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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.

SATURDAY'S HOPEFUL TO KICK OFF BESSEMER TRUST TWO-YEAR-OLD CHALLENGE

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), in conjunction with Bessemer Trust, will once again offer bonus monies of up to $1.3 million in the Bessemer Trust Two-Year-Old Challenge. The Challenge, which kicks off with Saturday's Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga Race Course (CNBC, 4:00-5:00 p.m. ET), is comprised of eight two-year-old races that lead up to the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile, part of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships to be run on October 26 at Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Ill.

The Bessemer Trust Two-Year-Old Challenge will award $250,000 to the owner of any colt or gelding who wins one of the series' eight designated races plus the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile. If the horse has been sold at public auction, the consignor will receive a $50,000 bonus if he or she is a participant in the NTRA's voluntary 1/4% program. If that horse goes on to win the Kentucky Derby the following year, the owner will earn an additional $1 million Bessemer Trust Super Bonus. Bessemer Trust, a wealth management and investment advisory firm, is the title sponsor of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Division, which encompasses the Two-Year Old Challenge series of races on the "Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships," the NTRA's branding of major races leading up to the Breeders' Cup.

"The Bessemer Trust Two-Year-Old Challenge will showcase North America's finest two-year-olds," said D.G. Van Clief Jr., vice chairman of the NTRA and president of Breeders' Cup. "Thanks to Bessemer Trust's support, fans can again keep close tabs on racing's newest stars along the Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships."

"Bessemer Trust is proud to again be a sponsor of this exciting series," said Frank E. Helsom, president and chief executive officer of Bessemer Trust. "The Bessemer Trust Juvenile Division is a key proving grounds for the sport's most promising competitors. We think it is an ideal stage for promoting awareness of Bessemer Trust and its wealth management capabilities."

The complete series schedule is as follows (all times Eastern):

August 31 Hopeful Stakes (live from Saratoga), 4:00-5:00 p.m., CNBC
September 15 Futurity Stakes (live from Belmont Park) and Del Mar Futurity (taped Sept. 11 from Del Mar), 4:30-5:30 p.m., CNBC
September 28 Arlington-Washington Futurity (same-day tape from Arlington Park), 8:00-9:00 p.m., CNBC
October 5 Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (live from Keeneland), Champagne Stakes (live from Belmont Park) and Norfolk Stakes (live from Santa Anita Park); 5:00-6:00 p.m., CNBC
October 6 Grey Breeders' Cup Stakes (same-day tape from Woodbine), 5:30-7:00 p.m., ESPN2

TEN TO VIE FOR HUGE PAYDAY IN MONDAY'S ALL AMERICAN FUTURITY

Monday at Ruidoso Downs marks the traditional Labor Day running of the $2 million All American Futurity, the richest and most prestigious race on the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) calendar.

This year's 44th renewal (TVG, Fox Sports Net West 2, Fox Sports Rocky Mountain, Fox Sports Arizona; 6:00-7:00 p.m. ET) brings together the ten fastest qualifiers from the 23 qualifying heats staged at Ruidoso on August 15. Among them is First to Flash, winner of the July 21 Rainbow Futurity, which serves as the second leg of the AQHA triple crown for two-year-olds. (The All American is the final leg.)

Also in the field is AB What A Runner, a previously unheralded, Idaho-based filly who shocked the Quarter Horse racing world by setting a track record for the 440-yard distance of her qualifying heat on August 15.

Country music fans, however, may well be rooting for The Down Side, a colt co-owned by recording star Toby Keith, who will be in attendance at the Ruidoso, N.M. track on Monday. The colt was purchased for $47,000 last year, but a victory in the All American would mean a winner's share of a cool million dollars to Keith or the connections of any of the other nine contestants lucky enough to see their horse cross the wire first.

POOL THREE OF BREEDERS' CUP FUTURE BET SET FOR THIS WEEKEND

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) has set the fields for this weekend's Breeders' Cup Future Bet. Races open for wagering this Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday are the Breeders' Cup Classic, the Breeders' Cup Distaff and the Breeders' Cup Sprint. The Future Bet is a special wager that challenges fans to select in advance the winners of Oct. 26 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships races to be held at Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Ill. Wagering opens August 30 at 1:00 p.m. (ET) and closes September 2 at 7:00 p.m. (ET). For wagering purposes in Period Three, the Classic is denoted as Race #7, the Distaff as Race #8 and the Sprint as Race #9. A special internet link will also be established displaying the up-to-the-minute, pari-mutuel odds for all three races at ntra.com.

GodoLphin Racing's Street Cry (IRE) has been listed as the 6-1 morning line favorite in the Classic by oddsmaker Mike Watchmaker of Daily Racing Form. Street Cry, rated No. 1 in the World Thoroughbred Rankings Classic Division, closed at 4-1 when wagering was offered on the Classic in Pool One (July 4-7). Following Street Cry on the morning line is Came Home, winner of Sunday's Pacific Classic, and Medaglia d'Oro, winner of the Travers Stakes. Both three year-olds are listed at 8-1. Azeri leads the Distaff pool, opening at 4-1 odds. A winner of six graded stakes this year, Azeri closed at odds of 5-2 in Period One wagering on the Distaff. Summer Colony, winner of last Friday's Personal Ensign at Saratoga, is the second choice in the Distaff pool at 6-1. The mutuel field is listed next at 10-1. The mutuel field is the favorite for Period Three of the Sprint at odds of 6-1. Listed next as co-second choices at 8-1 are defending Breeders' Cup Sprint champion Squirtle Squirt and multiple stakes winner Orientate. The mutuel field wound up as the Sprint favorite in Period One, closing at 9-2.

"The Classic, Distaff and Sprint are three of the most popular races with our fans, so we wanted to provide them with a second opportunity at these pools." said Ken Kirchner, senior vice president of product development. "While the fields are coming into focus as we approach the fall, there are still some very attractive prices on graded and group stakes winners. Came Home at 62 to 1 in the first pool looks like a tremendous price right now."

NOT YOUR AVERAGE BOBBLEHEAD

Over the last couple of years, bobblehead dolls have becoming a widespread fixture on the collectible landscape. But now there's a bobblehead that's different. It's one of Secretariat, the first ever bobblehead doll depicting a horse.

With the 30th anniversary of Secretariat's Triple Crown sweep set to kick off in 2003, a world premier bobblehead doll of the 1973 Triple Crown winner is being offered exclusively through Secretariat.com and ntra.com. The Secretariat doll marks the first time Big Red's likeness has been incorporated into such a whimsical format. Secretariat's owner, Penny Chenery, worked with the Web site's founder and president, Leonard Lusky, to develop a concept that would catch the spirit of fun associated with the bobblehead phenomenon while honoring racing's greatest champion.

The Secretariat bobblehead is a premium figurine weighing almost 2 pounds and encapsulating the horse's legendary stride into more than 11 inches stretching from nose to tail. He is running free, clad in the fabled blue and white-checked blinkers of Meadow Stable and wearing his familiar 1A saddlecloth. Each doll comes with a hand-numbered certificate of authenticity signed personally by Mrs. Chenery.

Only 1,000 dolls were produced in a limited run and they are now available for $73, a price that reflects the year the legendary Thoroughbred swept the Triple Crown, and allows a portion of the proceeds to benefit the Secretariat Bronze Fund, Mrs. Chenery's ongoing effort to create a life-size statue of the champion at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.

The statue, which is being produced by sculptor Edwin Bogucki, is scheduled to be unveiled in conjunction with the 2003 Triple Crown festivities. It is a sweeping depiction of Secretariat dancing to the Winner's Circle at Churchill Downs on Derby Day in 1973, lead by his longtime groom Eddie Sweat with jockey Ron Turcotte in the saddle.

Mrs. Chenery has been working to raise money for the Secretariat Bronze Fund since 1998, and a majority of the $250,000 that has been raised to date came from the proceeds of the Sotheby's auction featuring her personal collection of Secretariat memorabilia. "We have been grateful for the Horse Park's approval and endorsement as well as the financial support we have received thus far from racing fans," Mrs. Chenery said. "The bobblehead, which is so unique and really a wonderful collectible, should move us closer to our financial target of $400,000 and our ultimate goal of creating a timeless depiction of Secretariat's legacy as a champion racehorse and his enduring ability to inspire racing fans."

RACING ON THE AIR (all times Eastern)

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

September 5 Thoroughbred Classics (Woodward Stakes), 6:00-6:30 p.m., ESPN Classic

September 6 Thoroughbred Classics (Woodward Stakes), 9:30-10:00 a.m., ESPN Classic

September 7 Wire to Wire, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN

September 7 Thoroughbred Classics (Woodward Stakes), 9:30-10:00 a.m., ESPN Classic

September 8 The Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships; Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap and Woodward Stakes (Belmont Park), Irish Champion Stakes (Leopardstown, Ire.), Grosser Preis von Baden (Iffezheim, Ger.); 4:00-5:00 p.m., ESPN2

September 11 Wire to Wire, 2:30-3:00 p.m., ESPN2

RACING TO HISTORY

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.

Sept. 7, 1970: Bill Shoemaker surpassed John Longden's then-record of 6,032 wins when he piloted Dares J to victory at Del Mar and became the world's winningest jockey.

Sept. 8, 1990: Bill Shoemaker scored his first stakes victory as a trainer when he sent a five-year-old mare, Baldomero (IRE), to victory in the Osunitas Handicap at Del Mar.

Sept. 8, 1999: The Emirates Racing Association announced that the 2000 renewal of the Dubai World Cup would be worth $6 million.

Sept. 10, 1999: Churchill Downs Incorporated completed its purchase of Hollywood Park Racetrack and Casino, including approximately 240 acres of land at the site in Inglewood, Calif.

Sept. 11, 1976: In the third race at Latonia, jockey John Oldham and his wife, Suzanne Picou, became the first husband and wife riding team to compete in a parimutuel race together. Oldham finished second aboard Harvey's Hope and Picou rode My Girl Carla to an 11th-place finish.

Sept. 11, 1982: Jockey Earlie Fires had his 3,000th career win, aboard Volga Ace, in the fourth race at Arlington Park.

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

THURSDAY, AUGUST 29
New York Turf Writers Cup Steeplechase, 4&up, $100,000, Grade I, 2 3/8M (Steeplechase), Saratoga

FRIDAY, AUGUST 30
Spinaway Stakes, 2yo fillies, $200,000, Grade I, 7F, Saratoga

SATURDAY, AUGUST 31
Niagara Breeders' Cup Stakes, 3&up, $300,000, 1 M (T), Woodbine
Del Mar Debutante, 2yo fillies, $250,000, Grade I, 7F, Del Mar
Hopeful Stakes, 2yo, $200,000, Grade I, 7F, Saratoga
El Joven Stakes, 2yo, $100,000, 1 M (T), Retama Park
La Senorita Stakes, 2yo fillies, $100,000, 1 M (T), Retama Park
Pepsi Bassinet Stakes, 2yo fillies, $100,000, 6F, River Downs
Denise Rhudy Memorial Stakes, 3yo fillies, $75,000, 1 1/16M, Delaware Park
Top Flight Stakes, 2yo fillies, $75,000, 6F, Arlington Park

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1
Forego Handicap, 3&up, $250,000, Grade I, 6 F, Saratoga
Del Mar Handicap, 3&up, $250,000, Grade II, 1 3/8M (T), Del Mar
Seaway Stakes, 3&up (F&M), $125,000, 7F, Woodbine
Arapahoe Park Handicap, 3&up, $75,000, 1 1/8 M, Arapahoe Park

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 2
Pennsylvania Derby, 3yo, $500,000, Grade III, 1 1/8 M, Philadelphia Park
Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap, 3&up, $250,000, Grade II, 1 M, Del Mar
Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes, $200,000, 1 1/16 M, River Downs
Arlington Matron Handicap, 3&up (F&M), $150,000, Grade III, 1 1/8 M, Arlington Park
Miami Mile Breeders' Cup Handicap, 3&up, $150,000, Grade III, 1 M, Calder
Emerald Downs Breeders' Cup Derby, 3yo, $125,000, 1 1/8 M, Emerald Downs
Saranac Handicap, 3yo, $100,000, Grade III, 1 3/16 M (T), Saratoga
Labor Day Handicap, 3&up, $75,000, 1 M (T), Mountaineer Park
Summer Finale Handicap, 3&up (F&M), $75,000, 1 M (T), Mountaineer Park
Tri-State Handicap, 3&up, $75,000, 1 1/8 M (T), Ellis Park
Prairie Meadows Oaks, 3yo fillies, $75,000, 1 1/16 M, Prairie Meadows
Pennsylvania Oaks, 3yo fillies, $75,000, 1m 70 yds., Philadelphia Park
Steve Van Buren Handicap, 3&up (F&M), $75,000, 7F, Philadelphia Park

-30-

 

Racing television schedule

 

 


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