NTRA THOROUGHBRED NOTEBOOK
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by NTRA Communications, (212) 907-9280.
PERFORMANCE VS. PROMISE IN SATURDAY'S FLORIDA DERBY
Trust N Luck looks to be the main speed when he breaks from the rail Saturday in the Grade I, $1 million Florida Derby (ESPN2, 4:00 p.m. ET) from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla. He comes in to the race off a convincing wire-to-wire win in Gulfstream's Fountain of Youth Stakes last month. But Gulfstream's morning line odds maker has installed Trust N Luck as only the 2-1 second choice behind 9-5 favorite Empire Maker, who will break from post six in the field of seven.
The reason for the excitement surrounding Empire Maker stems from the fact that his trainer, Bobby Frankel, has been the hottest conditioner on the planet. Winner of the last three Eclipse Awards as racing's top trainer, Frankel sent out Peace Rules to a 9-1 upset victory in last Sunday's Louisiana Derby in New Orleans. Many thought they had witnessed a new three-year-old star in the Big Easy, but immediately after the race, Frankel assured people that his main horse -- Empire Maker -- was running the following weekend. Empire Maker has only a maiden win to his credit in three starts, and will be outfitted in blinkers for the first time in the Florida Derby.
The complete Florida Derby field from the rail out is: Trust N Luck (jockey: Cornelio Velasquez, morning line odds: 2-1); Supah Blitz (Rosemary Homeister Jr., 8-1); Midway Cat (Jorge Chavez, 5-1); Indy Dancer (John Velazquez, 10-1); Senor Swinger (Edgar Prado, 6-1); Empire Maker (Jerry Bailey, 9-5: and Formal Attire (Eibar Coa, 12-1).
Nineteen Florida Derby contestants have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby, including 1990 Florida Derby victor Unbridled, the sire of Empire Maker.
KRONE SUFFERS BROKEN BACK BUT VOWS SHE'LL RETURN
With racing's winningest rider, Laffit Pincay Jr., already on the sidelines due to a March 1 in which he broke two bones in his neck, Julie Krone became the latest Hall of Fame rider to suffer a serious injury when she suffered fractures of two vertebrae in her lower back following a spill at Santa Anita on March 8. Krone was released from an Arcadia, Calif. hospital on Monday.
"She definitely plans on coming back," said Krone's agent Brian Beach in an interview with the Associated Press. "Her spirits are very good. I would say she's more angry than anything else since she was doing so good. She has a fiery spirit."
Krone, 39, was fifth in the current Santa Anita rider standings at the time of her injury. The sport's winningest rider among women with 3,595 victories, Krone returned to race riding last November after being retired for more than three years.
KENTUCKY DERBY FUTURE WAGERING AVAILABLE THROUGH SUNDAY
Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' 2003 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) opens its four-day run today without a clear-cut favorite.
Atswhatimtalknbout, who will be among the favorites in Sunday's San Felipe (Grade II) at Santa Anita; Peace Rules, the upset winner of last week's Louisiana Derby (GII) at the Fair Grounds; and the mutuel field, which includes all 3-year-old Thoroughbreds other than the 23 individual horses listed in the pool, are listed by Churchill Downs handicapper Mike Battaglia as 10-1 co-favorites in his morning line for Pool 2. But Battaglia says the morning line will mean little in what he believes will be an unpredictable pool that will be shaped by the performances of horses in the weekend's major Kentucky Derby prep races: Saturday's $1 million Florida Derby (GI) at Gulfstream Park, the San Felipe, and Sunday's Tampa Bay Derby (GIII) at Tampa Bay Downs.
"The morning line in this pool is not going to mean much because so many important horses are running this weekend in major Kentucky Derby preps," Battaglia said. "The favorite for this pool will most likely be determined by the results of the races run during the pool - not those which were run prior to it."
Pool 2 of the 2003 Kentucky Derby Future Wager opened at noon today and continues through Sunday, March 16 at 6:30 p.m. ET. The third and final KDFW pool is scheduled for April 3-6. The wager allows racing fans to place wagers on contenders for the Kentucky Derby weeks in advance of the race at odds that may be more attractive than those they would receive on Derby Day. There are no refunds.
The complete list of horses available in this weekend's KDFW are:
1. ARISTOCAT (morning line odds: 30-1)
AS MANY WINS AS CARTER HAS PILLS?
American Quarter Horse jockey G.R. Carter became just the ninth rider in his sport to reach the 2,000 win plateau when he guided Speeding Apollo to victory in the fourth race at Sunland Park on Tuesday.
Horses ridden by Carter have amassed a total of $21.7 million in purse earnings, fourth on the all-time American Quarter Horse Association list.
March 15 Wire to Wire, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN
March 15 NTRA Thoroughbred Classics (Florida Derby), 8:00-8:30 a.m., ESPN Classic
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 22 Wire to Wire, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN
March 22 CITGO Racing to the Kentucky Derby; Lane's End Stakes and Rushaway Stakes (Turfway Park); 4:00-5:00 p.m., ESPN2
March 26 Wire to Wire, 12:00-12:30 p.m., ESPN2
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.
March 20, 1932: Phar Lap, legendary champion racehorse of Australia, won his only start in North America, the Agua Caliente Handicap at Agua Caliente Racecourse in Mexico. His time for the 1¼-mile race was 2:02 4/5, a track record. The six-year-old Phar Lap died one month later and the cause of his death remains a mystery. During his four years of racing in Australia, Phar Lap won 36 of 50 starts.
March 20, 1969: Less than two months after she became the first woman to ride in a parimutuel race in America, Diane Crump rode her first winner at Gulfstream Park.
March 23, 1927: Future Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox was foaled at Claiborne Farm, Paris, Ky.
March 24, 1851: California's first organized race for Thoroughbreds took place at the Pioneer Course in San Francisco. The city's residents added a purse of $250 to the sweepstakes, which was set at $15 each for the three competitors. T. K. Battelle's colt Boston won.
March 24, 1932: Omaha, the only Triple Crown winner to be sired by another Triple Crown winner (Gallant Fox), was foaled at Claiborne Farm, Paris, Ky.
March 24, 1940: Future Triple Crown winner Count Fleet was foaled at Stoner Creek Stud, Paris, Ky.
March 24, 1941: Upset, the only horse ever to defeat Man o' War, died at age 24.
March 24, 1953: A program for nationwide televising of 10 of the richest races being run in New York and Delaware, was announced. NBC and ABC provided network coverage for the Saturday broadcasts, which were scheduled for April 18-June 20.
March 24, 1997: Assicurazioni Generali, the lead underwriter on the congenital infertility insurance on Horse of the Year Cigar, agreed to pay the $25 million claim filed by owners Allen Paulson and Coolmore Stud. Coolmore received $18.75 million and Paulson got $6.25 million, representing the parties' respective 75% and 25% ownership interests.
March 26, 1943: Future Triple Crown winner Assault was foaled at King Ranch, Kingsville, Texas.
March 26, 1966: Jockey Eddie Maple won his first career race, at Ascot Park in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.
March 26, 1992: Henryk de Kwiatkowski purchased Calumet Farm for $17 million at auction. He paid an additional $210,000 for the Calumet name.
FRIDAY, MARCH 14
SATURDAY, MARCH 15
SUNDAY, MARCH 16
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