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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.

ELEVEN STATES TO SQUARE OFF IN TEXAS AT NTRA GREAT STATE CHALLENGE

Horsemen’s associations from 11 states have submitted their selections for starting positions in the first-ever NTRA Great State Challenge presented by John Deere and Fed Ex and to be held on Saturday, December 7 at Sam Houston Race Park in Houston.

The NTRA Great State Challenge is comprised of six races, each worth $275,000. The state whose horses perform best in the six Challenge races will be declared the NTRA Great State Challenge Champion. Post positions for all six NTRA Great State Challenge races will be drawn on Wednesday, December 4 at Houston’s Reliant Stadium, home of the NFL’s Houston Texans.

Among the top names submitted by state organizations and in line for automatic berths to the event are:

GSC CLASSIC: Grey Memo (California), Best of the Rest (Florida), Easyfromthegitgo (Kentucky)

GSC TURF: Forbidden Apple (Florida), Continental Red (California), Mystery Giver (Illinois)

GSC SPRINT: Disturbingthepeace (California), Day Trader (Kentucky), Deer Run (Maryland)

GSC DISTAFF: Take Charge Lady (Kentucky), Two Item Limit, (Illinois), Graceful Cat (Washington)

GSC JUVENILE: Funny Cide (New York), Posse (Kentucky), Only the Best (California)

GSC JUVENILE FILLIES: Humorous Lady (California), Midnight Cry (Kentucky), Parting (Texas)

The races are:

  • NTRA Great State Challenge Juvenile Fillies, 7 furlongs on the dirt for two-year-olds (fillies)
  • NTRA Great State Challenge Juvenile, 7 furlongs on the dirt for two-year-olds
  • NTRA Great State Challenge Sprint, 6 furlongs on the dirt for three-year-olds and older
  • NTRA Great State Challenge Turf, 9 furlongs on the turf for three-year-olds and older
  • NTRA Great State Challenge Distaff, 8.5 furlongs on the dirt for three-year-olds and older (fillies and mares)
  • NTRA Great State Challenge Classic, 9 furlongs on the dirt for three-year-olds and older

ANOTHER OPENING, ANOTHER SHOW

As reported by Bob Roberts in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, a four-year-old colt finished third in the second race last Sunday night at Mountaineer Park in Chester, W. Va. The very next afternoon, that same horse ran at Thistledown in North Randall, Ohio, and again finished third.

The horse’s name? Mr. Match.

BOBBLEHEAD DAY FOR ZITO AT CHURCHILL DOWNS

He’s a native New Yorker, but two-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Nick Zito is very much a celebrity in the state of Kentucky. On Saturday, that popularity will hit a new level when Zito is the subject of 10,000 bobblehead dolls to be given away at Churchill Downs in Louisville.

Zito has said several times over the last few weeks that he considers it an honor to be the subject of a bobblehead doll. "I even asked the powers that be, 'Do you think I'm worthy?," said Zito, who saddled Strike the Gold (1991) and Go for Gin (1994) to win the Kentucky Derby. "It's a great thing and I really appreciate it."

The bobblehead depicts Zito as he arrives at his barn each morning. The figure is clad in a navy jacket and khaki slacks and has a cap bearing an American flag and the familiar "FDNY" logo. "That symbolizes everything that has gone on the past year and a half," said Zito. "I wear this hat a lot."

Zito will participate in a one-hour autograph session from 3-4 p.m. on Saturday in which he'll get a chance to meet many of the fans who have made him an honorary Kentuckian over the past decade. "I think in racing there's no better fan than the Kentuckians," said Zito. "They're instilled with racing when they're kids and they appreciate it that you're out there trying to win."

RACING ON THE AIR (all times Eastern)

November 23 Wire to Wire, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN

November 27 Wire to Wire, 1:30-2:00 p.m., ESPN2

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

December 4 Wire to Wire, 2:00-2:30 p.m., ESPN2

RACING TO HISTORY

Nov. 21, 1971: Secretariat completed his preliminary training at Meadow training center.

Nov. 22, 1990: Jockey Pat Day marked his 5,000th career winner when he rode Screen Prospect to victory in the Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs. Day was the twelfth rider in history to hit 5,000.

Nov. 25, 1997: Officials from Churchill Downs and the Maryland Jockey Club announced a new method for drawing post positions for the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. The traditional blind draw would be held to establish a selection order, then a horse's owner/trainer or authorized agent would choose his preferred post position among those still available.

Nov. 26, 1946: American Air Lines transported six horses from Shannon Airport, Eire, Ireland, to Newark, N.J., completing the first trans-Atlantic flight for Thoroughbreds. The plane arrived in the United States on Nov. 27.

Nov. 26, 1992: Sandy Hawley became the ninth North American rider to win 6,000 races. His record victory came aboard Summer Commander in the second race at Greenwood Racecourse.

Nov. 26, 2001: "Seabiscuit," Laura Hillenbrand's best-selling book about the rags-to-riches story of a 1930s Thoroughbred champion and the colorful people associated with him, was honored with the United Kingdom's prestigious "William Hill Sports Book of the Year" award.

Nov. 28, 1982: The brilliant Landaluce, who won her five lifetime starts by a total of 46½ lengths, died of a viral infection. She was buried in the infield at Hollywood Park, where she had won her first two races. Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Landaluce was later voted champion two-year-old filly of 1982 over another undefeated filly, Princess Rooney.

Nov. 30, 1989: Jockey Kent Desormeaux surpassed Chris McCarron’s 15-year record for most number of victories in a single season when he rode his 547th winner for the year, at Laurel.

Nov. 30, 1997: Jockey Edgar Prado became the fourth jockey in history to ride 500 winners in a single year.

Nov. 30, 2001: Advertising on jockeys' attire, owners' silks, and track saddlecloths became legal at California tracks.

Dec. 1, 1962: Ten thousand fans attended a ceremony at Tropical Park in honor of Carry Back's retirement. By Saggy out of Joppy, Carry Back was known as "the people’s horse." He retired after 55 starts and earnings of more than $1 million.

Dec. 1, 1982: In the first race to feature mother and daughter jockeys, Patti Barton rode against her daughter, Leah, at Latonia. Patti finished fifth aboard Tam's Angel while Leah was tenth on Diane's Ms. Lolly.

Dec. 2, 1936: Fair Grounds, New Orleans, La., licensed its first female trainer, Miss Meryl Eckhardt of Flint, Mich.

Dec. 3, 1997: Jockey Russell Baze became the 12th rider in Thoroughbred racing history to win 6,000 races when he won the fourth race at Golden Gate Fields aboard Clover Hunter.

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

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23
Hollywood Turf Cup Handicap, 3&up, $250,000, Grade I, 1½ M (T), Hollywood Park
Red Smith Handicap, 3&up, $150,000, Grade II, 1 3/8 M (T), Aqueduct
Cardinal Handicap, 3&up (F&M), $150,000, Grade III, 1 1/8 M (T), Churchill Downs
Hollywood Prevue Stakes, 2yo, $125,000, Grade III, 7F, Hollywood Park
Hoosier Juvenile, 2yo, $100,000, 6F, Hoosier Park

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24
Valley Stream Stakes, 2yo fillies, $100,000, Grade III, 6F, Aqueduct
Jean Lafitte, 2yo, $75,000, 7F, Delta Downs

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 26
Sophomore Sprint Championship Stakes, 3yo, $75,000, 6F, Mountaineer Park

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 28
Falls City Handicap, 3&up (F&M), $250,000, Grade II, 1 1/8 M, Churchill Downs Fall Highweight Handicap, 3&up, $100,000, Grade III, 6F, Aqueduct Thanksgiving Handicap, 3&up, $75,000, 6F, Fair Grounds

-30-

 

Racing television schedule

 

 


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