NTRA THOROUGHBRED NOTEBOOK
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|News and notes from around the Thoroughbred racing world, compiled
by NTRA Communications, (212) 907-9280.
CLAIMING CROWN FIELDS FULL AND COMPETITIVE FOR HORSES AND FANS
The fields are set for the fifth Claiming Crown, which will be held Saturday, July 19 at Canterbury Park, Shakopee, MN, and broadcast nationally on TVG network.
The nation's leading trainer by wins, Scott Lake, will attempt to add to his more than 250 victories with four horses in this year's renewal. The six-time Claiming Crown victor will saddle Wise Talk and Pelican Beach in the $50,000 Express, So Social in the $75,000 Glass Slipper, and Bensalem in the $100,000 Rapid Transit.
Hall of Fame Jockey Julie Krone will have four mounts on the card, including Daunting in the $150,000 Jewel, grade one winner Debonair Joe in the $100,000 Rapid Transit, Image in the $125,000 Emerald, and Lucky Spirit in the $75,000 Glass Slipper.
In the $150,000 Claiming Crown Jewel, morning line favorite Patton's Victory will be ridden by Alex Birzer for trainer Stanley Roberts. The 6-year-old gelding recently ran fourth in the $350,000 Cornhusker Breeders' Cup Handicap (G3) at Prairie Meadows.
Fans may now register for the 2003 Claiming Crown Handicapping Contest at www.ntra.com. The Contest, keyed to the July 19 Claiming Crown Day card challenges handicappers to pick one horse in each of the 11 live races run that day. The four entrants with the highest total pari-mutuel return -- based on a mythical $2 win and place wager on each horse selected -- will receive berths in the $212,000 Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship at Bally’s Las Vegas. The Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship, now in its fifth year, is slated for January 23-24, 2004 and awards a grand prize of $100,000 -- plus the title of "Handicapper of the Year" -- to the winner.
First post is at 1:30 p.m.
NJ WOMAN WINS TRIP TO CALIFORNIA FOR SEABISCUIT PREMIERE AS PART OF NTRA CONTEST
Barbara Young, a 35-year old account clerk from Bridgeton, N.J. won a trip for two to California after her name was selected from a pool of 223,355 entries in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's (NTRA) "Win a Trip to the Seabiscuit Premiere" contest.
Young and a guest will receive round-trip air transportation to Los Angeles, two nights' hotel accommodations in Beverly Hills, and tickets to the July 25 premiere of Seabiscuit at Mann's Village in Westwood, Calif. The contest was open from May 8-July 6 at ntra.com and at the following NTRA-member racetracks: Belmont Park, Calder Race Course, Canterbury Park, Del Mar, Emerald Downs, Hollywood Park, Keeneland, Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, Remington Park, Sam Houston Race Park, Suffolk Downs, Thistledown and Woodbine.
"I can't wait. I've never even been to the West coast," said Young. "I've seen commercials for Seabiscuit and hope it's as great as it sounds." Young, who entered the contest while surfing the Internet, watches horseracing on television occasionally but has never been to the races. She says, however, that the hoopla surrounding her victory may well prompt her to pay a visit to Delaware Park, the closest racetrack to her home in Southern New Jersey.
"We are delighted with the overwhelming response to this contest," said Keith Chamblin, senior vice president of marketing and industry relations for the NTRA. "We look forward to hosting Barbara Young in California during this very special and memorable event."
JULY 19 DECLARED SEABISCUIT DAY IN BLUE GRASS
The Commonwealth of Kentucky and the cities of Lexington and Louisville have officially declared Saturday, July 19 Seabiscuit Day: the same date that the movie about the great racehorse premieres in those two cities. The Lexington premiere will be held at the historic Kentucky Theatre in downtown Lexington and the Louisville premiere will be held at The Palace Theater.
Seabiscuit is an epic drama based on the best-selling book by Laura Hillenbrand. Set during the Great Depression, it is the story of three men -- a jockey (Tobey Maguire), a trainer (Chris Cooper), a businessman (Jeff Bridges) -- and the down-and-out racehorse that took them and the entire nation on the ride of a lifetime.
"Kentucky played a pivotal role in the life of Seabiscuit," said Gov. Paul Patton. "Seabiscuit was born and bred in Central Kentucky. Now, more than 60 years later, our state and its signature industry are playing a pivotal role in bringing the Seabiscuit story to the big screen. We’re honored to be a part of it."
SANTOS WINS 2003 ESPY
Jose Santos was the recipient for this year’s ESPY Award for best jockey at the 11th annual awards ceremony sponsored by ESPN at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles last evening.
Santos defeated fellow nominees Jerry Bailey, Mike Smith, and John Velazquez in fan voting on ESPN.com. The former Eclipse Award winner guided the New York-bred gelding Funny Cide to victories in this year’s running of the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1).
Santos also piloted Volponi to his upset triumph in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) last October 26 at Arlington Park.
Santos became the eighth different jockey to win the award, following Victor Espinoza (2002), Kent Desormeaux (1999 and ‘01), Chris Antley (‘00), Gary Stevens (‘98), Jerry Bailey (‘96-‘97), Chris McCarron (‘95), and Smith (‘94).
NACK TO SPEAK AT HALL OF FAME CEREMONY
Bill Nack, six time winner of the Eclipse Award for outstanding newspaper writing, will be the featured speaker at the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in Saratoga Springs, NY, on Monday, August 4th.
Nack began his turf writing career at Newsday on Long Island and moved to Sports Illustrated, where he covered Thoroughbred racing for 23 years. While Nack recently retired from Sports Illustrated, he continues to contribute to the magazine as well as GQ and other publications. Nack is also well known for writing the critically acclaimed biography of Secretariat: "Secretariat, The Making of a Champion." He recently released "My Turf," a compilation of his finest writing.
Nack will speak at the Hall of Fame ceremonies, where Thoroughbred champions Dance Smartly and Precisionist, trainer Hubert "Sonny" Hine, and jockey Mike Smith will be inducted. The ceremony, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion, located in Saratoga Springs, is free and open to the public.
July 19 Wire to Wire, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN
July 20 Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships – Powered by Dodge; Delaware Handicap and Kent Breeders’ Cup Handicap (Delaware Park), American Derby (Arlington Park); 5:00-6:00 p.m., ESPN2
July 20 Seabiscuit -- The Making of the Movie, Presented by Equibase; 7:00-8:00 p.m., ESPN Classic
July 21 Seabiscuit -- The Making of the Movie, Presented by Equibase; 2:00-3:00 a.m., ESPN Classic
July 22 Wire to Wire, 2:00-2:30 p.m., ESPN2
July 25 Seabiscuit -- The Making of the Movie, Presented by Equibase; 7:00-8:00 p.m., ESPN Classic
July 26 Seabiscuit -- The Making of the Movie, Presented by Equibase; 2:00-3:00 a.m., ESPN Classic
July 26 Seabiscuit -- The Making of the Movie, Presented by Equibase; 5:00-6:00 a.m., ESPN Classic
July 26 Wire to Wire, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN
July 26 Seabiscuit -- The Making of the Movie, Presented by Equibase; 9:00-10:00 a.m., ESPN Classic
July 26 Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships – Powered by Dodge; Test Stakes and Diana Handicap (Saratoga), King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes (Ascot, ENG); 5:00-6:00 p.m., ESPN
July 29 Wire to Wire, 2:00-2:30 p.m., ESPN2
July 17, 1975: Jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. notched his 3,000th career victory, aboard Lexington Lark at Hollywood Park.
July 17, 1994: Former jockey Angel Cordero Jr. had his first stakes victory as a trainer when he sent Holy Mountain to win the Lexington Stakes at Belmont Park. Cordero was officiating on behalf of Holy Mountain’s regular trainer, Bob Klesaris, who was serving a suspension.
July 18, 1942: Garden State Park officially opened. A crowd of 31,682 welcomed the return of racing to New Jersey after a 49-year absence.
July 18, 1989: The last Northern Dancer foal to be sold at public auction, later named Northern Park, was purchased by Zenya Yoshida for $2.8 million. In 30 starts over four years in France, Northern Park compiled a 4-7-4 record.
July 18, 1993: Jockey Gary Stevens topped $100 million in purse earnings after winning the seventh race at Hollywood Park aboard Don’t Presume (GB).
July 19, 2000: Allen Paulson, owner and breeder of Cigar, died in La Jolla, Calif. after a long battle with cancer. He was 78.
July 20, 1951: Six-year-old Citation, the first Thoroughbred to earn $1 million, was retired.
July 20, 1974: Carl Rosen’s Chris Evert trounced Miss Musket by 50 lengths in the world’s richest match race, a $350,000 winner-take-all contest at Hollywood Park.
July 20, 1988: John Galbreath, founder of Darby Dan Farm, died at age 90. He was the first person to have owned and bred winners of the Kentucky Derby (Chateaugay and Proud Clarion) and the Epsom Derby (Roberto).
July 21, 1989: Jockey Chris McCarron notched his 5,000th winner, riding I Sure Hope So to victory in the fifth race at Hollywood Park.
July 22, 1999: Dale Baird, the winningest trainer in history, recorded his 8,000th victory at Mountaineer Race Track in Chester, W.V., sending out Midsummer Scene to take the 6th race.
July 23, 1947: Early Edition, Hunter’s Sun and Brown Jewel, all offspring of the sire Hunter’s Moon IV, finished 1-2-3, respectively, in a race at Hollywood Park
July 23, 1985: A bay colt, Seattle Dancer, son of Nijinsky II and the mare My Charmer, sold to Robert Sangster for $13.1 million -- the record price for a Thoroughbred. Seattle Dancer, a half brother to 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, raced five times as a three-year-old to earn less than $150,000 from two wins, one second and one third before he was retired. The previous record for a horse sold at auction was $10.2 million, paid by Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum in 1983 for Snaafi Dancer, who never raced.
July 26, 1962: Jockey Angel Cordero Jr. rode his first winner in the U.S., Counterate, at Aqueduct Racetrack.
July 26, 1973: The New York Racing Association and the Philip Morris Corporation announced the inaugural Marlboro Cup, a race to feature Secretariat and his stablemate, Riva Ridge, that would be run Sept. 15 at Belmont Park.
July 27, 1973: In preparation for the Aug. 4 Whitney Stakes, Secretariat worked a mile at Saratoga Racecourse in 1:34 over a muddy track. His workout time was 4/5 of a second lower than the 55-year-old track record for the distance. He galloped out another eighth of a mile for a final time of 1:47 4/5, which was 2/5 of a second lower than the track record.
July 28, 1951: Citation, then the world’s leading money-winning Thoroughbred, was paraded before a crowd of 28,000 at Arlington Park in his last public appearance at a track before being retired to stud.
July 28, 1987: Jockey Angel Cordero Jr. won his 6,000th victory in the Colleen Stakes at Monmouth Park aboard Lost Kitty. He was the fourth rider in racing history to accomplish that feat.
July 29, 1953: Jockey Walter Blum rode his first career winner at Saratoga Racecourse.
July 29, 1972: In preparation for a July 31 race at Saratoga, Secretariat went three furlongs in :35.
July 29, 1973: Jockey Pat Day rode his first career winner, Forblunged, in a $2,000 claiming race at Prescott Downs, Prescott, Ariz. His mount earned $347; the winner’s share of the $631 purse.
July 29, 1995: Jockey Russell Baze won his 5,000th career victory, aboard Cyrus Says, in the sixth race at Sonoma County Fair. He was the 15th rider to reach that plateau.
July 30, 1870: Monmouth Park opened with a five day race meet.
SATURDAY, JULY 19
SUNDAY, JULY 20
WEDNESDAY, JULY 23
THURSDAY, JULY 24
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