NTRA THOROUGHBRED NOTEBOOK
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|News and notes from around the Thoroughbred racing world, compiled
by NTRA Communications, (212) 907-9280.
DERBY WINNER MONARCHOS RETIRED TO STUD
After suffering an ankle injury during a workout, 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos was retired. The injury, to his left front ankle, was detected in an ultrasound following the exercise, according to trainer John Ward.
Monarchos retires with career earnings of $1.72 million. The Derby win was his final triumph. After his Churchill Downs race, Monarchos finished sixth in the Preakness, third in the Belmont Stakes and third in a recent Jan. 19 allowance race at Gulfstream Park. His stallion plans have not yet been finalized.
TIZNOW'S BREEDERS' CUP CLASSIC VOTED 2001 NTRA MOMENT OF THE YEAR
The dramatic finish of last year's Breeders' Cup Classic featuring Tiznow and European star Sakhee has been voted the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Moment of the Year. Tiznow's connections will be honored at the Eclipse Awards Dinner on February 18 in Miami Beach at the Fontainebleau Hilton Resort with the "NTRA Moment of the Year" award. More
OAKLAND LANDSCAPER WINS $100,000 AS NATION'S BEST HANDICAPPER
Herman Miller, a 50-year-old landscaper who had never entered a handicapping tournament before last month, became Thoroughbred racing's "Handicapper of the Year" last Saturday after besting an elite field of 177 horseplayers in the third annual $212,000 Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Miller, a resident of Oakland, Calif. who advanced to the DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship in the final qualifying event of the year last Dec. 29 at Golden Gate Fields, led after Friday's opening round in the two-day contest and then survived a see-saw battle with several challengers throughout the event's final day to capture the first prize of $100,000. Miller hit a total of nine winners in the 30-race tournament on his way to a contest-winning bankroll of $205.30 based on $2 win and $2 place bets.
Entering Saturday's final round with $135.90, he lost the lead early in the day but stormed back late in the contest with a string of three winners, including the ninth race at Santa Anita when Alystone Lane ($11.20 to win and $6.80 to place) won the next-to-last race in the tournament to push him $16.30 ahead of the frontrunning Tim O'Leary of Newville, Penn. O'Leary finished with $189.00 to beat Don Speaks ($183.00) of Oceanside, Calif. for the $30,000 second place check. Rounding out the top five were Sid Weiner ($179.30) of Saugus, Mass. and John Martin ($167.30) of Lexington, Ky. Defending champion Judy Wagner of New Orleans finished 136th ($54.60) and 2000 winner Steven Walker of Lincoln, Neb. was 42nd ($112.60).
Miller, who will receive his award as the nation's leading handicapper at horseracing's annual Eclipse Awards dinner Feb. 18 in Miami, also receives a special exemption into next year's national championship field to defend his title. He plans to put the prize money toward his two teenage daughters' college education.
"I'm 90 percent sure I'll be able to defend my title next year," he says. "There's no sure things besides death and taxes, but I'm confident."
In addition to individual competition, players also were divided up into four-person teams representing the site where they qualified. A total of $32,000 in prize money was up for grabs in the team competition which was won by the Keeneland "A" Team. The Kentucky foursome of Don "Hee Haw" Alvey (Louisville), Rich Nilsen (Lexington), Tony Martin (Lexington) and Tim Holland (Midway) split the $20,000 first prize ($5,000 each) with a total of $506.10. Teams from Suffolk Downs (split $8,000) and Golden Gate ($4,000) finished second and third.
Team Penthouse won the media charity tournament and the $10,000 purse. Four five-member teams, each captained by a Daily Racing Form handicapper, competed in the event, which mirrored the main tournament. Team Penthouse was led by 30th Anniversary Pet Alexa Lauren, whose $175.60 bankroll not only led the media competition but was fifth overall. Penthouse Director of Communications Michael Moi ($139.20), Penthouse Pet Cheyenne Silver ($132.20) and Penthouse Senior Editor Ed Dwyer ($110.30), in addition to DRF captain Mike Watchmaker ($130.70) contributed to the $688.00 team bankroll. The group's $10,000 prize will be split between NTRA Charities and four other charities.
NATIONAL THOROUGHBRED RACING ASSOCIATION ACQUIRES EQUISOURCE; FORMS NEW SUBSIDIARY
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) concluded its acquisition of EquiSource in conjunction with the formation of a new group purchasing subsidiary, NTRA Purchasing, which will offer substantial savings on products and services from John Deere, Penske Auto Centers, Sherwin-Williams Paints, IKON Office Solutions, Boise Cascade Office Products, Kimberly-Clark, Hallway Feeds and others to NTRA supporters. NTRA Purchasing will be based at the NTRA's headquarters in Lexington, Ky., with field representatives in four geographic regions. More
MORE ACCOLADES FOR SEABISCUIT
Laura Hillenbrand's "Seabiscuit: An American Legend", already the recipient of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award in Great Britain, has been named one of five finalists for the 2001 National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) Prize in the general nonfiction category. Other nominees include Sam Roberts' "The Brother"; Nina Bernstein's "The Lost Children of Wilder";"Double Fold," by Nicholson Baker; and "Neighbors," by Polish émigré historian Jan Gross.
The National Book Critics Circle, founded in 1974, is a not-for-profit organization of book editors and critics. Since 1981, the NBCC Prize has been among the English language's most prestigious literary awards. This year, the awards ceremony will be held on Monday, March 11, in the Tishman Auditorium of the New York University School of Law.
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
February 9 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN
February 13 Racehorse Digest, 2:00-2:30 p.m., ESPN2
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.
Feb. 7, 1894: The Jockey Club was incorporated. As originally conceived, it was to assume the management of racing, previously overseen by the Board of Control. Included in The Jockey Club's functions were licensing, allotment of racing dates, appointment of officials and the interpretation and enforcement of racing rules.
Feb. 7, 1969: Diane Crump became the first woman jockey in America to compete in a parimutuel race when she finished tenth of 12 aboard a 48-1 shot, three-year-old Bridle 'n Bit, in the seventh race at Hialeah Park.
Feb. 7, 1996: A racing oddity occurred at Oaklawn Park when all the winners of seven consecutive races started from the number one post position.
Feb. 7, 1999: Jockey Eddie Delahoussaye picked up his 6,000th career victory aboard Sweetcakesanshakes in the third race at Santa Anita Park. Delahoussaye became the 14th rider in North American racing history to reach the 6,000-win mark.
Feb. 8, 1941: Whirlaway began his three-year-old season with a win in a six furlong allowance race at Hialeah.
Feb. 9, 1940: After a year's absence from competition, seven-year-old Seabiscuit, champion handicap horse of 1937 and 1938, returned to racing at Santa Anita, where he finished third in a handicap race. Seabiscuit ran three more races in 1940, concluding his career with a win in the Santa Anita Handicap.
Feb. 9, 1974: Jockey Chris McCarron rode his first winner, a five-year-old gelding named Erezev, at Bowie Racecourse. By year's end, McCarron had established a then-record number of winners for a single season: 546. Fifteen years later, on Nov. 30, 1989, jockey Kent Desormeaux eclipsed that mark.
Feb. 10, 1998: Undefeated Two-Year-Old Champion Favorite Trick was named 1997 Horse of the Year.
Feb. 11, 1933: The Jockey Club released data showing that as of 1932, the United States had surpassed Great Britain and Ireland in foal production for the first time, to become the world's leading producer of Thoroughbreds.
Feb. 12, 1981: Julie Krone rode her first career winner, a $3,500 claimer named Lord Farkle, which was owned and trained by Les St. Leon, in the sixth race at Tampa Bay Downs.
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