NTRA THOROUGHBRED NOTEBOOK
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by NTRA Communications, (212) 907-9280.
LOTS OF UPSIDE HERE FOR COUNTRY MUSIC STAR TOBY KEITH
The $2 million All American Futurity, run annually at Ruidoso Downs on Labor Day, is not like most races, and not just because of the purse. To secure a starting berth in the Futurity, you can't just show up, you have to qualify. And that's what more than 230 two-year-old quarter horses attempted to do last Thursday in Ruidoso, N.M.
It makes no difference where you finish in your trial. What counts is how fast you run the 440 yards. Most wound up disappointed on Thursday, but not country music recording star Toby Keith. The Down Side, a horse he owns in partnership, was among the lucky ten to qualify for the Labor Day pot of gold by posting the ninth fastest qualifying time of 21.336.
"He's a nice colt," Keith told Sports Illustrated in this week's issue when asked about The Down Side's chances when the $2 million is up for grabs. "If he has a clean trip, he ought to be tough."
Keith and his partners paid $47,000 for The Down Side at a Ruidoso auction last year. A victory on Labor Day would be worth a cool million dollars to the connections of the winner. That would amount to a lot of long distance calls for the singer, who also stars in several 10-10-220 commercials with Mike Piazza, Terry Bradshaw and others.
Though Keith was on tour during last Thursday's qualifying heats, he has told American Quarter Horse Association officials that he plans to attend the All American Futurity in person a week from next Monday.
WILL HE OR WON'T HE? ONLY WAR EMBLEM'S TRAINER KNOWS FOR SURE
Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem was all set to run in his first race against older horses in this Sunday's $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar (Sunday, ESPN, 5:00 p.m. ET). But then the near black son of Our Emblem uncorked a five-furlong workout in 57 3/5 seconds on Tuesday morning that left his trainer, Bob Baffert, wondering whether the work was too fast that close to raceday.
"We have to see how he's doing," said Baffert. "If he wasn't doing good, I wouldn't run him, but as of now, we're considering running."
Meanwhile out East, another top three-year-old, Medaglia d'Oro, was made a prohibitive 2-5 morning line favorite when entered along with eight others in Saturday's $1 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga (Saturday, ESPN, 5:00 p.m.). Medaglia d'Oro enters the race off a runaway 13-length win in the August 4 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga.
NICE SANDWICH, AND NICE HORSES TOO
When the two-year-old colt To Go made his racing debut with a sharp second-place finish in the second race last Sunday at Saratoga, it meant more than a mere $8,200 runner-up check to owner/breeder Leonard Leveen. It represented the culmination of a four-horse string of names by Leveen that any delicatessen habitué can appreciate.
To Go, you see, has a three-year-old half brother named With Mustard. He has a four-year-old half brother named On Rye. And his five-year-old half brother's name is Ham Sandwich. Put them all together, starting with the oldest, and you've got Ham Sandwich On Rye With Mustard To Go.
There is no indication yet what the next foal out of Dana's Wedding, the dam of all the above mentioned horses, will be named. Perhaps: And Make It Snappy?
TERRY LANNI OF MGM MIRAGE TO DELIVER KEYNOTE AT NTRA ANNUAL MEETING
J. Terrence Lanni, Chairman and CEO of MGM MIRAGE, will be the keynote speaker at the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Annual Meeting, which will be held September 29-October 1, in conjunction with the NTRA's Marketing Summit, at The Mirage in Las Vegas. Lanni's remarks, which will be delivered during lunch on September 30, will cover a variety of marketing topics, including what horseracing can learn from Las Vegas.
Lanni is a longtime owner and breeder of Thoroughbreds and serves on the Board of Directors of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. He was until recently a member of the Board of Directors of Magna Entertainment Corporation, a major owner of racetracks in the U.S. Among the stakes horses he has owned, in whole or in partnership, are Silic, winner of the 1999 Breeders' Cup Mile at Gulfstream Park, Ladies Din, Regal Thunder and Greek Costume.
"Terry Lanni passionately loves our sport, but he has also had to view it with the requisite, clear-eyed realism of a top executive in the gaming industry," said Keith Chamblin, the NTRA's senior vice president-marketing & industry relations. "Terry's unique perspective will make for a fascinating keynote, and we look forward to hearing his thoughts on issues crucial to our industry's future."
August 22 Wire to Wire, 12:00-12:30 p.m., ESPN2
August 22 Thoroughbred Classics (Travers Stakes), 5:30-6:00 p.m., ESPN Classic
August 23 Thoroughbred Classics (Travers Stakes), 9:30-10:00 a.m., ESPN Classic
August 23 Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships; Personal Ensign Handicap (Saratoga); 5:00-6:00 p.m., ESPN
August 24 Thoroughbred Classics (Travers Stakes), 9:30-10:00 a.m., ESPN Classic
August 24 Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships; Travers Stakes and King's Bishop Stakes (Saratoga); 5:00-6:30 p.m., ESPN
August 25 Wire to Wire, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN
August 25 Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships; Pacific Classic (Del Mar) and Ballerina Handicap (Saratoga); 5:00-6:00 p.m., ESPN
August 28 Wire to Wire, 2:30-3:00 p.m., ESPN2
August 31 Wire to Wire, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN
August 31 Bessemer Trust Two-Year-Old Challenge on CNBC, Hopeful Stakes (Saratoga), 4:00-5:00 p.m., CNBC
September 3 Thoroughbred Classics (Woodward Stakes), 6:00-6:30 p.m., ESPN Classic
September 4 Wire to Wire, 2:30-3:00 p.m., ESPN2
Aug. 22, 1972: In preparation for his next start, the Aug. 26 Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse, Secretariat worked a half-mile in :46 2/5.
Aug. 22, 1998: Hall of Fame trainer Woodford Cefis "Woody" Stephens died in Miami Lakes, Fla. He was 84.
Aug. 23, 1956: Carl Gambardella had his first career winner, aboard Rollin Warm, at Hagerstown.
Aug. 23, 1974: Frank Whiteley-trained Ruffian won the Spinaway Stakes by 13 lengths at Saratoga Racecourse, ending her two-year-old season with a 5-for-5 record. Ruffian was subsequently voted champion juvenile filly of 1974.
Aug. 24, 1968: Carrying 134 pounds, Dr. Fager set the then-world record for a mile in the Washington Park Handicap at Arlington Park. The time for his 10-length victory was 1:32 1/5. The previous record was 1:32 3/5, set by three-year-old Buckpasser on June 25, 1966 at Arlington Park.
Aug. 24, 1989: Jockey Larry Snyder won his 6,000th career race, aboard a filly named Speedski, in the first race at Louisiana Downs. Snyder was the sixth rider in history to accomplish that feat.
Aug. 25, 1987: Julie Krone won her 1,000th career victory, aboard Tiger Higgins in the second race at Monmouth Park.
Aug. 25, 1997: Jockey Pat Day gained his 7,000th career victory aboard Bay Harbor in the second race at Saratoga Racecourse. Day became the fifth rider to reach the 7,000-win plateau.
Aug. 25, 2001: A record Travers Stakes day attendance of 60,486 watched Point Given win the race dubbed the "Midsmummer Derby." The day's total betting handle of $34,529.273 was also a Saratoga record.
Aug. 26, 1953: A syndicate headed by Howard E. Booker of San Francisco, unveiled a proposal for an off-track betting system in New York. Booker's group, planning to use Western Union to compile off-track bets, sought to establish 139 betting offices, to be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Aug. 26, 1972: Secretariat won the Hopeful Stakes by five lengths at Saratoga Racecourse, for his second stakes win in as many tries.
Aug. 27, 1953: The Thoroughbred Racing Associations denounced a plan for off-track betting in New York. John A. Morris, the TRA president, declared: "Although it could mean increased profits for the race tracks, off-course betting would inevitably subordinate racing and bring on an adverse public reaction which would kill a traditionally great sport and an economically significant industry."
Aug. 28, 1988: A winning ride aboard Precisionist in the Cabrillo Handicap at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club made Chris McCarron the fifth jockey to surpass $100 million in career earnings.
Aug. 28, 2001: A study commissioned by Churchill Downs showed that this year's renewal of the Kentucky Derby had a $218-million impact on the regional economy.
Aug. 29, 1987: Charlie Whittingham became the first trainer to surpass 500 stakes wins when he sent Ferdinand to victory in the Cabrillo Handicap at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.
Aug. 29, 1993: Laffit Pincay Jr., 46, became the second rider in North American racing history to ride 8,000 winners when he rode El Toreo to victory in the seventh race at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. Bill Shoemaker was the first to hit 8,000, a feat he accomplished in 1981 at age 49.
Aug. 30, 1981: Bill Shoemaker became the first jockey to win a $1 million race when he rode John Henry to a nose victory over The Bart in the inaugural Arlington Million at Arlington Park.
Aug. 31, 1955: In an East versus West showdown, Nashua, ridden by Eddie Arcaro, went wire-to-wire to defeat Swaps, ridden by Bill Shoemaker in a match race at Washington Park. Nashua's victory avenged his second-place finish, behind Swaps, in the 1955 Kentucky Derby.
Aug. 31, 1985: Angel Cordero Jr., 42, became the third rider in history -- behind Bill Shoemaker and Laffit Pincay Jr. -- to have his mounts earn $100 million, while riding at Belmont Park.
Sept. 1, 1881: The Dwyer Brothers' three-year-old Hindoo won his 19th consecutive race, a purse event at Sheepshead Bay. His winning streak was snapped six days later in the September Handicap at Sheepshead, in which he finished third.
Sept. 1, 1924: A French colt, Epinard, headed the field for the first of three Internationals, of progressively longer distances, to be run at Belmont Park, Aqueduct and Latonia. Epinard finished second in the six-furlong race, which was witnessed by the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VIII.
Sept. 1, 1947: With a victory by Armed in the Washington Park Handicap, Calumet Farm became the first stable to surpass $1 million in annual earnings. Calumet led all owners for 1947, with total earnings of $1,402,436.
Sept. 1, 2001: Jockey Tim Moccasin capped a streak of 14 consecutive victories, a North American record, at Marquis Downs in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. His fourteenth straight win came aboard Intricate Stitch in the fifth race.
Sept. 2, 1901: Seven-year-old Ogden won two races in a single day at Coney Island.
Sept. 2, 2001: Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Jones, best known as the conditioner of Citation, died at age 94 after a lengthy illness.
Sept. 3, 1956: Swaps ended his racing career with a victory in the Washington Park Handicap at Washington Park. He was subsequently named Horse of the Year.
Sept. 3, 1956: Jockey John Longden surpassed Sir Gordon Richards' then-record number of wins when he rode Arrogate to victory in the Del Mar Handicap to attain his 4,871st victory.
Sept. 3, 1960: Kelso, ridden for the first time by Eddie Arcaro, won the Jerome Handicap.
Sept. 3, 2001: Jockey John Velazquez became the first jockey in history to ride six winners on a single card at Saratoga Racecourse.
Sept. 3, 2001: For the first time in Saratoga Racecourse history, attendance hit the million mark, with a total of 1,011,669 fans going through the turnstiles during the 36-day meet.
Sept. 4, 1920: Man o' War won the 1 5/8-mile Lawrence Realization Stakes at Belmont Park by 100 lengths, the largest winning margin in modern racing history. His time for the race, 2:40 4/5, shattered the world record by 6 4/5 seconds and was his fifth record-setting performance of that year.
Sept. 4, 1959: Allaire du Pont's two-year-old Kelso won his maiden race by 1 1/4 lengths at Atlantic City. In the following year, Kelso was voted the first of his record five consecutive Horse of the Year titles.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 23
SATURDAY, AUGUST 24
SUNDAY, AUGUST 25
MONDAY, AUGUST 26
THURSDAY, AUGUST 29
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