Chicago Barn to Wire


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


Purses of $750,000 and status as prime Kentucky Derby contenders will be up for grabs in New York and Kentucky on Saturday in Aqueduct's Wood Memorial and Keeneland's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes.

Monarchos, the number two ranked horse behind Santa Anita Derby winner Point Given in the latest NTRA Three-Year-Old Poll, drew post two today and was made the 4-5 morning line favorite in the Wood Memorial. Meanwhile in Lexington, Ky., Dollar Bill drew post three and was installed as the 9-5 morning line choice in the Blue Grass.

The Toyota Blue Grass and the Wood Memorial, along with the Arkansas Derby, will be televised live on "Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby," to air from 5:00-6:00 p.m. (ET) on ESPN. Post time for the Wood is set for 5:12 p.m., with the Blue Grass slated for 5:33 p.m. and the Arkansas Derby scheduled to go off at 5:49 p.m. (ET). A special "Big 3 Pick 3" wager will be offered nationwide, requiring fans to select the winner of each race.

The complete Wood Memorial field from the rail out is: Paging (jockey: Chuckie Lopez, morning line odds: 30-1); Monarchos (Jorge Chavez, 4-5); Voodoo (Heberto Castillo Jr., 20-1); It's So Simple (Aaron Gryder, 10-1); Congaree (Victor Espinoza, 8-5) and Richly Blended (Rick Wilson, 5-1).

The complete Toyota Blue Grass field from the rail out is: A P Valentine (Corey Nakatani, 5-2); Bonnie Scot (Greta Kuntzweiler, 30-1); Dollar Bill (Pat Day, 9-5); Hero's Tribute (Jerry Bailey, 3-1); Invisible Ink (John Velazquez, 3-1); Millennium Wind (Laffit Pincay Jr., 4-1) and Songandaprayer (Edgar Prado, 6-1).


Three-time Emmy Award-winning journalist Armen Keteyian has been chosen to deliver the keynote address at the 10th Annual Collegiate Sports Journalism Seminar to be held April 26-29 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

Keteyian, currently a reporter for CBS Sports in New York, covers the National Football League as the network's lead game reporter and also serves the same role during the National Collegiate Athletic Association Men's Basketball Tournament. Keteyian is widely regarded as one of the finest sports journalists in the country and is often praised for his integrity and versatility. Keteyian is also a correspondent for HBO Sports' award-winning magazine show "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel," for which he won an Emmy Award in the coveted Sports Journalism category in April 1998. In 1993 and 1994, Keteyian won Emmy Awards in Sports Journalism and Overall Achievement for his reporting in ESPN's critically acclaimed 'Outside the Lines' series. Keteyian has also worked as a network correspondent for ABC News in New York and as a sports writer for "Sports Illustrated."

"Having just covered the Super Bowl and the NCAA Final Four back-to-back, I am looking forward to the opportunity to debate and discuss big event reporting and, hopefully, inspire some of the best and brightest sports journalists of the next generation," Keteyian said.

The Collegiate Sports Journalism Seminar, now in its 10th year, is a tuition-free program held in conjunction with the media build-up to the Kentucky Derby. Thirty of the nation's top student journalists with an interest in a sports journalism career, sports photography, or sports marketing and public relations have been selected to participate in the three-day event, which takes place one week prior to the Run for the Roses.

Students will participate in panel discussions featuring guest speakers from highly acclaimed news organizations such as the "Washington Post," "Los Angeles Times", "Miami Herald," and "Sports Illustrated." Additionally, students will take part in a daylong journalism workshop and have the opportunity to observe and interact with professional sports writers, photographers, publicists, and broadcasting journalists as they prepare to cover the Kentucky Derby, one of the nation's most prestigious sporting events.

Past keynote speakers include Kenny Mayne, ESPN anchor and reporter; Lesley Visser, CBS Sports correspondent; Jim McKay, ABC Sports correspondent; and Peter King, CNN/CNNSI correspondent.

"We are proud to once again offer this unique learning opportunity to some of the most promising student journalists in the country," said Karl F. Schmitt Jr., senior vice president, communications, for Churchill Downs Incorporated. "The Collegiate Sports Journalism Seminar allows participants to learn from some of the best sports journalists in the business while giving them a chance to practice their craft against the backdrop of one of America's greatest sporting event, the Kentucky Derby. We are also thrilled to have Armen Keteyian, one of network television's most-respected sports correspondents, as our keynote speaker."

RACING ON THE AIR (all times Eastern)

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

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

April 21, "Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby," Coolmore Lexington Stakes (Keeneland), 5:00-6:00 p.m., ESPN2

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


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.

April 19, 1952: Native Dancer won his first race, at Jamaica racetrack.

April 19, 1969: Bill Veeck, promoter and president of Suffolk Downs, staged a $10,000 race featuring all female jockeys, then a novelty in racing. Called the Lady Godiva Stakes, the event attracted such riders as Diane Crump, Tuesdee Testa and Robyn Smith. It was Penny Ann Early, however, who won the race-her first career victory. The previous year, Early had attempted to ride at Churchill Downs, but the male jockeys boycotted and the race was canceled.

April 19, 2000: Jockey Pat Day guided first time starter Unbridled Time to victory in the second race at Keeneland, giving the 46-year-old a record 717 victories at the Lexington, Ky. track.

April 20, 1949: Jockey Bill Shoemaker won his first race, aboard Shafter V, at Golden Gate Fields, Albany, Calif.

April 20, 1999: Trainer Charlie Whittingham died in Pasadena, Calif., of complications from leukemia. He was 86.

April 21, 1923: Eight-year-old Exterminator won his 34th stakes victory, the Philadelphia Handicap at Havre de Grace, setting an American record.

April 21, 1973: In a surprising defeat, Secretariat finished third to stablemate Angle Light and runner-up Sham in the Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct, his last start before sweeping the Triple Crown. The following day, Secretariat was found to have had an abscess in his mouth, which may have caused him discomfort while racing.

April 21, 1998: Tim Smith was named Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

April 22, 1947: Citation won his first race by 1/2-length, at Havre de Grace.

April 22, 1970: Governor Nelson Rockefeller signed into law a bill allowing off-track betting in New York.

April 22, 1976: After winning the Florida Derby at odds of 1-20, Honest Pleasure ran in the Blue Grass Stakes as the 1-10 favorite. Only win wagering was allowed on the seven-horse field. Honest Pleasure won, creating a minus win pool of $41,876.20.

April 23, 1943: Judy Johnson was granted a license to ride in steeplechase races in Maryland, making her one of the earliest female jockeys.

April 23, 1973: Secretariat and his stablemate Angle Light were flown to Louisville, Ky., to prepare for the Kentucky Derby.

April 23, 1977: Seattle Slew won the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Racetrack, his sixth consecutive win and his third win of the season. The race was his final prep for the May 7 Kentucky Derby.

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

Count Fleet Sprint Handicap, 4&up, $125,000, Grade III, 6F, Oaklawn Park
Jenny Wiley Stakes, 4&up (f&m), $100,000, Grade III, 1 1/16 M (T), Keeneland

Maker's Mark Mile, 4&up, $200,000, Grade II, 1M (T), Keeneland
Fantasy Stakes, 3yo fillies, $200,000, Grade II, 1 1/16 M, Oaklawn Park
Comely Stakes, 3yo fillies, $100,000, Grade III, 1M, Aqueduct

Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, 3yo, $750,000, Grade I, 1 1/8 M, Keeneland
Wood Memorial, 3yo, $750,000, Grade II, 1 1/8 M, Aqueduct
Arkansas Derby, 3yo, $500,000, Grade II, 1 1/8 M, Oaklawn Park
San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap, 4&up, $400,000, Grade I, 1 3/4 M (T), Santa Anita Park
Santa Barbara Handicap, 4&up (f&m), $250,000, Grade II, 1 M (T), Santa Anita Park
Commonwealth Breeders' Cup Stakes, 3&up, $250,000, Grade II, 7F, Keeneland
Black Helen Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $200,000, Grade II, 1 1/8 M (T), Hialeah Park
Bay Shore Stakes, 3yo, $150,000, Grade III, 7F, Aqueduct
Bold Ruler Handicap, 3&up, $100,000, Grade III, 6F, Aqueduct
Irving Distaff Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $75,000, 7 F (T), Lone Star Park

San Simeon Handicap, 4&up, $125,000, Grade III, 6 F (T), Santa Anita Park

Shakertown Stakes, 3&up, $75,000, 5 F (T), Keeneland

Doubledogdare Stakes, 4&up (f&m), $100,000, 1 1/16 M, Keeneland




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