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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.

WEDDING OR NOT, WAR EMBLEM TO RACE NEXT IN AUGUST 4 HASKELL

Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner War Emblem will make his first start since his disappointing eighth-place finish in the Belmont Stakes on Sunday, August 4 in the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J. Haskell Day is perennially the premier date on the New Jersey racing calendar.

War Emblem recorded a workout on Tuesday morning at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., going five furlongs in 1:01 3/5. The time and the easy manner of the work pleased Baffert, though the timing of the Haskell may not.

Baffert is scheduled to wed fiancée Jill Moss on August 3, the day before the Haskell, in Coronado, Calif., near San Diego. The wedding will go on as planned, and so will Baffert's professional responsibilities. Shortly after the vows are exchanged, he and the future Mrs. Baffert will board a jet and head East. Baffert says he and Moss picked the August 3 date earlier this year precisely because it was a weekend featuring some top stakes for three-year-olds and, at the time, Baffert had no outstanding three-year-olds under his care. Then in April, one of Baffert's main clients, Prince Ahmed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, purchased War Emblem privately following his win in the Illinois Derby. The rest is racing history. And for Baffert and Moss, a joyous weekend has been made quite a bit more hectic.

CLAUSTROPHOBIC COLT AIMING FOR QUARTER HORSE TRIPLE CROWN

When Zip First suffered his first career loss after four victories, trainer Leon Bard knew there was something amiss with his prized two-year-old colt, and he had a hunch about what it was.

Zip First's sire, First Place Dash, had died at a prematurely young age due to a freak injury sustained in his barn stall. And Bard had noticed that Zip First seemed out of sorts in his enclosed stall at the site of the loss, Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico. So when he returned home to Bryan, Tex. with his horse, Bard installed infared cameras around Zip First's customary stall, which is of the open-air variety. After reviewing the tapes, Bard had his answer. "When he would get up, he wanted to look around," Bard told Greg Boeck in USA Today. "I knew what it was: He couldn't stand to be closed up."

A few weeks later, Bard and Zip First returned to Ruidoso Downs for the Ruidoso Futurity, the first leg of the All-American Triple Crown. This time, though, Bard brought along a portable, open-air stall.

The stall, which cost Bard $1,200, was a wise investment. Zip First, acting like his old self again, sprinted to victory in the Ruidoso Futurity, a race with a total purse of $565,596.

Next up for Zip First is the $635,470 Rainbow Futurity on July 21 at Ruidoso Downs. A victory over his nine opponents in the Rainbow would put Zip First in a position to become just the second Triple Crown winner in history and the first since 1981. The final leg of the Triple Crown is the $2 million All-American Futurity on Labor Day, also at Ruidoso Downs. And this year, for the first time, a Triple Crown winner would receive an additional $4 million bonus for accomplishing the feat.

It all adds up to a lot of incentive to keep your horse in a good frame of mind.

RACING ON THE AIR (all times Eastern)

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 20 Wire to Wire, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN

July 21 Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships; Delaware Handicap, Kent Breeders' Cup Stakes and Delaware Oaks (Delaware Park), Coaching Club American Oaks (Belmont Park); 5:00-6:00 p.m., ESPN2

July 24 Wire to Wire, 2:00-2:30 p.m., ESPN2

RACING TO HISTORY

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.

July 18, 1942: Garden State Park officially opened. A crowd of 31,682 welcomed the return of racing to New Jersey after a 49-year absence.

July 18, 1989: The last Northern Dancer foal to be sold at public auction, later named Northern Park, was purchased by Zenya Yoshida for $2.8 million. In 30 starts over four years in France, Northern Park compiled a 4-7-4 record.

July 18, 1993: Jockey Gary Stevens topped $100 million in purse earnings after winning the seventh race at Hollywood Park aboard Don't Presume (GB).

July 19, 2000: Allen Paulson, owner and breeder of Cigar, died in La Jolla, Calif. after a long battle with cancer. He was 78.

July 20, 1951: Six-year-old Citation, the first Thoroughbred to earn $1 million, was retired.

July 20, 1974: Carl Rosen's Chris Evert trounced Miss Musket by 50 lengths in the world's richest match race, a $350,000 winner-take-all contest at Hollywood Park.

July 20, 1988: John Galbreath, founder of Darby Dan Farm, died at age 90. He was the first person to have owned and bred winners of the Kentucky Derby (Chateaugay and Proud Clarion) and the Epsom Derby (Roberto).

July 21, 1989: Jockey Chris McCarron notched his 5,000th winner, riding I Sure Hope So to victory in the fifth race at Hollywood Park.

July 22, 1999: Dale Baird, the winningest trainer in history, recorded his 8,000th victory at Mountaineer Race Track in Chester, W.V., sending out Midsummer Scene to take the 6th race.

July 23, 1947: Early Edition, Hunter's Sun and Brown Jewel, all offspring of the sire Hunter's Moon IV, finished 1-2-3, respectively, in a race at Hollywood Park

July 23, 1985: A bay colt, Seattle Dancer, son of Nijinsky II and the mare My Charmer, sold to Robert Sangster for $13.1 million-the record price for a Thoroughbred. Seattle Dancer, a half brother to 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, raced five times as a three-year-old to earn less than $150,000 from two wins, one second and one third before he was retired. The previous record for a horse sold at auction was $10.2 million, paid by Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum in 1983 for Snaafi Dancer, who never raced.

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

SATURDAY, JULY 13
Virginia Derby, 3yo, $500,000, 1¼ M (T), Colonial Downs
Princess Rooney Handicap, 3&up (F&M), $400,000, Grade II, 6F, Calder
Smile Sprint Handicap, 3&up, $400,000, 6F, Calder
Azalea Breeders' Cup Stakes, 3yo fillies, $250,000, Grade III, 6F, Calder
Carry Back Stakes, 3yo, $250,000, 6F, Calder
Bowling Green Handicap, 3&up, $150,000, Grade II, 1 3/8M (T), Belmont Park
All Along Breeders' Cup Stakes, 3&up (F&M), $150,000, Grade III, 1 1/8 M (T), Colonial Downs
Toronto Cup Stakes, 3yo, $150,000, 1 1/8 M (T), Woodbine
Long Branch Breeders' Cup Stakes, 3yo, $100,000, Grade III, 1 1/16 M, Monmouth Park
HBPA Handicap, 3&up (F&M), $100,000, 1 M, Ellis Park

SUNDAY, JULY 14
Hollywood Gold Cup, 3&up, $750,000, Grade I, 1¼ M, Hollywood Park
Swaps Stakes, 3yo, $500,000, Grade II, 1 1/8 M, Hollywood Park
A Gleam Handicap, 3&up (F&M), $200,000, Grade II, 7F, Hollywood Park
Lexington Stakes, 3yo, $150,000, Grade III, 1¼ M (T), Belmont Park
Colin Stakes, 2yo, $125,000, 6F, Woodbine
Bob Johnson Memorial, 3&up, $75,000, 1 M, Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie

-30-

 

Racing television schedule

 

 


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