NTRA THOROUGHBRED NOTEBOOK
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|News and notes from around the Thoroughbred racing world, compiled
by NTRA Communications, (212) 907-9280.
BREEDERS' CUP FUTURE BET FIELDS FINALIZED FOR SPRINT, DISTAFF AND CLASSIC; WAGERING AVAILABLE JULY 4-7
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) has set the fields for this weekend's inaugural Breeders' Cup Future Bet. Street Cry (IRE), winner of the Dubai World Cup, has been listed as the morning line favorite for the Breeders' Cup Classic at 6-1 odds. War Emblem, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner, is listed next at 10-1, tied with Sakhee and Mizzen Mast.
The Future Bet is a special wager that challenges fans to select in advance the winners of the Oct. 26 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships races, to be held at Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Ill. Races open for wagering this weekend are the Breeders' Cup Classic, the Breeders' Cup Distaff and the Breeders' Cup Sprint. Pools will be open July 4-7, from 1:00-7:00 p.m. (ET) each day.
Under Breeders' Cup Future Bet rules, each race will offer parimutuel groupings of 23 runners plus one field entry consisting of all horses not in the body of 23 for each respective race. All betting, available at outlets nationwide, will be win-only, with a minimum wager amount of $2.00. At the conclusion of wagering on July 7, odds for all entries become final. No refunds are made on horses that do not ultimately compete in their designated races.
The opening fields for Breeders' Cup Future Bet wagering on the Distaff, Sprint and Classic can be found at the NTRA Web site, ntra.com. The favorites for the three races are: Breeders' Cup Classic - Street Cry at 6/1; the Breeders' Cup Distaff - Azeri at 5/1; and the Breeders' Cup Sprint - Kona Gold at 6/1. The odds were set by Mike Watchmaker of Daily Racing Form.
The complete Breeders' Cup Future Bet schedule for 2002 is: Thursday, July 4 - Sunday, July 7: Breeders' Cup Classic, Breeders' Cup Distaff and Breeders' Cup Sprint (Pool I); Friday, August 9 - Sunday, August 11: John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf, Breeders' Cup Mile and Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (Pool 2); Friday, August 30 - Monday, September 2: Breeders' Cup Classic, Breeders' Cup Distaff and Breeders' Cup Sprint (Pool 3), and Friday, September 20 - Friday, September 22: Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile and Long John Silver's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (Pool 4).
The wager will be hubbed at Arlington Park, and Arlington will provide a separate satellite feed with a continuous update of the parimutuel odds to all simulcast locations for presentation to racing fans at those sites. The special internet link will also be established displaying the parimutuel odds for all three races at ntra.com. Fans will wager on the Future Bet with the Classic being Race 1, the Distaff as Race 2 and the Sprint as Race 3 in the Future Bet pools.
STOLEN SEABISCUIT TROPHY RECOVERED AFTER CAREFUL SLEUTHING
After a ten-month investigation conducted by the FBI and the Saratoga Springs Police Department, Seabiscuit's 1938 Agua Caliente Handicap trophy, stolen in the early 1950s, was recovered and donated last week to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
The theft occurred in 1952-1953, when Marcela Howard, widow of Seabiscuit's owner Charles S. Howard, sent numerous trophies to be cleaned before she moved to a new home. When the newly cleaned trophies were unpacked, four of them -- including the Agua Caliente trophy and three Buick auto racing trophies -- were discovered to be missing. Marcela filed a stolen property report with the local police, but the trophies were never found.
In 1992 Col. Michael Howard, great-grandson of Charles Howard, received a mysterious phone call offering to sell him the four missing trophies. He contacted police and set up a meeting but the seller vanished. In May 2001, Laura Hillenbrand, author of best-seller Seabiscuit: An American Legend, noticed the Agua Caliente trophy for sale on E-Bay. When Hillenbrand notified the seller that the trophy was potentially stolen property, the trophy was promptly pulled from E-Bay. Again, the seller and trophy disappeared.
Then last August, a woman visiting the National Museum of Racing spoke with Lori Fisher, the museum's curator of collections, to see whether the museum would like to purchase the Agua Caliente trophy. Realizing that the piece was one of the four missing Howard trophies, Fisher notified the Saratoga Springs Police Department. Following consultation among Col. Howard, Fisher, and Lieutenant Edward Moore of the City Police, Fisher agreed to assist police and began pursuing negotiations to purchase the trophy for the museum. Meanwhile, surveillance of the woman was undertaken by several City Police Investigators, assisted by three New York State Police Investigators from the Saratoga station. The surveillance and continuing investigation by City Police over the next four days revealed that further investigation and interviews on the West Coast would be necessary, and the City Police requested assistance from the FBI.
Acting under guidance from the FBI and local police, Fisher continued to pursue the purchase of the trophy for the museum. After days of intense negotiations, the seller shipped the trophy to the museum for review prior to completing the "sale." Once the trophy arrived, the FBI confiscated it and conducted a thorough investigation. The U.S. Attorney recently concluded that the trophy rightfully belongs to the Howard family heirs. No one has been prosecuted for the original theft of the trophy, and the three stolen Buick trophies have not been recovered.
According to Tom McClenaghan, Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge of the FBI office in Albany, "We are pleased to have had the opportunity to provide assistance to the museum and the Saratoga Springs Police Department in this important recovery. Naturally, inasmuch as the theft occurred 50 years ago, any chance of prosecution for the theft would be impossible. The important point is that the trophy has been returned to the Howard family and, through their generosity, to the National Museum of Racing."
Lt. Moore credits the success of this investigation to the actions of Fisher. "Because of steps taken by Lori and other museum staff, crucial information was gathered at the onset of the investigation. Lori's continued efforts in negotiations with the seller over the first two weeks was the single most significant reason that the stolen trophy was recovered."
"We are very grateful that the Howard family has decided to donate the trophy to the museum," said Fisher. "This important piece of racing history could have been lost forever, and now we have the privilege of preserving it for future generations of racing fans." The trophy will remain on view in the museum's exhibition The Legend of Seabiscuit through December 15, 2002.
NTRA LOOKING FOR THE ULTIMATE FEMALE FAN
For the second consecutive year, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) has launched a contest challenging women to convey their passion for horseracing. The Ultimate Female Fan(tm) contest, held in conjunction with the re-release of Betsy Berns's "Win. Place and Show: A Female Fan Guide to Thoroughbred Racing," is open to U.S. females 18 and older. The write-in contest, which runs through the end of August, asks women to describe in 100 words or fewer why they are racing's "ultimate female fan."
The winner will receive a free trip for two to the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Arlington Park, Saturday, Oct. 26, as well as a $1,000 wagering voucher. Contestants may submit their entries online at the NTRA's Web site, ntra.com, or by writing to: Ultimate Female Fan Contest, c/o NTRA, 2525 Harrodsburg Road, Suite 500, Lexington, KY 40504. Contest rules are posted at ntra.com.
The contest is jointly sponsored and judged by Female Fan Guide author Betsy Berns, the NTRA and Daily Racing Form. Berns, the author of female fan guides to pro football and auto racing, will make appearances at racetracks to promote the contest and her book.
"Women make up a large percentage of our existing fan base, including the majority of our casual fan base," said Keith Chamblin, NTRA senior vice president--industry relations and marketing. "Research also indicates that viewership of televised horseracing skews female. They are an extremely important audience for our sport and this contest has proven to be very popular among both casual and core female fans."
"We received a tremendous number of responses last year, which really showed how passionate horseracing's female fans are," said Betsy Berns. "I'm looking forward to meeting and reading the essays of even more female fans this year."
Last year's Ultimate Female Fan contest was won by Gloria Fleming, an administrative assistant from Woodland Hills, Calif. Fleming won a trip for two to the 2001 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.
July 3 Wire to Wire, 2:00-2:30 p.m., ESPN2
July 6 Wire to Wire, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN
July 6 NTRA Summer Racing Tour; United Nations Handicap (Monmouth Park), Suburban Handicap (Belmont Park) and Stars & Stripes Breeders' Cup Handicap (Arlington Park); 5:00-6:00 p.m.; CBS
July 7 NTRA 2Day at the Races; Dwyer Stakes (Belmont Park), Bashford Manor Stakes (Churchill Downs) and Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Breeders' Cup (Prairie Meadows); 4:30-5:00 p.m., ESPN2
July 10 Wire to Wire, 1:00-1:30 p.m., ESPN2
July 13 Wire to Wire, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN
July 13 NTRA 2Day at the Races; Princess Rooney Handicap, Azalea Breeders' Cup Stakes, Carry Back Stakes and Rocket Man Stakes (Calder), 6:00-6:30 p.m., ESPN2
July 14 Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships, Swaps Stakes (Hollywood Park), 6:00-7:00 p.m., ESPN2
July 17 Wire to Wire, 2:00-2:30 p.m., ESPN
July 3, 1937: The Del Mar Turf Club, with crooner Bing Crosby as president and actor Pat O'Brien as one of the club officers, opened for racing.
July 3, 1977: Seattle Slew's nine-race winning streak came to an end in the Swaps Stakes at Hollywood Park, when he finished fourth, beaten 16 lengths by J.O. Tobin.
July 3, 1982: D. Wayne Lukas-trained Landaluce, ridden by Laffit Pincay Jr., won the first of her five consecutive victories at Hollywood Park. The daughter of Seattle Slew, owned by Barry Beal and Lloyd French, died of a viral infection in November of that year, but was posthumously voted champion two-year-old filly of 1982.
July 4, 1954: Two-year-old Ribot won his first race, the Premio Tramuschio. He concluded his career in 1956, with 16 wins in as many starts.
July 4, 1972: Two-year-old Secretariat, ridden by Paul Feliciano, ran fourth to winner Herbull in his racing debut, blocked badly throughout the race, at Aqueduct. It was the poorest placing of Secretariat's career.
July 4, 1976: Charlie Whittingham swept the top three spots in the American Handicap at Hollywood Park with his trainees King Pellinore, Riot in Paris and Caucasus. On July 26, he repeated the feat in the Sunset Handicap, with Caucasus first, King Pellinore second and Riot in Paris third.
July 4, 1978: Trainer D. Wayne Lukas won his first $100,000 stakes race-over the turf-taking the American Handicap with Effervescing, ridden by Laffit Pincay Jr., at Hollywood Park.
July 4, 1998: Elusive Quality ran the fastest mile in history in the Poker Handicap at Belmont Park. The five-year-old horse was timed in 1:31 3/5 over a firm turf course.
July 4, 2000: Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze scored his 7,000 career victory aboard This Is the Moment at the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton, Calif. Baze became the sixth jockey to join the 7,000-win club.
July 5, 1991: Jockey Ray Sibille won his 3,000th career race, aboard Sporting Surf at Pleasanton.
July 6, 1975: Locust Hill Farm's undefeated filly Ruffian engaged Kentucky Derby winner Foolish Pleasure in a match race at Belmont Park. Racing on the lead, Ruffian sustained a severe leg injury and was pulled up by jockey Jacinto Vasquez. The filly was euthanized the following day when efforts to save her proved futile.
July 6, 1977: In the second of their 10 meetings, Alydar defeated Affirmed to win the Great American Stakes at Belmont Park. This was the first of Alydar's three victories over Affirmed.
July 7, 1934: Mary Hirsch became the first female to be licensed as a Thoroughbred trainer, in Illinois. Hirsch subsequently was licensed in Michigan that year and two years later, on April 9, she was licensed by The Jockey Club to train in New York.
July 8, 2000: General Express set a world record when he went five furlongs on the turf in :54.60 in the Decathlon Stakes at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J. General Express eclipsed the mark of :54.97 set by Klassy Briefcase in a Monmouth allowance race on June 8, 1991.
July 10, 1982: Landaluce, a two-year-old daughter of Seattle Slew, won the Hollywood Lassie Stakes by 21 lengths under the guidance of Laffit Pincay Jr. She ran the six furlong race in 1:08, just 3/5 of a second off the track record at Hollywood Park.
July 11, 1997: Breeders' Cup Ltd. announced that supplemental entry fees would be added to the purses of Breeders' Cup Championship Day events.
July 12, 1971: Bold Ruler, sire of 82 stakes winners, including Secretariat, died at Claiborne Farm.
July 13, 1986: Jockey Kent Desormeaux rode his first winner, a three-year-old filly named Miss Tavern, in the fifth race at Evangeline Downs.
July 13, 1996: Cigar tied Citation's record of 16 consecutive victories, winning the Citation Challenge at Arlington International Racecourse.
July 14, 1951: In his last race, Calumet Farm's six-year-old Citation won the Hollywood Gold Cup by four lengths, and became racing's first millionaire horse.
July 14, 1999: Television Games Network (TVG) made its official debut with horse racing programming available to 1.1 million C-band satellite homes though Superstar/Netlink Group, the nation's largest satellite programming provider.
July 15, 1966: Dr. Fager won his first race by seven lengths at Aqueduct racetrack. He was sent off at odds of 10-1.
July 15, 1972: After finishing fourth in his racing debut on July 4, Secretariat won his first race, under jockey Paul Feliciano. The six-length victory occurred at Aqueduct.
July 15, 1987: Jack Van Berg became the first trainer to win 5,000 races when he sent Art's Chandelle, a $10,000 claimer, to victory at Arlington Park.
July 15, 2000: Three-year-old filly Hallowed Dreams kept her record perfect and tied Cigar's and Citation's record of 16 consecutive wins by taking the Dixie Miss Stakes at Louisiana Downs.
July 16, 1998: Breeders' Cup Limited announced that a new $1 million turf race for fillies and mares would be added to Breeders' Cup Championship Day beginning in 1999. The race would be called the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf and would be run at 1 1/4 miles.
July 17, 1975: Jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. notched his 3,000th career victory, aboard Lexington Lark at Hollywood Park.
July 17, 1994: Former jockey Angel Cordero Jr. had his first stakes victory as a trainer when he sent Holy Mountain to win the Lexington Stakes at Belmont Park. Cordero was officiating on behalf of Holy Mountain's regular trainer, Bob Klesaris, who was serving a suspension.
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