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NTRA THOROUGHBRED NOTEBOOK

Racing on the Air Racing to History Weekend Stakes Races
News and notes from around the Thoroughbred racing world, compiled by NTRA Communications, (212) 907-9280.

STRONG INTERNATIONAL FIELD SET FOR ARLINGTON MILLION

Road To The World Thoroughbred Championships – Powered By Dodge

Eight races, in six Breeders' Cup divisions, from four of America's premier racetracks, including three Grade I events, will be featured this weekend on the "Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships - Powered by Dodge" on ESPN, Saturday, August 16, 5:00-6:30 p.m. (ET) and Sunday, August 17, 5:00-6:00 p.m. (ET).

Highlighting Saturday's telecast is live coverage of three Grade I races: the $1 million Arlington Million and the $700,000 Beverly D. Stakes from Arlington Park near Chicago, and the $750,000 Alabama Stakes from Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The Arlington Million is part of the Breeders' Cup John Deere Turf Division, while the Beverly D. is part of the Filly & Mare Turf and the Alabama is part of the Nextel Distaff. Also airing via same day tape coverage will be the Grade II, $300,000 Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap (Breeders' Cup Classic Division -- Powered by Dodge).

Sunday's show will feature live coverage of the Grade II, $150,000 Best Pal Stakes (Bessemer Trust Juvenile) from Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, just north of San Diego; the Grade II, $150,000 Lake Placid Handicap (Filly & Mare Turf) from Saratoga; and the Grade III, $100,000 Matchmaker Handicap (Filly & Mare Turf) from Monmouth Park in Oceanport, NJ. The Grade III, $150,000 La Jolla Handicap (NetJets Mile), which will be raced Saturday at Del Mar, will be presented on tape.

Heading the field in the Arlington Million, a 1¼-mile turf race for older horses, is the European-based Sulamani (IRE), a winner of multiple Group I outings on other continents, and the recently American-based Storming Home, undefeated in two starts, one a Grade I, in his adopted nation this season, head a field of 13 of the best turf horses in the 21st running of the Grade I Arlington Million.

The field in post position order for the Arlington Million with jockeys and morning line odds is: Sulamani (jockey: D. Flores, morning line odds: 8-5); Vangelis (C. Soumillion, 30-1); Paolini (E. Pedroza, 12-1); Storming Home (G. Stevens, 5-2); Perfect Soul (C. Nakatani, 20-1); Perfect Drift (P. Day, 10-1); Beauchamp Pilot,30-1); Touch of Land (P. Valenzuela,30-1); Kaieteur (R. Douglas, 30-1); The Tin Man (M. Smith, 8-1); Honor in War (J. Valdivia, Jr., 15-1); Tripat (M. Kinane, 30-1); Olden Times (K. Desormeaux, 20-1).

The Beverly D., a mile and three-sixteenths grass race for fillies and mares, is the sister race to the Arlington Million race for fillies & mares, 3&up drew a field of seven turf distaffers, all of international caliber.

The field in post position order for the Beverly D with jockey is: Owsley (R. Douglas); Heat Haze (J. Valdivia, Jr.); Bien Nicole (D. Pettinger); Dublino (K. Desormeaux); Riskaverse (P. Day); Walzerkoenigin (A. Suborics); Dress To Thrill (P. Smullen).

TURFWAY PARK EMPLOYEE SAVES STRICKEN MAN'S LIFE

Turfway Park security guard Bill Howard was going about his daily rounds on July 18 at the Florence, Ky. racetrack when he saw a patron collapse on the facility's first floor.

A Vietnam veteran hired by Turfway Park in 1991, Howard was quick to act. He immediately performed CPR on the man, Marcus Williams, 45, and used the track's portable defibrillator to resuscitate him as paramedics were making their way to the racetrack.

Williams "was revived from a zero heart rate condition," according to Brian Gardner, Turfway Park's Director of Sales and Marketing. "There is no question that without the responsiveness and preparedness of Mr. Howard the patron would not have survived. [Mr. Williams] has since returned to Turfway Park to thank Bill and our staff for quite literally saving his life."

The city of Florence responded to the news by proclaiming August 5, 2003, "Bill Howard Day" in recognition of Howard's life-saving response.

"It was a team effort and I credit my fellow employees and our management staff," Howard said of the proclamation. "Everybody pitched in. Hopefully we'll never have another incident like that, but we're prepared if we do."

Turfway Park purchased the portable defibrillator and began training track employees in its use about one year ago.

GIULIANI TO SPEAK AT 51st ROUND TABLE CONFERENCE IN SARATOGA

Wagering integrity and technology will be spotlighted when The Jockey Club hosts the 51st annual Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing at the Gideon Putnam Hotel and Conference Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. on Sunday, August 17. Former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, Chairman and CEO of Giuliani Partners, will close the second half of the program with remarks focusing on the issue of electronic security.

Giuliani Partners and Ernst & Young were retained last fall by the Wagering Integrity Alliance, which was formed by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) to oversee the racing industry's review of its electronic wagering systems in the wake of the Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick Six incident last Oct. 26.

Preceding Mr. Giuliani will be a series of reports from several members of the Wagering Technology Working Group, including NTRA deputy commissioner Greg Avioli; noted handicapper Jim Quinn, who will discuss the horseplayers' perspective of the technology issue; and California Horse Racing Board chairman Roger Licht, who will provide a regulator's perspective.

CRIST BETS ON, WRITES ABOUT HIMSELF

Steven Crist, chairman and publisher of Daily Racing Form, chronicles his varied adventures in journalism, politics, high finance and, closest to his heart, betting on horses in Betting on Myself: Adventures of a Horseplayer and Publisher (DRF PRESS), which goes on sale tomorrow at major national booksellers, local bookstores, racetrack gift shops and directly through Daily Racing Form at 1-800-306-FORM and www.drf.com. List price is $24.95.

Crist's book, his third (Off-track and The Horse Traders), explores his personal journey from his days at Harvard and his introduction to the world of pari-mutuel wagering, to his tenure as an iconoclastic reporter and horse racing columnist at The New York Times, to launching a new racing newspaper with legendary publisher Robert Maxwell, to living as a professional horseplayer betting $1 million a year and earning the title "King of the Pick Six," to his days advising New York Gov. Mario Cuomo on racing policy, to helping operate New York's Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga racetracks, and, finally, to his bid to buy Daily Racing Form for $40 million in 1998.

Crist will commence a five-month, 20-city book tour in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. on Saturday morning with a book signing at Siro's Restaurant. The Betting on Myself tour also includes scheduled stops in Atlantic City, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Toronto.

IT'S GO BABY GO TIME AT CALDER LATER THIS MONTH

In Thoroughbred racing, two-year-old horses, the youngest eligible racers, are sometimes affectionately referred to as "babies." These youngsters are particularly revered at Calder Race Course in Miami thanks to the track's popular and successful program for 2-year-olds. Horses that have raced at Calder as "babies" and later gone on to become national champions include: Brave Raj, Cherokee Run, Hollywood Wildcat, Holy Bull, Jewel Princess, Not Surprising, Princess Rooney, Smile, Spend A Buck, and Unbridled.

It is fitting, then, that Calder will celebrate its reputation for top-notch 2-year-old racing with a day dedicated entirely to these young upstarts: "Baby Day" on Saturday, Aug. 30. The entire program will offer races exclusively for 2-year-olds, featuring the middle leg of the prestigious Florida Stallion Stakes ($125,000 Affirmed Division and $125,000 Susan's Girl Division); plus sets of overnight stakes for colts and fillies on the main track and on the turf, both sprinting and going long.

Calder will also offer…a wager called the "TRF 2-Year-Old Stakes Pick 3", featuring a division of the Florida Stallion Stakes, the Bassinet Stakes from River Downs, and the Hopeful Stakes from Saratoga. All racetrack commissions from the wager will be donated to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation.

Last but not least, Calder is offering free admission to parents who bring their babies.

PINCAY, SACKATOGA STABLE AND HARRIS TO BE HONORED BY THE NTWA

Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay, Jr., who recently retired from the irons with 9,530 wins in 38 years of race riding is one of three recipients of the National Turf Writers Association awards to be presented October 22 in Pasadena, Calif., three days prior to the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Santa Anita Park. Pincay is to be honored with the Joe Palmer Award for meritorious service to racing.

Sackatoga partnership which owns duel Classic winner (Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes) Funny Cide, will receive the Mr. Fitz Award for typifying the spirit of racing.

Russ Harris, who covered horse racing for the Miami Herald, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the New York Daily News for over 30 years, will be recognized by his peers with the Walter height Award for a lifetime of excellence in turf writing.

The presentations will be made at the organization's annual awards dinner, which will be held on Oct. 22.

RACING ON THE AIR (all times Eastern)

August 14 Wire to Wire, 2:00-2:30 p.m., ESPN2

August 15 Thoroughbred Classics, Presented by the NTRA (Arlington Million); 6:00-6:30 p.m.; ESPN Classic

August 15 Thoroughbred Classics, Presented by the NTRA (Alabama Stakes); 6:30-7:00 p.m.; ESPN Classic

August 16 Wire to Wire, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN

August 16 Thoroughbred Classics, Presented by the NTRA (Alabama Stakes); 8:00-8:30 a.m.; ESPN Classic

August 16 Thoroughbred Classics, Presented by the NTRA (Arlington Million); 8:30-9:00 a.m.; ESPN Classic

August 16 Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships -- Powered by Dodge; Arlington Million and Beverly D. Stakes (Arlington Park), and Alabama Stakes and Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap (Saratoga); 5:00-6:30 p.m., ESPN

August 17 Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships -- Powered by Dodge; Lake Placid Handicap (Saratoga), Matchmaker Handicap (Monmouth Park), and Best Pal Stakes and La Jolla Handicap (Del Mar); 5:00-6:00 p.m., ESPN

August 20 Wire to Wire, 12:30-1:00 p.m., ESPN2

August 22 Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships -- Powered by Dodge; Personal Ensign Handicap (Saratoga); 5:00-6:00 p.m., ESPN2

August 23 Wire to Wire, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN

August 23 Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships -- Powered by Dodge/SportsCenter at Saratoga; Travers Stakes, King's Bishop Stakes and Fourstardave Handicap (Saratoga); 5:00-7:00 p.m., ESPN

August 24 Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships -- Powered by Dodge; Pacific Classic (Del Mar), and Ballerina Handicap (Saratoga); 5:00-6:00 p.m., ESPN

August 24 Seabiscuit -- The Making of the Movie, Presented by Equibase; 7:00-8:00 p.m., ESPN Classic

August 27 Wire to Wire, 2:00-2:30 p.m., ESPN2

RACING TO HISTORY

Aug. 14, 1942: One of racing's oddities occurred at Saratoga Racecourse when Rurales and Joe Burger finished in a dead-heat for first place, giving trainer W.O. Hicks, who saddled both horses, two winners in one race.

Aug. 15, 1972: The 15-race winning streak of England's Brigadier Gerard was ended by John Galbreath's American-bred Roberto, ridden to a three-length victory by Braulio Baeza in the Benson and Hedges Gold Cup at York Racecourse. Brigadier Gerard, who finished second in the Gold Cup, went on to post two more victories before retiring with a record of 18-17-1-0.

Aug. 15, 1987: Kent Desormeaux began his career as a journeyman jockey.

Aug. 15, 2000: Jockey Russell Baze rode three winners at Bay Meadows and surged past Angel Cordero into fifth place on the list of all-time winning riders with 7,059 victories.

Aug. 16, 1930: Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox was beaten by 100-1 shot Jim Dandy in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse.

Aug. 16, 1946: Rockingham Park began to film its races from the vantage of a helicopter, using the equipment as a "mechanical patrol judge."

Aug. 16, 1954: Native Dancer concluded his 22-race career with a victory in the Oneonta Handicap, a non-betting exhibition race at Saratoga Racecourse that he won by nine lengths while carrying 137 pounds. Although he raced only three times in 1954, Native Dancer was subsequently voted Horse of the Year, partly because he had been denied that honor in the previous year, despite having won nine of 10 races, all of them stakes. Tom Fool, 1953 Horse of the Year, had had a perfect 10-for-10 record.

Aug. 16, 1965: John Longden rode his 6,000th winner, riding Prince Scorpion to victory while at Exhibition Park.

Aug. 16, 1972: Secretariat won his first stakes race, the Sanford Stakes, at Saratoga Racecourse. The time for the six-furlong race was 1:10, the fastest time for the distance at Saratoga that year.

Aug. 16, 1976: John Campo swept the top three spots in the Adirondack Stakes with his trainees Harvest Girl, Bonnie Empress and Drama Critic.

Aug. 17, 1918: Samuel D. Riddle purchased the yearling Man o' War for $5,000 in a sale of August Belmont II's bloodstock at Saratoga.

Aug. 17, 1977: Jockey Steve Cauthen rode Affirmed for the first time, winning the Sanford Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse by 2 3/4 lengths.

Aug. 17, 2000: Zippy Chippy, loser of all 86 of his lifetime races, was defeated again, this time by minor-league baseball player Jose Herrera in a 40-yard dash. The race, called the "2000 Red Wings Derby," was held prior to a home game of the International League's Rochester Red Wings.

Aug. 18, 1923: The Jockey Club announced that the owner of Papyrus, winner of the Epsom Derby, had accepted an invitation to compete in an international match race in the U.S., against an American horse. Zev, winner of the 1923 Kentucky Derby, was chosen to represent the U.S. against Papyrus in the race, scheduled for October.

Aug. 18, 1961: Trainer Dale Baird saddled his first winner, New York, at Ellis Park.

Aug. 18, 2002: Sunday Silence, the 1989 Horse of Year who later became a perennial leading sire in Japan, died after suffering a fatal heart attack today at the Shadai Stallion Station on the isle of Hokkaido in Japan.

Aug. 19, 1978: In the conclusion of their 10-race rivalry, Alydar scored his third "success" against Affirmed in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse, when his adversary was disqualified from first place.

Aug. 19, 1990: Jockey Earlie Fires became the eleventh rider in Thoroughbred racing history to register 5,000 victories when he guided Tex's Zing to victory in the ninth race at Arlington International Racecourse. He joined history-making jockeys Bill Shoemaker, Laffit Pincay Jr., Angel Cordero Jr., John Longden, Jorge Velasquez, Larry Snyder, Sandy Hawley, Dave Gall, Carl Gambardella and Chris McCarron.

Aug. 20, 1966: Ogden Phipps' Buckpasser, ridden by Braulio Baeza, became racing's first three-year-old millionaire after he won the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse.

Aug. 20, 2000: Ron Ardoin became the 16th jockey in North America to win 5,000 races when he guided Heart of an Angel to a three-length victory in the seventh race at Louisiana Downs.

Aug. 22, 1972: In preparation for his next start, the Aug. 26 Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse, Secretariat worked a half-mile in :46 2/5.

Aug. 22, 1998: Hall of Fame trainer Woodford Cefis "Woody" Stephens died in Miami Lakes, Fla. He was 84.

Aug. 23, 1956: Carl Gambardella had his first career winner, aboard Rollin Warm, at Hagerstown.

Aug. 23, 1974: Frank Whiteley-trained Ruffian won the Spinaway Stakes by 13 lengths at Saratoga Racecourse, ending her two-year-old season with a 5-for-5 record. Ruffian was subsequently voted champion juvenile filly of 1974.

Aug. 24, 1968: Carrying 134 pounds, Dr. Fager set the then-world record for a mile in the Washington Park Handicap at Arlington Park. The time for his 10-length victory was 1:32 1/5. The previous record was 1:32 3/5, set by three-year-old Buckpasser on June 25, 1966 at Arlington Park.

Aug. 24, 1989: Jockey Larry Snyder won his 6,000th career race, aboard a filly named Speedski, in the first race at Louisiana Downs. Snyder was the sixth rider in history to accomplish that feat.

Aug. 25, 1987: Julie Krone gained her 1,000th career victory, aboard Tiger Higgins in the second race at Monmouth Park.

Aug. 25, 1997: Jockey Pat Day gained his 7,000th career victory aboard Bay Harbor in the second race at Saratoga Racecourse. Day became the fifth rider to reach the 7,000-win plateau.

Aug. 25, 2001: A record Travers Stakes day attendance of 60,486 watched Point Given win the race dubbed the "Midsmummer Derby." The day's total betting handle of $34,529.273 was also a Saratoga record.

Aug. 26, 1953: A syndicate headed by Howard E. Booker of San Francisco, unveiled a proposal for an off-track betting system in New York. Booker's group, planning to use Western Union to compile off-track bets, sought to establish 139 betting offices, to be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Aug. 26, 1972: Secretariat won the Hopeful Stakes by five lengths at Saratoga Racecourse, for his second stakes win in as many tries.

Aug. 27, 1953: The Thoroughbred Racing Associations denounced a plan for off-track betting in New York. John A. Morris, the TRA president, declared: "Although it could mean increased profits for the race tracks, off-course betting would inevitably subordinate racing and bring on an adverse public reaction which would kill a traditionally great sport and an economically significant industry."

WEEKEND STAKES RACES (unrestricted stakes worth $75,000 and up)

FRIDAY AUGUST 15
Estrapade Handicap, 3&up (F&M), $75,000, 1 1/16 M (T), Arlington Park

SATURDAY, AUGUST 16
Arlington Million, 3&up, $1,000,000, Grade I, 1¼ M (T), Arlington Park
Alabama Stakes, 3yo fillies, $750,000, Grade I, 1¼ M, Saratoga
Beverly D. Stakes, 3&up (F&M), $700,000, Grade I, 1 3/16 M (T), Arlington Park
Secretariat Stakes, 3yo, $400,000, Grade I, 1¼ M (T), Arlington Park
Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap, 3&up, $300,000, Grade II, 1¼ M, Saratoga
La Jolla Handicap, 3yo, $150,000, Grade III, 1 1/16M (T), Del Mar
Play the King Stakes, 3&up, $150,000, 7F (T), Woodbine
Anna M. Fisher Debutante, 2yo fillies, $100,000, 7F, Ellis Park
Donald LeVine Memorial Stakes, 3&up, $75,000, 7F, Philadelphia Park
Evangeline Mile Handicap, 3&up, $75,000, 1M, Evangeline Downs
Groomstick Handicap, 3&up, $75,000, 6½ F, Calder

SUNDAY, AUGUST 17
Best Pal Stakes, 2yo, $150,000, Grade II, 6½ F, Del Mar
Pat O'Brien Handicap, 3&up, $150,000, Grade II, 7F, Del Mar
Lake Placid Handicap, 3yo fillies, $150,000, Grade II, 1 1/8 M (T), Saratoga
Matchmaker Handicap, 3&up (F&M), $100,000, Grade III, 1 1/8 M (T), Monmouth Park
James C. Ellis Juvenile, 2yo, $100,000, 7F, Ellis Park

-30-

 

Racing television schedule

 

 


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