NTRA THOROUGHBRED NOTEBOOK
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|News and notes from around the Thoroughbred racing world, compiled
by NTRA Communications, (212) 907-9280.
ALBERT IN LINE FOR GREAT PAYDAY IN SATURDAY'S WHITNEY
With a victory in Saturday's Grade I, $750,000 Whitney Handicap, to be televised live on CBS Sports from 3:00-4:00 p.m. (ET) as part of the NTRA Champions Series, Tracy Farmer's Albert the Great can earn a bonus of $270,000 ($100,000 for being the overall points leader in the series plus $170,000 in a Whitney cash-for-points bonus). Coupled with the regular Whitney winner's share of $450,000, a total payday of $720,000 is on the line for Albert the Great heading in to Saturday's race.
The first-, second- and third-place finishers in Saturday's Whitney will each earn special points-for-cash bonuses, permitting them to "cash in" their total series points at $5,000, $2,000 and $1,000 per point, respectively. With 24 series points to date, Albert the Great looks to have the upper hand in the overall series points standings, needing just a third place finish or better to clinch first place over Include, who is currently tied with Albert the Great at 24 points but will not race in the Whitney due to a minor injury. Albert the Great's toughest foe in the Whitney may well be Lido Palace, who finished a strong second to Albert the Great last time out in the July 1 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park.
The NTRA Champions series is hosted by Dave Johnson with analyst Randy Moss, reporters Lesley Visser and Gary Seibel and field reporter Caton Bredar. The four-program, five-hour series features 11 key races in Classic (dirt) and Turf division horseracing in the United States and concludes with Saturday's telecast, which will also feature the live running of the $250,000 Arlington Handicap at 1 1/4 miles over the Arlington Park turf course.
CLAIMING CROWN DRAWS RECORD PRE-ENTRIES
A record ninety horses have been pre-entered for Claiming Crown 2001, the $550,000 day of racing to be held Saturday, Aug. 4, at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn. Claiming Crown 2001 will consist of six races with purses ranging from $50,000 to $150,000.
According to Claiming Crown Coordinator Nat Wess, not only is the number of entries up, but the quality of the entrants also is an all-time best.
"There is one candidate for the $125,000 Emerald who recently missed winning the $300,000 Dallas Turf Cup by a neck and the probable favorite for the $100,000 Rapid Transit has been first, second, or third in 17 of his last 18 starts," said Wess.
The first two editions of the Claiming Crown have each attracted crowds of more than 11,000 to Canterbury Park and wagering of more than $2 million on their respective race cards. "With five of the six races expected to have fields of 12 or more, lucrative payoffs are likely again this year," Wess added.
The success of the Claiming Crown is reflective of the success of Canterbury Park in 2001. The number of horses stabled at the suburban Minneapolis track is at an all-time high this year, with its 1,600 stalls at or near capacity. Through the first half of the 2001 Canterbury Park racing season, there has been a six-percent increase in attendance and a five-percent increase in total handle.
Entries for Claming Crown 2001 will be taken Wednesday, Aug. 1, and first post on Aug. 4 will be 1:30 p.m. (CT)
KENNY MAYNE GRABS SADDLE AND A GUITAR
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) today announced that a new promotional campaign featuring ESPN personality Kenny Mayne for The Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships on ESPN will begin airing on the ESPN family of networks on Saturday, July 28. The ads will air approximately 600 times during the months leading up to the October 27 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont Park and are designed to promote the series of ESPN-televised divisional races that culminate in the championship event.
In a series of four ads, Mayne portrays a singing jockey, accompanied by real-life riders Aaron Gryder, Jorge Chavez and Joe Bravo. The off-key quartet, led by Mayne, sing parodies of Western songs that extol horseracing and jockeys. They ride into workplaces, living rooms and even a hospital, reminding people to watch horseracing on ESPN. The four spots are titled "Old Dan," "Yellow Rose," "Big Hearts" and "Singing Jockeys."
Atlanta-based BaylessCronin, whose creative personnel were responsible for the brand-building campaign for ESPN's SportsCenter-named the best TV advertising of the last decade-produced the ads in conjunction with Conover Tuttle, a Boston-based advertising and pubic relations firm retained by the NTRA.
The campaign targets sports fans who are frequent, loyal ESPN viewers and who also fit the demographic profile of "light" horseracing fans-consumers who attend the races once or twice a year, according to NTRA consumer research. The spots will appear almost entirely on non-racing programming.
"These spots are a deliberate departure from traditional horseracing ads," said Keith Chamblin, NTRA vice president-industry relations and marketing. "They're geared toward consumers who 'live' at ESPN, enjoy the offbeat humor of Kenny Mayne and SportsCenter, but who may still think, 'horseracing's not for people like me.'
"Because we're reaching out to a different audience, we'll be doing specific tracking research of ESPN viewers and light horseracing fans before, during and after the campaign to measure awareness and popularity of horseracing, the Breeders' Cup and the Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships," Chamblin added. "If the campaign works as anticipated, we hope to produce something similar to promote the Triple Crown prep races on ESPN next spring."
"Singing Jockeys," featuring Chavez, Gryder and Bravo, also will be available to NTRA member tracks for tagging and airing in local markets as part of the NTRA's co-op advertising campaign to promote the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. The overall campaign will reinforce the new World Thoroughbred Championships brand, announced by the NTRA and Breeders' Cup in June.
MARYLAND JOCKEY CLUB TO SPONSOR GOLF TOURNEY SUPPORTING THOROUGHBRED RETIREMENT
The Maryland Jockey Club and WNST Radio's Maryland Golf Live have teamed up to sponsor the first annual Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) golf invitational at The Links at Gettysburg on July 30. All the proceeds will stay in Maryland at The Charles Hickey School in Baltimore County.
Founded in 1982 to provide a well-deserved humane retirement for Thoroughbred racehorses at the end of their track careers, the non-profit TRF has evolved to become an innovative, forward-looking organization with far-reaching benefits. Since 1984, hundreds of horses have found good homes with the TRF. Some are champions with distinguished careers, while others are just hard-knocking racehorses.
The TRF program at the Hickey School, developed in cooperation with the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, is working magic with troubled inner city youths. The pride and responsibility developed through caring for the horses often inspires these teens to continue their educations.
CAMPBELL TO HEAD TELEVISION AND SPONSORSHIP FOR NTRA
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) has announced the appointment of Chip Campbell to the newly created position of Senior Vice President-Television and Sponsorship, effective August 1. Campbell will be based at the NTRA's New York office.
Campbell will head up the television, sponsorship and media relations activities for the combined operations of the NTRA and Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. He also will oversee the work of NTRA Communications, the association's New York-based office for media relations and public information.
"Chip brings a wealth of sports marketing and television experience to this position," said NTRA Commissioner Tim Smith. "He is well known to the sports television and sponsorship marketplaces and will be an immediate help in the promotion of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships as well as in the management of NTRA Productions, our agency relationship with Host Communications for sponsorship sales and other important areas."
Campbell most recently served as president of KSE New York, a division of Kaleidoscope Sports and Entertainment, where he supervised the investment of Kaleidoscope's parent company, Interpublic, in a $150 million sports and entertainment equity fund. Prior to KSE New York, Campbell operated his own sports marketing firm, whose client list included IBM, Federal Express and the 1994 World Cup Organizing Committee. The firm later merged into ISES, an Atlanta-based sports consulting firm co-founded by Tim Smith. ISES numbered among its clients the Atlanta Olympics Organizing Committee and nine Olympic sponsors. It also created the Andersen Consulting World Championship of Golf in partnership with ABC, ESPN and the world's five major golf tours.
During the 1980s and early 1990s, Campbell ran television and media relations for the PGA TOUR for five years before leaving to become executive vice president of Ohlmeyer Communications, where he supervised the sports sponsorship activities of such corporations as IBM and Nabisco, in addition to marketing the "Skins Game" television golf property.
NTRA officials indicated that a second senior vice president, responsible for advertising, promotions and industry relations, would be named in the next few weeks and would be based in the organization's Lexington, Ky., headquarters.
"These organizational and personnel steps-along with others to be announced in coming months-are part of the ongoing effort to consolidate the NTRA and Breeders' Cup operations, while strengthening our sport's ability to compete," said NTRA Vice Chairman and Breeders' Cup President D.G. Van Clief Jr.
EXPANDED U.S. TELEVISION COVERAGE FOR THE 2001 EMIRATES WORLD SERIES
The second leg of the 2001 Emirates World Series Racing Championship, the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot on July 28, will mark the beginning of expanded television coverage for international Thoroughbred racing in the United States on the ESPN Networks.
For the first time, an Emirates World Series race will be seen live in the United States thanks to a special 10-minute cut-in of the race on ESPNEWS from 10:45-10:55 a.m. (ET) ESPNEWS is one of the four television networks of ESPN, the world's largest sports cable system. The channels include: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS AND ESPN CLASSIC. ESPNEWS is seen in an estimated 23 million homes in all 50 states.
The Emirates World Series, sponsored by Emirates, the award-winning international airline of the United Arab Emirates, travels around the globe taking in 12 of the most prestigious Thoroughbred races from around the world.
Live Coverage on ESPNEWS is also planned for the Grosser Preis von Baden in Baden Baden, Germany on September 2, the Irish Champion Stakes from Dublin on September 8, the Canadian International from Toronto on September 30, the Carlton Draught Cox Plate from Melbourne, Australia on October 28 and the Japan Cup in Tokyo on November 25.
Another major development in United States television coverage of the Emirates World Series is that results and highlights of some of the races may be seen on ESPN's evening SportsCenter programs beginning at 6:00 p.m. (ET) the day of the race with two repeat showings. SportsCenter is the network's highly rated sports wrap-up show, seen in an estimated 86 million homes in the U.S. and 160 million homes worldwide.
The Emirates World Series races will again be recapped on ESPN's Racehorse Digest program seen twice each week. These races will also get bonus coverage on NTRA 2Day at the Races on ESPN2 and The Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships series on ESPN and ESPN2.
"This is a huge bonus for the Emirates World Series both in terms of live coverage and the follow up reports on ESPN SportsCenter and Racehorse Digest," said Jim Wilburn, President and CEO of Winnercomm and the negotiator of the deal with the ESPN Networks.
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
August 3 Thoroughbred Classics presented by the NTRA, Haskell Invitational, 9:30-10:00 a.m., ESPN Classic
August 3 Thoroughbred Classics presented by the NTRA, Haskell Invitational, 5:30-6:00 p.m., ESPN Classic
August 4 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN
August 4 The Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships, Jim Dandy Stakes (Saratoga), 5:00-6:00 p.m., ESPN
August 5 AQHA 2Day at the Races; Vessels Maturity (Los Alamitos), Iowa Double Gold Futurity (Prairie Meadows), 550 Championship (Ruidoso Downs); 12:30-1:00 a.m., ESPN2
August 5 The Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships, Haskell Invitational (Monmouth Park), 6:00-7:00 p.m., ESPN2
August 8 Racehorse Digest, 3:00-3:30 p.m., ESPN
August 8 Thoroughbred Classics presented by the NTRA, Sword Dancer Handicap, 6:30-7:00 p.m., ESPN Classic
August 9 Thoroughbred Classics presented by the NTRA, Sword Dancer Handicap, 7:00-7:30 a.m., ESPN Classic
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.
Aug. 2, 1864: America's oldest Thoroughbred racetrack, Saratoga Racecourse, opened its inaugural meet with four days of racing. Since then it has been the site of some of racing's most famous upsets. Man o' War suffered his only loss in 21 starts while racing at Saratoga, and Triple Crown champion Gallant Fox was defeated by a 100-1 shot named Jim Dandy in Saratoga's 1930 Travers, prompting the track to be called "the graveyard of favorites."
Aug. 2, 1969: Jockey Robyn Smith, one of the first female jockeys in the U.S., won her first career race, at Ferndale.
Aug. 3, 1971: The yearling Secretariat was shod on his front feet for the first time and transferred to the Meadow training center for breaking.
Aug. 3, 1989: Jockey Jorge Velasquez notched his 6,000th career victory aboard three-year-old filly Maddie Bumpo in the third race at Arlington International Racecourse.
Aug. 3, 2000: Fred. W. Hooper, who won the 1945 Kentucky Derby with the first horse he ever owned and went on to develop one of Florida's leading racing and breeding operations, died in his sleep in Miami, at the age of 102.
Aug. 4, 1973: In his first race against older horses, 1-10 favorite Secretariat was defeated in the Whitney Stakes at Saratoga by Allen Jerkens' four-year-old trainee Onion, who beat him by a length. Secretariat was subsequently found to be suffering from a virus.
Aug. 5, 1988: Trainer Dale Baird won his 5,000th career race with Stuffed Johnnie at Mountaineer Park, becoming the second trainer in history, behind Jack Van Berg, to reach that mark.
Aug. 6, 1951: The National Museum of Racing opened in Congress Park at Saratoga Springs, N.Y. More than 2,000 people attended the opening ceremonies presided over by C.V. Whitney.
Aug. 7, 1900: Trainer "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons had his first stakes winner, Agnes D., at Brighton Beach.
Aug. 7, 1988: Jockey Eddie Delahoussaye won his 4,000th race aboard a two-year-old filly named Fawn and Hahn in the fourth race at Del Mar.
Aug. 8, 1970: Jockey Bill Shoemaker won his 6,000th career victory, aboard Shining Count at Del Mar.
Aug. 8, 1987: Kent Desormeaux set the record for most number of stakes wins by an apprentice jockey, 13, aboard King's Snow in the Primer Stakes at Pimlico. The previous record, 10, was held by Steve Cauthen.
THURSDAY, JULY 26 Sanford Stakes, 2yo, $100,000, Grade II, 6F, Saratoga
FRIDAY, JULY 27
SATURDAY, JULY 28
SUNDAY, JULY 29
MONDAY, JULY 30
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1
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