering the war effort.

Dec. 25, 1934: Santa Anita Park opened in Arcadia, Calif. A five-year-old mare, Las Palmas, won the inaugural race, the California-Bred Handicap, before a crowd of 30,777.

Dec. 27, 1982: English trainer Michael Dickinson saddled 12 winners, a record.

Dec. 27, 1987: D. Wayne Lukas set a single-season record for stakes wins by a trainer, 92, when he saddled High Brite to win the Palos Verdes Handicap at Santa Anita Park.

Dec. 31, 1966: Ogden Phipps' Buckpasser, trained by Eddie Neloy, won the 13th consecutive race of his three-year-old season after taking the Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita Park. He was voted Horse of the Year and also took top three-year-old and handicap horse honors for 1966.

Dec. 31, 1982: After a year-long battle for leading rider honors, Pat Day edged Angel Cordero Jr. by two races, which he won after chartering a plane to fly to Vinton, La., where he rode Dana's Woof Woof and Miltons Magic to victory during the evening program at Delta Downs. Day won the title -- his first -- with 399 wins to Cordero's 397.

Dec. 31, 1989: Jockey Kent Desormeaux set the world record for most number of wins in a single season, 598, when he rode two-year-old East Royalty, trained by Phil Thomas Jr., to victory in the tenth race, the Inner Harbor Stakes, at Laurel. He surpassed the old record, set by Chris McCarron, by 52.

Jan. 1, 1942: Racing in California was officially canceled. On Dec. 16, the West Coast military authorities had requested that Santa Anita Park postpone its meeting indefinitely due to war conditions.

Jan. 1, 1975: Secretariat was represented by his first Thoroughbred foal, a filly named Miss Secretariat, born in Kentucky to the mare My Card.

Jan. 2, 1945: As the end of World War II approached, racing throughout the U.S. was banned indefinitely at the request of James F. Byrnes, War Mobilization Director. While Thoroughbreds could not be transported in the U.S. for racing purposes, the Office of Defense Transportation subsequently approved the shipment of racehorses to tracks that were more than 300 miles beyond U.S. borders. The ban was not lifted until May, causing the rescheduling of the Triple Crown races.

Jan. 2, 1997: Jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. posted his 8,500th career victory aboard Tacomolly during the seventh race at Santa Anita Park.

WEEKEND STAKES RACES (unrestricted stakes worth $75,000 and up)

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 22
Ladies Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $100,000, Grade III, 1 M, Aqueduct
Woodchopper Handicap, 3yo, $100,000, 1 1/16 M (T), Fair Grounds
Pete Axthelm Stakes, 3yo, $100,000, 7 F (T), Calder
Stage Door Betty Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $100,000, 1 1/16 M, Calder

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 26
Malibu Stakes, 3yo, $200,000, Grade I, 7F, Santa Anita Park

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Racing television schedule

 

 


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