NTRA THOROUGHBRED NOTEBOOK
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|News and notes from around the Thoroughbred racing world, compiled
by NTRA Communications, (212) 907-9280.
PINCAY RECORDS CAREER VICTORY NUMBER 9,500
Laffit Pincay Jr. reached another milestone in his remarkable riding career yesterday, gaining his 9,500th trip to the winners’ circle aboard Saxony in the fifth race at Santa Anita.
Pincay, who celebrated his 56th birthday on Dec. 29, had gone winless in 15 rides since capturing the first race Saturday on Total Limit, including his first two Wednesday. An hour after winning with Saxony, Pincay started working toward another milestone, winning the seventh race with 35-1 longshot Brocky’s Dream.
"I’ve been trying to win a race every day for the last two weeks," Pincay said after victory No. 9,500, "and it seems like I’ve had a lot of seconds. But today I finally got it."
Pincay has been racing’s winningest rider since Dec. 10, 1999, when he won his 8,834th race, surpassing Bill Shoemaker’s record of 8,833. Pincay’s 9,000th victory came atop Chichim at Santa Anita on Oct. 26, 2000.
RUDY WINS TODAY IN NEW YORK
A three-year-old New York-bred named New York’s Rudy broke his maiden today at Aqueduct. The gelding was named by owner Mary Hauswald shortly after the tragic events of September 11.
XTRA HEAT BOBBLEHEAD GIVEAWAY SET FOR FEBRUARY 17
The Maryland Jockey Club will jump into the bobblehead craze next month when it distributes 4,000 Xtra Heat bobblehead dolls to paying fans attending the February 17th racing program, a card featuring the Grade II General George Handicap.
Purchased at the Timonium spring sale in 2000, Xtra Heat has won 25 races during her 34 race career with earnings of $2.25 million. The daughter of Dixieland Heat earned the Eclipse Award as top three-year old filly in 2001, winning nine of 13 starts, including four graded races and was in the money all 13 times. She gained the national spotlight with two superb efforts against the boys: a gallant second in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (Grade I) and a gutsy third in the Frank J. De Francis Dash (Grade I).
Trainer John Salzman is pointing his most famous charge toward a defense of her 2002 victory in the $200,000 Grade II Barbara Fritchie Handicap, which will be contested on February 15.
Other bobblehead dolls that were given away at racetracks across the country include Seabiscuit, jockeys Laffit Pincay, Jerry Bailey, Chris McCarron, Pat Day and Mario Pino while trainers Bob Baffert and Nick Zito have also been honored.
HANDICAPPING CIRCUIT BEGINS SATURDAY IN NEW HAVEN
A full field of 340 contestants will compete in the seventh annual $102,000 Sports Haven Handicapping Challenge this Saturday and Sunday at Sports Haven in New Haven, Conn. Players from 14 states including California, Illinois, Kentucky and Florida will be vying for the $40,000 first place prize. The top two finishers will win a berth in the Daily Racing Form/National Thoroughbred Racing Association National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas in January 2004. The New Haven event serves as the year’s first opportunity to gain a coveted spot in the DRF/NTRA contest.
A solid field of contenders, including the six previous Sports Haven winners, are planning to compete. They are 2002 winner Stuart "Beef" Rubin, 2001 champ Charles Carito, Ron Butkiewicz (2000), Rick Lang (1999), Bob Weidlich, (1998), and Nick Scasino (1997). Steve Wolfson, Sr. who recently finished fourth after leading the DRF/NTRA championship after the first day, is also expected to compete. His son, Steve, Jr., won the DRF/NTRA tournament earlier this month, earning the $100,000 first place prize and recognition as the nation's best handicapper.
As an added attraction, Daily Racing Form turf writer Noel Michaels will be signing his new "Handicapping Contest Handbook" from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at Sports Haven on Saturday.
February 1 Wire to Wire, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN
February 2 Eclipse Award Special, 2:00-3:00 p.m., ESPN2
February 4 Wire to Wire, 2:00-2:30 p.m., ESPN2
February 8 Wire to Wire, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN
February 11 Wire to Wire, 2:00-2:30 p.m., ESPN2
Jan. 30, 1981: Jockey Julie Krone rode in her first race ever, finishing second by three lengths in a six-furlong sprint for $3,500 maiden claimers at Tampa Bay Downs. Her mount, a 22-1 shot trained by Jerry L. Pace, was named Tiny Star.
Jan. 30, 1992: For the second time in one month, jockey Mike Smith won six races in one day at Aqueduct Racetrack. His first six-winner day at Aqueduct occurred Jan. 13.
Jan. 30, 2001: Tiznow was named 2001 Horse of the Year at the Eclipse Awards in New Orleans.
Jan. 31, 1958: Jockey Bill Shoemaker notched his 3,000th career win, aboard Eternal Pere, in the eighth race at Santa Anita Park.
Feb. 1, 1941: Golden Gate Fields opened for its inaugural race meet. After a five-day "season," the track was forced to close because severe rainstorms washed out the racing surface. The advent of World War II prevented the facility from reopening until Sept. 9, 1947.
Feb. 1, 1999: Owner-breeder and philanthropist Paul Mellon of Rokeby Stable died at his residence in Upperville, Va. He was 91.
Feb. 2, 2001: The Jockey Club announced that gross purses in the United States during 2000 topped $1 billion for the first time, an increase of 7.0 percent compared to 1999 figures.
Feb. 3, 1989: Apprentice jockey Nate Hubbard hung on for second -- literally -- when his horse, Sweetwater Oak, stumbled near the finish line at Golden Gate Fields and flipped the rider out of his saddle. As he tumbled forward, Hubbard grabbed on to the filly's neck and hung in mid-air until the race was over. The track stewards ruled it an official finish because Hubbard's feet never touched the ground and Sweetwater Oak carried her assigned weight throughout the race.
Feb. 3, 1990: Jockey Bill Shoemaker rode his final career race at Santa Anita Park, finishing fourth aboard Patchy Groundfog in 'The Legend's Last Ride.' He retired with 8,833 wins, a world record.
Feb. 4, 1926: Wheatley Stables, formed by Mrs. Henry Carnegie Phipps, recorded its first win ever, with a two-year-old filly named Sturdy Stella.
Feb. 4, 1997: Cigar was named Horse of the Year for the second consecutive year.
Feb. 5, 1997: A six-year-old horse, Isitingood, broke the world record for a mile -- 1:32 1/5 -- set in 1968 by Dr. Fager. Isitingood was timed in 1:32.05 over the Santa Anita Park turf course.
Feb. 7, 1969: Diane Crump became the first woman jockey in America to compete in a parimutuel race when she finished tenth of 12 aboard a 48-1 shot, three-year-old Bridle ’n Bit, in the seventh race at Hialeah Park.
Feb. 7, 1996: A racing oddity occurred at Oaklawn Park when all the winners of seven consecutive races started from the number one post position.
Feb. 7, 1999: Jockey Eddie Delahoussaye picked up his 6,000th career victory aboard Sweetcakesanshakes in the third race at Santa Anita Park. Delahoussaye became the 14th rider in North American racing history to reach the 6,000-win mark.
Feb. 8, 1941: Whirlaway began his three-year-old season with a win in a six furlong allowance race at Hialeah.
Feb. 9, 1894: The Jockey Club was incorporated. As originally conceived, it was to assume the management of racing, previously overseen by the Board of Control. Included in The Jockey Club’s functions were licensing, allotment of racing dates, appointment of officials and the interpretation and enforcement of racing rules.
Feb. 9, 1940: After a year’s absence from competition, seven-year-old Seabiscuit, champion handicap horse of 1937 and 1938, returned to racing at Santa Anita, where he finished third in a handicap race. Seabiscuit ran three more races in 1940, concluding his career with a win in the Santa Anita Handicap.
Feb. 9, 1974: Jockey Chris McCarron rode his first winner, a five-year-old gelding named Erezev, at Bowie Racecourse. By year’s end, McCarron had established a then-record number of winners for a single season: 546. Fifteen years later, on Nov. 30, 1989, jockey Kent Desormeaux eclipsed that mark.
Feb. 10, 1998: Undefeated Two-Year-Old Champion Favorite Trick was named 1997 Horse of the Year.
Feb. 11, 1933: The Jockey Club released data showing that as of 1932, the U.S. had surpassed Great Britain and Ireland in foal production for the first time, to become the world’s leading producer of Thoroughbreds.
Feb. 12, 1981: Julie Krone rode her first career winner, a $3,500 claimer named Lord Farkle, which was owned and trained by Les St. Leon, in the sixth race at Tampa Bay Downs.
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