NTRA THOROUGHBRED NOTEBOOK
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|News and notes from around the Thoroughbred racing world, compiled
by NTRA Communications, (212) 907-9280.
PINCAY OUT INDEFINITELY, FUTURE UNCERTAIN
Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay Jr., Thoroughbred racing's all-time leading rider with 9,531 victories, will remain out of action for an undetermined period due to a neck injury he suffered in a spill at Santa Anita Park last Saturday.
Pincay's son, Laffit III, said today that his father suffered two fractures to the same bone in his neck (cervical two).
"He'll be released from an undisclosed Los Angeles hospital in the next day or so and will be in a Halo cast for eight weeks. After the application of the Halo, everything is where they [the doctors] want it to be, and my dad is in good spirits. We expect a full recovery, and a decision on his career will be made at a future date."
Pincay, 56, was injured when his mount, Trampus Too, clipped heels with Rainman's Request in Saturday's fifth race, sending Pincay to the ground.
At the time, the injury did not appear to be serious, and Pincay was treated in the track's first aid station and released. He was expected to return to action tomorrow, but when the pain persisted, Pincay agreed to be examined by doctors who discovered the more serious injury.
Pincay is racing's all-time leading jockey with 9,531 wins. He also ranks first all-time at Santa Anita Park with 2,860 wins, and is currently second in the Santa Anita jockey standings with 52 wins.
TOP TWO DERBY CONTENDERS TO SQUARE OFF SUNDAY
Thoroughbred racing is often a game of cat and mouse for the trainers of the nation's best three-year-olds. Successfully getting a horse to Louisville for the Kentucky Derby can mean ducking a confrontation with another top horse too early in the game. It's safe to say, however, that no such ducking will be going on this Sunday. That's when the top two horses in this week's NTRA 3-Year-old Poll, Kafwain and Badge of Silver, will face off in the $750,000 Louisiana Derby at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans (ESPN, 6:00-7:00 p.m. ET).
Kafwain is trained by three-time Kentucky Derby winner Bob Baffert and enters the race off a powerful win in last month's San Vicente Stakes out West at Santa Anita. Surprisingly, the redoubtable Baffert is zero-for-five in his previous Louisiana Derby forays.
The undefeated Badge of Silver took the racing world by storm on Feb. 16 when he utterly dominated the Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds, winning by a whopping ten lengths and improving his lifetime record to three wins in as many starts. He is trained by Ronny Werner, an old friend of Baffert's, dating back to their days of training American Quarter Horses.
"Badge of Silver should be awfully tough over that track," ESPN racing analyst Hank Goldberg told ESPN.com. "I saw his last race, and he was just amazing. He's not going to be easy to beat Sunday."
Kenny Mayne, host of Sunday's ESPN telecast (part of the "CITGO Raicng to the Kentucky Derby" series), leans the other way. "In an emergency, I default to whatever Baffert has," he said. "That's usually a pretty good strategy. But I'm really excited to see Badge of Silver; he's got big numbers and has been awesome. I'm glad to see them head and head now. It's that time of year."
MC CARRON TO BECOME SANTA ANITA GM
Magna Entertainment Corp. (MEC) announced late yesterday that Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron would become Vice President and General Manager of Santa Anita Park, effective March 31.
"Chris is a man of great integrity who has devoted his entire professional life to the sport of thoroughbred racing," said MEC's Chairman, Frank Stronach. "He has had an outstanding career to date. Working with Jack Liebau and the rest of the Santa Anita team I know Chris will continue to make an important contribution to our sport and that he will make a positive contribution to the growth and well being of Santa Anita and MEC."
"Until very recently, I thought I would be spending most of my time in the future on a golf course," said McCarron. "But when Frank approached me about this opportunity, I took a closer look at the Company, at what has been accomplished over the past few years and at what is planned for the future and I told my wife Judy, I want to be a part of it. I love this sport and I want to see it restored as a major sporting attraction in North America and internationally."
GARLAND ELECTED TO NTRA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Bruce H. Garland, senior executive vice president/racing of the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority (NJSEA), has been elected to fill the Mid-Atlantic region Independent racetrack seat on the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Board of Directors, serving out the term of Joseph DeFrancis. Since the Board seat is designated for the elected representative of "independent" racetracks in the Mid-Atlantic region (those not affiliated with large, multi-track operators already represented on the Board), the new election was required under the NTRA By-Laws following completion of the acquisition of the Maryland Jockey Club by Magna Entertainment Corporation.
"The Board and staff appreciate the service and contributions of Joe DeFrancis to the NTRA, particularly in helping the organization through its challenging, formative years," said NTRA Commissioner Tim Smith. "We also welcome Bruce Garland and the NJSEA to the NTRA Board. New Jersey, and the Mid-Atlantic region as a whole, is one of the most important racing jurisdictions in the country and its continued success is vital to the whole industry."
NEW BOOK IS "OFF THE CHARTS"
Daily Racing Form (DRF) has released its newest handicapping book, "Off the Charts: Turning Result Charts into Profitable Selections at the Track," in which author Nick Borg demonstrates how to maximize the usage of chart data to help develop additional handicapping strategies.
In "Off the Charts," available at $14.95, Borg offers sound insight in determining and deciphering both high quality and low quality efforts using pace evaluation from running lines and fractional calls. The popular "key race" theory is raised to a new level in the book, and Borg offers fresh ideas on using trip notes and track bias. In addition, Borg provides a chart "checklist" which ensures that handicappers achieve top results before they incorporate and assess race result charts.
Also included in the book are running-style evaluation, post position and track-bias analysis, understanding pace and its application to charts, maximizing the value of complete charts, and proper utilization of the Winners' Book, contained in DRF's Simulcast Weekly.
"I have always believed that to be successful in wagering on Thoroughbred racing, handicappers need an edge," stated Borg. "I detail how race result charts can uncover valuable edges in several areas."
March 8 Wire to Wire, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN
March 9 CITGO Racing to the Kentucky Derby; Louisiana Derby (Fair Grounds) and El Camino Real Derby (Golden Gate Fields); 6:00-7:00 p.m., ESPN
March 11 Wire to Wire, 2:00-2:30 p.m., ESPN2
March 15 Wire to Wire, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN
March 15 CITGO Racing to the Kentucky Derby; Florida Derby (Gulfstream Park); 4:00-4:30 p.m., ESPN2
March 16 CITGO Racing to the Kentucky Derby; Gotham Stakes (Aqueduct), Tampa Bay Derby (Tampa Bay Downs) and San Felipe Stakes (Santa Anita Park); 4:30-6:00 p.m., ESPN2
March 18 Wire to Wire, 2:00-2:30 p.m., ESPN2
March 6, 1965: Jockey Earlie Fires rode his first winner, Carnation Kid, at Oaklawn Park. By year's end, Fires had amassed nearly $600,000 in purse earnings to earn the title of champion apprentice jockey.
March 6, 1988: Julie Krone became the winningest female jockey in racing history when she won the 1,205th race of her career riding a filly named Squawter in the ninth race at Aqueduct Racetrack.
March 8, 1987: Carrying 126 pounds, Zany Tactics set the world record for six furlongs, 1:06 4/5, at Turf Paradise. On Feb. 21, 1993, his time was equaled by Honor the Hero, also at Turf Paradise.
March 8, 1985: Chris McCarron rode his 4,000th career winner, Hawkley (GB), in the fifth race at Santa Anita Park.
March 9, 1977: Seattle Slew made his three-year-old debut, at Hialeah. He won a seven-furlong race in 1:20 3/5, breaking the track record.
March 10, 1808: Diomed, the winner of the inaugural Epsom Derby in 1780, died in Virginia at age 31. He had been imported to the U.S. 10 years earlier and subsequently became an influential sire.
March 10, 1993: At age 41, jockey Eddie Delahoussaye had his 5,000th career winner, aboard Ackler in the fifth race at Santa Anita Park. He was the 14th rider in North American Thoroughbred racing to reach that plateau.
March 11, 1943: After siring 350 foals that won over $3 million, 26-year-old Man o' War was retired from stud duty.
March 12, 1966: In the last race of his 40-year career, John Longden won the San Juan Capistrano Handicap at Santa Anita Park, aboard George Royal. He retired with a then-record number of victories, 6,032.
March 13, 2000: According to the ESPN Sports Poll, consumer interest in Thoroughbred racing increased by 3.1 percent among people 18 and older during the previous two years.
March 14, 1941: Merrick died at age 38, establishing the longevity record for a Thoroughbred.
March 14, 1973: In his final preparation for the March 17 Bay Shore Stakes, the first race of his three-year-old season, Secretariat worked three furlongs in a blistering :32 3/5.
March 14, 1976: Bill Shoemaker won his 7,000th career victory, aboard Charlie Whittingham-trained Royal Derby II, in the fifth race at Santa Anita Park.
March 14, 1987: Jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. became the first rider in the history of Santa Anita Park to win seven races in a single afternoon. In his only loss of the day, Pincay finished third aboard Bob Back in the eighth race.
March 17, 1973: In his three-year-old debut, Secretariat won the Bay Shore Stakes at Aqueduct by 4½ lengths.
March 17, 2000: Trainer Hubert "Sonny" Hine, trainer of 1998 Horse of the Year Skip Away, passed away after a long illness at age 69.
March 18, 2001: Zippy Chippy beat a Standardbred horse named Paddy's Lady at Freehold Raceway. Because the race was an exhibition, Zippy Chippy officially maintained his record of 89 starts without a victory.
March 19, 1942: The Thoroughbred Racing Associations of the United States was formed, with John C. Clark as president.
March 19, 1949: Jockey Bill Shoemaker rode his first career race, at Golden Gate Fields. He finished fifth, aboard Waxahachie, in an eight-horse field.
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