Chicago Barn to Wire


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


In town for the PGA European Tour's Dubai Desert Classic, golfing sensation Tiger Woods spent Wednesday afternoon touring the state of the art Al Quoz Stables in Dubai, the home of the Emirates World Series Racing Champions.

During Woods's tour, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, UAE Minister of Defense and the driving force behind the famed Godolphin racing stable, stated that one of Godolphin Racing's most promising two-year-olds was to be named Dubai Tiger. The colt was purchased for $1,800,000 at the 2000 Keeneland September Yearling Sales and is by Storm Cat, out of the Saratoga Six mare Toga Toga Toga. "Tiger is very pleased that we are naming one of our most exciting two-year-olds after him," said Sheikh Mohammed. "We hope that Dubai Tiger will become an equally outstanding athlete of the future."

While looking around the state of the art training facilities, Woods was introduced to some of Godolphin's leading Thoroughbreds, including Best Of The Bests, who will be heading Godolphin's defense of the worlds' richest race, the $6,000,000 Dubai World Cup, won last year by Godolphin's Dubai Millennium.

"This was the perfect opportunity to show one of the world's greatest sportsmen some of the world's greatest equine athletes," Sheikh Mohammed said after the tour. "Tiger Woods, Godolphin and Dubai all have one thing in common: their strive for excellence."

Woods showed a great deal of interest in the sport of horseracing and discussed with Sheikh Mohammed a number of topics relating to the training and breeding of Thoroughbred and Arabian racehorses. "It is a great honor for me that Sheikh Mohammed has chosen the name Dubai Tiger for one of his racehorses," Woods said. "I am so impressed at how sophisticated the whole training facility is here. It has been a really enjoyable afternoon."


Street Cry, third-place finisher behind Macho Uno and Point Given in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile, won his 2001 debut today, taking the United Arab Emirates 2000 Guineas at Nad al Sheba Racecourse in Dubai today. Ridden by Frankie Dettori, Street Cry prevailed by two lengths over Noverre, a half-brother to Arazi. Street Cry, clearly this year's top Kentucky Derby hope for Godolphin Racing, is expected to start next in the March 24 United Arab Emirates Derby, also at Nad al Sheba.


Last year's Horse of the Year, Tiznow, will look to rebound from his second-place finish to Wooden Phone in the February 3 Strub Stakes when he takes on 12 rivals in Saturday's Grade I, $1,000,000 Santa Anita Handicap to be run at 1 1/4 miles at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.

Slated to carry 122 pounds in the race known as the Big 'Cap, Tiznow will break from post five as the highweight in the field and has been established as the 8-5 morning line favorite. The complete Santa Anita Handicap field from the rail out is: Perssonet (to be ridden by Brice Blanc, morning line odds: 20-1); Wooden Phone (Corey Nakatani, 5-1); Beat All (Gary Stevens, 12-1); Irisheyesareflying (Kent Desormeaux, 10-1); Tiznow (Chris McCarron, 8-5); Nurdlinger (Jose Valdivia, 30-1); Jimmy Z (Victor Espinoza, 12-1); Guided Tour (Larry Melancon, 6-1); Moonlight Charger (Tyler Baze, 30-1); Tribunal (David Flores, 15-1); Jorrocks (Garrett Gomez, 30-1); Lethal Instrument (Laffit Pincay, 15-1); and Bienamado (Alex Solis, 8-1).


Keeneland Racecourse president Nick Nicholson announced today that Keeneland and its sister track, Turfway Park, will offer a $1 million bonus ($800,000 to the owner, $200,000 to the trainer) to any horse that can win three of four major races for three-year-olds this spring.

The bonus will be paid should the same horse win the $600,000 Turfway Spiral Stakes on March 24; then either the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes on April 14 or the $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes, both to be run at Keeneland; and finally, the $1 million Kentucky Derby on May 5 at Churchill Downs in Louisville.


With two months already in the books for 2001, the winning rampage of Turfway Park jockey Kris Prather rolls on.

Prather won three races at Turfway Park last night, giving her 85 victories at the current winter-spring meet at Turfway. Prather's 85 wins ties the Turfway single-meeting record set at last year's winter-spring meet by Tony D'Amico, but this year's winter-spring meet does not conclude until April 5 so Prather has plenty of time to add to her totals.

Prather has made a shambles out of the current Turfway Park jockey standings. Her closest pursuers are a trio of riders tied with 18 wins each. On February 11, Prather set a Turfway Park record by riding six winners in a single day.

Prather, who has ridden one winner this year away from Turfway Park, is also on top of the national victories standings for jockeys, 16 wins ahead of runner-up Jorge Chavez who has logged 70 winners, riding primarily at Gulfstream Park.

RACING ON THE AIR (all times Eastern)

March 3 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN
March 4 "NTRA 2Day at the Races," San Carlos Handicap (Santa Anita), Rampart Handicap (Gulfstream), John Battaglia Memorial (Turfway), Los Alamitos Winter Championship (Los Alamitos), 11:30 p.m.-12:00 a.m., ESPN2
March 6 Racehorse Digest, 1:00-1:30 p.m., ESPN
March 10 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN
March 10 Florida Derby (Gulfstream), SportsCenter, 6:00-7:00 p.m., ESPN2
March 11 "Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby," Louisiana Derby (Fair Grounds), Florida Derby (Gulfstream), El Camino Real Derby (Golden Gate Fields), 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m., ESPN2
March 14 Racehorse Digest, 1:00-1:30 p.m., ESPN


March 1, 1969: Tuesdee Testa, 27, became the first female jockey to win a race at a major American Thoroughbred track when she won the third race at Santa Anita Park aboard Buz On.

March 1, 1991: Pat Day, 37, became the sixth rider in history whose mounts earned $100 million when he rode Wild Sierra to a second-place finish in the first race at Oaklawn Park.

March 2, 1940: Beaten by a nose in both the 1937 and 1938 Santa Anita Handicaps, Seabiscuit finally won the Big 'Cap in his final race. He retired the then-leading money-winning horse in the world.

March 2, 1966: Kelso, Horse of the Year 1960-64, ran his last race, finishing fourth at Hialeah Park.

March 3, 1966: Ogden Phipps' Buckpasser won the Flamingo Stakes by a nose, under the guidance of Bill Shoemaker. The colt was such a prohibitive favorite among the field of nine that the race was declared a non-wagering contest and was dubbed "The Chicken Flamingo."

March 3, 1985: Bill Shoemaker became the first jockey in history to win $100 million in purses after he won the Santa Anita Handicap aboard Lord at War (ARG).

March 3, 1993: Russell Baze had his 4,000th career win, with Frank Musso, at Golden Gate Fields.

March 5, 1988: Carl Gambardella had his 5,000th career winner, aboard John's Goldenapple, at Suffolk Downs.

March 6, 1965: Jockey Earlie Fires rode his first winner, Carnation Kid, at Oaklawn Park. By year's end, Fires had amassed nearly $600,000 in purse earnings to earn the title of champion apprentice jockey.

March 6, 1988: Julie Krone became the winningest female jockey in racing history when she won the 1,205th race of her career riding a filly named Squawter in the ninth race at Aqueduct Racetrack.

March 8, 1987: Carrying 126 pounds, Zany Tactics set the world record for six furlongs, 1:06 4/5, at Turf Paradise. On Feb. 21, 1993, his time was equaled by Honor the Hero, also at Turf Paradise.

March 8, 1985: Chris McCarron rode his 4,000th career winner, Hawkley (GB), in the fifth race at Santa Anita Park.

March 9, 1977: Seattle Slew made his three-year-old debut, at Hialeah. He won a seven-furlong race in 1:20 3/5, breaking the track record.

March 10, 1808: Diomed, the winner of the inaugural Epsom Derby in 1780, died in Virginia at age 31. He had been imported to the U.S. 10 years earlier and subsequently became an influential sire.

March 10, 1993: At age 41, jockey Eddie Delahoussaye had his 5,000th career winner, aboard Ackler, in the fifth race at Santa Anita Park. He was the 14th rider in North American Thoroughbred racing to reach that plateau.

March 11, 1943: After siring 350 foals that won over $3 million, 26-year-old Man o' War was retired from stud duty.

March 12, 1966: In the last race of his 40-year career, John Longden won the San Juan Capistrano Handicap at Santa Anita Park, aboard George Royal. He retired with a then-record number of victories, 6,032.

March 12, 1998: The National Thoroughbred Racing Association and EquiSource reached an agreement in principle for EquiSource to be the exclusive provider of group-purchasing and productivity services for the Thoroughbred racing industry.

March 13, 2000: According to the ESPN Sports Poll, consumer interest in Thoroughbred racing increased by 3.1 percent among people 18 and older during the previous two years.

March 14, 1941: Merrick died at age 38, establishing the longevity record for a Thoroughbred.

March 14, 1973: In his final preparation for the March 17 Bay Shore Stakes, the first race of his three-year-old season, Secretariat worked three furlongs in a blistering :32 3/5.

March 14, 1976: Bill Shoemaker won his 7,000th career victory, aboard Charlie Whittingham-trained Royal Derby II, in the fifth race at Santa Anita Park.

March 14, 1987: Jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. became the first rider in the history of Santa Anita Park to win seven races in a single afternoon. In his only loss of the day, Pincay finished third aboard Bob Back in the eighth race.

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

La Habra Stakes, 3yo fillies, $100,000, 6F (T), Santa Anita Park

Santa Anita Handicap, 4&up, $1,000,000, Grade I, 1 M, Santa Anita Park
Frank E. Kilroe Mile Handicap, 4&up, $400,000, Grade II, 1 M (T), Santa Anita Park
Gulfstream Park Handicap, 3&up, $200,000, Grade I, 1 M, Gulfstream Park
San Rafael Stakes, 3yo, $200,000, Grade II, 1 M, Santa Anita Park
Bayou Breeders' Cup Handicap, 4&up (f&m), $150,000, 1 1/8 M (T), Fair Grounds
John Battaglia Memorial Stakes, 3yo, $100,000, 1 1/16 M, Turfway Park
Busher Stakes, 3yo fillies, $75,000, 1 1/ 16 M, Aqueduct
Southwest Stakes, 3yo, $75,000, 1 M, Oaklawn Park

New Orleans Handicap, 4&up, $500,000, Grade II, 1 1/8 M, Fair Grounds
Golden Gate Breeders' Cup Handicap, 3&up, $250,000, Grade III, 1 1/8 M (T), Golden Gate Fields
Rampart Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $200,000, Grade II, 1 1/8 M, Gulfstream Park
San Carlos Handicap, 4&up, $150,000, Grade I, 7F, Santa Anita Park




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