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NTRA THOROUGHBRED NOTEBOOK

Racing on the Air Racing to History Weekend Stakes Races
News and notes from around the Thoroughbred racing world, compiled by NTRA Communications, (212) 907-9280.

PREAKNESS TV RATINGS UP 56% OVER LAST YEAR

Last Saturday's telecast on NBC of the Preakness Stakes from Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore earned a final rating of 5.6 and a 16 share, a 56% increase over the 3.6/10 share earned by last year's Preakness telecast on ABC.

The Preakness ratings are the highest since 1992 and follow a 40% increase in ratings registered by this year's telecast of the Kentucky Derby.

Each ratings point is equivalent to approximately one million viewers, while "share" measures the percentage of television sets tuned to a particular event among all those in use at the time.

NYRA TO PARTNER WITH NTRA, IMUS IN TRIPLE CROWN PROMOTION

The New York Racing Association (NYRA) has joined the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) as a partner in its ongoing Triple Crown promotion on the nationally-syndicated "Imus in the Morning" radio program, which is also simulcast on the MSNBC cable television network. More

DAY BEARS DOWN ON #8,000

Hall-of-Fame jockey Pat Day is just 10 victories shy of being only the third rider in history to win 8,000 races. Day won two events on yesterday's Churchill Downs program to bring his victory total to 7,990. Ahead of Day on the all-time list are the still-active Laffit Pincay Jr., who has 9,147 wins to his credit through Wednesday, and the legendary Bill Shoemaker, who retired with 8,833 triumphs to his credit.

Day is booked on several mounts each day during the upcoming holiday weekend, including an engagement aboard Traditionally in Monday's Grade I, $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. The Metropolitan Handicap, as well as that day's Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile from Hollywood Park and the Lone Star Handicap and USA Stakes from Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, can be seen Monday (tape delayed) on NTRA 2Day at the Races from 11:30 p.m.-12:00 a.m. (ET) on ESPN2.

RIBOLETTA HEADED BACK TO THE TRACK

After taking the racing world by storm with smashing victories last year in six important stakes races, including Belmont Park's Beldame Stakes, 2000 Eclipse-Award winning older filly or mare Riboletta was bred this spring to the stallion Forestry and scheduled to spend a quiet 11 months during her pregnancy.

Like so many other broodmares, however, Riboletta lost her foal recently as a result of the Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome that has ravaged Central Kentucky in recent weeks. Riboletta has an otherwise clean bill of health, though, and so the decision has been made to return her to the racetrack for possible starts in late summer or fall.

"She's doing good," Riboletta's trainer Eduardo Inda told Daily Racing Form. "She's a little bit heavy because she's been doing nothing in the paddock, just eating grass."

Among the races that could be on Riboletta's schedule is an October defense of her crown in the Beldame Stakes.

RACING ON THE AIR (all times Eastern)

May 26 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN

May 27 NTRA 2Day at the Races, Jaipur Handicap (Belmont Park), Los Angeles Handicap (Hollywood Park) and MBNA America Challenge (Los Alamitos), 8:00-8:30 p.m., ESPN2

May 28 NTRA 2Day at the Races, Metropolitan Handicap (Belmont Park), Lone Star Handicap (Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie), USA Stakes (Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie) and Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (Hollywood Park), 11:30 p.m.-12:00 a.m., ESPN2

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

June 2 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN

June 6 Racehorse Digest, 1:00-1:30 p.m., ESPN

June 6 Thoroughbred Classics Presented by the NTRA, Belmont Stakes, 6:30-7:00 p.m., ESPN Classic

June 7 Thoroughbred Classics Presented by the NTRA, Belmont Stakes, 7:00-7:30 a.m., ESPN Classic

RACING TO HISTORY

May 25, 1991: Jockey Steve Cauthen won his fourth European derby, the Derby Italiano, with Hailsham, trained by Clive Brittain. Cauthen has also won the Epsom Derby twice, the Irish Derby and the French Derby, in addition to his Kentucky Derby win with Affirmed.

May 25, 1998: Jockey Eddie Maple announced his retirement at Belmont Park while accepting the 1998 Mike Venezia Award. Maple ended his career with 4,398 career victories and earnings of $105,318,593.

May 27, 1823: A $20,000 match race between American Eclipse (representing The North) and Henry (representing The South) was held at Union Course, Long Island. Eclipse won in two-of-three heats, after his original jockey, William Crafts, was replaced by Samuel Purdy before the second heat. The race, witnessed by 60,000 spectators, was the first to have been timed by split-second chronometers, which were imported for the event.

May 27, 1873: A bay colt, Survivor, won the first Preakness Stakes by 10 lengths, the largest margin in the race's history.

May 27, 1878: The entire field of Preakness Stakes horses-three-was owned by a single family, the brothers George and Pierre Lorillard. George's horses finished first and third.

May 27, 1882: Trainer Robert Walden won his fifth consecutive Preakness Stakes, with Vanguard. Walden won a total of seven Preaknesses, a record for a trainer.

May 27, 1979: Jockey Chris McCarron, 24, won his 2,000th career race, aboard Stembok, in the second race at Hollywood Park.

May 27, 1981: Bill Shoemaker became the first jockey in racing history to win 8,000 races when he rode War Allied to victory in the first race at Hollywood Park.

May 27, 1985: Under jockey Laffit Pincay Jr., odds-on favorite Spend a Buck defeated Creme Fraiche by a neck to win the Jersey Derby and earn $2.6 million, the largest single purse in American racing history. Two million dollars of the purse came from a bonus to Spend a Buck for winning the Cherry Hill Mile, the Garden State Stakes, the Kentucky Derby and the Jersey Derby. Angel Cordero Jr., the regular rider of Spend a Buck, was committed to ride Track Barron in the Metropolitan Handicap in New York on the same day and was persuaded to give up his mount in the Jersey Derby. Track Barron finished third in the Metropolitan, earning $40,620.

May 28, 1997: Visa USA and Triple Crown Productions announced that they had increased the bonus for winning the Triple Crown to a total of $5 million.

May 28, 2000: Jockey Edgar Prado registered his 4,000th career victory aboard Thunder Breeze in the second race at Belmont Park.

May 29, 1897: Scottish Chieftain, owned by Marcus Daly, became the only Montana bred to win the Belmont Stakes.

May 29, 1907: Colin began his undefeated career, breaking his maiden by two lengths at Belmont Park.

May 29, 1946: Two-year-old fillies Chakoora and Uleta became the first Thoroughbreds to complete a transcontinental flight. They were flown from New York to Inglewood, Calif., by the American Air Express Corporation, for a 2,446-mile trip that lasted 20 hours due to adverse weather conditions.

May 30, 1903: Flocarline became the first filly to win the Preakness Stakes.

May 30, 1908: Jockey Joe Notter misjudged the finish of the Belmont Stakes and eased up on his mount, Colin, whose career record to that point was 13-for-13. Notter barely recovered from his mistake to hold off the drive of Fair Play, who came within a head of defeating Colin. When he retired, Colin's record stood at 15 wins in as many starts.

May 30, 1936: Omaha, the Triple Crown winner of 1935, won the Queens Plate at Kempton Park, England, for owner William Woodward.

May 30, 1941: Hollywood Park introduced the "vibrationless camera," developed by Hollywood cameraman Lorenzo del Ricio. Eight patrol judges with the cameras, which were attached to their binoculars, were stationed at intervals around the track. Jockey Nunzio Pariso was the camera's first victim-he was shown on film crowding a rival on the far turn.

May 30, 1969: Jockey Patty Barton won her first career race, at Pikes Peak.

May 31, 1969: Racing returned to Pennsylvania when Liberty Bell racetrack opened, near Philadelphia. The state had not had legal racing since 1802 and became the 30th state to adopt parimutuel wagering.

June 1, 1881: Pierre Lorillard's Iroquois became the first American-owned and -bred horse to win a European classic race when he won the Epsom Derby under one of England's greatest riders, Fred Archer. Iroquois won seven of nine starts as a three-year-old, including England's St. Leger Stakes.

June 1, 1946: Assault became the seventh horse to win the Triple Crown, with a victory in the Belmont Stakes.

June 1, 1973: In his final tuneup for the Belmont Stakes and the Triple Crown, Secretariat went six furlongs in 1:11 3/5, doing the first three furlongs in :35 2/5 and five furlongs in :59.

June 1, 1978: In his first start ever on the turf, eventual four-time champion grass horse John Henry won a $35,000, 1 1/16-mile claiming race by 14 lengths at Belmont Park. John Henry was voted champion turf horse for the years 1980-81 and 1983-84.

June 1, 1999: Mr. Prospector, the most influential sire of his generation, died in his stall at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Ky. He was 29.

June 2, 1943: Trainer Hirsch Jacobs claimed two-year-old Stymie for $1,500. By the end of 1947, Stymie had become the world's leading money-winning Thoroughbred, with earnings of $816,060 and 22 stakes victories.

June 2, 1947: After a six-year layoff, 13-year-old Honey Cloud won the second race at Aqueduct. His jockey, Clarence Minner, had not ridden in 10 years.

June 3, 1943: To further the war effort, the Navy took over Tanforan racetrack and used it as a training base.

June 4, 1870: Ed Brown became the first African-American jockey to win the Belmont Stakes, with Kingfisher.

June 4, 1913: At odds of 100-1, Aboyeur became the first horse to win the Epsom Derby by an on-course disqualification after Craganour, who won by a head, was disqualified for bumping. During the race, a suffragette had rushed onto the track and pulled down the King's horse, Anmer. The suffragette, Emily Davison, died of a fractured skull.

June 4, 1941: Three days before his race in the Belmont Stakes, which would complete his Triple Crown, Whirlaway worked 1 1/4 miles in 2:02 2/5.

June 5, 1884: James McLaughlin became the first jockey to ride three consecutive Belmont Stakes winners, when he rode Panique to victory. He previously won with George Kinney (1883) and Forester (1882). McLaughlin repeated his feat in 1886-88, with each of his wins aboard horses owned by the Dwyer brothers. McLaughlin's triple was matched by jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. in 1984.

June 5, 1901: William C. Whitney's Volodyovski won the Epsom Derby, making him the second American owner (after Pierre Lorillard in 1881) to have won the race. Whitney leased the English-bred horse for the express purpose of winning at Epsom. Whitney's trainer, John Huggins, was the first American to train an Epsom Derby winner.

June 5, 1937: War Admiral became the fourth winner of the Triple Crown, with a win in the Belmont Stakes.

June 5, 1943: Count Fleet ended his racing career by winning the Belmont Stakes by 25 lengths. He was the sixth American Triple Crown winner. Count Fleet was such a heavy favorite for the race, going off at odds of 1-20, that no place or show wagering was allowed.

June 5, 1969: Jockey Mary Bacon won her first race, at Finger Lakes. Among apprentices, she finished 23rd in the races-won category that year, with 55 victories in 396 starts and purses of $91,642. Bacon was the first female to join the list of leading apprentices.

June 5, 1985: Steve Cauthen won the Epsom Derby aboard Slip Anchor and became the only American jockey to win both the English and Kentucky Derbies. Cauthen had previously ridden Affirmed to victory in the 1978 Kentucky Derby.

June 5, 1993: Julie Krone became the first female rider to win a Triple Crown race when she won the Belmont Stakes with Colonial Affair.

June 5, 1999: Charismatic lost his bid to become the 12th Triple Crown winner when he fractured his left front cannon bone and sesamoid while finishing third to Lemon Drop Kid in the Belmont Stakes.

June 6, 1919: Man o' War won his first race ever, a five-furlong contest over a straightaway at Belmont Park. He won by six lengths, running the distance in 59 seconds, and went off at odds of 3-5. In each of his 20 subsequent races, Man o' War was the odds-on favorite.

June 6, 1972: In preparation for his colt's July 4 racing debut, trainer Lucien Laurin put blinkers on two-year-old Secretariat for the first time. Secretariat responded by working a half-mile at Belmont Park in :47 3/5, the fastest time he had ever worked up to that date.

June 6, 1987: Bet Twice became the first horse to receive a Triple Crown bonus after winning the Belmont Stakes over rival Alysheba. He earned $1 million in addition to the first-place money.

June 6, 1992: Jockey Carl Gambardella won his 6,000th career victory, aboard Nip of Gin, at Rockingham Park.

June 6, 1998: Real Quiet was denied the Triple Crown when Victory Gallop edged him at the wire in the Belmont Stakes before an audience of 80,162. The crowd was the second-largest in the track's history and just shy of the mark set in 1971 when Canonero II failed in his Triple Crown bid before 82,694 spectators. Total handle on the Belmont Day card was a record of $55,613,482.

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

SATURDAY, MAY 26
Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $250,000, Grade I, 1 1/8 M (T), Hollywood Park
Peter Pan Stakes, 3yo, $200,000, Grade II, 1 1/8 M, Belmont Park
Connaught Cup Stakes, 4&up, $150,000, Grade III, 1 1/16 M (T), Woodbine
Calder Breeders' Cup Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $150,000, 1 1/16 M (T), Calder
Dogwood Stakes, 3yo fillies, $100,000, Grade III, 1 1/16 M, Churchill Downs
Willard L. Proctor Memorial Stakes, 2yo, $75,000, 5F, Hollywood Park
Precisionist Handicap, 3&up, $75,000, 1 1/16 M, Prairie Meadows
Brandywine Stakes, 3&up, $75,000, 1M, Delaware Park

SUNDAY, MAY 27
Jaipur Handicap, 3&up, $100,000, Grade III, 7F (T), Belmont Park
Los Angeles Handicap, 3&up, $100,000, Grade III, 6f, Hollywood Park
Jersey Derby, 3yo, $100,000, Grade III, 1 1/16 M (T), Monmouth Park

MONDAY, MAY 28
Metropolitan Handicap, 3&up, $750,000, Grade I, 1M, Belmont Park
Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile Stakes, 3&up, $350,000, Grade I, 1M (T), Hollywood Park
Lone Star Park Handicap, 3&up, $300,000, Grade III, 1 1/16 M, Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie
USA Stakes, 3yo, $200,000, 1 1/16 M (T), Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie
WinStar Distaff, 3&up (f&m), $200,000, 1M (T), Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie
All-American Handicap, 3&up, $150,000, Grade III, 1 1/16 M, Bay Meadows
Red Bank Handicap, 3&up, $150,000, Grade III, 1M (T), Monmouth Park
Kentucky Breeders' Cup Stakes, 2yo, $150,000, Grade III, 5 F, Churchill Downs
Flawlessly Stakes, 3yo fillies, $150,000, 1 1/8 M (T), Hollywood Park
Lazaro S. Barrera Memorial Stakes, 3yo, $100,000, Grade III, 7F, Hollywood Park
Lone Star Park Turf Sprint, 3&up, $100,000, 5F (T), Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie
Honor Guard Stakes, 3yo, $75,000, 1 1/8 M (T), Pimlico
Memorial Day Handicap, 3&up, $75,000, 1 1/16 M, Calder
Denise Rhudy Memorial Stakes, 3yo fillies, $75,000, 1 1/16 M (T), Delaware Park

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