NTRA THOROUGHBRED NOTEBOOK
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|News and notes from around the Thoroughbred racing world, compiled
by NTRA Communications, (212) 907-9280.
SEATTLE SLEW’S FINAL FOAL BORN YESTERDAY IN INDIANA
The final offspring of 1977 Triple Crown champion Seattle Slew was born yesterday at Swifty Farms near Seymour, Ind. Seattle Slew died last May 7, 25 years to the day of his Kentucky Derby win, after impregnating just four mares during a breeding season that was curtailed due to Seattle Slew’s failing health.
The foal, a filly, is out of May Day Ninety, a stakes-producing daughter of Alydar. Seattle Slew’s three other foals born this year were also fillies.
ELEVEN TO COMPETE SATURDAY IN YEAR’S FIRST GRADE ONE HANDICAP
Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla. will be the setting for Saturday’s Grade I, $500,000 Donn Handicap for Classic division horses at 1 1/8 miles.
The Donn field will be topped by Starlight Stable’s Harlan’s Holiday, winner of the 2002 Florida Derby, who won his first start of the season at Gulfstream on Feb. 2. The Todd Pletcher-trained colt, installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite, will carry highweight of 120 pounds and break from the extreme outside post position.
"I thought he (Harlan’s Holiday) ran very well here the other day (Feb. 2), and I thought he ran well in the Jockey Club Gold Cup last year, because he was stuck down on the inside in both races," said Pletcher. "But he ran a very nice race over this track the other day and I think he’ll run well in the Donn."
The complete Donn field from the rail out is: Mr. John (jockey: Mark Guidry); Hero’s Tribute (Edgar Prado); Keats (Jorge Chavez); Windsor Castle (Eibar Coa); Saint Verre (Jose Santos); Blue Burner (Jerry Bailey); Free of Love (Pat Day); Puzzlement (Cornelio Velasquez); Request for Parole (Manuel Cruz); Bonus Pack (Earlie Fires) and Harlan’s Holiday (John Velazquez).
FANS TELL TVG "AZERI’S THE ONE"
The fabulous filly Azeri, trainer Bobby Frankel and jockey Mike Smith were among those honored at the third annual TVG Viewers' Choice Awards, sponsored by the Blood-Horse.
TVG Viewers' Choice Awards are given in 20 different categories to recognize the most memorable moments and individuals of the 2002 horseracing season as selected by TVG viewers via an online poll.
The highlight of the evening was the announcement of Azeri as Horse of the Year. Winner of the 2002 Eclipse Award as Horse of the Year, the Laura de Seroux-trained filly capped her season with a win in the Breeders' Cup Distaff. Azeri is expected to make her five-year-old debut on April 5 at Oaklawn Park in the Grade I, $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap, a race that TVG will broadcast live.
The complete list of 2002 TVG Viewers' Choice Awards:
February 22 Wire to Wire, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN
February 25 Wire to Wire, 2:00-2:30 p.m., ESPN2
March 1 Wire to Wire, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN
March 4 Wire to Wire, 2:00-2:30 p.m., ESPN2
Feb. 22, 1969: Barbara Jo Rubin became the first woman jockey to win a parimutuel race in America when she rode Cohesion to victory at Charles Town.
Feb. 23, 1935: Seven-year-old Azucar, a former steeplechaser, won the inaugural Santa Anita Handicap at Santa Anita Park.
Feb. 24, 1947: Acting upon an earlier recommendation by The Jockey Club stewards, the Thoroughbred Racing Associations unanimously approved lip tattoos as a method of identifying Thoroughbred racehorses.
Feb. 24, 1979: Trainer J.C. Williams saddled eight winners in 12 attempts at Waterford Park. Williams also owned seven of those eight winners.
Feb. 25, 1990: The 11th race at Charles Town was declared a no-contest because the starting gate could not be removed from the track after the race had begun. The track announcer warned the jockeys to pull up their mounts, and the track subsequently refunded all wagers on the race.
Feb. 25, 1998: The purse of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff was increased from $1 million to $2 million, effective with that year’s Breeders’ Cup Championship at Churchill Downs.
Feb. 25, 1999: Jockey Robbie Davis got his 3,000 win aboard Inevitably Private in the fourth race at Gulfstream Park.
Feb. 26, 1973: With Secretariat having been named Horse of the Year for 1972 and champion two-year-old, it was announced by Claiborne Farm that the colt had been syndicated for a then-record $6,080,000—equivalent to 32 shares at $190,000 each.
Feb. 27, 1982: Florida apprentice Mary Russ became the first female jockey to win a Grade I stakes in North America when she captured the Widener Handicap aboard Lord Darnley at Hialeah.
Feb. 28, 1957: John Longden became the first jockey in history to reach 5,000 victories.
March 1, 1969: Tuesdee Testa, 27, became the first female jockey to win a race at a major American Thoroughbred track when she won the third race at Santa Anita Park aboard Buz On.
March 1, 1991: Pat Day, 37, became the sixth rider in history whose mounts earned $100 million when he rode Wild Sierra to a second-place finish in the first race at Oaklawn Park.
March 2, 1940: Beaten by a nose in both the 1937 and 1938 Santa Anita Handicaps, Seabiscuit finally won the Big ’Cap in his final race. He retired the then-leading money-winning horse in the world.
March 2, 1966: Kelso, Horse of the Year 1960-64, ran his last race, finishing fourth at Hialeah Park.
March 3, 1966: Ogden Phipps’ Buckpasser won the Flamingo Stakes by a nose, under the guidance of Bill Shoemaker. The colt was such a prohibitive favorite among the field of nine that the race was declared a non-wagering contest and was dubbed "The Chicken Flamingo."
March 3, 1985: Bill Shoemaker became the first jockey in history to win $100 million in purses after he won the Santa Anita Handicap aboard Lord at War (ARG).
March 3, 1993: Russell Baze had his 4,000th career win, with Frank Musso, at Golden Gate Fields.
March 5, 1988: Carl Gambardella had his 5,000th career winner, aboard John’s Goldenapple, at Suffolk Downs.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 23
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