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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.


A forecast of rain Friday and the possibility of an off track at Hollywood Park on Saturday would be just fine with trainer John Scanlan, whose charge, Toccet, figures as a top contender in the Grade I, $375,000-estimated Hollywood Futurity for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles. The race is the year’s last important test for next year’s Kentucky Derby hopefuls.

"Any chance of rain?" asked Scanlan from his base of operations in Maryland. "He would like that. I'll do a rain dance here."

Toccet drew off to win the Grade III Laurel Futurity by 6½ lengths on a sloppy Laurel surface at 1 1/16 miles on Nov. 16. Toccet also won the Grade I Champagne Stakes at Belmont on Oct. 5 and the Grade II Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct on Nov. 30 to stamp himself the top 2-year-old colt in the East.

A field of five or six is shaping up for the Futurity. Considered probable are Toccet (jockey: Jorge Chavez), Roll Hennessy Roll (Alex Solis), Kafwain (Victor Espinoza) and Coax Kid (Patrick Valenzuela). Considered possible are Ghostzapper, Peace Rules and Hell Cat. All starters will carry 121 pounds.

Kafwain, winner of the Norfolk Stakes at Santa Anita and runner-up in the Oct. 26 $1,000,000 Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile for trainer Bob Baffert, is expected to go off as the favorite in Saturday’s Futurity.


In what is becoming almost routine, Maryland-based apprentice jockey Ryan Fogelsonger rode four winners on Tuesday at Laurel Park. For the 21-year-old rider who is less than a year removed from working in a pizzeria, the four-bagger was his fourth in the last 15 racing days and his sixth since the Laurel fall meet began on October 8 and his fourth in the last 15 racing days.

Fogelsonger not only sits atop the Laurel jockey standings, he leads all apprentice riders nationwide in wins (255), earnings ($4,204,451) and winning percentage (22%). Since July 1, he has won more races than any other rider -- apprentice or journeyman -- in the country (232) and has moved into the top 15 of the national standings.

The hot, young rider hopes that his big rookie year means he will receive an Eclipse Award on January 27 in Beverly Hills, Calif. as the nation’s top apprentice jockey. "I hope to finish out strong the last two weeks and this was a great start," said Fogelsonger after his most recent four-win afternoon. "Hopefully, on the 27th of January, I’ll hear my name announced and get to make a speech."


Laffit Pincay Jr., racing’s winningest rider with more than 9,470 victories to his credit, will be the guest of honor at Miami’s Calder Racecourse on Saturday. The first 7,500 fans through the turnstiles for "Laffit Pincay Jr. Day" will receive a commemorative poster and a bobblehead doll of the amazing athlete who is still going strong despite the fact that he will soon celebrate his 56th birthday.


The first comprehensive catalog of horse behaviors, The Equid Ethogram -- A Practical Field Guide to Horse Behavior, has been officially released by Eclipse Press, the book publishing division of Blood-Horse Publications. Written by world-renowned behaviorist Sue McDonnell, Ph.D., the 384-page book is a reference for researchers, veterinarians, students, and horse owners.

This landmark work organizes horse behavior in six categories: maintenance behavior, general social communication, intermale interaction, reproductive behavior, play, and domestically shaped and aberrant behavior. The specific behaviors in each category are identified, described, and illustrated with original line drawings in a user-friendly format. The Equid Ethogram also contains more than 500 photographs of hundreds of behaviors and provides fascinating insight into how horses behave in their natural environments. It also demonstrates their tremendous ability to conform to the demands of man.

Sue McDonnell, Ph.D., is the founder of the Equine Behavior Program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. She is known internationally for her research-based scientific approach to equine behavior.

The Equid Ethogram retails for $39.95 and is available at ExclusivelyEquine.com or your local bookstore.


Sam Houston Race Park has unveiled to Houstonians this week the successful new video game, "Derby Owners Club -- World Edition" in its main grandstand.

The interactive game was developed by Sega in conjunction with the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. The game has already been introduced in several United States markets and has proven extremely popular at nationally-known entertainment centers including Dave & Buster's and Jillian's.

"Derby Owners Club -- World Edition" allows players to be the breeder, trainer, jockey and owner of a virtual Thoroughbred racehorse. The game features eight personal stations in front of two 50" monitors that display the main action with multiple camera angles. Each individual station contains a control panel and a 19" monitor so players can interact directly with their horse. Once a horse is born, players name it and pick the pattern and color for their jockey's silks. Then it's off to the training farm. Training consists of selecting a training regimen from a menu of 10 exercises. After training, players feed their horse. Then it's off to the racetrack. During the race, players use their whip at strategic times to maximize their horse's performance. Once a horse has run in 20 races, you can opt to retire your horse to the breeding shed. Once a player has foaled and raced his own horse, a small, credit card-style card containing past performance information of the horse is given to the player. In subsequent games, the player can choose to race that horse or breed a new one.

"We look forward to introducing this innovative video game to our patrons," said Bob Bork, president and general manager of Sam Houston Race Park. "It will serve as a new way to build interest in horseracing for racing fans of all ages."

RACING ON THE AIR (all times Eastern)

December 21 Wire to Wire, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN

December 26 Wire to Wire, 12:30-1:00 p.m., ESPN2

December 28 Wire to Wire, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN

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


Dec. 20, 1987: D. Wayne Lukas-trained Tejano became the first juvenile millionaire when he won the Hollywood Futurity with Laffit Pincay Jr. aboard.

Dec. 22, 1991: Jockey Kent Desormeaux, at age 21, won his 2,000th race aboard Saron Lake, trained by Gary Jones, at Hollywood Park. He was the youngest jockey to reach that mark and did so faster than any other rider.

Dec. 23, 1944: James F. Byrnes, Director of War Mobilization and Reconversion, urged that all racing in the United States cease by Jan. 3 as a means of furthering the war effort.

Dec. 25, 1934: Santa Anita Park opened in Arcadia, Calif. A five-year-old mare, Las Palmas, won the inaugural race, the California-Bred Handicap, before a crowd of 30,777.

Dec. 27, 1982: English trainer Michael Dickinson saddled 12 winners, a record.

Dec. 27, 1987: D. Wayne Lukas set a single-season record for stakes wins by a trainer, 92, when he saddled High Brite to win the Palos Verdes Handicap at Santa Anita Park.

Dec. 31, 1966: Ogden Phipps’ Buckpasser, trained by Eddie Neloy, won the 13th consecutive race of his three-year-old season after taking the Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita Park. He was voted Horse of the Year and also took top three-year-old and handicap horse honors for 1966.

Dec. 31, 1982: After a year-long battle for leading rider honors, Pat Day edged Angel Cordero Jr. by two races, which he won after chartering a plane to fly to Vinton, La., where he rode Dana’s Woof Woof and Miltons Magic to victory during the evening program at Delta Downs. Day won the title -- his first -- with 399 wins to Cordero’s 397.

Dec. 31, 1989: Jockey Kent Desormeaux set the world record for most number of wins in a single season, 598, when he rode two-year-old East Royalty, trained by Phil Thomas Jr., to victory in the tenth race, the Inner Harbor Stakes, at Laurel. He surpassed the old record, set by Chris McCarron, by 52.

Jan. 1, 1942: Racing in California was officially canceled. On Dec. 16, the West Coast military authorities had requested that Santa Anita Park postpone its meeting indefinitely due to war conditions.

Jan. 1, 1975: Secretariat was represented by his first Thoroughbred foal, a filly named Miss Secretariat, born in Kentucky to the mare My Card.

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

Delta Princess, 2yo fillies, $100,000, 1M, Delta Downs

Delta Jackpot, 2yo, $500,000, 1M, Delta Downs
Hollywood Futurity, 2yo, $200,000, Grade I, 1 1/16 M, Hollywood Park
Dahlia Handicap, 3&up (F&M), $150,000, Grade II, 1 1/16 M (T), Hollywood Park
Ladies Handicap, 3&up (F&M), $100,000, Grade III, 1¼ M, Aqueduct
Frances A. Genter Stakes, 3yo fillies, $100,000, 7½ F (T), Calder
Pago Hop Stakes, 3yo fillies, $100,000, 1M (T), Fair Grounds
Pete Axthelm Stakes, 3yo, $100,000, 7½ F (T), Calder

F.W. Gaudin Memorial Handicap, 3&up, $75,000, 6F, Fair Grounds

Malibu Stakes, 3yo, $200,000, Grade I, 7F, Santa Anita Park
Gravesend Handicap, 3&up, $100,000, Grade III, 6F, Aqueduct
Christmas Handicap, 3&up, $75,000, 6F, Mountaineer Park



Racing television schedule



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