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 THE RAIL FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY

Point Given, the top horse on the latest NTRA Three-Year-Old Poll of nationwide sports media, will break from post one and be the horse to beat in Saturday's Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby from Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.

Installed as the even-money morning line favorite, Point Given will attempt to make the Santa Anita Derby a winning springboard to the May 5 Kentucky Derby. He will be ridden by Gary Stevens, who will tie the legendary Bill Shoemaker's all-time record of eight Santa Anita Derby victories should Point Given defeat his seven rivals on Saturday.

The complete Santa Anita Derby field from the rail out is: Point Given (jockey: Gary Stevens, morning line odds: 1-1); I Love Silver (Laffit Pincay Jr., 6-1); Crafty C.T. (Eddie Delahoussaye, 9-5); Startac (Alex Solis, 15-1); Scorpion (Victor Espinoza, 30-1); Early Flyer (Tyler Baze, 12-1); Palmeiro (Kent Desormeaux, 8-1); and Cherokee Kim (David Flores, 30-1).

ESPN will televise the Santa Anita Derby live from 5:00-6:00 p.m. on "Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby," hosted by Jim Kelly. Also airing live on the telecast will be two other important Kentucky Derby preps: the $500,000 Lone Star Derby from Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Tex. and the $500,000 Illinois Derby from Sportsman's Park in Cicero, Ill. A special Pick Three wager will be offered at outlets nationwide, promising a large potential payoff to bettors selecting the winners of each of the televised races.

OXLEY'S DERBY HOPEFULS TO BENEFIT EQUINE RESEARCH

John C. Oxley, owner of top Kentucky Derby candidates Monarchos and Hero's Tribute, has announced that any Grade I victories by either horse will benefit equine research. Beginning with Monarchos' authoritative victory in the Grade I Florida Derby, Oxley has pledged one percent of Grade I winning purses to the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.

The pledge will be effective through the May 5 Kentucky Derby.

Hero's Tribute is slated to prep for the Derby in the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes on April 14. That same day, Monarchos is scheduled to run in the Wood Memorial, a grade 2 event.

Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation is the leading private source of funding for research to enhance the health and safety of horses. In the last two decades, the Foundation has contributed $9 million to more than two dozen universities to underwrite more than 160 specific projects. Benefits to the horse industry from past Grayson-Jockey Club sponsored research include development of vaccines against virus abortion, equine influenza, and equine viral arteritis; significant understanding of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM); and ongoing improvements in protecting soundness, fertility, etc.

"My wife Debby and I realize how fortunate we are to have two Derby contenders at the moment, so we are pleased to direct a share of that good fortune for the benefit of all horses," said Oxley.

SIX ADDED TO BREEDERS' CUP BOARD

Six new members have been added to the Breeders' Cup Board of Directors. The additions include industry leaders E.K. Gaylord II, R.D. Hubbard, Robert T. Manfuso, Robert C. McNair, John C. Oxley, and John W. Phillips. "Our new members bring a wealth of experience to the Breeders' Cup Limited Board of Directors," said D.G. Van Clief, Jr., president of Breeders' Cup. "They represent a broad range of interests in Thoroughbred racing and breeding, and share a strong commitment to our industry. Their input will be extremely valuable as we chart the future of the Breeders' Cup."

SEABICUIT FEATURED TONIGHT ON NBC NIGHTLY NEWS, TOMORROW ON NPR

NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw will air a special feature this evening on the great Thoroughbred racehorse Seabiscuit and author Laura Hillenbrand, whose book "Seabiscuit: An American Legend" is a current New York Times #1 bestseller. Hillenbrand is afflicted with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and, ccording to an NBC Web site, the segment will report on "two unlikely heroes, a woman facing incredible odds and a horse no one thought could win."

Hillenbrand will also be a featured guest this Saturday morning on National Public Radio's "Weekend Edition," hosted by Scott Simon.

RACING ON THE AIR (all times Eastern)

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

April 7, "Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby," Santa Anita Derby (Santa Anita), Lone Star Derby (Lone Star Park), Illinois Derby (Sportsman's Park), 5:00-6:00 p.m., ESPN

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

April 14 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN

April 14, "Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby," Wood Memorial (Aqueduct), Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (Keeneland), Arkansas Derby (Oaklawn Park), 5:00-6:00 p.m., ESPN

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

RACING TO HISTORY

April 6, 1954: Two future champions, Bold Ruler and Round Table, were foaled at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Ky.

April 7, 1973: In his second start as a three-year-old, Secretariat won the Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct as the 1-10 favorite. His time of 1:33 2-5 for the mile equaled the track record for that distance.

April 7, 1979: Jockey Steve Cauthen made his first race in England a winning one, with Marquee Universal (IRE), at Salisbury.

April 8, 1971: New York City Off-Track Betting opened for business. Two branches were available to accept wagers: the Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan and an outlet in Queens. Total handle, including telephone betting, was $66,091.

April 8, 1991: Rider-turned-trainer Bill Shoemaker was paralyzed after an automobile accident.

April 9, 1962: Jockey Ron Turcotte rode his first winner, at Fort Erie Racetrack.

April 10, 1969: I Double Dareya was ridden to victory by jockey Gilbert Hernandez at Golden Gate Fields. Hernandez also happened to be the horse's owner and trainer, giving him a triple win.

April 11, 1945 Future Triple Crown champion Citation was foaled at Calumet Farm in Lexington, Ky.

April 12, 1948: After winning seven consecutive races, Citation lost the Chesapeake Trial Stakes by a length to Saggy, but rebounded to post 16 consecutive victories, including the Triple Crown.

April 12, 1969: Jockey Sandra Schleiffers, one of the first female riders in America and a former member of the Sisters of St. Francis convent in Clinton, Iowa, won her first career race at Turf Paradise. Schleiffers subsequently became the first woman to be admitted to the Jockeys' Guild.

April 13, 1872: The Louisiana Jockey Club held its inaugural meet at Fair Grounds. The first race, a two-mile hurdle, was won by Templo.

April 14, 1936: The first Maryland race result ever decided by a photo-finish camera took place at Havre de Grace in the second race, in which a 7-1 shot, Alit, was declared the winner.

April 15, 1940: With the start of the racing season at Jamaica, New York became the last major racing state to adopt electronic parimutuel wagering, thus eliminating on-track bookmaking.

April 15, 1941: In preparation for the May 3 Kentucky Derby, Whirlaway worked 1 1/8 miles in 1:52 at Keeneland.

April 15, 1943: With many of the country's young men joining in the war effort, women exercise riders were first employed at Pimlico Racecourse.

April 16, 1995: At age 25, Kent Desormeaux became the youngest jockey to reach the 3,000-wins mark when he rode Maisonaire to victory at Santa Anita Park.

April 17, 1972: Future champion filly Ruffian was foaled at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Ky.

April 18, 1970: The New York State Legislature passed a bill enabling off-track betting.

April 18, 1999: Jockey Julie Krone concluded her riding career at Lone Star Park, finishing second aboard Desert Demon in the Lone Star Derby. Krone won 3,546 races in her career.

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

FRIDAY, APRIL 6
Transylvania Stakes, 3yo, $100,000, 1M (T), Keeneland

SATURDAY, APRIL 7
Santa Anita Derby, 3yo, $750,000, Grade I, 1 1/8 M, Santa Anita Park
Oaklawn Handicap, 4&up, $600,000, Grade I, 1 1/8 M, Oaklawn Park
Ashland Stakes, 3yo fillies, $500,000, Grade I, 1 1/16 M, Keeneland
Illinois Derby, 3yo, $500,000, Grade II, 1 1/8 M, Sportsman's Park
Lone Star Derby, 3yo, $500,000, 1 1/8 M, Lone Star Park
Flamingo Stakes, 3yo, $250,000, Grade III, 1 1/8 M, Hialeah Park
San Bernardino Handicap, 4&up, $150,000, Grade II, 1 1/8 M, Santa Anita Park
Arcadia Handicap, 4&up, $150,000, Grade II, 1 1/8 M (T), Santa Anita Park
Westchester Handicap, 3&up, $100,000, Grade III, 1M, Aqueduct
Poinciana Breeders' Cup Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $100,000, 7F, Hialeah Park
Hialeah Sprint Championship Handicap, 3&up, $75,000, 7F, Hialeah Park

SUNDAY, APRIL 8
Apple Blossom Handicap, 4&up (f&m), $500,000, Grade I, 1 1/16 M, Oaklawn Park
Las Cienegas Handicap, 4&up (f&m), $100,000, Grade III, 6 F (T), Santa Anita Park
Appalachian Stakes, 3yo fillies, $100,000, 1M (T), Keeneland
Lady Hallie Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $100,000, 1 1/16 M, Sportsman's Park
Patricia Stakes, 3yo fillies, $75,000, 1 1/16 M (T), Hialeah Park

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