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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.


The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) today announced that longtime California senior steward Pete Pedersen and leading owner and breeder Harry T. Mangurian Jr. have been named co-recipients of the Eclipse Award of Merit, presented in honor of an individual's lifetime achievements in Thoroughbred racing. More


So what else is new?

Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze has won the 2001 Isaac Murphy Award, given annually to the rider with the nation's highest winning percentage (minimum 500 mounts). Awarded by the National Turf Writers Association, the Isaac Murphy Award has gone to Baze each year since the Award's inception in 1995.

Based in Northern California, Baze won 423 races from 1,503 mounts in 2001, good for a winning percentage of 28.1. In 2000, he became only the sixth rider in history to win 7,000 races.

The Isaac Murphy Award is named after the famous 19th century African-American rider who won with an astounding 44% of his mounts during his career.


Tailor Fit, owned by Betty Jane Burlin of Navasota, Texas, is the 2001 American Quarter Horse Racing World Champion, aged champion and champion aged gelding. In 2001, Tailor Fit's biggest win came in the Champion of Champions where he earned $250,000. Trained by Janet VanBebber, the gelding finished the year with four wins, all in Grade 1 events. His earnings totaled $507,305 for the year, bringing his lifetime bankroll to $1,226,065.

His other Grade 1 victories came in the MBNA America Challenge Championship in October, the Remington Park Championship in June and the MBNA America Oklahoma Challenge in May. Tailor Fit joins eight other World Champions to have earned the title more than once. He was also the 1999 AQHA World Champion. Other two-time non-consecutive World Champions include Maddon's Bright Eyes 1949 & 51 and Kaweah Bar in 1968 & 70.

The champions announcements will be aired on "Racehorse Digest" on ESPN2 on Wednesday, January 23, at 1:30 p.m. (ET). A repeat of the show will air on ESPN, Saturday, January 26, at 5:30 a.m. (ET).The 2001 American Quarter Horse Racing Champions and AQHA Champion Horsemen were announced last night at a special ceremony in Oklahoma City. The complete list of 2001 Champions is as follows:

World Champion, Aged Champion and Champion Aged Gelding - Tailor Fit
Champion 2-Year-Old & Champion 2-Year-Old Filly - Your First Moon
Champion 2-Year-Old Colt - Tres Seis
Champion 2-Year-Old Gelding - Shining Sky
Champion 3-Year-Old & Champion 3-Year-Old Colt - Stoli
Champion 3-Year-Old Filly - Tiny First Effort
Champion 3-Year-Old Gelding - Whosleavingwho
Champion Aged Stallion - Hawkinson
Champion Aged Mare - Corona Kool
Distance Champion - Sign Of Lanty
Champion Broodmare - Sizzling Lil
Canadian Champion - Royal Quick Wind
Champion Trainer - John Bassett
Champion Jockey - Joe Badilla Jr.
Champion Breeder - Edward C. Allred
Champion Owner - Dutch Masters III


Officials of Breeders' Cup Limited and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today that 15,020 foals were nominated to the Breeders' Cup program in 2001. The 15,020 foals by Breeders' Cup, European Breeders' Fund and Common Fund nominated stallions represent a 4.84% decrease from 2000, the first decline in nominated foals since 1992.

The decline in nominations is due in large part to Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome (MRLS), which swept through Kentucky farms last spring. The number of Kentucky foals nominated to the Breeders' Cup program in 2001 declined 5.6% from 8,294 in 2000 to 7,828 nominated in 2001.

Of the 36,100 foals registered to The Jockey Club in 2001, 38.7% were nominated to the Breeders' Cup program. In 2000, 40.2% of The Jockey Club's 36,700 registered foals were nominated to the Breeders' Cup. Total nomination revenue generated by the 2001 foal crop was $7,510,000, the third highest total since the Breeders' Cup nomination program began in 1982.

"Considering the declines in the Kentucky foal crop due to MRLS, our nomination numbers overall remain very strong," said D.G. Van Clief, Jr., president of Breeders' Cup Ltd. and vice chairman of the NTRA. "This year's foal nomination figures are indicative of the breeding industry's support for the Breeders' Cup and NTRA programs and a keen awareness of their importance to the continued growth of the sport."

Breeders' Cup foal nominations, along with Breeders' Cup stallion nominations, fund the purses for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, the Breeders' Cup Stakes Program and other marketing and television initiatives underwritten by the NTRA.

Nominators paid a one-time fee of $500 per foal by October 15, 2001, to make their foals eligible to the Breeders' Cup program for their entire racing careers. All nominated foals are by Breeders' Cup, EBF or Common Fund nominated stallions.


While NFL star linebacker Brian Urlacher of the Chicago Bears begins his run for a Super Bowl title, the Thoroughbred racehorse named Urlacher is carving out a reputation of his own at Sunland Park Race Track and Casino in Sunland Park, N.M.

Owned by Joe and Sharon Allen, the speedy three-year-old New Mexico-bred has turned plenty of heads with two dominating wins from two career starts. He blasted out a near 9-length win over maidens back on December 7 and promptly returned on January 5 to best allowance runners with similar ease. His breeder Thomas Pierce of Albuquerque tells the story behind the naming of Urlacher.

"My wife Prudy and I are both University of New Mexico grads, and we were big fans of Brian Urlacher when he played for the New Mexico Lobos. So when we came across this yearling one day that was big, muscular and built like a linebacker, it was natural that our favorite player, Brian Urlacher, came to mind. The horse had all the physical gifts you dream of, just like a star football player. It wasn't hard to name him that."

A longtime member of the New Mexico Horse Breeders' Association, Pierce owns both the sire, Quiero Dinero, and dam, Fancy Express, of Urlacher. "Even though we sold Urlacher to the Allens last fall," Pierce added, "we still root for him just as hard. It's very exciting to follow his career."

RACING ON THE AIR (all times Eastern)

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

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

January 26 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN

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


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.

Jan. 24, 1974: Jockey Chris McCarron rode his first race, in which he finished last aboard Most Active, at Bowie Racecourse.

Jan. 25, 2000: According to The Jockey Club Fact Book for 2000, gross purses and total handle rose again in 1999 with North American purses topping $1 billion for the first time in history.

Jan. 26, 1950: Citation's 16-race win streak came to an end in the La Sorpresa Handicap at Santa Anita. Despite giving 16 pounds to the winner, Miche, Citation, carrying 130 pounds, lost only by a neck.

Jan. 27, 1973: Penny Chenery accepted the Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year on behalf of Secretariat, who was also voted champion two-year-old of 1972.

Jan. 28, 1979: Bob Baffert won his first race as a Thoroughbred trainer, saddling Flipper Star to win the second race at Rillito Park in Tucson, Ariz. The winner's share of the $600 purse was $330.

Jan. 28, 1999: The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association announces the creation of the "Claiming Crown," a six-race event to be held at Canterbury Park.

Jan. 29, 1960: Future Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Carry Back finished tenth in his first start ever, a three-furlong race for two-year-old maiden runners at Hialeah. Sired by Saggy, the only horse to defeat Citation during his three-year-old season, out of an undistinguished mare named Joppy, Carry Back became a popular runner and was dubbed "the people's horse."

Jan. 29, 1969: Patti Barton, a 24-year-old exercise rider, applied for a jockey's license in Las Cruces, N.M. The stewards declined to act on the application, which if approved would have made Barton the first female licensed jockey in Thoroughbred racing.

Jan. 29, 1973: Forego, eventual three-time Horse of the Year, 1974-76, broke his maiden by eight lengths in his second career start, at Hialeah Park.

Jan. 30, 1981: Jockey Julie Krone rode in her first race ever, finishing second by three lengths in a six-furlong sprint for $3,500 maiden claimers at Tampa Bay Downs. Her mount, a 22-1 shot trained by Jerry L. Pace, was named Tiny Star.

Jan. 30, 1992: For the second time in one month, jockey Mike Smith won six races in one day at Aqueduct Racetrack. His first six-winner day at Aqueduct occurred Jan. 13.

Jan. 30, 2001: Tiznow was named 2001 Horse of the Year at the Eclipse Awards in New Orleans.

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

First Lady Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $100,000, Grade III, 6F, Gulfstream Park

Santa Catalina Stakes, 3yo, $150,000, Grade II, 1 1/16 M, Santa Anita Park
Holy Bull Stakes, 3yo, $150,000, Grade III, 1 1/16 M, Gulfstream Park
Aqueduct Handicap, 3&up, $100,000, Grade III, 1 1/16 M, Aqueduct
Maxxam Gold Cup Handicap, 4&up, $100,000, 1 1/8 M, Sam Houston Race Park

El Encino Stakes, 4yo fillies, $150,000, Grade II, 1 1/16 M, Santa Anita Park
Mac Diarmida Handicap, 3&up, $100,000, Grade III, 1 3/8 M (T), Gulfstream Park
Diplomat Way Handicap, 4&up, $75,000, 1 1/16 M, Fair Grounds

San Marcos Stakes, 4&up, $150,000, Grade II, 1 M (T), Santa Anita Park
Santa Ynez Stakes, 3yo fillies, $150,000, Grade II, 7F, Santa Anita Park
Fred "Cappy" Capossela Stakes, 3yo, $75,000, 6F, Aqueduct



Racing television schedule



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