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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.

NATION'S TOP HANDICAPPERS TO SQUARE OFF TOMORROW IN LAS VEGAS

Defending champion Judy Wagner of New Orleans heads a stellar field of 177 horseplayers who will gather at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas tomorrow and Saturday, January 25-26, to vie for horse racing's official title of "Handicapper of the Year" and a first-place prize of $100,000 in the $212,000 Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship -- the U.S. Open of Thoroughbred racing handicapping tournaments. More

SHEIKH MOHAMMED AL MAKTOUM SELECTED FOR SPECIAL ECLIPSE AWARD

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) has announced that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has been selected to receive a Special Eclipse Award in recognition of his extraordinary contributions and accomplishments in both racing and philanthropy, culminating at this year's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont Park. More

CHURCHILL DOWNS LAUNCHES OFFICIAL 2002 KENTUCKY DERBY WEB SITE

Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) this week relaunched the official 2002 Kentucky Derby Web site, www.kentuckyderby.com. The revamped site provides complete coverage of North America's greatest horse race, the Kentucky Derby, and its sister race, the Kentucky Oaks, and includes several interactive features sure to engage racing fans.

Kentuckyderby.com features specialized sections devoted to the latest news and information on current Derby and Oaks contenders; the history, traditions and celebrations surrounding these time-honored events; an online store offering merchandise for the 128th Kentucky Derby; and special contests and wagers linked to the Run for the Roses.

Race fans looking for an early edge in their Derby and Oaks handicapping will find regular updates on race contenders and their connections as well as Top 20 picks from a team of Churchill Downs Simulcast Network (CDSN) handicappers, including John Asher and Steve Fugitte. The site offers current odds for the popular Kentucky Derby Future Wager and a weekly Derby-related online poll. Fans also can register to play the Road to the Roses Fantasy Challenge, a rotisserie-style fantasy game, and check current game standings through the Web site. Registration for the 2002 Fantasy Challenge begins Feb. 11.

"Kentuckyderby.com provides a wealth of data and statistics on the Kentucky Derby and Oaks and offers one-stop-shopping for both casual fans and serious handicappers looking for inside information on race contenders and their respective campaigns," said Karl F. Schmitt Jr., CDI's senior vice president of communications. "The site encourages fan participation through interactive polls and contests, and it features user-friendly navigation tools with convenient links to the entire network of CDI racetracks. This year, we've also incorporated new graphic design elements and animation to enhance the site's visual appeal."

WHERE EVERY FOOT COUNTS

The International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame has found a new home, taking up residence at the Kentucky Derby Museum.

This past Monday, the Derby Museum opened the new, permanent exhibit honoring the craft of the farrier. A collaborative project with the American Farriers Journal, the Hall of Fame portion of the Museum includes a display representing the tools of the horseshoeing trade, a video demonstrating the shoeing process and plaques honoring the inductees.

The idea for the International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame came from an exhibit at the Kentucky Derby Museum in 1992 titled "They Shoe Horses, Don't They?" The goal of the exhibit was to educate the public about the importance of farriers to the equine industry. Many attendees voiced their opinion for continuing to recognize outstanding horseshoers. Thus, the Kentucky Derby Museum and the American Farriers Journal agreed to co-sponsor the Hall of Fame.

The first class of inductees came in 1993. These were the 18 farriers recognized by the Kentucky Derby Museum in the original exhibit as making outstanding contributions to the profession. Every year since, the American Farriers Journal has accepted nominations for a new class of inductees. Induction to the Hall of Fame requires farriers to have distinguished themselves with a dedication to and pride of their craft. They have promoted educational opportunities for fellow farriers and have made significant technical contributions to educational opportunities for fellow farriers and made significant contributions to equine hoofcare.

More than 80 farriers have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, and their names appear on a plaque in the exhibit, which is updated as farriers are added. In addition, individuals in the equine industry can make a donation to honor their own farriers. By donating $50 to honor a farrier, one will receive a copy of the booklet, "They Shoe Horses, Don't They?" and two certificates, one for the donor and one for the farrier.

The International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame is sponsored by the American Farriers Journal, Anvil Brand Show Co., Capewell Horsenails/Mustad Inc., Equilox International, Equine Forgings, Ltd., Farrier Science Clinic, Life Data Labs, Inc., St. Croix Forge, Inc., The Victory Racing Plate Co., and Thoro-Bred, Inc.

BECOMING A JOCKEY WAS NO ACT FOR KEVIN MANGOLD

No one could blame Kevin Mangold if his perception of horse racing was right out of "A Day at the Races."

At age 26, Mangold was more familiar with the Marx Brothers than he was with the Sport of Kings. He had acted nearly all his life, so when he decided to become a jockey, he simply showed up at Santa Anita one day and asked if anyone needed an exercise rider. The fact that he had never ridden a horse before was not a deterrent.

"I was as green as grass," said Mangold, who is well on his way to fulfilling his goal. Presently he is an apprentice rider based at Santa Anita, sharing the jockeys' room with the likes of Laffit Pincay Jr., Chris McCarron, Eddie Delahoussaye and Gary Stevens, among others. Talk about a dream come true.

"I started out doing commercials when I was real young," said Mangold, who hails from a town in northern California called Susanville, 80 miles west of Reno. He has appeared in such sitcoms as "Silver Spoons" with Ricky Schroder, "Highway to Heaven" with the late Michael Landon, "Saved by the Bell" and "Ellen" with Ellen Degeneres.

"I toured on Broadway in 'Peter Pan' with Cathy Rigby for almost two years," Mangold said. "And I was in a movie with Angela Lansbury called 'Mrs. Santa Claus,' where I played an elf, of course."

At 5'1" and 107 pounds, and blessed with a look of perpetual youth, Mangold was in danger of being typecast for life.

"Even when I was 20, I could play a 12-year-old," said Mangold, now 28. "I was playing little tiny kids, because I wasn't just small; I looked like a kid. But as I got into my mid-20s, those parts disappeared and all I could play was an elf or a jockey. I was typecast, so the acting work sort of dwindled, but I'm glad it did, because I've always wanted to ride horses.

"I think if I had waited even one more year, I would have been told I was too old. I was 26 when I finally decided I better try riding or it was going to be too late. So about two years ago, I just came out to Clockers' Corner at Santa Anita and asked if anybody needed an exercise boy.

"Obviously, that was the wrong thing (to say). The trainers asked if I'd ever been on a horse, and I told them I was on a Quarter Horse when I was seven. That didn't work out too well.

"Eventually, I talked to Wayne Lukas, and he told me to give it a shot if I really wanted to do it. He recommended I go to a jockey's school, and that's what I did. I went to Frank Garza's jockey school in Thousand Oaks .... eight months later, after I finished with jockeys' school, I came to work for Lukas, galloping horses for him at Santa Anita, but only for a month, if that. Then he sent me to Churchill, where I galloped for him there."

Mangold worked his way south from Susanville when he attended University of Southern California as a film major. "College brought me to L.A., and I've lived there since I was 17," he said. "But I've wanted to be a jockey my whole life, and the only reason I didn't do it before this was because I was acting. I had other things going on." The "other things" included a stop in an orphanage at age five when his mother died of a brain aneurysm. He was in 14 foster homes after that and eventually worked as an actor to earn his degree from USC.

Mangold, whose business is handled by long-time agent Vic Lipton, has ridden seven winners as an apprentice. As a 'bug' rider, he presently receives a seven-pound weight advantage from his journeymen peers. His apprenticeship will continue for another 11 months.

Mangold's first win came on a horse named Quick Twist at Turf Paradise for trainer Jack Hammond last July. His first victory in Southern California came at Hollywood Park last Dec. 17, aboard Maura's Diamond.

"I honestly don't think winning will ever get any different than it was the first time," Mangold said. "It was incredible. I wanted to jump up and down and yell, and I've won seven now and they've all been the same way. Maybe 30 years from now I'll feel differently."

If he does, you can bet he won't be acting.

RACING ON THE AIR (all times Eastern)

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

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

February 2 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN

February 2 NTRA 2Day at the Races; Hutcheson Stakes (Gulfstream Park), Sna Vicente Stakes (Santa Anita Park), Fair Grounds Breeders' Cup Stakes (Fair Grounds); 5:30-6:00 p.m., ESPN2

February 6 Racehorse Digest, 2:00-2:30 p.m., ESPN2

RACING TO HISTORY

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.

Jan. 31, 1958: Jockey Bill Shoemaker notched his 3,000th career win, aboard Eternal Pere, in the eighth race at Santa Anita Park.

Feb. 1, 1941: Golden Gate Fields opened for its inaugural race meet. After a five-day "season," the track was forced to close because severe rainstorms washed out the racing surface. The advent of World War II prevented the facility from reopening until Sept. 9, 1947.

Feb. 1, 1999: Owner-breeder and philanthropist Paul Mellon of Rokeby Stable died at his residence in Upperville, Va. He was 91.

Feb. 2, 2001: The Jockey Club announced that gross purses in the United States during 2000 topped $1 billion for the first time, an increase of 7.0 percent compared to 1999 figures.

Feb. 3, 1989: Apprentice jockey Nate Hubbard hung on for second -- literally -- when his horse, Sweetwater Oak, stumbled near the finish line at Golden Gate Fields and flipped the rider out of his saddle. As he tumbled forward, Hubbard grabbed on to the filly's neck and hung in mid-air until the race was over. The track stewards ruled it an official finish because Hubbard's feet never touched the ground and Sweetwater Oak carried her assigned weight throughout the race.

Feb. 3, 1990: Jockey Bill Shoemaker rode his final career race at Santa Anita Park, finishing fourth aboard Patchy Groundfog in 'The Legend's Last Ride.' He retired with 8,833 wins, a world record.

Feb. 4, 1926: Wheatley Stables, formed by Mrs. Henry Carnegie Phipps, recorded its first win ever, with a two-year-old filly named Sturdy Stella.

Feb. 4, 1997: Cigar was named Horse of the Year for the second consecutive year.

Feb. 5, 1997: A six-year-old horse, Isitingood, broke the world record for a mile -- 1:32 1:5 -- set in 1968 by Dr. Fager. Isitingood was timed in 1:32.05 over the Santa Anita Park turf course.

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

FRIDAY, JANUARY 25
De La Rose Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $100,000, Grade III, 1 1/16 M (T), Gulfstream Park

SATURDAY, JANUARY 26
Santa Monica Handicap, 4&up (f&m), $200,000, Grade I, 7F, Santa Anita Park
Fort Lauderdale Handicap, 3&up, $100,000, Grade III, 1 1/16 M (T), Gulfstream Park
LeComte Stakes, 3yo, $100,000, 1 M, Fair Grounds
Paumonok Handicap, 3&up, $75,000, 6F, Aqueduct

SUNDAY, JANUARY 27
Palos Verdes Handicap, 4&up, $150,000, Grade II, 6F, Santa Anita Park
Forward Gal Stakes, 3yo fillies, $100,000, Grade III, 7F, Gulfstream Park
Tiffany Lass Stakes, 3yo fillies, $100,000, 1 M, Fair Grounds
Busanda Stakes, 3yo fillies, $75,000, 1 M 70 yds., Aqueduct

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Racing television schedule

 

 


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