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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.

BELMONT STAKES, BROOKLYN HANDICAP HEAD BIG WEEKEND AT BELMONT

When Preakness winner Point Given drew the outside post for the third consecutive time in this year's Triple Crown series, the final piece was put into place for this Saturday's 133rd running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. Known as "Test of the Champion," this year's Belmont Stakes features a stellar field of nine three-year-olds, including Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos. NBC will televise the Belmont Stakes live from 5:00-6:30 p.m. (ET) ESPN will lead in to the NBC telecast with a Belmont Stakes Special from 3:00-5:00 p.m. (ET) that will include live coverage of several important stakes races on the Belmont Stakes Day undercard.

On Sunday, older horses in racing's Classic division take center stage at Belmont in the Brooklyn Handicap, the first race in the new "NTRA Champions" series on CBS Sports. Sunday's "NTRA Champions" telecast, which airs from 4:00-5:00 p.m. (ET), will also include The Californian from Hollywood Park and the previous day's Manhattan Handicap from Belmont. Albert the Great, last year's winner of Belmont's Jockey Club Gold Cup is expected to go to the post as the favorite in the Brooklyn Handicap. Last year's Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes runner up Aptitude is the early choice in The Californian. And last year's Filly & Mare Turf Champion Perfect Sting will attract most of the attention when she takes on males for the first time in the Manhattan Handicap.

SPECIAL WAGERING OPPORTUNITIES ABOUND AT BELMONT

Tomorrow's Acorn Stakes, a Grade I event for three-year-old fillies, will be the first leg of a new Acorn/Belmont Stakes Double wager available at Belmont Park. To win, fans need to select the winners of both Friday's Acorn and Saturday's Belmont Stakes. Friday's Acorn Stakes can be seen live on ESPN2 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. (ET)

On Saturday, Belmont will offer a special Pick Six wager on races 6-11 with a pool guarantee of $1 million. Races 8-11 will feature a Pick Four with a pool guarantee of $250,000.

MATCH SERIES TO AWARD JOCKEY BONUS

For the first time, The Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championship Series, known more commonly as The MATCH Series, will offer a $10,000 bonus to the outstanding jockey in this year's competition. Jockeys will be awarded points on a 10-8-6-4-2-1 basis for all of their top-six finishes in MATCH Series races. The jockey with the most points at the end of the Series receives the $10,000 bonus and the MATCH Jockey Championship. The current leader is Harry Vega with 24 points. More

BLOOD-HORSE BOOK WINS FRANKLIN AWARD

Eclipse Press, the book publishing division of The Blood-Horse, Inc., announced yesterday that John McEvoy's "Great Horse Racing Mysteries: True Tales from the Track" has received the Benjamin Franklin Award for outstanding mystery/suspense book of 2000. The award was presented in Chicago during Publishers Marketing Association's 13th annual awards dinner on May 31, held as part of the festivities surrounding BookExpo America, the book publishing industry's major trade show and convention. The Benjamin Franklin Awards recognize excellence in independent publishing.

Published in August of last year, "Great Horse Racing Mysteries: True Tales from the Track" is a collection of actual unsolved mysteries involving the horseracing industry. Among the stories author McEvoy profiles are the kidnapping of the famed Irish horse Shergar, the death of Australian hero Phar Lap, and the disappearance of jockey Al Snider, who prior to vanishing off the Florida Keys was the regular rider of Citation.

"Great Horse Racing Mysteries: True Tales from the Track" was designed by staff artists John D. Filer and Beth McCoy. The Blood-Horse previously won Benjamin Franklin awards for "Cigar: America's Horse" and an Exclusively Equine catalog.

RACING SEES TV RATINGS BOOST IN TEXAS

Last Saturday's telecast of "Lone Star Park Live," which aired from 5:00-5:30 p.m. (CT) on the Dallas/Ft. Worth CBS affiliate, earned a 3.03 rating and a 7.3 share, both better than those of any other program in its time slot, including a NASCAR show on the local NBC affiliate. "Lone Star Park Live" featured the Budweiser Cup and attracted 60,903 households and 123,633 adults in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, the nation's eighth largest television market.

RACING ON THE AIR (all times Eastern)

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

June 8 Thoroughbred Classics Presented by the NTRA, Belmont Stakes, 9:30-10:00 a.m., ESPN Classic

June 8 Thoroughbred Classics Presented by the NTRA, Belmont Stakes, 5:30-6:00 p.m., ESPN Classic

June 8 Acorn Stakes (Belmont Park), 5:30-6:30 p.m., ESPN2

June 9 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN

June 9 Belmont Stakes Special; Just a Game Breeders' Cup Handicap, Riva Ridge Stakes and True North Handicap (Belmont Park), 3:00-5:00 p.m., ESPN

June 9 Belmont Stakes (Belmont Park), 5:00-6:30 p.m., NBC

June 9 Triple Crown Highlights, 6:30-7:30 p.m., ESPN2

June 10 NTRA Champions series; Brooklyn Handicap (Belmont Park), Manhattan Handicap (Belmont Park) and The Californian Stakes (Hollywood Park), 4:00-5:00 p.m., CBS

June 13 Racehorse Digest, 1:00-1:30 p.m., ESPN

June 16 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN

June 16 NTRA Champions series; Stephen Foster Handicap (Churchill Downs), Fleur de Lis Handicap (Churchill Downs) and Dallas Turf Cup Handicap (Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie), 4:30-6:00 p.m., CBS

June 20 Racehorse Digest, 1:00-1:30 p.m., ESPN

RACING TO HISTORY

June 7, 1930: Gallant Fox became the second winner of the Triple Crown after he won the Belmont Stakes under Earl Sande. Gallant Fox subsequently sired another Triple Crown winner, Omaha.

June 7, 1941: Whirlaway won the 73rd running of the Belmont Stakes and became the fifth horse to win the Triple Crown.

June 7, 1947: Owner William Helis had three stakes wins in three different states. Rippey won the Carter Handicap at New York's Aqueduct; Jobstown won the Absecon Handicap at New Jersey's Atlantic City and Elpis won the New Castle Handicap at Delaware Park.

June 7, 1980: Genuine Risk became the first filly to compete in all three Triple Crown races. She won the Kentucky Derby and finished second in both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.

June 7, 1986: Trainer Woody Stephens saddled Danzig Connection to win his fifth consecutive Belmont Stakes. Stephens won the previous races with Conquistador Cielo (1982), Caveat (1983), Swale (1984) and Creme Fraiche (1985).

June 7, 1997: In his bid to become the 12th horse to win the Triple Crown, Silver Charm was outdueled during the stretch run of the Belmont Stakes by Touch Gold. Silver Charm held on for second and became the 13th horse to have lost the Triple Crown after winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. On-track attendance at Belmont was 70,682--third-highest in the track's history.

June 8, 1935: Omaha, son of Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox, became the third winner of the Triple Crown with a win in the Belmont Stakes.

June 8, 1985: Brushwood Stable's Creme Fraiche became the first gelding to win the Belmont Stakes.

June 8, 1991: Julie Krone became the first female rider to compete in the Belmont Stakes. Her mount, Subordinated Debt, finished ninth as the third-longest shot in the field. Also on that date, Mane Minister became the only horse to finish third in all three Triple Crown events.

June 9, 1888: James McLaughlin set the record for most number of wins by a jockey in the Belmont Stakes, six, when he rode Sir Dixon to a 12-length victory. McLaughlin's record was matched by Eddie Arcaro in 1955.

June 9, 1887: Only two horses competed in the Belmont Stakes. It was the smallest field in the race's history, which again had only two starters in 1888, 1892, 1910, and 1920, the year Man o' War won the Belmont by 20 lengths.

June 9, 1945: Hoop Jr. won the Kentucky Derby, which was run one month after a national wartime government ban on racing was lifted.

June 9, 1973: Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes by 31 lengths-the longest winning margin in the race's history-while setting a track record of 2:24, which has not been surpassed. The time was 2 3/5 seconds faster than the mark set by Gallant Man in 1957. Secretariat's victory made him the ninth Triple Crown winner and first since Citation had swept the Derby, Preakness and Belmont in 1948.

June 9, 1979: Spectacular Bid lost his chance for the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes, finishing third to winner Coastal. Trainer Bud Delp alleged that the colt had sustained a foot injury after stepping on a safety pin the morning of the race.

June 9, 1984: Riding Swale in a wire-to-wire victory, Laffit Pincay Jr. won his third consecutive Belmont Stakes, becoming the only rider in this century to accomplish that feat. Pincay rode Caveat to victory in 1983 and Conquistador Cielo in 1982; all three of his mounts were trained by Woody Stephens. Jockey James McLaughlin also rode three consecutive Belmont winners, once from 1882-84, and again from 1886-88. Swale's Belmont was also the first in which a female trainer saddled a horse for the race. Sarah Lundy sent Minstrel Star to a last-place finish.

June 10, 1890: The Preakness Stakes was run outside Baltimore, at Morris Park in New York, under the auspices of the New York Jockey Club. Suspended for three years, the race was next run at the Brooklyn Jockey Club's Gravesend Course, 1894-1908.

June 10, 1938: Hollywood Park opened in Inglewood, Calif. In its inaugural year, Hollywood Park attracted such racing stars as Lawrin, who had given jockey Eddie Arcaro his first Kentucky Derby victory, as well as Ligaroti and Seabiscuit, whose rivalry later reached its pitch in a match race contested at Del Mar on Aug. 12, 1938.

June 10, 1944: The only triple dead heat for first in a stakes race occurred at Aqueduct Racetrack in the Carter Handicap. The three winners were Brownie, Bossuet and Wait a Bit.

June 10, 1953: Trainer Charlie Whittingham, at age 40, saddled his first stakes winner when Porterhouse, ridden by Bill Boland, won the National Stallion Stakes at Belmont Park. Porterhouse was later named champion two-year-old of 1953.

June 10, 1972: Laffit Pincay Jr. won his 2,000th victory while riding at Hollywood Park.

June 10, 1978: Steve Cauthen, at age 18, became the youngest jockey ever to win the Triple Crown when his mount, Affirmed, won the Belmont Stakes. Also on that day, Alydar became the only horse to finish second in all three Triple Crown races. Affirmed was the 11th winner of the Triple Crown.

June 10, 2000: The 132nd Belmont Stakes drew a crowd of 67,810, making it the fourth largest in the racetrack's history and the largest Belmont Stakes crowd ever when a Triple Crown was not at stake. The race was won by longshot Commendable, giving trainer D. Wayne Lukas his record 13th win in a Triple Crown race.

June 11, 1898: Willie Simms became the only African American jockey to win the Preakness Stakes when he rode Sly Fox to victory. With this win, Simms became the only African American jockey to have won all three Triple Crown races. His other Triple Crown wins took place in the Kentucky Derby (1896, 1898) and Belmont Stakes (1893, 1894).

June 11, 1919: The first Triple Crown was won by Sir Barton after he completed the Belmont Stakes, then run at 1 3/8 miles rather than the traditional 1 1/2 miles. Prior to his Triple Crown sweep, Sir Barton had been winless in six tries at racing.

June 11, 1921: Grey Lag, under Earl Sande, won the first Belmont Stakes ever to be run counter-clockwise. Previous Belmonts had been run clockwise over a fish-hook course that included part of the training track and the main dirt oval.

June 11, 1955: Jockey Eddie Arcaro tied James McLaughlin's record of six Belmont Stakes wins when he rode Nashua to victory.

June 11, 1966: Jockey Angel Cordero Jr. recorded his first American stakes victory, taking the Christiana Stakes aboard two-year-old Hermogenes at Delaware Park.

June 11, 1973: Triple Crown winner Secretariat simultaneously made the covers of Time, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated.

June 11, 1977: Upon winning the Belmont Stakes, Seattle Slew became the tenth Triple Crown winner and the first Triple Crown winner to remain undefeated, with a career record of nine-for-nine.

June 12, 1920: Man o' War won the Belmont Stakes, which was then run at a distance of 1 3/8-miles, in 2:14 1/5. He shattered the existing world record by 3 1/5 seconds and also set the American dirt-course record for that distance.

June 12, 1926: The August Belmont family first presented their permanent commemorative Tiffany trophy to the winner of the Belmont Stakes. The silver trophy was created in 1869 in recognition of Fenian's win in the Belmont.

June 12, 1948: After riding Citation to victory in the Belmont, jockey Eddie Arcaro became the only rider in history to have won two Triple Crowns. His previous Triple Crown was with Whirlaway, in 1941. In wining the Belmont, Citation became the eighth Triple Crown winner.

June 12, 1960: Jockey Angel Cordero Jr. rode his first race at El Comandante in Puerto Rico.

June 12, 1982: Jockey Mike Smith rode his first winner, Future Man, in a $2,000 claiming race at Santa Fe.

June 13, 1874: English-bred Saxon became the first foreign-bred horse to win the Belmont Stakes.

June 12, 1998: The Louisiana State Racing commission re-instated jockey Sylvester Carmouche, who had served more than eight years of a ten-year suspension. Carmouche was suspended in April 1990 for not riding the proper course in a race run under heavy fog in January 1990 at Delta Downs. He later admitted that he had pulled his horse up after the start of the race, waited on the far turn, then rode to the wire after hearing the other horses approaching.

June 13, 1913: James Rowe, who had won back-to-back Belmonts in 1872-3 as a jockey, set the record for most number of Belmont Stakes wins by a trainer, eight, when he sent Prince Eugene to victory.

June 13, 1961: Ben A. Jones, who trained a record six Kentucky Derby winners, died.

June 13, 1992: Angel Cordero Jr. won his first race in two tries as a trainer, with Puchinito, in the fourth race at Belmont Park.

June 13, 1999: Silver Charm, winner of the 1997 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and the 1998 Dubai World Cup, retired after finishing fourth in the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs. Silver Charm retired with earnings of $6,944,369 (third-highest of all time) and won 12 of 24 starts.

June 14, 1880: The first post parade of horses in any American race took place prior to the running of the Belmont Stakes. Horses had previously gone directly from paddock to post.

June 14, 1967: Jockey Craig Perret, age 16, won his first career race at Arlington Park. Despite starting well into the season, Perret finished the year third among the nation's apprentice riders in races won (with 114) and led all apprentices in the earnings category, with $610,003.

June 15, 1963: Five weeks prior to his 90th birthday, Hall of Fame trainer 'Sunny Jim' Fitzsimmons retired. "Mr. Fitz," as he was also known, trained such outstanding runners as Nashua, Bold Ruler, Johnstown and Triple Crown winners Gallant Fox and his son Omaha.

June 15, 1972: In preparation for his July 4 debut, Secretariat worked five furlongs from the starting gate in 1:00 1/5.

June 15, 1977: Future rivals Affirmed and Alydar met for the first time, in the Youthful Stakes at Belmont Park. Affirmed triumphed over Alydar, who finished fifth, and went on to win four of their six races together in 1977.

June 16, 1943: With a shortage of male workers due to the war, Garden State Park announced it would employ female mutuels clerks.

June 17, 1912: A record parimutuel payoff on a straight $2 wager was set when Wishing Ring, sent off at odds of 941-1, paid $1,885.50 to win at Latonia. The mark was only surpassed in 1989, when Power to Geaux paid $2,922 for a $2 wager made at Ak-sar-ben on a race that was simulcast from Fair Grounds.

June 17, 1967: Buckpasser's 15-race winning streak ended when he finished third to stablemate Poker in the Bowling Green Handicap at Aqueduct, his only attempt at turf racing. Buckpasser carried 135 pounds while Poker was assigned 112.

June 18, 1936: Omaha, the 1935 Triple Crown winner owned by New York banker William Woodward, lost the 2 1/2-mile Ascot Gold Cup by a head to filly Quashed at Ascot, England. A crowd of 200,000 was said to be present for the race, for which Omaha was the 11-8 favorite. Omaha had shipped to England aboard the Aquitania on Jan. 8, 1936 and won the May 30 Queens Plate at Kempton Park, England.

June 19, 1867: The inaugural Belmont Stakes was run at Jerome Park in the Bronx and was won by a filly, Ruthless, who defeated colts to earn $1,850 for her victory. Ruthless was one of a group of fillies known as the "Barbarous Battalion," daughters of the mare Barbarity, owned by Francis Morris of New York. The other "battalion" members-all full sisters-were Remorseless, Relentless, Regardless and Merciless.

June 19, 1880: Sheepshead Bay racecourse opened for a six-day meet. The track was the original site of the Suburban, Futurity and Realization Stakes, which eventually were transferred to Belmont Park.

June 19, 1942: Count Fleet won his first race, at Aqueduct Racetrack.

June 19, 1973: Officials of Arlington Park invited Secretariat to compete in a specially created race, the $125,000 Arlington Invitational Stakes.

June 19, 1992: Charlie Whittingham became the second trainer in history, behind D. Wayne Lukas, to top $100 million in purse earnings when he sent Little by Little to a second-place finish in the sixth race at Hollywood Park.

June 19, 1998: The NTRA All-Star Jockey Championship from Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Tex., was nationally televised for the first time on ESPN2. Shane Sellers won the 12-jockey competition.

June 20, 1908: With his final victory in the Tidal Stakes at Sheepshead Bay, Colin retired undefeated after 15 starts. No major American racehorse approached this record until 1988, when Personal Ensign retired with a perfect 13-for-13 career.

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

FRIDAY, JUNE 8
Acorn Stakes, 3yo fillies, $200,000, Grade I, 1 M, Belmont Park
Flash Stakes, 2yo, $75,000, 5F, Belmont Park

SATURDAY, JUNE 9
Belmont Stakes, 3yo, $1,000,000, Grade I, 1 M, Belmont Park
Manhattan Handicap, 3&up, $400,000, Grade I, 1 M (T), Belmont Park
Jefferson Cup Stakes, 3yo, $250,000, Grade III, 1 1/8 M (T), Churchill Downs
Just a Game Breeders' Cup Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $175,000, Grade III, 1 M (T), Belmont Park
True North Handicap, 3&up, $150,000, Grade II, 6F, Belmont Park
Riva Ridge Stakes, 3yo, $150,000, Grade II, 7F, Belmont Park
Victoria Park Stakes, 3yo, $100,000, 1 1/8 M, Woodbine
Mesquite Breeders' Cup Mile Stakes, 3yo fillies, $100,000, 1 M, Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie
Cinderella Stakes, 2yo fillies, $75,000, 5 F, Hollywood Park
Skipat Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $75,000, 6F, Pimlico
Susan's Girl Stakes, 3yo fillies, $75,000, 1 1/16 M, Delaware Park

SUNDAY, JUNE 10
The Californian, 3&up, $500,000, Grade II, 1 1/8 M, Hollywood Park
Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap, 3&up, $350,000, Grade I, 1 M (T), Hollywood Park
King Edward Breeders' Cup Handicap, 3&up, $300,000, Grade II, 1 1/8 M (T), Woodbine
Brooklyn Handicap, 3&up, $250,000, Grade II, 1 1/8 M, Belmont Park
Ascot Handicap, 3yo, $100,000, Grade III, 1 1/16 M(T), Bay Meadows
Great Lady M. Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $75,000, 5 F (T), Hollywood Park
Battlefield Stakes, 3&up, $75,000, 1 1/8 M (T), Monmouth Park

MONDAY, JUNE 11
Nick Shuk Memorial Stakes, 3yo, $75,000, 1 1/16 M (T), Delaware Park

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