Chicago Barn to Wire


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


Jockey Chris McCarron will attempt to become just the seventh jockey in history to ride 7,000 winners when he ventures to Baltimore's Pimlico Racecourse on Saturday to ride at least four horses on the day's program, including Burning Roma in the featured Federico Tesio Stakes. Ironically, it was in Maryland where McCarron, now based in California, began his tremendously successful career back in 1974.

McCarron currently has 6,997 victories to his credit and will not ride again until Saturday. With three more wins, he will join Laffit Pincay Jr., Bill Shoemaker, Pat Day, Dave Gall, Angel Cordero Jr. and Russell Baze in the 7,000 win club. Should he not reach the 7,000 win mark on Saturday, McCarron is scheduled to ride a full complement of mounts Sunday at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif.

The Federico Tesio Stakes can be seen along with the Coolmore Lexington Stakes from Keeneland on "Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby," hosted by Jim Kelly on ESPN2 from 5:00-6:00 p.m. (ET)


Award-winning New York Times sportswriter Joe Drape, author of the popular new book, "The Race for the Triple Crown," will be a featured guest on a special live chat taking place next Wednesday, April 25, at From 7:00-7:30 p.m. (ET), Drape will discuss the book, which chronicles a year in the life of the Triple Crown from June 1999 to June 2000, and also his thoughts on this year's Kentucky Derby. Then from 7:30-8:00 p.m., Mike Watchmaker, National Handicapper for "Daily Racing Form" and author of that publication's weekly "Watchmaker Watch" of top horses, will come online to discuss the merits, or lack thereof, of this year's Kentucky Derby hopefuls.

For more information about "The Race for the Triple Crown," including an excerpt and ordering information, visit


The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today that John Deere, the world's leading manufacturer of agricultural equipment, has renewed its sponsorship agreement with the NTRA for an additional two years. Consistent with its May 1999 deal with the NTRA, John Deere will continue in its role as an NTRA Official Supplier and television sponsor and also maintain its participation in the NTRA group purchasing program, administered by EquiSource.

"We're delighted to extend our agreement with John Deere for another two years," said NTRA Commissioner Tim Smith. "It's especially gratifying to know that our members can gain special access to a wide array of outstanding equipment from a company committed to the success of our industry."

As part of the seven-figure agreement, negotiated by the NTRA and EquiSource (the NTRA's group purchasing organization), selected NTRA members will continue to be able to purchase or lease John Deere agricultural tractors, equipment and implements with preferred member discounts, strong warranty programs and competitive financing packages.

"The Thoroughbred industry represents a vital and important market for our products," said Mark Johnson, manager of national accounts for John Deere. "We are obviously pleased with our relationship with EquiSource, the NTRA and its members, and we look forward to another mutually beneficial two years."

"This is a classic example of the kind of value the NTRA and EquiSource can deliver to the members," said Bill Lehmann, president of EquiSource. "By partnering with a company of John Deere's caliber, we can deliver top-notch buying power to even relatively small-scale purchasers."

Other NTRA Official Suppliers include Boise Cascade Office Products, Equibase, Hallway Feeds, IKON Office Solutions, International Game Technology, The Jockey Club Information Systems, KBC International, Presort Services, RCA and Weinstein, Jones & Associates. The American Quarter Horse Association, "The Blood-Horse," "Daily Racing Form" and TVG are NTRA Official Sponsors.


On Saturday, May 5, Sam Houston Race Park will offer its fans a unique opportunity to earn $1,000,000 by correctly predicting the entire order of finish in that day's Kentucky Derby.

"The simulcast of the Kentucky Derby is always a popular day at Sam Houston Race Park," said Kerry Graves, director of marketing at the northwest Houston racetrack. "We wanted to create an added incentive to bring fans out to Sam Houston Race Park, and couldn't think of anything more compelling than the chance to win $1,000,000."

The contest is free to enter and open to all fans 21 years of age and older.


Owners of the young stallion Maria's Mon have pledged contributions to equine research in the event of a victory by his son Monarchos in the Kentucky Derby. Mrs. Josephine Abercrombie's Pin Oak Stud in Kentucky, where Maria's Mon stands, announced the pledge in response to an earlier, similar pledge by Monarchos' owner, John Oxley.

The partnership that owns Maria's Mon will contribute to Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation an amount equal to one per cent of the winning purse of the race if Monarchos wins the Derby.

In addition to Pin Oak Stud, the other owners of Maria's Mon are W. T. Young's Overbrook Farm, Robert S. McNair's Stonerside Stables, and John Rosenthal.

"We applaud Mr. Oxley's pledge," said Abercrombie, who is a board member of Grayson-Jockey Club. "We also appreciate the cooperation of all of Maria's Mon's owners in making a similar provision on behalf of equine research. I hope other owners of racehorses and stallions will consider major victories as appropriate occasions to make some contribution to an organization whose work helps us all."

Oxley earlier pledged one per cent of winning grade I purses to the Foundation, including the $600,000 purse won by Monarchos in the Florida Derby. His pledge also extends through the Kentucky Derby.

The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation is the leading private source of funding for research aimed at enhancing the health and safety of horses.

RACING ON THE AIR (all times Eastern)

April 20 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), Federico Tesio Stakes (Pimlico), 5:00-6:00 p.m., ESPN2

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

April 28 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN

April 29 Triple Crown Special, 2:00-3:00 p.m., ESPN2

May 2 Racehorse Digest, 1:00-1:30 p.m., ESPN


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.

April 26, 1853: En route to becoming England's first Triple Crown winner, West Australian won the 2,000 Guineas, the first of three races that comprise England's Triple Crown.

April 26, 1916: The first Triple Crown winner, Sir Barton, was foaled at Hamburg Place, Lexington, Ky.

April 27, 1973: At Churchill Downs, Secretariat worked six furlongs in 1:12 3/5 in preparation for the May 5 Kentucky Derby.

April 27, 1999: Trainer D. Wayne Lukas was elected to the National Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame.

April 29, 1976: The State of Connecticut opened its own betting parlors in 11 communities.

April 30, 1941: Jockey Eddie Arcaro rode four winners out of five mounts at Jamaica racetrack before leaving for Churchill Downs to ride Whirlaway in the Kentucky Derby.

April 30, 1989: Bill Shoemaker won his 1,000th stakes race, guiding Charlie Whittingham-trained Peace to victory in the Premiere Handicap at Hollywood Park.

May 1, 1943: Count Fleet won the "street car" Kentucky Derby, for which no tickets could be sold to out-of-town spectators due to wartime travel restrictions.

May 1, 1948: H.A. "Jimmy" Jones, son of Ben A. Jones, stepped aside as the trainer of Citation, allowing his father to be named the colt's official trainer in the Kentucky Derby. Ben Jones was attempting to match the record of H.J. Thompson, who had trained four Derby winners. Citation did win and Ben A. Jones subsequently won two additional derbies, in 1949 and 1952, to set the mark for most number of wins in the Run for the Roses, six. Jimmy Jones was named as Citation's trainer in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, however, giving the Jones family a Triple Crown sweep.

May 1, 1971: The New York Off-Track Betting Corp. offered wagering pools on the Kentucky Derby, the first instance in which parimutuel wagering on the race took place outside the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Churchill Downs had refused to sell the rights to the race to OTB, but the pools were offered nonetheless, generating handle totaling $1,043,005

May 1, 1976: Trainer Laz Barrera won three stakes in three different states: the Kentucky Derby with Bold Forbes; New York's Carter Handicap with Due Diligence and the Illinois Derby with Life's Hope.

May 1, 1993: Paul Mellon became the second person in racing history of have bred and owned winners of the Kentucky Derby (Sea Hero, who won the 1993 Derby) and the Epsom Derby (Mill Reef, who won in 1971). John Galbreath was the first to have accomplished the Derby double, which he did with Proud Clarion (1967 Kentucky Derby) and Roberto (1972 Epsom Derby).

May 1, 1999: Charismatic won the 125th Kentucky Derby at odds of 31-1, giving trainer D. Wayne Lukas his fourth Derby win and his owners, Bob and Beverly Lewis, their second Derby victor.

May 2, 1904: Laska Durnell became the first woman to own a Kentucky Derby starter and winner when longshot Elwood took the 30th Run for the Roses. Elwood, the only Missouri-bred to win the Kentucky Derby, was also the first Derby winner to be bred by a woman, Mrs. J.B. Prather.

May 2, 1934: Future Triple Crown winner War Admiral was foaled at Faraway Farm, Lexington, Ky.

May 2, 1953: Native Dancer suffered his only defeat in 22 starts. He finished second in the Kentucky Derby as the 7-10 favorite, beaten a head by a 25-1 shot, Dark Star. Going into the Derby, Native Dancer had 11 consecutive wins.

May 2, 1970: Diane Crump became the first female jockey to ride in the Kentucky Derby. Her mount, Fathom, finished 15th in a field of 17.

May 2, 1973: In his last workout prior to the Kentucky Derby, Secretariat went five furlongs in :58 3/5.

May 2, 1981: The first simulcast of the Kentucky Derby took place, with three outlets-Centennial Park, Longacres Racecourse and Yakima Meadows-receiving the signal. Total simulcast wagering was $455,163. The Derby simulcast was suspended for the next two years, pending approval by Kentucky horsemen, and was reinstated in 1984.

May 2, 2000: Jockey Julie Krone became the first female elected to Thoroughbred racing's Hall of Fame.

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

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

Will Rogers Stakes, 3yo, $100,000, Grade III, 1M (T), Hollywood Park
LG&E Energy Forerunner Stakes, 3yo, $100,000, 1 1/8 M (T), Keeneland

Coolmore Lexington Stakes, 3yo, $325,000, Grade II, 1 1/16 M, Keeneland
Hialeah Turf Cup Handicap, 3&up, $200,000, Grade II, 1 3/16 M (T), Hialeah Park
Federico Tesio Stakes, 3yo, $200,000, 1 1/8 M, Pimlico
Bed o' Roses Breeders' Cup Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $150,000, Grade III, 1M, Aqueduct
Inglewood Handicap, 3&up, $100,000, Grade III, 1 1/16 M (T), Hollywood Park
Oakland Handicap, 3&up, $100,000, 6F, Bay Meadows
Woodstock Stakes, 3yo, $100,000, 6F, Woodbine
Stravinsky Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $75,000, 5 F (T), Keeneland

Stonerside Beaumont Stakes, 3yo fillies, $250,000, Grade II, about 7F, Keeneland
National Jockey Club Handicap, 4&up, $200,000, Grade III, 1 1/8 M, Sportsman's Park
Senorita Stakes, 3yo fillies, $100,000, Grade III, 1M (T), Hollywood Park
Palisades Stakes, 3yo fillies, $100,000, 1 1/8 M (T), Keeneland

Elkhorn Stakes, 4&up, $100,000, Grade III, 1 M (T), Keeneland

Bewitch Stakes, 4&up (f&m), $200,000, Grade III, 1 M (T), Keeneland




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