Chicago Barn to Wire

NTRA THOROUGHBRED NOTEBOOK

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

POINT GIVEN DRAWS OUTSIDE FOR 2001 DEBUT SATURDAY

Point Given, one of the early favorites for the May 5 Kentucky Derby, will make his first start of the year on Saturday when he breaks from post eight in the Grade II, $250,000 San Felipe Stakes at 1 1-16 miles at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.

Trained by two-time Kentucky Derby winner Bob Baffert, Point Given was a close second to Macho Uno in last November's Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., the site of the Kentucky Derby. With Macho Uno out of the Derby picture due to a minor injury, many are looking at Point Given as this year's most likely winner of the "Run for the Roses."

The complete San Felipe field from the rail out is: Bank Street (to be ridden by Garrett Gomez); Silvertongue Fox (Victor Espinoza); Gold Trader (David Flores); Jamaican Rum (Alex Solis); Indy Lead (Tyler Baze); I Love Silver (Eddie Delahoussaye); Skip to the Stone (Corey Nakatani); and Point Given (Gary Stevens).

Expanded coverage of Saturday's San Felipe Stakes can be seen Sunday on "Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby," to air from 4:00-5:00 p.m. (ET) on ESPN2. Also included in the telecast will be Sunday's Gotham Stakes, another important Derby prep from Aqueduct Racetrack in Ozone Park, N.Y.

PREAKNESS AT TIFFANY'S?

An array of Thoroughbred racing trophies will be part of a special exhibit at the Toronto location of Tiffany and Co. beginning on April 7. A long-time maker of sports championship trophies, Tiffany and Co. will feature trophies from several sports in its display. Prominent racing items to be on display include the 141-year-old Woodlawn Vase, a replica of which is given each year to the winning owner of the Preakness Stakes. The Woodlawn Vase is believed to be America's oldest championship sporting trophy.

Also featured at the Toronto exhibit will be the Belmont Memorial Challenge Cup, which was created in 1897.

RACING ON THE AIR (all times Eastern)

March 17 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN

March 17 "NTRA 2Day at the Races," Victoria Lass Stakes (Fair Grounds), Toboggan Handicap (Aqueduct), Bonnie Miss Stakes (Gulfstream), Mardi Gras Futurity (Fair Grounds), 5:30-6:00 p.m., ESPN2

March 18 "Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby," Gotham Stakes (Aqueduct), San Felipe Stakes (Santa Anita), 4:00-5:30 p.m., ESPN2

March 21 Racehorse Digest, 1:00-1:30 p.m., ESPN

March 24 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN

March 24 "Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby," Turfway Spiral Stakes (Turfway Park), 4:00-5:00 p.m., ESPN2

March 25 "NTRA 2Day at the Races," Explosive Bid Handicap (Fair Grounds), San Pedro Stakes (Santa Anita), Sportsman's Park Breeders' Cup Handicap (Sportsman's Park), 4:30-5:00 p.m., ESPN2

March 28 Racehorse Digest, 4:00-4:30 p.m., ESPN

RACING TO HISTORY

March 17, 2000: Trainer Hubert "Sonny" Hine, trainer of 1998 Horse of the Year Skip Away, passed away after a long illness at age 69.

March 19, 1942: The Thoroughbred Racing Associations of the United States was formed, with John C. Clark as president.

March 19, 1949: Jockey Bill Shoemaker rode his first career race, at Golden Gate Fields. He finished fifth, aboard Waxahachie, in an eight-horse field.

March 20, 1932: Phar Lap, legendary champion racehorse of Australia, won his only start in North America, the Agua Caliente Handicap at Agua Caliente Racecourse in Mexico. His time for the 1 1/4-mile race was 2:02 4/5, a track record. The six-year-old Phar Lap died one month later and the cause of his death remains a mystery. During his four years of racing in Australia, Phar Lap won 36 of 50 starts.

March 20, 1969: Less than two months after she became the first woman to ride in a parimutuel race in America, Diane Crump rode her first winner at Gulfstream Park.

March 23, 1927: Future Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox was foaled at Claiborne Farm, Paris, Ky.

March 24, 1851: California's first organized race for Thoroughbreds took place at the Pioneer Course in San Francisco. The city's residents added a purse of $250 to the sweepstakes, which was set at $15 each for the three competitors. T. K. Battelle's colt Boston won.

March 24, 1932: Omaha, the only Triple Crown winner to be sired by another Triple Crown winner (Gallant Fox), was foaled at Claiborne Farm, Paris, Ky.

March 24, 1940: Future Triple Crown winner Count Fleet was foaled at Stoner Creek Stud, Paris, Ky.

March 24, 1941: Upset, the only horse ever to defeat Man o' War, died at age 24.

March 24, 1953: A program for nationwide televising of 10 of the richest races being run in New York and Delaware, was announced. NBC and ABC provided network coverage for the Saturday broadcasts, which were scheduled for April 18-June 20.

March 24, 1997: Assicurazioni Generali, the lead underwriter on the congenital infertility insurance on Horse of the Year Cigar, agreed to pay the $25 million claim filed by owners Allen Paulson and Coolmore Stud. Coolmore received $18.75 million and Paulson got $6.25 million, representing the parties' respective 75% and 25% ownership interests.

March 26, 1943: Future Triple Crown winner Assault was foaled at King Ranch, Kingsville, Texas.

March 26, 1966: Jockey Eddie Maple won his first career race, at Ascot Park in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

March 26, 1992: Henryk de Kwiatkowski purchased Calumet Farm for $17 million at auction. He paid an additional $210,000 for the Calumet name.

March 27, 1953: The ABC radio network announced it would broadcast a series of major East Coast races, beginning April 4 and continuing through Nov. 14.

March 27, 1997: A group of Thoroughbred organizations, including The Jockey Club, Breeders' Cup Ltd., Keeneland Association and Oak Tree Racing Association, announced it would undertake a joint planning process to create a national coordination and marketing structure for Thoroughbred racing.

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

FRIDAY, MARCH 16
Bonnie Miss Stakes, 3yo fillies, $250,000, Grade II, 1 1/8 M, Gulfstream Park

SATURDAY, MARCH 17
San Felipe Stakes, 3yo, $250,000, Grade II, 1 1/16 M, Santa Anita Park
San Luis Rey Handicap, 4&up, $250,000, Grade II, 1 M (T), Santa Anita Park
Razorback Handicap, 4&up, $125,000, Grade III, 1 1/16 M, Oaklawn Park
Victoria Lass Handicap, 4&up (f&m), $125,000, 6F, Fair Grounds
Toboggan Handicap, 3&up, $100,000, 7F, Aqueduct
Royal Palm Handicap, 3&up, $100,000, 1 1/16 M (T), Hialeah

SUNDAY, MARCH 18
Gotham Stakes, 3yo, $200,000, Grade III, 1 M, Aqueduct
Oaklawn Breeders' Cup Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $200,000, Grade III, 1 1/16 M, Oaklawn Park
Tampa Bay Derby, 3yo, $200,000, 1 1/16 M, Tampa Bay Downs
Florida Oaks, 3yo fillies, $150,000, 1 1/16 M, Tampa Bay Downs
Santa Ana Handicap, 4&up (f&m), $150,000, Grade II, 1 1/8 M (T), Santa Anita Park
Pelleteri Breeders' Cup Handicap, 3&up, $150,000, 6F, Fair Grounds
Everglades Stakes, 3yo, $100,000, Grade III, 1 1/16 M (T), Hialeah
Hillsborough Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $100,000, 1 1/16 M (T), Tampa Bay Downs

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