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


The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), National Turf Writers Association (NTWA) and Daily Racing Form (DRF) today announced the finalists for the 2001 Eclipse Awards, voted on and presented by the three organizations in recognition of excellence in Thoroughbred racing. Winners will be announced at the 31st annual Eclipse Awards dinner, to be held Monday, Feb. 18 at the Fontainebleau Hilton Resort in Miami Beach, Fla.

The one category for which finalists were not announced was that of 3-year-old colt or gelding. That Eclipse Award will go to 2001 Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner Point Given, who was a unanimous choice in that division. More


The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) has announced that ESPN Classic is the winner of an Eclipse Award in the National Television - Features category with its SportsCentury: Top 50 and Beyond profile of Hall of Fame jockey Willie Shoemaker. The hour-long show, which aired June 8, was produced by ESPN Classic under the leadership of Mark Shapiro and Jim Cohen. This is ESPN Classic's first -- and ESPN's fourth -- Eclipse Award.

"The life of Willie Shoemaker was made for SportsCentury," said Shapiro. "From his meager beginnings and the hard, long run to victory and fame, The Shoe earned not only the respect of his peers, but became the people's choice. His story illuminates the undying spirit of horseracing, and I'm thrilled that we're being acknowledged with an Eclipse Award."

Judges for the National Television - Features category include Paul Lucey, a producer for FOX Sports Net - New England; Donna Orender, the PGA TOUR's senior vice president of television, productions and new media; and Stu Kirshenbaum, an Emmy award-winning freelance producer whose subjects include Thoroughbred racing.

"This was a very unbiased, fair report on Willie Shoemaker's life and career," said Lucey. "They talked to a lot of people and got many different viewpoints on his career. And the production itself was very well done. It was obvious that a lot of time and effort was put into that program."


Trainer John T. Ward Jr. worked Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos from the starting gate last Saturday and reports the gray colt is on schedule for his next start, the $500,000 Donn Handicap at 1 1/8 miles at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla., on Feb. 9.

"It was a maintenance move," Ward said. "When you lay a horse off over six months you have to get an okay from the starting gate. He broke okay and we don't have to worry about that any more, although I may bring him over and let him stand in the gate a couple of times."

Monarchos broke from the starting gate with regular rider Jorge Chavez in the irons and worked five furlongs in 1:02 3/5. He went in fractions of :13; :24 4/5; :36 4/5; 49 2/5, and went out six furlongs in 1:15 1/5 and seven furlongs in 1:28 4/5.

"That's what we wanted," Ward said. "We wanted to tweak his interest. The track was a little slow and dead but he had a good stride and so far he's been perfect in his training. He's right on schedule and our plans are to run him in the Donn Handicap."

Chavez has been on Monarchos in all his seven lifetime starts and was very pleased with the work. "He is a much bigger and stronger horse now than he was last summer," Chavez said. "The track was a little deep but he went very easy this morning. He was very comfortable."

Monarchos is undefeated over Gulfstream Park's track, having won all three of his races there, including the $1 million Florida Derby on March 10 last year. Monarchos was second in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, then won the Kentucky Derby on May 5. He subsequently was sixth in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico and was third in the Belmont Stakes on June 9 in his 2001 finale. Following the Belmont, he was sidelined with a hairline fracture to his right knee.

RACING ON THE AIR (all times Eastern)

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

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

January 19 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN

January 23 Racehorse Digest, 1:30-2:00 p.m., ESPN2


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.

Jan. 17, 2000: The first ever NTRA "Moment of the Year" award went to the post-race scene after the 1999 Belmont Stakes, when jockey Chris Antley held Charismatic's injured foreleg.

Jan. 19, 1955: Swaps won the San Vicente Stakes, the first race of his three-year-old campaign, by 3 lengths at Santa Anita Park. He went on to triumph over Nashua in the Kentucky Derby, but was in turn defeated by his rival in a $100,000 match race at Washington Park on Aug. 31, his only loss of that year.

Jan. 20, 1972: Secretariat was shipped from Virginia to Florida to be trained by Lucien Laurin.

Jan. 20, 1979: Odds-on favorite Affirmed, with Steve Cauthen aboard, finished second in the San Fernando Stakes at Santa Anita, beaten 2 3/4 lengths by Radar Ahead. It was their fourth consecutive defeat. Cauthen subsequently lost the mount on Affirmed to jockey Laffit Pincay Jr., who rode the horse for the remainder of its four-year-old season, winning seven victories in as many starts. Affirmed was later voted Horse of the Year for 1979. Cauthen had ridden Affirmed to a Triple Crown sweep the previous year and the pair recorded 11 wins in their 16 races together.

Jan. 23, 1994: Pat Day, 40, became the tenth rider in North American racing history to ride 6,000 winners, when he rode Miss Popsnorkle to victory in the first race at Oaklawn Park.

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

Golden Gate Derby, 3yo, $125,000, Grade III, 1 1/16 M, Golden Gate Fields
Skip Away Handicap, 3&up, $100,000, Grade III, 1 1/16 M, Gulfstream Park
Affectionately Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $100,000, Grade III, 1 1/16 M, Aqueduct
Colonel Power Handicap, 4&up, $75,000, 6F, Fair Grounds

San Gorgonio Handicap, 4&up (f&m), $150,000, Grade II, 1 1/8 M (T), Santa Anita Park
San Miguel Stakes, 3yo, $100,000, Grade III, 6F, Santa Anita Park
Mr. Prospector Handicap, 3&up, $100,000, Grade III, 6F, Gulfstream Park
Sixty Sails Handicap, 4&up (f&m), $75,000, 1 1/16 M (T), Fair Grounds



Racing television schedule



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