NTRA THOROUGHBRED NOTEBOOK
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|News and notes from around the Thoroughbred racing world, compiled
by NTRA Communications, (212) 907-9280.
MARYLAND MILLION SET FOR SATURDAY
A total of 124 offspring of Maryland stallions are entered to race on Saturday in the 10 races of the 17th Maryland Million at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Maryland Million Day trails only Preakness Day in popularity among Maryland racegoers.
The $200,000 Maryland Million Classic has drawn the defending champion Sumerset, who paid $63.60 last year as the longest shot in the field, and nine high profile rivals. Sumerset carries low weight of 112 pounds including jockey Orlando Bocachica. Pimlico oddsmaker Frank Carulli has tabbed Duckhorn the overwhelming 6-5 favorite. The Classic is the 10th race of the day with a scheduled post time of 5:44 p.m. (ET)
Several of the Maryland Million Day winners will undoubtedly stamp themselves as key contenders in this year’s first-ever running of the NTRA Great State Challenge, which will take place on Saturday, December 7 at Sam Houston Race Park in Houston. The Great State Challenge will pit the sport’s top state-bred runners against one another in six races worth a combined $1.65 million.
FUTURE BETTING ON THE BABIES AVAILABLE THIS WEEKEND
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) has set the fields for this weekend’s Breeders’ Cup Future Bet, which features contenders for the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the Long John Silver’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. 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 Friday, Sept. 20 at 1:00 p.m. (ET) and closes Sunday, Sept. 22 at 7:00 p.m. (ET). For wagering purposes in Period Four, the Juvenile is denoted as Race #10 and the Juvenile Fillies as Race #11. A special Internet link to current pari-mutuel odds for the future bet races can be found at ntra.com.
The pari-mutuel fields for both races – at 5-1 and 4-1 odds for the Juvenile and Juvenile Fillies, respectively – are the morning line favorites set by oddsmaker Mike Watchmaker of Daily Racing Form. The shortest-priced horses in the Juvenile include John Oxley’s Sky Mesa at 6-1 and Padua Stables’ Vindication, at 8-1. Sky Mesa, tied for first in the World Thoroughbred Rankings with Elusive City, won the Aug. 31 Hopeful Stakes from Saratoga, part of the Bessemer Trust Two-Year-Old Challenge. Vindication is the winner of Saturday’s Kentucky Cup Juvenile Stakes at Turfway Park.
Following the field in the Juvenile Fillies is Ogden Mills Phipps’ Storm Flag Flying, at odds of 6-1. Storm Flag Flying won Sunday’s Matron Stakes at Belmont Park. Awesome Humor, winner of the Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga, was assigned odds of 8-1.
“Most of the horses in the juvenile divisions have run in only two or three races thus far, so clear favorites have not yet emerged,” said Ken Kirchner, senior vice president of product development. “As a result, these two races offer handicappers some of the best prospects for large payouts.”
Under Breeders’ Cup Future Bet rules, each race offers pari-mutuel 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 Sept. 22, odds for all entries become final. No refunds are made on horses that do not ultimately compete in their designated races.
“FOGEY” TAKES FIVE
Apprentice jockey Ryan Fogelsonger rode half of the winners on Wednesday’s ten race card at Pimlico Race Course. Fogelsonger, who will ride eight horses in Saturday’s Maryland Million, was the victor in race one (Gottodoit---$5.80), race two (Lady Zoom Zoom---$ 6.80), race five (Saucy Kate---$5.40), race nine (Maypole Dance---$ 6.00) and race 10 (Stormin’ Down---$ 6.80).
“When I first started I was making so many mistakes because the mindset is different in the afternoons,” said Fogelsonger, who won his first graded stakes last Saturday. “Finally it started falling into place and I had a great meet at Colonial in the summer and it has continued at Laurel, Timonium and now Pimlico. It has been an amazing roll.”
FREE ONLINE CUP CHALLENGE WORTH $10,000
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge, an Internet- and e-mail-based sweepstakes to promote the Oct. 26 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Arlington Park, has been launched at ntra.com. The promotion offers participants the opportunity to win a guaranteed, $10,000 grand prize for selecting the most correct winners among the eight Breeders' Cup races. Four berths to next January’s Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship will also be awarded through a special “Head2Head” competition that will be contested over a four-week period. More than 50 additional prizes will be awarded to fans at other levels of game success, based on the number of winners they select.
For the “Head2Head” phase of the competition, users will be presented with a series of "Match-up" style wagers, whereby two horses are isolated and matched-up against one another within selected televised races. The competition is intended to educate consumers on the new “Head2Head” wager that will be part of the wagering menu for all eight of this year’s Breeders’ Cup races. For each race, users select which horse they think will finish better than the other in that given race. There will be approximately 20 "Head2Head" races in this phase of the competition, beginning the weekend of Saturday, Sept. 21, and running through Sunday, Oct. 13.
Users accrue points based on their "Head2Head" selections, with one point awarded for each correct selection. The top four finishers at the end of the competition will be sent to Las Vegas to compete against the best handicappers in the country and over $200,000 in prize money in the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship.
Shortly after the Oct. 23 post-position draw for the World Thoroughbred Championships, the "Pick Eight" phase of the contest will begin. Users then must make one win selection in each of the eight Breeders' Cup races by 1:00 p.m. (EDT) on Saturday, October 26. The individual making the most correct selections will receive $10,000, with tiebreakers utilized in the event of a tie.
"The Breeders’ Cup Challenge is designed to engage potential new fans, enrich the Breeders' Cup experience for existing fans, introduce the new Head2Head wager and further build our growing database of horseracing's customers," said Keith Chamblin, the NTRA's senior vice president—marketing and industry relations. "We’re particularly delighted this year to give away a guaranteed cash prize and provide four people with the chance to be crowned Handicapper of the Year.”
KEENELAND SALE MARCHES ON
M & M Racing paid a top price of $120,000 for a colt from the first crop of Menifee during Wednesday’s session of Keeneland’s September Yearling Sale. Menifee won the Haskell Invitational and Toyota Blue Grass Stakes and earned $1.7 million during his racing career. Centerville Stable paid the second highest price of the session, spending $110,000 for a bay colt by Souvenir Copy.
All told, Keeneland sold 286 horses for $6,304,600 during Wednesday’s session, accounting for an average of $22,044 and a median of $15,000. During the corresponding session last year, 259 horses brought $5,164,800, an average of $19,941 and a median of $14,000.
With three days remaining in the 12-day auction, 2,287 horses have been sold for $202,984,100, an average of $88,756 and a median of $42,000. At this point in last year’s sale, 2,136 horses had been purchased for $246,282,500, an average of $115,301 and a median of $45,000. The sale continues through Saturday.
September 21 Wire to Wire, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN
September 22 NTRA 2Day at the Races; Jamaica Handicap and Vosburgh Stakes (Belmont Park) and Kentucky Cup Turf Handicap (Kentucky Downs); 5:30- 6:00 p.m., ESPN2
September 26 Wire to Wire, 2:00-2:30 p.m., ESPN2
September 28 Wire to Wire, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN
September 28 Bessemer Trust Two-Year-Old Challenge; Arlington-Washington Futurity (Arlington Park) and Jockey Club Gold Cup (Belmont Park); 8:00-9:00 p.m., CNBC
September 29 NTRA Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships; Washington Park Handicap and Sea O’ Erin Breeders’ Cup Mile (Arlington Park); Turf Classic Invitational, Jockey Club Gold Cup and Flower Bowl Invitational (Belmont Park); Canadian International and E.P. Taylor Stakes (Woodbine); and Diadem Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Ascot, ENG); 4:30-6:00 p.m., NBC
October 1 Thoroughbred Classics (Spinster Stakes), 5:30-6:00 p.m., ESPN Classic
October 1 Thoroughbred Classics (Breeders’ Cup Distaff), 6:00-6:30 p.m., ESPN Classic
October 2 Wire to Wire, 2:00-2:30 p.m., ESPN2
October 3 Thoroughbred Classics (Spinster Stakes), 5:30-6:00 p.m., ESPN Classic
October 3 Thoroughbred Classics (Breeders’ Cup Distaff), 6:00-6:30 p.m., ESPN Classic
Sept. 19, 1943: Rider Eddie Arcaro returned to racing after a 12-month suspension that resulted from his attempt to injure a fellow rider in the Cowdin Stakes the previous year.
Sept. 19, 1942: Alsab, runner-up in the 1942 Kentucky Derby, beat 3-10 favorite Whirlaway, the 1941 Triple Crown champion, by a nose in a $25,000 match race at Narragansett Park. The match was arranged after Alsab was scratched from the Narragansett Special, a race won by Whirlaway one week earlier. Narragansett's president, James Dooley, offered to contribute the track's share of the mutuel handle, plus breakage, to the Army and Navy Relief Funds, making attendance at the race a patriotic gesture. Alsab and Whirlaway met twice more that year, with Whirlaway winning the Jockey Club Gold Cup on Oct. 3, and Alsab besting him in the New York Handicap on Oct. 10.
Sept. 19, 1997: Chelsea Zupan set an Emerald Downs record by winning seven consecutive races at the Auburn, Wash. oval. Zupan won four on September 18th and three on September 19th. The feat was a national record for consecutive victories by a female rider.
Sept. 20, 1965: Jockey Jorge Velasquez made his American racing debut, riding for owner Fred W. Hooper, at Atlantic City Racecourse. He won with his first mount, aboard Keypoint, in the sixth race, at 8-1 odds.
Sept. 20, 1976: Two-year-old Seattle Slew made his racing debut, winning a six furlong maiden race by five lengths at Belmont Park. His zesty workouts prior to the race made Seattle Slew the 2-1 favorite and he was the public's choice in both his subsequent races that year. After only three starts (including the Champagne Stakes) in the space of 27 days, Seattle Slew was voted champion two-year-old colt for 1976.
Sept. 20, 1980: Before a crowd of 23,000 spectators, four-year-old Spectacular Bid won the Woodward Stakes in the world's richest walkover. To the surprise of trainer Bud Delp and owners Harry, Teresa and Tom Meyerhoff, "Bid" was awarded only $73,300, which was half of the winner's share of the purse, but all that was allowable under the track's rules. There had not been a walkover in a major U.S. stakes race since Coaltown won the Edward Burke Handicap on April 23, 1949.
Sept. 20, 1999: Storm Cat's stud fee was raised from $200,000 to $300,000.
Sept. 20, 2001: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Dubai's Crown Prince and Defense Minister of the United Arab Emirates, donated $5 million to a disaster relief fund, established by Keeneland, to assist those affected by the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11.
Sept. 20, 2001: Leading breeder Harry T. Mangurian, Jr., pledged $1 million to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association-New York Heroes Fund.
Sept. 20, 2001: Penske Auto Centers entered into a marketing agreement with the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup, giving the company entitlement rights to the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint.
Sept. 21, 1938: A hurricane disrupted racing at Rockingham Park, which ended the day's program after the sixth race. Thirteen barns were destroyed during the storm.
Sept. 21, 1940: For the first time in the history of photo finishes a triple dead heat for first place was recorded, at Willow's Park, Victoria, British Columbia.
Sept. 21, 1973: Secretariat had his first workout on a turf course, going a half-mile in :48 3/5 at Belmont Park.
Sept. 22, 1988: Stuart Symington Janney Jr., owner of Ruffian, died at age 81.
Sept. 22, 1996: Larry Ross trained the top four finishers in a seven- horse field for the Washington HBPA Stakes at Emerald Downs.
Sept. 23, 1998: Clay Puett, who invented the electric starting gate more than 60 years ago, died at age 99.
Sept. 23, 2000: The 13-day Keeneland September Sale concluded with gross sales of $291,827,100, topping the previous mark of $233,020,800 set in 1999.
Sept. 23, 2001: The Keeneland September Yearling Sale, interrupted by the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., and conducted during a climate of global economic uncertainty, ended with the second highest gross and average receipts in its history.
Sept. 24, 1943: The Jockey Club announced the creation of The Jockey Club Foundation, which was established to aid indigent members of the racing community.
Sept. 25, 1866: Jerome Park, named for its founder, Leonard W. Jerome, opened in the Bronx, N.Y. The track was a magnet for New York's fashionable society, and the first to attract women in large numbers. Even the racehorses were fashionable, with ribbons of their owners' colors braided into their manes and tails. Jerome, seeking to emulate the British racing system, also established the American Jockey Club, precursor to the present Jockey Club, formed in 1894.
Sept. 25, 1948: Fans at Atlantic City Racecourse filed onto the track after the 3-2 favorite in the fourth race, Even Break, dwelt in the starting gate as the race went off. A total of $71,414 was refunded to the angry crowd of bettors.
Sept. 26, 1942: The Jockey Club stewards revoked Eddie Arcaro’s license for one year after his display of “rough riding” aboard odds-on favorite Occupation in the Cowdin Stakes on Sept. 19. In the Cowdin, Arcaro deliberately drove his horse into another, Breezing Home, knocking his jockey, Vincent Nodarse, into the infield. Nodarse and his mount had crowded Arcaro at the start of the race, almost causing him to be unseated.
Sept. 27, 1894: Aqueduct Racetrack opened its doors. The building was torn down in 1955 and the new Aqueduct was reopened on Sept. 14, 1959.
Sept. 27, 1924: In the second his three specially staged International races, the French colt Epinard was again defeated, this time by a nose to Ladkin, at Aqueduct. A crowd of 40,000 witnessed the race.
Sept. 27, 1947: Armed, then the world’s leading money-winning Thoroughbred, met 1946 Kentucky Derby winner Assault in the first $100,000 winner-take-all match race, held at Belmont Park. Armed earned an easy victory over Assault, who was not in peak racing condition.
Sept. 28, 1960: Forty years after Man o’ War won the Lawrence Realization Stakes by 100 lengths in the record time of 2:40 4/5, Kelso equaled his time in the same event.
Sept. 28, 1983: Atlantic City Racecourse and The Meadowlands became the first U.S. tracks to engage in simulcasting. The previous year, Woodbine and Fort Erie in Canada had been the first to experiment with simulcasting.
Sept. 28, 1996: Jockey Lanfranco “Frankie” Dettori won seven-of-seven races at Ascot, a single-day wins record in England. His win streak was estimated to have cost English bookmakers £30 million and to have caused the closing of as many as 40 bookmaking shops, which suffered heavy losses after paying off winning punters.
Sept. 28, 1996: Jockey Dave Gall had his 7,000th career win, at Fairmount Park aboard A. J. Onray. He was the fourth rider to attain 7,000 wins.
Sept. 29, 1973: With Meadow Stable’s Riva Ridge scratched because of rainy weather, his stablemate Secretariat was left to compete in the 1½-mile Woodward Stakes at Belmont Park. Prove Out, trained by Allen Jerkens, beat the 3-10 favorite Secretariat, who faded after 1½ miles to finish second by 4½ lengths. Another Jerkens trainee, Onion, had defeated Secretariat in the Whitney Stakes on Aug. 4 at Saratoga.
Sept. 30, 1898: Jockey Tod Sloan rode five consecutive winners at England’s Newmarket racecourse.
Sept. 30, 1922: After a six-year hiatus, racing returned to Chicago with the reopening of Hawthorne Park. The popular gelding Exterminator, winner of the 1918 Kentucky Derby and the then-second-leading money winner of all time, made a special appearance, racing solo against the track-record time of 2:04 3/5 for 1¼ miles. He completed the distance in 2:10.
Sept. 30, 1969: Jockey Kathy Kusner won her first career race, at Pocono Downs. Kusner, a former rider with the U.S. Equestrian Team, had sued to obtain a jockey’s license in Maryland in 1968. She won her case but was subsequently sidelined by a broken leg suffered in a training accident.
Sept. 30, 1981: Jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. had his 5,000th career win, aboard Wander in the seventh race at Santa Anita Park.
Sept. 30, 1990: Bill Shoemaker had his first graded stakes win as a trainer when Baldomero (IRE) won the Grade III Golden Harvest Handicap at Louisiana Downs.
Sept. 30, 1995: Jockey Craig Perret, 44, won his 4,000th career victory, at Turfway Park, riding Heloise to victory in the eighth race.
Oct. 2, 1943: Belmont Park hosted “Back the Attack” day in support of the war effort. Admission was by purchase of $25 or $100 war bonds. Approximately $25 million was raised.
Oct. 2, 1981: At age 17, Behavin Jerry, the oldest Thoroughbred in racing competition, set the record for most career starts by a Thoroughbred, 307. Behavin Jerry began his career as a two-year-old in 1966 and raced every year thereafter through 1978. He took two years off, 1979-80, and returned to racing at age 17 in 1981.
Oct. 2, 1995: Jockey Mike Smith won his 3,000th career race, aboard Old Chapel, in the seventh race at Belmont Park.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24
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