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NTRA THOROUGHBRED NOTEBOOK

Racing on the Air Racing to History Weekend Stakes Races
News and notes from around the Thoroughbred racing world, compiled by NTRA Communications, (212) 907-9280.

DOMINGUEZ, BAILEY, LAKE, BAFFERT AND ENGLANDER FINISH 2001 ON TOP

Jockey Ramon Dominguez rode two winners last Monday to clinch his first national jockey title, ending 2001 with 431 victories, according to final, year-end statistics released today by Equibase. Northern California star Russell Baze finished second with 423 wins.

"I am overwhelmed, the last couple of weeks have been exciting," said the soft-spoken Dominguez. "Never in my wildest dreams would have I expected to be the leading rider in the country. It is truly an honor to have my name mentioned with those other great riders."

Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey won the 2001 earnings crown, with his mounts during the year amassing a record total of $22,597,720 in purse money, more than $7.5 million ahead of runner-up John Velazquez's total.

The year's leading trainer by wins was Scott Lake, whose total of 404 was 113 more than his closest pursuer, Steve Asmussen. Lake is only the second trainer in history to win as many as 400 races in a single year.

Bob Baffert accounted for the most purse money among trainers, with his charges earning a total of $16,354,996. Top earner in the Baffert barn was the nation's leading money-earning horse, Captain Steve who, thanks largely to his victory in March's Dubai World Cup, pulled down $4,201,200 on the year.

The race for leading owner was no contest with Richard Englander of Scarsdale, N.Y., finishing first with 406 victories (more than twice as many as runner-up Dale Baird). Englander also ended 2001 as the nation's top money-winning owner ($9,812,272).

PATTON, CHARLOTTE TV STATION WIN MEDIA ECLIPSE AWARDS

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) today announced that "Forgotten at the Finish Line," which aired Feb. 14, 2001, on WTVI-TV in Charlotte, N.C., has won the Eclipse Award for Local Television. Steve Crump produced and hosted the hour-long documentary about African Americans' contributions to horse racing as jockeys, trainers and owners.

"So many of the people that I've admired in this business have been former Eclipse winners," said Crump. "And to be part of that distinguished group of company is just an incredible honor."

Judges for the Local Television category include Dan Guido, a videographer and electronic photo journalist whose credits include ESPN's "SportsCenter"; E.S. (Bud) Lamoreaux III, whose productions for CBS News Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt earned four Eclipse Awards; and Rick Gentile, a 10-time Emmy Award-winning sports broadcaster and former CBS Sports executive producer who now is president and executive producer for 24 Productions Inc.

"Tremendous research and great execution went into this documentary," said Gentile. "A very impressive piece of work."

Yesterday the NTRA announced that Janet Patton, a business writer for the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, won the Media Eclipse Award for Writing in the News/Commentary category. Patton's article, "The Answer Was Chewing on the Leaves," which was published May 27 in the Herald-Leader, described Kentucky scientists' search for the cause of devastating foal losses throughout the Bluegrass region and their eventual discovery of the Eastern tent caterpillar's involvement. This is the first Eclipse Award for Patton and the fifth for the Herald-Leader.

"I haven't been writing about the equine industry for too terribly long, and to have this enormous break this year was incredible," said Patton. "It was a pretty frantic time for me but also for a lot of horsemen and vets and people who loved horses from all over the world. I would get calls every day from people saying 'Is [the cause of the foal losses] this, is it that?' Everything from aliens to flouride. It became very obvious how much everyone loved Kentucky's horses."

The panel of judges for the Writing - News/Commentary category included Frederick C. Klein, columnist for the Sports Business Journal; Reid Cherner, a sports editor for USA TODAY; Pete Coates, Bloomberg News' primary horseracing reporter; Furman Bisher, senior columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Jay Posner, a sports columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune.

"This was a strong category with many deserving entries," said Posner. "But [Patton's article] was a well-written piece that made sense out of a complicated subject."

Eclipse Awards are given to recognize members of the media for outstanding coverage of Thoroughbred racing. Eclipse Awards also are bestowed upon horses and individuals whose outstanding achievements have earned them the title of Champion in their respective categories. The awards are presented by the NTRA, the National Turf Writers Association and Daily Racing Form. The Eclipse Awards 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 and Spa in Hollywood, Fla.

Media Eclipse Award winners for 2001 announced previously include Barbara D. Livingston for Photography. Laura Hillenbrand for Features/Enterprise writing, NBC-TV for Live Racing Programming and Radio 11 WBAL in Baltimore, Md., for Audio coverage of Thoroughbred racing.

For ticket information and reservations contact Alison Thompson-Murphy at the NTRA, (800) 792-6872 or via e-mail at amurphy@ntra.com.

RACING ON THE AIR (all times Eastern)

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

January 9 Racehorse Digest, 2:00-2:30 p.m., ESPN2

January 12 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN

January 16 Racehorse Digest, 2:00-2:30 p.m., ESPN2

RACING TO HISTORY

Jan. 4, 1946: Canadian-born jockey George Woolf, known as "The Iceman" for his coolness in the saddle, died after falling head first from his mount, Please Me, during a race at Santa Anita Park the previous day. He was 35. During his career (1928-1946) Woolf had 3,784 mounts, 721 wins, 589 seconds and 468 thirds, with earnings of $2,856,125. Since 1950, Santa Anita Park has annually presented the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award to a rider who demonstrates high standards of personal and professional conduct, on and off the racetrack.

Jan. 5, 1944: A bill permitting off-track betting was introduced in the New York State Assembly. Over the next several decades, a series of bills would be introduced in favor of OTB, which finally gained legal sanction in New York in 1970.

Jan. 5, 1980: Spectacular Bid began his undefeated four-year-old season, winning the Malibu Stakes by five lengths at Santa Anita. The gray colt finished his 1980 campaign a perfect nine-for-nine.

Jan. 6, 1998: Bill Mott was named to take over 1997 undefeated two-year-old Favorite Trick, replacing trainer Patrick Byrne, who accepted a job as a private trainer for owner Frank Stronach.

Jan. 8, 2000: Steven Walker of Lincoln, Neb., captured the inaugural $200,000 Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship, held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Walker would be presented with the first-ever "DRF/NTRA Handicapper of the Year" award on Jan. 17 during the Eclipse Award ceremonies in California.

Jan. 11, 1950: Five-year-old Citation returned to racing at Santa Anita Park, having been sidelined by injury since December 1948. Sent off at odds of 3-20, he won easily over a sloppy surface to log his sixteenth consecutive victory. His winning margins for those races totaled 59 1/2 lengths.

Jan. 12, 2001: Affirmed, the 1978 Triple Crown winner, was euthanized at age 26 due to chronic musculo-skeletal problems. Affirmed is the eleventh and most recent horse to capture the Triple Crown and will always be remembered for the many stretch duels he engaged in against his frequent rival Alydar.

Jan. 13, 1978: Seattle Slew, in training for his four-year-old seasonal debut at Hialeah, first displayed symptoms of the deadly virus Colitis X. The colt was sidelined until May 14, when he won an allowance race at Aqueduct Racetrack as the 1-10 favorite.

Jan. 13, 1989: Jockey Brian Peck was injured when his horse, Top Booking, collided with a deer in the fourth race at Turfway Park. The deer jumped onto the track from the infield, where it gone to drink from a man-made lake. Top Booking was unharmed, but Peck suffered a broken arm.

Jan. 13, 1997: The National Steeplechase Association became the first horse racing organization in the U.S. to require jockeys to wear "certified" safety helmets, beginning with the 1997 NSA season.

Jan. 13, 2001: Judy Wagner, a grandmother from New Orleans, captured the second annual $212,000 Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship, held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Wagner received a check for $100,000 and was presented with the "DRF/NTRA Handicapper of the Year" award on Jan. 30 during the Eclipse Award ceremonies.

Jan. 14, 1932: Jockey Eddie Arcaro rode his first career winner, at Agua Caliente.

Jan. 14, 1953: Pimlico's Preakness Stakes, originally slated for May 16, was put back to May 23, allowing a three-week layover after the Kentucky Derby for the first time.

Jan. 14, 1989: Jockey Kent Desormeaux scored his 1,000th career win in the tenth race at Laurel Racecourse, aboard Eesee's Taw, in the Francis Scott Key Handicap.

Jan. 14, 1998: Jockey Patricia Cooksey became the second female rider to win 2,000 races when she guided Noble Annie to a five-length victory in the second race at Turfway Park.

Jan. 14, 2001: Jockey Kent Desormeaux gained his 4000th career win aboard Temporary Appeal in the first race at Santa Anita Park.

Jan. 15, 1932: Australian champion Phar Lap arrived in San Francisco. He was shipped by steamship to the U.S., en route to Agua Caliente in Mexico, where he was to make his North American racing debut in the March 20 Agua Caliente Handicap, the continent's then-richest race.

Jan. 15, 1969: Barbara Jo Rubin was named to ride in a race at Tropical Park. Thirteen male riders subsequently boycotted the race rather than compete against a female, and were fined $100 each.

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

THURSDAY, JANUARY 3
Spectacular Bid Stakes, 3yo, $100,000, Grade III, 6F, Gulfstream Park

FRIDAY, JANUARY 4
Honey Fox Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $100,000, Grade III, 1 1/16 M (T), Gulfstream Park
Black Gold Handicap, 3yo, $75,000, 7 F (T), Fair Grounds

SATURDAY, JANUARY 5
San Pasqual Handicap, 4&up, $200,000, Grade II, 1 1/16 M, Santa Anita Park
Appleton Handicap, 3&up, $150,000, Grade II, 1M (T), Gulfstream Park
Count Fleet Stakes, 3yo, $75,000, 1M 70 yds., Aqueduct
Col. E.R. Bradley, 4&up, $75,000, 1 1/16 M (T), Fair Grounds

SUNDAY, JANUARY 6
Santa Ysabel Stakes, 3yo fillies, $100,000, Grade III, 1 1/16 M, Santa Anita Park
Old Hat Stakes, 3yo fillies, $100,000, 6F, Gulfstream Park
Ruthless Stakes, 3yo fillies, $75,000, 6F, Aqueduct
Thelma Stakes, 3yo fillies, $75,000, 6F, Fair Grounds

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Racing television schedule

 

 


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