Chicago Barn to Wire

NTRA THOROUGHBRED NOTEBOOK

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

FANS TO HELP SELECT NTRA ALL-STAR JOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP PARTICIPANTS

For the first time, racing fans will have the opportunity to elect two of their favorite riders to berths in the NTRA All-Star Jockey Championship, a unique four-race event featuring 12 of America's top jockeys. This year's fifth annual renewal will again take place at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, located in the heart of the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. ESPN2 will televise the June 22 Championship on a same-day-tape basis. The one-hour telecast will air at 12 midnight (ET).

Through May 22, fans may log on to ntra.com, lonestarpark.com or drf.com and vote for two jockeys they would like to see invited to compete in the NTRA All-Star Jockey Championship. The two riders receiving the most votes will receive automatic berths to the event. Nine riders named to the Championship will be determined, as in the past, by committee, with one spot reserved for the leading rider at host track Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie.

In addition to fan voting, there will be a special Internet and e-mail promotion in conjunction with the Championship. After the final field of 12 riders is determined, fans can log on to ntra.com, lonestarpark.com, nbc5i.com or drf.com and select their choice to win the competition. One of those correctly predicting the winner will receive a guaranteed cash prize of $7,500, with other prizes to be awarded as well to other contestants.

Registered fans may also receive a series of customized e-mail messages that will preview the NTRA All-Star Jockey Championship and contain hotlinks to handicapping information and horseracing sites. e-Dialog, a Massachusetts-based direct marketing firm whose clients include the NFL and Ticketmaster, will be providing data collection and e-mail communication services for the promotion.

The NTRA All Star Jockey Championship will receive additional support from NBC 5/KXAS-TV, based in Dallas/Ft. Worth. NBC 5/KXAS-TV and nbc51.com will offer extensive on-air and online promotional support throughout the month of June leading up to the Championship. The station will also supply prizes toward the Internet and e-mail-based promotion.

SPECIAL DAYS PLANNED TO PREVIEW CLAIMING CROWN

Four tracks -- Philadelphia Park, Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, Prairie Meadows and Turf Paradise -- will hold Claiming Crown Preview Days and have scheduled races with conditions identical to those of the races comprising the third annual Claiming Crown to be held Saturday, Aug. 4 at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn.

Philadelphia Park and Lone Star Park will conduct their Preview Days on Saturday, June 2 and both will offer races that mirror all six of the Claiming Crown events. At Philadelphia Park, the purses will range from $25,000 to $50,000. At Lone Star Park, the purse range will be $15,000 to $35,000. The actual Claiming Crown purse schedule includes two races for $50,000 and one each for $75,000, $100,000, $125,000 and $150,000. Prairie Meadows will offer five Claiming Crown-based races during the weekend of June 2-3, while Turf Paradise has scheduled three Claiming Crown Preview Day events for Sunday, May 6.

Other Claiming Crown Preview Days during the next six to eight weeks are under consideration in Florida, Kentucky, Illinois and California.

SAM HOUSTON TO OFFER MILLION-DOLLAR PRIZE

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 the 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)

May 3 SportsCentury: The Top 50 and Beyond, "Affirmed and Alydar," 8:00-9:00 p.m., ESPN Classic

May 3 SportsCentury: The Top 50 and Beyond, "Affirmed and Alydar," 11:00 p.m.-12:00 midnight, ESPN Classic

May 4 SportsCentury: The Top 50 and Beyond, "Affirmed and Alydar," 4:00-5:00 a.m., ESPN Classic

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

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

May 4 ESPN Classic Road Show, Churchill Downs, 12:00-3:00 p.m., ESPN Classic

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," 8:00-9:00 p.m., ESPN Classic

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

May 4 SportsCentury: The Top 50 and Beyond, "Citation," 11:00 p.m.-12:00 midnight, ESPN Classic

May 5 SportsCentury: The Top 50 and Beyond, "Secretariat," 1:00-2:00 a.m., ESPN Classic

May 5 SportsCentury: The Top 50 and Beyond, "Seattle Slew," 2:00-3:00 a.m., ESPN Classic

May 5 SportsCentury: The Top 50 and Beyond, "Affirmed and Alydar," 3:00-4:00 a.m., ESPN Classic

May 5 SportsCentury: The Top 50 and Beyond, "Citation," 4:00-5:00 a.m., ESPN Classic

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 Run for the Triple Crown, "1977-Seattle Slew," 12:00 noon-12:30 p.m., ESPN Classic

May 5 Run for the Triple Crown, "1978-Affirmed," 12:30-1:00 p.m., ESPN Classic

May 5 Run for the Triple Crown, "1979-Spectacular Bid," 1:00-1:30 p.m., ESPN Classic

May 5 Run for the Triple Crown, "1981-Pleasant Colony," 1:30-2:00 p.m., ESPN Classic

May 5 Run for the Triple Crown, "1987-Alysheba," 2:00-2:30 p.m., ESPN Classic

May 5 Run for the Triple Crown, "1989-Sunday Silence," 2:30-3:00 p.m., ESPN Classic

May 5 Run for the Triple Crown, "1997-Silver Charm," 3:00-3:30 p.m., ESPN Classic

May 5 Run for the Triple Crown, "1998-Real Quiet," 3:30-4:00 p.m., ESPN Classic

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 5 SportsCentury: The Top 50 and Beyond, "Seattle Slew," 7:00-8:00 p.m., ESPN Classic

May 5 SportsCentury: The Top 50 and Beyond, "Secretariat," 8:00-9:00 p.m., ESPN Classic

May 6 SportsCentury: The Top 50 and Beyond, "Citation," 7:00-8:00 a.m., ESPN Classic

May 6 SportsCentury: The Top 50 and Beyond, "Seattle Slew," 8:00-9:00 a.m., ESPN Classic

May 6 SportsCentury: The Top 50 and Beyond, "Affirmed and Alydar," 9:00-10:00 a.m., ESPN Classic

May 6 SportsCentury: The Top 50 and Beyond, "Secretariat," 10:00-11:00 a.m., ESPN Classic

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

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

May 12 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN

May 12 "NTRA 2Day at the Races," Pimlico Special (Pimlico), Hirsch Jacobs Stakes (Pimlico), Alysheba Breeders' Cup Stakes (Lone Star Park), 7:00-7:30 p.m., ESPN2

May 16 Racehorse Digest, 1:00-1:30 p.m., ESPN

May 16 Preakness Stakes Post Position Draw, 5:00-6:00 p.m., ESPN

May 16 "Thoroughbred Classics Presented by the NTRA," Preakness Stakes," 6:30-7:00 p.m., ESPN Classic

RACING TO HISTORY

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 1-4 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 1/4-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 1/4 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.

May 10, 1842: Fashion, representing the North, competed against Boston, representing the South, in a match race at Union Course. Described by contemporaries as the best race ever run in America, with $20,000 put up on each side, the match was won by Fashion before a crowd estimated between 50,000 and 70,000.

May 10, 1910: George Woolf, namesake of a jockey's award given annually by Santa Anita Park, was born in Cardston, Alberta.

May 10, 1919: Sir Barton won the Kentucky Derby after being winless in six tries. Four days later, on May 14, he won the Preakness Stakes, and on June 11, he became the first Triple Crown winner after capturing the Belmont Stakes.

May 11, 1888: Trainer Robert Walden set the record for the most number of Preakness winners-seven-when he sent Refund to victory.

May 11, 1892: African American jockey Alonzo Clayton, age 15, became the youngest rider to win the Kentucky Derby when he guided Azra to victory in the 18th running of the Derby.

May 11, 1935: Trainer "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons sent a two-year-old colt, White Cockade, to victory in the Youthful Stakes at Jamaica, giving his 26-year-old owner, Ogden Phipps, his first stakes win ever.

May 12, 1909: The Preakness Stakes was held in Maryland after 16 runnings in New York. As part of the celebration that marked the return of the Preakness, the colors of the race's winner were painted onto the ornamental weathervane at Pimlico Racecourse for the first time.

May 12, 1917: Omar Khayyam became the first foreign-bred horse to win the Kentucky Derby. He was bred in England.

May 12, 1924: Nellie Morse became the fourth and last filly to win the Preakness Stakes. Other fillies to win the Preakness were Flocarline (1903); Whimsical (1906); and Rhine Maiden (1915).

May 12, 1936: Jockey Ralph Neves was involved in a racing accident at Bay Meadows and erroneously pronounced dead. He was later revived at the morgue and he returned to the racetrack the same day. He was ordered to sit out the remainder of the racing card and so missed only a half-day of work because of his "death."

May 12, 1990: D. Wayne Lukas became the first trainer to top $100 million in purses when he sent Calumet Farm's Criminal Type to win the Pimlico Special at Pimlico Racecourse.

May 13, 1845: The Great Sectional Match, the North versus the South, was run at Union Course in New York. Fashion, representing the North, raced against the South's Peytona in a match race won by Peytona. Three years earlier, Fashion had defeated Boston, who represented the South, in another North-South rivalry.

May 13, 1891: Kingman, the only African American-owned horse to win the Derby, did so with jockey Isaac Murphy in the irons. Kingman was owned and trained by African American Dudley Allen. The win gave jockey Isaac Murphy back-to-back Derby victories and made him the first jockey to win three Derbies.

May 13, 1939: Louis Schaefer became the first person to have ridden and trained a Preakness Stakes winner after he saddled Challedon to victory. Schaefer won the 1929 Preakness as a jockey, riding Dr. Freeland. Schaefer's double was replicated by jockey-turned-trainer John Longden, who rode Count Fleet in the 1943 Preakness and trained Majestic Prince to win the race in 1969.

May 13, 1973: Secretariat worked five furlongs in :57 2/5 at Pimlico Racecourse in preparation for the May 19 Preakness Stakes. He was eased after completing his workout distance, but still ran six furlongs in 1:10.

May 14, 1978: Having recovered from the often-deadly Colitis X virus, Seattle Slew won his first start as a four-year-old in an allowance race at Aqueduct.

May 14, 1989: E.P. Taylor, owner of Windfields Farms and breeder of Northern Dancer, died at age 88.

May 14, 2000: Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Ill., re-opened its gates to racing after being closed for two years, welcoming a crowd of 35,273.

May 15, 1918: Two horses-War Cloud and Jack Hare Jr.-were declared the winner of the Preakness Stakes, not because of a dead heat, but because the race was run in two divisions.

May 15, 1952: John Longden won his 4,000th victory, riding at Hollywood Park.

May 15, 1954: Nashua won his first race, running 4 1/2 furlongs over a straightaway at Belmont Park.

May 15, 1993: Genuine Risk, the second of three fillies to have won the Kentucky Derby since it began in 1875, gave birth to her first foal after 13 years of failed attempts and miscarriages. The foal, a son of Rahy, was named Genuine Reward.

May 15, 1999: Charismatic, winner of the 1999 Kentucky Derby, won the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Racecourse in front a record crowd of 100,311.

May 16, 1884: Buchanan became the first maiden to win the Kentucky Derby. Only two other maiden horses have gone on to win the Run for the Roses: Sir Barton in 1919, and Brokers Tip in 1933.

May 16, 1925: The first network radio broadcast of the Kentucky Derby aired from WHAS in Louisville.

May 16, 1979: Gary Stevens rode his first career winner, named Lil Star, trained by his father, Ron Stevens, at Les Bois Park.

May 16, 1998: Bob Baffert became the first person to train Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winners in successive years. In 1997, Baffert won the Derby and Preakness with Silver Charm; the following year, he won with Real Quiet.

May 16, 1998: During Preakness Stakes Day at Pimlico Racecourse, a transformer went down at 1:00 p.m., causing a power failure in the grandstand. With temperatures in the 90s, the facility had no operating air-conditioning, lights, closed-circuit television, public address system, elevators, escalators or betting windows. A then-record crowd of 91,122 was on hand and an estimated $1.5 million in on-track handle was lost.

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

FRIDAY, MAY 4
Kentucky Oaks, 3yo fillies, $500,000, Grade I, 1 1/8 M, Churchill Downs
Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $250,000, Grade II, 1 1/16 M, Churchill Downs
Crown Royal American Turf Stakes, 3yo, $100,000, Grade III, 1 1/16 M (T), Churchill Downs
Aegon Turf Sprint Stakes, 3&up, $100,000, Grade III, 5F (T), Churchill Downs

SATURDAY, MAY 5
Kentucky Derby, 3yo, $1,000,000, Grade I, 1 M, Churchill Downs
Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes, 3&up, $300,000, Grade I, 1 1/8 M (T), Churchill Downs
Churchill Downs Handicap, 3&up, $150,000, Grade II, 7F, Churchill Downs
Humana Distaff Handicap, 4&up (f&m), $150,000, Grade II, 7F, Churchill Downs
Mervyn LeRoy Handicap, 3&up, $150,000, Grade II, 1 1/16 M, Hollywood Park
Withers Stakes, 3yo, $150,000, Grade III, 1M, Aqueduct
WinnerComm Distaff Turf Mile, 3&up (f&m), $100,000, Grade III, 1M (T), Churchill Downs
Three Chimneys Juvenile Stakes, 2yo, $100,000, Grade III, 5F, Churchill Downs
Fort Marcy Handicap, 3&up, $100,000, Grade III, 1 1/16 M (T), Aqueduct
Crescent Stakes, 3&up, $100,000, 6 F, Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie
Columbiana Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $75,000, 1 1/8 M (T), Hialeah
Woodlawn Stakes, 3yo, $75,000, 1 1/16 M, Pimlico

SUNDAY, MAY 6
Carter Handicap, 3&up, $300,000, Grade I, 7F, Aqueduct
Hawthorne Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $150,000, Grade II, 1 1/16 M, Hollywood Park
Beaugay Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $100,000, 1 1/16 M (T), Aqueduct
Go for Wand Stakes, 3yo fillies, $75,000, 1M, Delaware Park

WEDNESDAY, MAY 9
Nassau County Stakes, 3yo fillies, $150,000, Grade II, 7F, Belmont Park

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