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 this afternoon at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif. when he climbs aboard Duke of Green in today's fifth race. Currently with 6,999 wins to his credit, McCarron will be riding in just the one race today. On tomorrow's Hollywood Park racing card, McCarron is scheduled to ride in TK races.

With one additional victory, McCarron will join Laffit Pincay Jr., Bill Shoemaker, Pat Day, Dave Gall, Angel Cordero Jr. and Russell Baze in the 7,000 win club.


Triple Crown-winning jockey Steve Cauthen, as well as current riders Corey Nakatani and Robby Albarado, are among those slated to tee off in the NTRA Charities Kentucky Derby Pro-Am at Lake Forest Country Club in Louisville on Monday, April 30. Country music recording star John Michael Montgomery and a host of others are also scheduled to take part in the event, which will be covered on FOX-TV's "Inside Kentucky Golf."

The tournament benefits NTRA Charities, which strives to broaden the Thoroughbred industry's scope of community outreach through its national charity affiliate, Ronald McDonald House Charities, as well as increase awareness for the protection and welfare of equine athletes through its Racehorse Adoption Referral Program. For additional information, contact Jodilyn Mendelsohn at 800-792-NTRA.


Three $75,000 stakes races are slated to launch the fifth season of Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championship (MATCH) Series competition, as the broadly-popular, balanced schedule of thirty Delaware/Maryland/New Jersey/Virginia stakes -- and their accompanying $3,125,000 in purses - begins this weekend.

Saturday's opening doubleheader includes the Searching Stakes for fillies and mares, three-years-old and up, at a mile over the Pimlico turf course, and the six-furlong Damitrius Stakes at Delaware Park for males three-years-old and up. On Sunday, Pimlico will spotlight top area turf males in the Henry D. Clark Stakes.

Delaware Township, a troubled second in the recently run Bold Ruler Handicap at Aqueduct and winner of last year's prestigious Vosburgh at Belmont Park, heads a field of eight crack sprinters in the Damitrius Stakes.

"We are very excited about this year's series," said Alan Foreman, who conceived the competition. "The racing directors at the tracks involved have worked to develop an exciting schedule of stakes for horses and their connections from now through September. Last year's competition was outstanding, and we look for more of the same this season."


As part of this Saturday's running of the $100,000 Bosselman/Gus Fonner Handicap, Fonner Park in Grand Island, Neb. will offer a special superfecta wager on the race with a guaranteed minimum pool of $50,000. Bettors able to select the first four finishers of the race in exact order will share in the net pool of at least $38,500.

Joining Fonner Park in offering the special wager are Ag Park, Horsemen's Park, State Fair Park, Horsemen's Atokad Downs, Canterbury Park, Great Lakes Downs, Louisiana Downs, Northfield Park, Plainridge Racecourse, Prairie Meadows, Retama Park, Sam Houston Race Park, Sportsman's Park, Thistledown and The Woodlands.


ESPN Classic's "SportsCentury: The Top 50 and Beyond" will celebrate the 127th Kentucky Derby with a week of programs featuring some of racing's greatest horses.

On Tuesday, May 1, the series will feature Secretariat. Affirmed and Alydar's epic battles will be shown on Wednesday, May 2nd, and 1978 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew will be spotlighted on Thursday, May 3rd. Wrapping up the special week of programming will be Citation on Friday, May 4th. All shows air at 8 p.m. (ET)


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.

RACING ON THE AIR (all times Eastern)

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

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

May 1 Run for the Roses, 1:00-2:00 p.m., ESPN2

May 1 SportsCentury: The Top 50 and Beyond, "Secretariat," 8:00-8:30 p.m., ESPN Classic

May 2 Run for the Roses, 11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., ESPN2

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

May 2 Run for the Roses, 2:00-3:00 p.m., ESPN

May 2 Kentucky Derby Draw, 5:00-6:00 p.m., ESPN

May 2 "Thoroughbred Classics Presented by the NTRA," Kentucky Derby, 6:30-7:00 p.m., ESPN Classic

May 2 SportsCentury: The Top 50 and Beyond, "Affirmed and Alydar," 8:00-8:30 p.m., ESPN Classic

May 3 "Thoroughbred Classics Presented by the NTRA," Kentucky Derby, 7:00-7:30 a.m., ESPN Classic

May 3 Run for the Roses, 11:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m., ESPN2

May 3 SportsCentury: The Top 50 and Beyond, "Seattle Slew," 8:00-8:30 p.m., ESPN Classic

May 4 Breakfast at Churchill Downs, 7:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., ESPN2

May 4 "Thoroughbred Classics Presented by the NTRA," Kentucky Derby, 9:30-10:00 a.m., ESPN Classic

May 4 Run for the Roses, 1:00-2:00 p.m., ESPN

May 4 2Day at Churchill Downs, 3:00-5:00 p.m., ESPN2

May 4 Kentucky Oaks (Churchill Downs), 5:00-6:00 p.m., ESPN2

May 4 "Thoroughbred Classics Presented by the NTRA," Kentucky Derby, 5:30-6:00 p.m., ESPN Classic

May 4 SportsCentury: The Top 50 and Beyond, "Citation," 8:00-8:30 p.m., ESPN Classic

May 4 Handicapping the Derby, 8:30-9:00 p.m., ESPN2

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

May 5 Breakfast at Churchill Downs, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., ESPN2

May 5 2Day at The Kentucky Derby, 12:00-2:30 p.m., ESPN2

May 5 Kentucky Derby Special, 2:30-5:00 p.m., ESPN

May 5 Kentucky Derby (Churchill Downs), 5:00-6:30 p.m., NBC

May 5 Kentucky Derby Highlights, 6:30-7:00 p.m., ESPN2

May 6 Kentucky Derby Highlights, 1:30-2:00 p.m., ESPN

May 9 Racehorse Digest, 1:00-1:30 p.m., ESPN


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.

May 3, 1769: Namesake of racing's annual awards, Eclipse made his first public appearance in a heat race at Epsom, England. The chestnut won his first trial easily, prompting gambler Dennis O'Kelly to predict "Eclipse first, the rest nowhere" at the start of the second heat. O'Kelly's forecast was correct. Eclipse won the second four-mile race by nearly a quarter of a mile.

May 3, 1902: Jockey James Winkfield, the last African American rider to win the Kentucky Derby, won his second consecutive Derby aboard Alan-a-Dale.

May 3, 1952: The first coast-to-coast, network-televised Kentucky Derby aired on CBS. Favorite Hill Gail won the Derby, giving his jockey Eddie Arcaro a record fifth victory in the Kentucky Derby, and his trainer, Ben A. Jones, the record for most number of wins (six). Arcaro's record was matched on this day in 1969 by jockey Bill Hartack. Jones' record has not been equaled.

May 3, 1958: CBS used a "split screen" for its telecast of the Kentucky Derby, necessitated by the presence of the popular runner Silky Sullivan, who was famous for running far off the pace. Most of the screen was allotted to the main group of runners, with a small corner given over to Silky Sullivan. Although he was one of the favorites for the race, Silky failed to deliver his customary winning drive in the stretch and finished 12th, beaten 20 lengths by the victorious Tim Tam.

May 3, 1969: Jockey Bill Hartack won his fifth Kentucky Derby aboard Majestic Prince, tying Eddie Arcaro's 1952 record. Majestic Prince was trained by Hall of Fame jockey John Longden, the only person to have trained and ridden a Kentucky Derby winner.

May 3, 1980: Diana Firestone's Genuine Risk became the second filly to win the Kentucky Derby. Regret won it in 1915; Winning Colors, in 1988.

May 3, 1986: Charlie Whittingham, at age 73, became the oldest trainer to win his first Kentucky Derby when he sent Ferdinand to victory. Ferdinand's rider, Bill Shoemaker, was the oldest jockey (54) to take the Run for the Roses. Whittingham topped himself in 1989, winning the Derby a second time (at age 76) with Sunday Silence.

May 4, 1905: Belmont Park opened for its first race meet.

May 4, 1957: Bill Shoemaker, aboard Gallant Man, misjudged the finish line for the Kentucky Derby and stood up in the irons prematurely. Gallant Man lost the race by a nose to Iron Liege. Round Table was third and Bold Ruler was fourth in this historic finish.

May 4, 1968: Dancer's Image became the first horse to be disqualified from the Kentucky Derby because post-race testing revealed an illegal medication. Forward Pass was declared the winner, giving Calumet Farm its eighth Derby winner, a record.

May 4, 1996: Trainer D. Wayne Lukas set the record for most consecutive wins in Triple Crown races, six, when Grindstone won the Kentucky Derby. Lukas' winning streak began with the 1994 Preakness Stakes, which he won with Tabasco Cat.

May 5, 1934: Brookmeade Stable's Cavalcade won the Kentucky Derby, his third victory in a span of less than two weeks.

May 5, 1973: Secretariat became the first horse to complete the 1-mile course for the Kentucky Derby in less than two minutes when he won the 99th Run for the Roses in a record 1:59 2/5, which was 3/5 faster than Northern Dancer's 1964 mark of 2:00, to set a track and stakes record that still holds. He ran each successive quarter-mile of the race faster than the previous one, with split times of :25 1/5, :24, :23 4/5, :23 2/5 and :23.

May 5, 1990: Frances Genter, age 92, became the oldest winning owner in Derby history when Unbridled won the 116th renewal of the Run for the Roses.

May 6, 1895: African American jockey James "Soup" Perkins guided the favorite Halma to a wire-to-wire victory in the 21st running of the Kentucky Derby. Perkins, who was 15, joined fellow African American jockey Alonzo Clayton as the youngest jockey to ride a Derby winner.

May 6, 1896: African American jockey Willie Simms guided Ben Brush to victory in the 22nd Kentucky Derby, the first time the race was run at 1 miles. Two years later, Simms would win the Derby aboard Plaudit, giving him a perfect record in the Kentucky Derby: two wins in two attempts.

May 6, 1933: In the "fighting finish" to the Kentucky Derby -- before the advent of photo-finish cameras and video patrol -- jockey Don Meade on Brokers Tip, and Herb Fisher, on Head Play, pushed, hit, tugged and jostled each other to the finish line at Churchill Downs. Brokers Tip was declared the winner, by a margin of two or three inches.

May 6, 2000: Fusaichi Pegasus, a $4 million yearling purchase, became the first favorite to win the Kentucky Derby in 21 years with his convincing win over Aptitude. Spectacular Bid in 1979 was the previous favorite to win the "Run for the Roses."

May 7, 1938: The Kentucky Derby Glass made its debut. First used as a water glass for the track restaurant, the mint julep glass has been a part of the Derby tradition for more than 50 years.

May 7, 1949: Calumet Farm's Ponder won the 75th Kentucky Derby, which was first telecast on a limited basis by local TV station WAVE.

May 7, 1973: Secretariat was flown to Pimlico Racecourse to prepare for the Preakness Stakes after his record-breaking performance in the Kentucky Derby.

May 7, 1983: Aboard Sunny's Halo, jockey Eddie Delahoussaye became the last rider to win consecutive Kentucky Derbies. Other riders to have won back-to-back Derbies are: Isaac Murphy, Ron Turcotte and James Winkfield.

May 7, 1988: Winning Colors, the first roan and the third filly to win the Kentucky Derby, provided trainer D. Wayne Lukas with his first Derby win in 13 attempts.

May 7, 1992: Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero Jr. announced his retirement from race riding.

May 8, 1901: David Garrick, owned by American Pierre Lorillard, won the Chester Cup in England, under the guidance of American jockey Danny Maher.

May 8, 1915: H.P. Whitney's Regret became the first filly to win the Kentucky Derby, 40 years after the race's inception in 1875.

May 8, 1937: Mary Hirsch, daughter of Max Hirsch, who had conditioned 1936 Kentucky Derby winner Bold Venture, became the first woman trainer to saddle a runner in the Kentucky Derby. The horse, No Sir, who was also owned by Hirsch, finished 13th in a field of 20.

May 9, 1945: The wartime government ban on horse racing in the United States was lifted.

May 9, 1982: Jockey Chris McCarron won his 3,000th career race, aboard Aggrandizement, in the ninth race at Hollywood Park.

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

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

Royal Chase for the Sport of Kings, 4&up, $175,000, Grade I, 2 M (Steeplechase), Keeneland
Ben Ali Stakes, 4&up, $100,000, Grade III, 1 1/8 M, Keeneland

San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile, 3&up, $300,000, Grade II, 1 M (T), Bay Meadows
Texas Mile Stakes, 3&up, $300,000, Grade III, 1 M, Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie
Excelsior Breeders' Cup Handicap, 3&up, $200,000, Grade III, 1 1/8 M, Aqueduct
Vigil Stakes, 4&up, $125,000, Grade III, 7F, Woodbine
Derby Trial Stakes, 3yo, $100,000, Grade III, 1 M, Churchill Downs
Bosselman/Gus Fonner Handicap, 3&up, $100,000, 1 1/16 M, Fonner Park
Buick Distaff, 3&up (f&m), $100,000, 1 1/16 M, Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie
Searching Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $75,000, 1 M (T), Pimlico
Damitrius Stakes, 3&up, $75,000, 6F, Delaware Park

Sixty Sails Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $300,000, Grade III, 1 1/8 M, Sportsman's Park
Wilshire Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $100,000, Grade III, 1 M (T), Hollywood Park
Henry S. Clark Stakes, 3&up, $75,000, 1 M (T), Pimlico

La Troienne Stakes, 3yo fillies, $100,000, Grade III, 7F, Churchill Downs
Mamzelle Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $100,000, 5F (T), Churchill Downs




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