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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.


Harlan's Holiday, winner of last month's Florida Derby, drew post 3 and was installed as the 6-5 morning line favorite this morning for the Grade I, $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass to be run Saturday at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.

Post positions were also drawn this morning for New York's key Kentucky Derby prep, the Grade I, $750,000 Wood Memorial Stakes from Aqueduct. Medaglia d'Oro, winner of last month's San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita, drew post 4 for the Wood and was made the early 5-2 favorite.

The complete field for the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes from the rail out is: Ocean Sound (jockey: Eddie Delahoussaye, morning line odds: 12-1), Straight Gin (Robby Albarado, 10-1), Harlan's Holiday (Edgar Prado, 6-5), bob's Image (Lonnie Meche, 8-1), Azillion (Corey Nakatani, 3-1) and Booklet (Jorge Chavez, 5-2).

The complete Wood Memorial field from the rail out is: Buddha (Pat Day, 4-1), Nokoma (Mike Smith, 12-1), Sunday Break (Gary Stevens, 9-2), Medaglia d'Oro (Laffit Pincay Jr., 5-2), Iwin (Kent Desormeaux, 20-1), Laissezaller (Richard Migliore, 20-1), Saarland (John Velazquez, 3-1) and Blue Burner (Jerry Bailey, 9-2).

The Wood Memorial can be seen live on ESPN from 3:30-4:30 p.m. (ET) as part of the "Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby" series. The Blue Grass Stakes can be seen live on NBC from 4:30-6:00 p.m. on "NTRA Road to the Kentucky Derby on NBC". The final half-hour of that show will take place in front of a live audience in the Keeneland sales pavilion, where Tom Hammond and the rest of the NBC telecast team will host an NCAA-like "selection show," focusing on the leading Kentucky Derby candidates and grouping them by region.


When Danthebluegrassman finished last in the April 6 Santa Anita Derby, it looked as if the last hope of getting to the Kentucky Derby had evaporated for two-time Derby winning trainer Bob Baffert. But the Thoroughbred Times is reporting in its online edition that one of Baffert's top clients, The Thoroughbred Corporation, is close to finishing a deal to acquire War Emblem, the runaway winner of the April 6 Illinois Derby.

According to War Emblem's current trainer, Frank Springer, the colt will be transferred to Baffert's barn upon completion of the deal. Terms of the pending deal have not been disclosed. "You hate to lose one like that," Springer said of War Emblem, who is presently owned by Russell Reineman, "but you've got to do what you've got to do."

The Thoroughbred Corporation, headed by Prince Ahmed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, campaigned the 2001 Horse of the Year Point Given, winner of last year's Preakness and Belmont Stakes. Point Given finished fifth in last year's Kentucky Derby.


The $750,000 Wood Memorial Stakes from Aqueduct Racetrack in Ozone Park, N.Y. will kick off the sixth annual Big 3 Pick 3 wager this Saturday, with fans trying to pick the winners of three important prep races for three-year-olds hoping to ultimately run in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 4.

Following the Wood Memorial, which will be shown live on ESPN with a scheduled post time of 4:15 p.m. (ET), will be the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass from Keeneland in Lexington, Ky., at 5:15 p.m. (ET). The Blue Grass will be shown live on NBC, as part of its "NTRA Road to the Kentucky Derby on NBC" program. Finally, the $500,000 Arkansas Derby from Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., will cap off the Big 3 Pick 3 at 6:45 p.m. (ET).

"The mutuel payoff has been no worse than $30.80 and as much as $3,594 in the short six years of the Big 3 Pick 3," said Bill Nader, Senior Vice President of the New York Racing Association. "It is an exciting wager that not only provides value, but gives fans an active role in following three-year-olds that are headed to the Triple Crown and that will be talked about for the rest of the year."


The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) has announced that Mystery Mutuel Vouchers worth $2.3 million-including a $1.75 million grand prize-have been mailed to consumers in its second of four mystery voucher promotions scheduled for 2002. The vouchers are redeemable for cash on April 13 at participating racetracks and OTBs. The grand prize for subsequent Mystery Mutuel Voucher Promotions will be increased by $250,000 until the grand prize is redeemed. More

RACING ON THE AIR (all times Eastern)

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

April 20 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN

April 20 Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby; Coolmore Lexington Stakes (Keeneland), Federico Tesio Stakes (Pimlico); 6:00-7:00 p.m., ESPN2

April 24 Racehorse Digest, 2:00-2:30 p.m., ESPN2


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.

April 18, 1970: The New York State Legislature passed a bill enabling off-track betting.

April 18, 1999: Jockey Julie Krone concluded her riding career at Lone Star Park, finishing second aboard Desert Demon in the Lone Star Derby. Krone won 3,546 races in her career.

April 19, 1952: Native Dancer won his first race, at Jamaica racetrack.

April 19, 1969: Bill Veeck, promoter and president of Suffolk Downs, staged a $10,000 race featuring all female jockeys, then a novelty in racing. Called the Lady Godiva Stakes, the event attracted such riders as Diane Crump, Tuesdee Testa and Robyn Smith. It was Penny Ann Early, however, who won the race-her first career victory. The previous year, Early had attempted to ride at Churchill Downs, but the male jockeys boycotted and the race was canceled.

April 19, 2000: Jockey Pat Day guided first time starter Unbridled Time to victory in the second race at Keeneland, giving the 46-year-old a record 717 victories at the Lexington, Ky. track.

April 20, 1949: Jockey Bill Shoemaker won his first race, aboard Shafter V, at Golden Gate Fields, Albany, Calif.

April 20, 1999: Trainer Charlie Whittingham died in Pasadena, Calif., of complications from leukemia. He was 86.

April 21, 1923: Eight-year-old Exterminator gained his 34th stakes victory, the Philadelphia Handicap at Havre de Grace, setting an American record.

April 21, 1973: In a surprising defeat, Secretariat finished third to stablemate Angle Light and runner-up Sham in the Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct, his last start before sweeping the Triple Crown. The following day, Secretariat was found to have had an abscess in his mouth, which may have caused him discomfort while racing.

April 21, 1998: Tim Smith was named Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

April 22, 1947: Citation won his first race by 1/2-length, at Havre de Grace.

April 22, 1970: Governor Nelson Rockefeller signed into law a bill allowing off-track betting in New York.

April 22, 1976: After winning the Florida Derby at odds of 1-20, Honest Pleasure ran in the Blue Grass Stakes as the 1-10 favorite. Only win wagering was allowed on the seven-horse field. Honest Pleasure won, creating a minus win pool of $41,876.20.

April 23, 1943: Judy Johnson was granted a license to ride in steeplechase races in Maryland, making her one of the earliest female jockeys.

April 23, 1973: Secretariat and his stablemate Angle Light were flown to Louisville, Ky., to prepare for the Kentucky Derby.

April 23, 1977: Seattle Slew won the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Racetrack, his sixth consecutive win and his third win of the season. The race was his final prep for the May 7 Kentucky Derby.

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

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 1-16M (T), Keeneland

Maker's Mark Mile, 4&up, $200,000, Grade II, 1 M (T), Keeneland
Fantasy Stakes, 3yo fillies, $200,000, Grade II, 1 1/16 M, Oaklawn Park

Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, 3yo, $750,000, Grade I, 1 1/8 M, Keeneland
Wood Memorial Stakes, 3yo, $750,000, Grade I, 1 1/8 M, Aqueduct
Arkansas Derby, 3yo, $500,000, Grade II, 1 1/8 M, Oaklawn Park
Carter Handicap, 3&up, $350,000, Grade I, 7F, Aqueduct
Bay Shore Stakes, 3yo, $150,000, Grade III, 7F, Aqueduct
Irving Distaff Stakes, 3&up (F&M), $75,000, 7 F (T), Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie
Shakertown Stakes, 3&up, $75,000, 5 F (T), Keeneland
Yankee Affair Stakes, 3&up, $75,000, 5F (T), Gulfstream Park

Commonwealth Breeders' Cup Stakes, 3&up, $250,000, Grade II, 7F, Keeneland
Comely Stakes, 3yo fillies, $100,000, Grade III, 1 M, Aqueduct
Lady Hallie Handicap, 3&up (F&M), $100,000, 1 1/16 M, Sportsman's Park
Marshua's River Stakes, 3&up (F&M), $75,000, 5F (T), Gulfstream Park

Forerunner Stakes, 3yo, $100,000, 1 1/8 M (T), Keeneland

Doubledogdare Stakes, 4&up (F&M), $100,000, 1 1/16 M, Keeneland



Racing television schedule



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