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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.

CAME HOME DRAWS POST FOUR FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY

Post positions were drawn today for Saturday's Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby from Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. The Santa Anita Derby field is led by led by Came Home, who is coming off back-to-back wins in the Grade II San Rafael and Grade II San Vicente Stakes, and Mayakovsky, who won the Grade III Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct his last time out. Came Home drew post four and was made the 6-5 morning line favorite for Saturday's assignment, with Mayakovsky, installed as the early 3-1 second choice, scheduled to break from post six. Came Home and Mayakovsky hooked up in last year's Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga, finishing first and second, respectively.

Steeped in tradition, the 1 1/8 miles Santa Anita Derby boasts six winners who have gone on to capture the Kentucky Derby, including Swaps (1955), Lucky Debonair (1965), Majestic Prince (1969), Affirmed (1978), Winning Colors (1988) and Sunday Silence (1989). Last year's winner, Point Given, finished out of the money at Churchill Downs, but went on to victory in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes and became Horse of the Year. In the late 1990s, three consecutive Kentucky Derby winners started in the Santa Anita Derby, including Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998) and Charismatic (1999), although each came up short on the West coast.

The complete Santa Anita Derby field from the rail out is: Jack's Silver (jockey: Victor Espinoza, morning line odds: 15-1), Danthebluegrassman (David Flores, 10-1), Lusty Latin (Glen Corbett, 30-1), Came Home (Chris McCarron, 6-5), U S S Tinosa (Kent Desormeaux, 6-1), Mayakovsky (Patrick Valenzuela, 3-1), Proud Citizen (Alex Solis, 15-1) and Easy Grades (Gary Stevens, 9-2).

Also on Saturday is the Grade II, $500,000 Illinois Derby from Sportsman's Park in Cicero, Ill. Repent, runner-up to Johannesburg in the 2001 Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile, drew the outside post and tops a field of 10 in the 1 1/8 miles Illinois Derby. Coming off a win in the Grade II Louisiana Derby, Repent will face from the rail out: Publication, Secret Command, One Tuff Fox, Changeintheweather, War Emblem, Fonz's, Peekskill, Robin Zee and Boston Common.

Both the Santa Anita and Illinois Derbys will be shown live on ESPN from 5:00-6:00 p.m. (ET) as part of the "Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby" series. Hosting Saturday's telecast will be Jeff Medders, joined by Randy Moss and Charlsie Cantey.

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON CHILD CARE CENTER AT BELMONT

Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., will soon become the first racetrack in the United States to have an on-site, year round child care center. Construction of the new facility began in March and should be completed this fall. When fully operational, it will accommodate 80 children daily.

The Belmont Child Care Association (BCCA), a private, not-for-profit organization, initiated the project five years ago. Suzee Bailey, a BCCA founder and wife of jockey Jerry Bailey, explained, "Most people don't realize how many people work in the backstretch of a racetrack. Here at Belmont and Aqueduct, the majority of hot walkers and grooms are parents of very young children. Their incomes are limited as is their formal education, but they take wonderful care of the horses. We want their children to be well cared for while they work."

BCCA President, Michael Dubb is a builder and owner of The Beechwood Organization in Jericho. His contributions are not limited to presidential responsibilities. Mr. Dubb is building "the shell" of the facility and overseeing the entire construction process at no cost to the project. "Michael has been a godsend. He's saved us hundreds of thousands of dollars," commented BCCA Chairman and founder Diane Bomze.

A Capital Campaign was launched last year to fund the project. Money is needed to build and equip the child care center as well as establish a Scholarship Fund. BCCA expects most families won't be able to afford the cost of tuition. The board is determined to create a high quality program that will prepare children for successful school careers.

The center will be called Anna House in recognition of Laura and Eugene Melnyk's gift of one million dollars. NYRA Trustee Joe Cornacchia and his wife Eileen are leading the fundraising effort. All contributions and inquires are welcome and may be directed to the Development Office at 516-358-7224.

More than 2,500 people work to support New York's year-round Thoroughbred Racing Industry. NYRA employs office and security staff, but the majority are employed by trainers and owners who work in the backstretch where the workday begins at 5:00 a.m.

RACING ON THE AIR (all times Eastern)

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

April 6 Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby; Santa Anita Derby (Santa Anita Park), Illinois Derby (Sportsman's Park); 5:00-6:00 p.m., ESPN

April 9 Thoroughbred Classics Presented by the NTRA, Blue Grass Stakes, 5:30-6:00 p.m., ESPN Classic

April 10 Racehorse Digest, 2:00-2:30 p.m., ESPN2

April 11 Thoroughbred Classics Presented by the NTRA, Blue Grass Stakes, 5:30-6:00 p.m., ESPN Classic

April 12 Thoroughbred Classics Presented by the NTRA, Blue Grass Stakes, 9:30-10:00 a.m., ESPN Classic

April 13 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN

April 13 Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby; Wood Memorial (Aqueduct); 3:30-4:30 p.m., ESPN

April 13 NTRA Road to the Kentucky Derby on NBC; Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (Keeneland), Wood Memorial (Aqueduct); 4:30-6:00 p.m., NBC

April 17 Racehorse Digest, 2:00-2:30 p.m., ESPN2

RACING TO HISTORY

April 6, 1954: Two future champions, Bold Ruler and Round Table, were foaled at Claiborne Farm, Paris, Ky.

April 7, 1973: In his second start as a three-year-old, Secretariat won the Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct as the 1-10 favorite. His time of 1:33 2-5 for the mile equaled the track record for that distance.

April 7, 1979: Jockey Steve Cauthen made his first race in England a winning one, with Marquee Universal (IRE), at Salisbury.

April 8, 1971: New York City Off-Track Betting opened for business. Two branches were available to accept wagers: the Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan and an outlet in Queens. Total handle, including telephone betting, was $66,091.

April 8, 1991: Rider-turned-trainer Bill Shoemaker was paralyzed after an automobile accident.

April 8, 2001: "Seabiscuit: An American Legend", by Laura Hillenbrand, took over the top spot on the New York Times bestseller list for nonfiction after just three weeks in the nation's bookstores.

April 9, 1962: Jockey Ron Turcotte rode his first winner, at Fort Erie Racetrack.

April 10, 1969: I Double Dareya was ridden to victory by jockey Gilbert Hernandez at Golden Gate Fields. Hernandez also happened to be the horse's owner and trainer, giving him a triple win.

April 11, 1945 Future Triple Crown champion Citation was foaled at Calumet Farm, Lexington, Ky.

April 12, 1948: After winning seven consecutive races, Citation lost the Chesapeake Trial Stakes by a length to Saggy, but rebounded to post 16 consecutive victories, including the Triple Crown.

April 12, 1969: Jockey Sandra Schleiffers, one of the first female riders in America and a former member of the Sisters of St. Francis convent in Clinton, Iowa, won her first career race at Turf Paradise. Schleiffers subsequently became the first woman to be admitted to the Jockeys' Guild.

April 13, 1872: The Louisiana Jockey Club held its inaugural meet at Fair Grounds. The first race, a two-mile hurdle, was won by Templo.

April 14, 1936: The first Maryland race result ever decided by a photo-finish camera took place at Havre de Grace in the second race, in which a 7-1 shot, Alit, was declared the winner.

April 15, 1940: With the start of the racing season at Jamaica, New York became the last major racing state to adopt electronic parimutuel wagering, thus eliminating on-track bookmaking.

April 15, 1941: In preparation for the May 3 Kentucky Derby, Whirlaway worked 1 1/8 miles in 1:52 at Keeneland.

April 15, 1943: With many of the country's young men joining in the war effort, women exercise riders were first employed at Pimlico Racecourse.

April 16, 1995: At age 25, Kent Desormeaux became the youngest jockey to reach the 3,000-wins mark when he rode Maisonaire to victory at Santa Anita Park.

April 17, 1972: Future champion filly Ruffian was foaled at Claiborne Farm, Paris, Ky.

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

FRIDAY, APRIL 5
Transylvania Stakes, 3yo, $100,000, 1M (T), Keeneland
Banshee Breeze Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $75,000, 1 1/16 M, Gulfstream Park
Bayakoa Stakes, 4&up (f&m), $75,000, 1 1/16 M, Oaklawn Park

SATURDAY, APRIL 6
Santa Anita Derby, 3yo, $750,000, Grade I, 1 1/8 M, Santa Anita Park
Ashland Stakes, 3yo fillies, $500,000, Grade I, 1 1/16 M, Keeneland
Apple Blossom Handicap, 4&up (f&m), $500,000, Grade I, 1 1/16 M, Oaklawn Park
Oaklawn Handicap, 4&up, $500,000, Grade I, 1 1/8 M, Oaklawn Park
Illinois Derby, 3yo, $500,000, Grade II, 1 1/8 M, Sportsman's Park
Aventura Stakes, 3yo, $250,000, 1 1/16 M, Gulfstream Park
Excelsior Breeders' Cup Handicap, 3&up, $200,000, Grade III, 1 1/8 M, Aqueduct
Arcadia Handicap, 4&up, $150,000, Grade II, 1 1/8 M (T), Santa Anita Park
San Bernardino Handicap, 4&up, $150,000, Grade II, 1 1/8 M, Santa Anita Park
Grand Prairie Turf Challenge, 3yo, $100,000, 1M (T), Lone Star Park
Artax Handicap, 3&up, $100,000, 7F, Gulfstream Park
Sunland Park Handicap, 3&up, $75,000, 1 1/16 M, Sunland Park

SUNDAY, APRIL 7
Lafayette Stakes, 3yo, $100,000, Grade III, 7F, Keeneland
Las Cienegas Handicap, 4&up (f&m), $100,000, Grade III, 6 F (T), Santa Anita Park
Carousel Breeders' Cup Handicap, 4&up (f&m), $100,000, 6F, Oaklawn Park
Via Borghese Stakes, 3yo fillies, $75,000, 1 1/8 M (T), Gulfstream Park

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10
Madison Stakes, 4&up (f&m), $100,000, 7F, Keeneland
Northern Spur Stakes, 3yo, $75,000, 1M, Oaklawn Park

THURSDAY, APRIL 10
Count Fleet Sprint Handicap, 4&up, $150,000, Grade III, 6F, Oaklawn Park
Jenny Wiley Stakes, 4&up (f&m), $100,000, Grade III, 1 1/16 M (T), Keeneland

-30-

 

Racing television schedule

 

 


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