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NTRA THOROUGHBRED NOTEBOOK

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News and notes from around the Thoroughbred racing world, compiled by NTRA Communications, (212) 907-9280.

BREEDERS' CUP BOARD OF DIRECTORS APPROVES GOVERNANCE CHANGES

Breeders' Cup Limited today announced it has received Board approval for proposed changes to the system used to elect members of the Breeders' Cup Board, which will provide nominators a greater opportunity to participate in the organization's governance. The by-laws governing the corporation will be amended to reflect a new voting system through which Breeders' Cup foal and stallion nominators will be eligible to participate in the selection of nominees for the Board of Directors and their election.

Under the new program, current foal and stallion nominators will be eligible to vote on a weighted basis. A $500 foal nomination fee or each $500 increment of a stallion nomination fee equate to a single vote. A nominator paying $5,000 in stallion fees, for example, would be eligible to cast 10 votes, similarly to a corporate shareholder with 10 shares of stock.

The Board will have 39 at-large directors, divided into three categories of 13. Each class of representatives will be elected to a three-year term. Eligibility to stand for election as a member of the Board will be open to any breeder in good standing with the support of at least 50 votes, with detailed procedures to be developed by this fall. The first election by Breeders' Cup nominators will take place next July for the director class of July 2005. Certain ex officio directors will be retained, bringing the Board of Directors to an anticipated total of 48.

Breeders' Cup management agreed to seek Board approval for the change several months ago during the course of negotiations in which Thoroughbred owner/breeder and Magna Entertainment Corp. Chairman Frank Stronach committed to a two-year renewal of his racetracks' membership in the NTRA. The NTRA and Breeders' Cup began joint operations effective January 1 of this year. Mr. Stronach became an NTRA Board Member in 2001.

"This development not only enfranchises our Breeders' Cup nominators, who provide crucial financial support to the Breeders' Cup each year, but also enhances the role of owners and breeders in shaping the organization's future," said D.G. Van Clief Jr., Breeders' Cup president and NTRA vice chairman.

"I am very pleased that the Breeders' Cup has so quickly acted on my suggestions for realigning its Board election procedures," said Frank Stronach. "This system is based on widely practiced shareholder voting procedures and positions our sport for greater unity and further progress."

SARATOGA WILL BE FIRST NYRA MEET TO ENJOY LOWER TAKEOUT

New York State Governor George Pataki has signed into law a bill that will dramatically lower the pari-mutuel takeout when the New York Racing Association shifts to its historic summer locale, Saratoga Race Course, for its 36-day Thoroughbred racing meet from Wednesday, July 25th through Labor Day, Monday, September 3rd. The takeout is the percentage of each dollar wagered that is withheld by the association for purses, taxes and expenses, and the reduced takeout will also be in effect at Belmont Park and Aqueduct, beginning July 25th. NYRA's new takeout on win, place and show, exactas, doubles and quinellas are the lowest in the country.

"This is an important and happy day for New York racing fans, and we are elated that Saratoga will be the first race meet to enjoy the benefits of the lower takeout," said NYRA Chairman and CEO Barry K. Schwartz. "It only makes sense to help out the bettor who has long supported the game by giving him more in return. In essence, New York racing fans will be getting a raise. We are grateful to Governor Pataki for understanding how important signing this bill is to the entire racing industry."

The original bill (S05502), sponsored by Troy native Sen. William J. Larkin Jr. (R-New Windsor; 39th District), provides that on or after July 25, 2001, the takeout may be reduced from 15% to 14% on straight bets (win, place and show), from 20% to 17.5% on multiple bets (exactas, doubles, quinellas) and from 25% to 20% on Pick Six on non-carryover days. The original bill only provides the reduction for a non-profit racing association.

MORE THAN A MILLION WITH A SHOT AT A MILLION

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) has announced that 1.23 million Mystery Mutuel Vouchers worth $4.3 million -- including a $1 million grand prize -- have been mailed to consumers in its first mystery voucher promotion for 2001. The vouchers are redeemable for cash on July 28 at participating racetracks and OTBs. A second Mystery Mutuel Voucher promotion is slated for Nov. 23.

Mystery Mutuel Vouchers are coded tickets worth from $2 to $1 million that are distributed in local markets via direct mail, accompanied by customized brochures. Last year, more than $3.7 million worth of vouchers were circulated, though no one cashed the $1 million voucher, resulting in double-digit increases in pari-mutuel handle at most participating sites and attendance increases of up to 524 percent compared to the same weekend date from the prior year. The redemption rate for the vouchers was 7.7 percent, more than double the national average for similar programs. The 23 participating sites are: Aqueduct, Arlington Park, Calder Racecourse, Canterbury Park Racetrack & Card Club, Colonial Downs, Connecticut OTB, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Emerald Downs, Fair Meadows, Fairplex, Hollywood Park, Hoosier Park, Keeneland Racecourse, Laurel Park, Los Alamitos, Mountaineer Park, Pimlico Racecourse, Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino, Ruidoso Downs Racetrack and Casino, Sam Houston Race Park, Santa Anita Park, Santa Rosa/Sonoma County Fair and Saratoga Racecourse.

To boost on-track attendance, the Mystery Mutuel Voucher redemption coincides with major stakes, including the Whitney Handicap at Saratoga, the final race in the "NTRA Champions on CBS" racing series; the Arlington Handicap from Arlington Park and the Eddie Read Handicap from Del Mar.

"In sheer numbers, this year's promotion is already bigger than last year's," said Keith Chamblin, NTRA vice president-industry relations and marketing. "We also anticipate excellent turnout at the participating tracks, with fans now familiar with the promotion and how it works."

GUIDED TOUR FAVORED IN $400,000 WASHINGTON PARK HANDICAP

Morton Fink's Guided Tour, upset winner of the $831,000 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs in his last start, will likely be a heavy favorite when he faces four foes in the $400,000 Washington Park Handicap Saturday at Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Ill.

The Washington Park Handicap, a Grade II race for 3-year-olds and upward, received a $150,000 purse hike for its 2001 renewal and has been increased in length to America's classic distance of a mile and a quarter. Since its 1926 inaugural, the Washington Park has been an important stop for top handicap horses and has been won by such cracks Equifox, Armed, Coaltown, Round Table, Dr. Fager, Spectacular Bid and Black Tie Affair.

A son of Hansel, Guided Tour posted a half-length upset over Grade I Dubai World Cup champion Captain Steve in the Stephen Foster on June 16. In that mile and an eighth, Grade II race, the 5-year-old gelding raced on the inside early before angling out four wide in the stretch to overtake that rival at the sixteenth pole for the victory.

It was the second score of the year for the Niall O'Callaghan trainee who previously captured the Grade II San Antonio Handicap at Santa Anita Park in February. In between those races, he ran fifth in the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap, finished second in the Grade III National Jockey Club Handicap at Sportsman's Park and was third in the Grade II Hawthorne Gold Cup. Assigned starting high weight of 116 pounds by racing secretary David Bailey, Guided Tour will have the services of his regular rider, Larry Melancon.

Slated to face Guided Tour are: Cam Allard's A Fleets Dancer, 115 pounds, jockey: Robert Landry; Richard E. Trebat's Chicago Six, 114, Rene Douglas; Michael Tabor's Duckhorn, 114, Mark Guidry; and Stronach Stables Inc.'s Milwaukee Brew, 114, Rick Wilson.

NTRA AND DRF LAUNCH BREEDERS' CUP FANTASY GAMES

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and Daily Racing Form have announced the launch of two new fantasy games surrounding this year's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships: the "Breeders' Cup Handicapping Championship," presented by YouBet.com, and the "Breeders' Cup SuperScope Fantasy Game," presented by TVG. The package represents the first creation of fantasy-style online games focusing on the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. More

RACING ON THE AIR (all times Eastern)

July 21 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN

July 25 Racehorse Digest, 1:00-1:30 p.m., ESPN

July 28 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN

July 28 NTRA Champions Series; Whitney Handicap (Saratoga), Arlington Handicap (Arlington Park); 3:00-4:00 p.m., CBS

July 28 Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships, Test Stakes (Saratoga), 5:00-6:00 p.m., ESPN

July 29 NTRA 2Day at the Races; Go for Wand Handicap (Saratoga), Mt. Rainier Breeders' Cup Handicap (Emerald Downs), Modesty Handicap (Arlington Park), King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes (Ascot); 5:30-6:00 p.m., ESPN2

August 1 Racehorse Digest, 3:00-3:30 p.m., ESPN

August 1 Thoroughbred Classics presented by the NTRA, Haskell Invitational, 6:30-7:00 p.m., ESPN Classic

August 2 Thoroughbred Classics presented by the NTRA, Haskell Invitational, 7:00-7:30 a.m., ESPN Classic

RACING TO HISTORY

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, 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.

July 31, 1972: Secretariat, ridden for the first time by Ron Turcotte, won his second victory in three starts, on opening day at Saratoga Racecourse. The pair were sent off at odds of 2-5.

Aug. 1, 1945: Open racing resumed in place of the war-time restricted, or zoned, system in England.

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

SATURDAY, JULY 21
Ramona Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $400,000, Grade I, 1 1/8 M (T), Del Mar
Washington Park Handicap, 3&up, $400,000, Grade II, 1 M, Arlington Park
Coaching Club American Oaks, 3yo fillies, $350,000, Grade I, 1 M, Belmont Park
Delaware Oaks, 3yo fillies, $250,000, Grade III, 1 1/16 M, Delaware Park
Robert G. Dick Memorial Breeders' Cup Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $150,000, 1 1/16 M (T), Delaware Park
R. R. M. Carpenter Jr. Memorial Stakes, 3&up, $100,000, 1 1/16 M, Delaware Park
Bold Venture Stakes, 3&up, $100,000, 6 F, Woodbine
Maddash Stakes, 3&up, $75,000, 4F, Great Lakes Downs

SUNDAY, JULY 22
Delaware Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $600,000, Grade III, 1 M, Delaware Park
American Derby, 3yo, $250,000, Grade II, 1 3/16 M (T), Arlington Park
Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy Stakes, 3&up, $250,000, Grade II, 1 3/8 M (T), Woodbine
Kent Breeders' Cup Stakes, 3yo, $250,000, Grade III, 1 1/8 M (T), Delaware Park
Bing Crosby Breeders' Cup Handicap, 3&up, $200,000, 6F, Del Mar
Omaha Handicap, 3&up, $100,000, 1M, Hastings Park
Light Hearted Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $75,000, 6F, Delaware Park

WEDNESDAY, JULY 25
Schuylerville Stakes, 2yo fillies, $100,000, Grade II, 6F, Saratoga

THURSDAY, JULY 26
Sanford Stakes, 2yo, $100,000, Grade II, 6F, Saratoga

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