Chicago Barn to Wire


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.


Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore will celebrate the final day of its 15-week spring meeting this Saturday by taking part in Jockeys Across America Day, a nationwide day of fun during which participating racetracks host special events designed to raise money for the Don MacBeth Memorial Jockey Fund. Many riders also will contribute a portion of their purse money winnings that day to the Fund.

Among the many family-friendly events scheduled for Pimlico on Saturday is a jockey-autograph session and a dunking booth where jockeys and other Pimlico notables will offer themselves up for a drenching to anyone with good aim who is willing to make a donation. The dunking booth is expected to attract particular attention at 2:00 p.m. when Maryland Jockey Club President and Chief Executive Officer Joe De Francis is scheduled to occupy the "wet seat." Area media is expected to be on hand in full force to record the proceedings.

Named after jockey Don MacBeth, who died of cancer in 1987, the Memorial Jockey Fund is an assistance program that has helped more than 1,200 injured and disabled riders.


By equaling the Lone Star Park record of six victories on one program last Tuesday night before a crowd of 30,462, jockey Anthony Lovato not only put his name into the record books, he triggered a $10,000 payout that was split between two charities.

Earlier this year, Bob Sambol, owner of the popular Bob's Steak and Chop House in Dallas, announced that multiple-win days by any rider at Lone Star Park would be met with a contribution by Sambol to both the Jockeys' Guild Disabled Riders Fund and the Mike Modano Foundation. A two-win day is worth $100, split between the charities; a three-win day, $200; a four-win day, $1,000; a five-win day, $2,000; and a six-win day, as Lovato recorded, $10,000.

Had Lovato registered a seventh victory on Tuesday and broken the Lone Star Park mark previously set by Ronald Ardoin on July 17, 1997, the Jockeys' Guild Disabled Riders Fund and the Mike Modano Foundation would have shared $100,000, courtesy of Sambol.


A record 314 horses have been nominated for Claiming Crown 2001, the six-race, $550,000 event being held Saturday, August 4 and hosted for the third consecutive year by Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn., a suburb of Minneapolis.

Truly a national event, the Claiming Crown is expected to attract starters from Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, Pimlico, Philadelphia Park, Calder, Delaware Park, Mountaineer Park, Charles Town, Arlington Park, Churchill Downs, Lone Star Park, Prairie Meadows, Hollywood Park as well as Canterbury Park and several others. Several of the nominees are recent stakes winners at the aforementioned tracks.

Richard Englander, currently the country's leading owner based on races won, captured a pair of Claiming Crown races last year and has nominated 40 runners to this year's renewal. Several of Englander's charges are trained by Scott Lake, the conditioner of more than 200 winners in 2001, tops in the nation. Lake saddled three Claiming Crown winners last August.

The six races that make up Claiming Crown 2001 are for horses that have started at least once during the past year for claiming prices ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. The purses for the six races range from $50,000 to $150,000.

Pre-entry day for Claiming Crown 2001 is Friday, July 20 with the deadline for supplemental nominations set for Tuesday, July 17.

RACING ON THE AIR (all times Eastern)

July 5 Racehorse Digest, 1:00-1:30 p.m., ESPN

July 7 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN

July 7 NTRA 2Day at the Races; Bowling Green Handicap (Belmont Park), Iowa Derby (Prairie Meadows), Hanshin Handicap (Arlington Park), Centaur New Mexico Challenge (Ruidoso Downs), 5:30-6:00 p.m., ESPN2

July 8 Budweiser Irish Derby (The Curragh; Kildare, Ireland), 1:00-2:00 p.m., ESPN

July 11 Racehorse Digest, 1:00-1:30 p.m., ESPN

July 14 NTRA 2Day at the Races; Princess Rooney Handicap, Azalea Breeders' Cup Stakes, Carry Back Stakes, Calder Turf Sprint Handicap, Rocket Man Handicap, Quarter Horse Challenge (Calder), 5:30-6:00 p.m., ESPN2

July 15 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN

July 18 Racehorse Digest, 1:00-1:30 p.m., ESPN


July 5, 1991: Jockey Ray Sibille won his 3,000th career race, aboard Sporting Surf at Pleasanton.

July 6, 1975: Locust Hill Farm's undefeated filly Ruffian engaged Kentucky Derby winner Foolish Pleasure in a match race at Belmont Park. Racing on the lead, Ruffian sustained a severe leg injury and was pulled up by jockey Jacinto Vasquez. The filly was euthanized the following day when efforts to save her proved futile.

July 6, 1977: In the second of their 10 meetings, Alydar defeated Affirmed to win the Great American Stakes at Belmont Park. This was the first of Alydar's three victories over Affirmed.

July 7, 1934: Mary Hirsch became the first female to be licensed as a Thoroughbred trainer, in Illinois. Hirsch subsequently was licensed in Michigan that year and two years later, on April 9, she was licensed by The Jockey Club to train in New York.

July 8, 2000: General Express set a world record when he went five furlongs on the turf in :54.60 in the Decathlon Stakes at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J. General Express eclipsed the mark of :54.97 set by Klassy Briefcase in a Monmouth allowance race on June 8, 1991.

July 10, 1982: Landaluce, a two-year-old daughter of Seattle Slew, won the Hollywood Lassie Stakes by 21 lengths under the guidance of Laffit Pincay Jr. She ran the six furlong race in 1:08, just 3/5 of a second off the track record at Hollywood Park.

July 10, 2000: The National Thoroughbred Racing Association unveiled the "NTRA Two-Year-Old Challenge," a televised racing series and promotional program for 2-year-old Thoroughbred colts and geldings carrying a potential bonus of $1.3 million.

July 11, 1997: Breeders' Cup Ltd. announced that supplemental entry fees would be added to the purses of Breeders' Cup Championship Day events.

July 12, 1971: Bold Ruler, sire of 82 stakes winners, including Secretariat, died at Claiborne Farm.

July 13, 1986: Jockey Kent Desormeaux rode his first winner, a three-year-old filly named Miss Tavern, in the fifth race at Evangeline Downs.

July 13, 1996: Cigar tied Citation's record of 16 consecutive victories, winning the Citation Challenge at Arlington International Racecourse.

July 14, 1951: In his last race, Calumet Farm's six-year-old Citation won the Hollywood Gold Cup by four lengths, and became racing's first millionaire horse.

July 14, 1999: Television Games Network (TVG) made its official debut with horse racing programming available to 1.1 million C-band satellite homes though Superstar/Netlink Group, the nation's largest satellite programming provider.

July 15, 1966: Dr. Fager won his first race by seven lengths at Aqueduct racetrack. He was sent off at odds of 10-1.

July 15, 1972: After finishing fourth in his racing debut on July 4, Secretariat won his first race, under jockey Paul Feliciano. The six-length victory occurred at Aqueduct.

July 15, 1987: Jack Van Berg became the first trainer to win 5,000 races when he sent Art's Chandelle, a $10,000 claimer, to victory at Arlington Park.

July 15, 1999: The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) confirmed that it had completed its purchase of the horseracing assets of Winner Communications via its newly formed subsidiary, NTRA Investments LLC.

July 15, 2000: Three-year-old filly Hallowed Dreams kept her record perfect and tied Cigar's and Citation's record of 16 consecutive wins by taking the Dixie Miss Stakes at Louisiana Downs.

July 16, 1998: Breeders' Cup Limited announced that a new $1 million turf race for fillies and mares would be added to Breeders' Cup Championship Day beginning in 1999. The race would be called the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf and would be run at 1 miles.

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).

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

Iowa Oaks, 3yo fillies, $150,000, 1 1/16 M, Prairie Meadows

Iowa Derby, 3yo, $250,000, 1 1/16 M, Prairie Meadows
Iowa Distaff, 3&up (f&m), $125,000, 1 1/16 M, Prairie Meadows

Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Breeders' Cup Handicap, 3&up, $400,000, Grade III, 1 1/8 M, Prairie Meadows
Bowling Green Handicap, 3&up, $150,000, Grade II, 1 3/8 M (T), Belmont Park
Bel Air Handicap, 3&up, $150,000, Grade II, 1 1/16 M, Hollywood Park
Dance Smartly Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $150,000, Grade III, 1 1/8 M (T), Woodbine
Landaluce Stakes, 2yo fillies, $100,000, Grade III, 6F, Hollywood Park
Royal Heroine Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $100,000, Grade III, 1 M (T), Hollywood Park
Hanshin Handicap, 3&up, $100,000, Grade III, 1 M, Arlington Park
Debutante Stakes, 2yo fillies, $100,000, Grade III, 5 F, Churchill Downs
Reeve Schley Jr. Stakes, 3yo fillies, $100,000, Grade III, 1 1/16 M (T), Monmouth Park
Criterium Stakes, 2yo, $100,000, 5 F, Calder
Lamplighter Handicap, 3yo, $75,000, 1 1/16 M (T), Monmouth Park

Dwyer Stakes, 3yo, $150,000, Grade II, 1 1/16 M, Belmont Park
Caesar Rodney Handicap, 3&up, $150,000, 1 1/16 M (T), Delaware Park
Bashford Manor Stakes, 2yo, $125,000, Grade II, 6F, Churchill Downs




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