Wednesday, January 25, 2012
NTRA Thoroughbred Notebook
Notebook Archive
Contact Us

David Milch
Happy Birthday
This Week
Triple Crown Watch
From the Grandstand
In the News
In the Blogosphere
Weekend Stakes Races
Racing to History
Photo courtesy RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post. 
Birthday Wishes to Mrs. Penny Chenery, who will celebrate her 90th birthday on Friday, January 27:

William Nack—award-winning
journalist and author of Secretariat: The Making of a Champion:
To Penny Chenery-- “Happy 90th to the First Lady of American racing---a living symbol of the sport's grace, beauty and class. Best wishes, Bill Nack

Ron Turcotte, rider of Secretariat:
To Ms. Chenery, I want to extend my warmest wishes for a happy 90th birthday.  Thank you for all the fond memories and the opportunity to ride Riva Ridge & Big Red along with your other top horses.

All the best today and every day.

Ron Turcotte

Steve Cauthen, jockey of Triple Crown winner Affirmed:

To the first lady of thoroughbred racing, many happy returns.

Steve Cauthen

Claiborne Farm where Secretariat stood:
Happy Birthday from all your friends at Claiborne Farm
Dell Hancock

2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra with her newborn colt by 2007 and 2008 Horse of the Year Curlin. Image courtesy of Stonestreet Farms .
Midnight Transfer wins the San Pedro Stakes at Santa Anita. Image courtesy of Benoit Photo.
One of the first Blame foals, a colt out of Promptly, at Derry Meeting Farm. Image courtesy of Claiborne Farm.
Barry Irwin named Howe Great, by Hat Trick, with a nod to hockey legend Gordie Howe. One of Team Valor’s partners, Terry Smith, is a former pro hockey player, and he led the 3-year-old home-bred into the winner’s circle at Gulfstream Park last Saturday after a victory in the Kitten’s Joy Stakes.  Image courtesy of Team Valor/Adam Coglianese. 
Image courtesy of
David Milch is an Emmy Award winning writer of numerous television series, including NYPD Blue, Deadwood, and the new HBO series Luck, which he calls a “love letter to horseracing”. Milch has always been active in the sport as both a bettor and owner.

His most successful horse was Gilded Time, who won the 1992 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile en route to winning the Eclipse Award as that year’s Champion 2-year-old colt or gelding. Luck premieres on HBO this Sunday, January 29 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.
Name: David Milch

What I do for a living:

How and when I was introduced to Thoroughbred Racing:
My father took me when I was five years old

My favorite racetrack:
Santa Anita

My favorite Thoroughbred racing event:
Breeders' Cup

Other sports/teams I follow:
Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Yankees

3 words that define what Thoroughbred Racing means to me:
Speed, Courage, Passion

First Thoroughbred track I ever attended was:

Favorite All-time Thoroughbred:

My personal best moment in the sport of Thoroughbred Racing:
Winning the Breeders' Cup with Gilded Time and Val Royal

My favorite jockey:
Joel Rosario

My favorite trainer:
Darrell Vienna, Julio Canani

My Heroes:
Robert Penn Warren

Favorite animal other than a horse:

Favorite non-Thoroughbred racing sports event I have attended:
Congratulations to Kari Myers, winner of this week’s Fan Photo contest! From Kari: Champion Royal Delta at Keeneland. She is a physically stunning filly, calm and intelligent too. She seemed friendly to all of the people who were working with her and would periodically stop and stare at the things going on around her. She really does stand out in a crowd! This is from the morning of her sale to Mr. Leon for $8.5 million. Her dam, Delta Princess, and her little sister by Smart Strike were also in the same barn. The whole family is beautiful.
Junebugred, in front near the rail, image courtesy of Oaklawn Park/Coady Photography.
Owner: Alex and JoAnn Lieblong
Trainer: Steve Hobby
Sire: Corinthian
Record: 3-2-0-1
Earnings: $95,400
Current Wynn Las Vegas Derby odds: 100-1
The skinny: Parlayed cozy, inside trip into victory in the Smarty Jones Stakes on MLK day at Oaklawn.
Image courtesy of
Owner: Jacks or Better Farm
Trainer: Stanley Gold
Sire: Awesome of Course
Record: 8-4-0-2
Earnings: $333,485
Current Wynn Las Vegas Derby odds: 175-1
The skinny: Went through the Florida Stallion Series like a hot knife through butter. Then he finished 7th in BC Juvenile from bad post.  Getting close to his 2012 debut.
Image courtesy of Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography.
Owner: Stonestreet Stables
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Sire: War Front
Record: 2-1-0-1
Earnings: $28,520
Current Wynn Las Vegas Derby odds: 200-1
The skinny: Broke his maiden at Churchill last October 30 as if he meant business. Unraced since, but working regularly (albeit slowly) at Santa Anita now.
Reckless Jerry, on the inside, image courtesy of Dustin Oroma Photography/Remington Park.
Owner: Dream Walkin Farms and Lanita Davis
Trainer: Kenny Smith
Sire: Cactus Ridge
Record: 6-2-2-2
Earnings: $120,515
Current Wynn Las Vegas Derby odds: 200-1
The skinny: Took the widest route around the track when second in Smarty Jones. Principal owner Toby Keith would love to be singing “My Old Kentucky Home” on Derby Day.
Image courtesy of Pat Lang Photography.
Owner: Smokey Lynne Bare and Ira Mersack
Trainer: Michael Lauer
Sire: Devil His Due
Record: 3-2-0-0
Earnings: $28,050
Current Wynn Las Vegas Derby odds: 225-1
The skinny: Gelding has wired his last two at Turfway by a combined 18 ¾ lengths. Shades of Hansen?
Image courtesy of Adam Coglianese.
Owner: James Riccio
Trainer: Rick Dutrow
Sire: Lion Heart
Record: 7-3-0-1
Earnings: $97,900
Current Wynn Las Vegas Derby odds: 300-1
The skinny: $35,000 claim has won his last two, including the 6F Jimmy Winkfield while coming back on just three days’ rest.
Barbara Banke of Stonestreet Farms on the arrival last Sunday of Rachel Alexandra’s first foal:
"I am thrilled with the good news of Rachel's safe delivery and health of the handsome colt that resembles her.  For me and my children, this colt represents Jess’ dream – to raise and race the best.  Co-owner Hal McCormick and I look forward to watching him develop and are excited to see him carry the Stonestreet silks as his Mom and Dad did before him.”

Trainer Michael Maker on one of the things that impressed him about Hansen’s winning performance in last year’s Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile:
“He was the only horse to go wire to wire those two days at Churchill.”

Stonestreet Farms releases a video of the Curlin-Rachel Alexandra colt taking his first steps (Stonestreet Farms)

This Candy Ride colt out of Navigator was the first foal born at Taylor Made Farm in 2012 (Taylor Made Farm YouTube Channel)

Mr. Bowling wins the Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds (albamia1’s YouTube channel)

Horseplayers take center stage as they battle for $1 million top prize in this weekend’s DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship presented by Sovereign Stable (

One skillful handicapper could turn the NHC into a $3 million payday (Daily Racing Form)

A look at the National Handicapping Championship (Bleacher Report)

All about the National Handicapping Championships including a Q&A with last year’s winner John Doyle (NTRA)

New Jersey well represented in DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (Newark Star-Ledger)

It's a boy! Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra gives birth to first foal (

2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra gives birth to colt (USA Today)

Is this baby Thoroughbred destined for greatness?  (The Atlantic)

NBC secures rights to Breeders' Cup (

NBC adds Breeders’ Cup as ESPN exits horseracing (USA

Breeders’ Cup and NBC Sports Group announce multi-year agreement (

Rapid Redux getting a well deserved break (Daily Racing Form)

HBO takes a gamble on Luck (Los Angeles Times)

Underdogs and character actors seek redemption in David Milch’s Luck (NY

'Deadwood' creator David Milch brings the rich subculture of horseracing to life in Luck this HBO drama starring Dustin Hoffman   (Hollywood Reporter)

HBO series no savior, but 'Luck' worth a look (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

HBO's 'Luck': Hollywood goes to the races    (The Atlantic)

HBO bets on two Thoroughbreds review by David Carr (New York Times)

The humble ex-racehorse who starred in “Seabiscuit” and now “War Horse” (New York Times)

“War Horse” star one of Hollywood's equine elite (

Everything’s coming up Rosie (

Bowling for Dollars in the Big Easy (Miami Herald)

Mr. Bowling wins Grade III Lecomte Stakes (The Louisville Courier-Journal)

Derby-winning team one-two in Gulfstream stakes (Sun Sentinel)

Jockeys show how it’s done in Sam Houston stakes wins (Houston Chronicle)

Arlington Million XXX on for August (Miami

When Maker’s horse’s talk: fans listen (

Minnesota horse industry needs racino (

Gambling MIA in Kentucky after 3 weeks of legislative action (

A look at the outstanding racehorse adoption center at Finger Lakes (Democrat and

New York Thoroughbred Breeders donates $10,000 to Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (The Blood-Horse)

Owner and breeder Paul Saylor issues challenge to benefit TRF (The Blood-Horse)

A way to support retired Thoroughbreds this Valentine’s Day (Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation)

Kentucky visitor guide stars Saratoga-born Derby winner Funny Cide (The Saratogian)

The 2011 Sovereign Awards Finalists (

Star Canadian horse sold to controversial Chechen leader   (The

Thoroughbred racehorses get their speed from just a few ancestors (Live Science)

Dynaformer still having an impact at age 27 (Daily Racing Form)

Champion horse for a champion city (Baltimore Sun)

Golden era for fillies going strong, thanks to Havre de Grace (

Apprentice Kyle Frey wins Eclipse Award (Tracy Press)

New FTBOA chief is fast out of the gate (Ocala Star-Banner)

Nebraska bill would allow bets on historic horse races (

The 2011 Sovereign Awards Finalists (

Kentucky Veterinarian Arnold Pessin dies (The Blood-Horse)

Breeders' Cup telecast returns to NBC Sports Group (Daily

Speaking out against frequent camera cuts during televised races (Daily Racing Form)

With the arrival of the Curlin-Rachel Alexandra colt, the dream lives on (The Infield)

Latest news and updates on Rachel Alexandra and her new foal (Stonestreet

Rachel Alexandra colt will fight history of mediocrity among peers with horse of the Year parents  (The Brock Talk)

Top 10 reasons why horse racing is the best gambling game ever invented   (

Like it or not, NYRA needs Aqueduct (

Algorithms will continue Kentucky Derby quest in Holy Bull Stakes this Sunday (Graded

Characteristics of a Kentucky Derby winner (The Sports

Mr. Bowling plunges to 75-1 in Wynn Las Vegas future odds on 2012 Kentucky Derby   (

The Derby trail runs through New York (

Two sirs, with love by Barbara Livingston (Daily Racing Form)

Ray Paulick offers up horseracing photos of the week (Paulick Report)

Maryland Jockey Club keeps racing alive in history-rich state (

The Michael Mann interview Part 1: His life and work in television, from 'Starsky and Hutch' to 'Miami Vice' to 'Luck’ (

David Milch and HBO’s Luck in the news (

Three new handicappers join the Horseplayers Association of North America (HANA)

Catching up with the teams of the Retired Racehorse Training Challenge (Retired Racehorse Blog)

Young fan given son of Smarty Jones (Off Track Thoroughbreds)

Henry Carroll wins ‘South Carolina Breeder of the Year’ Award (

Thirty-three stops along the road to the Preakness (

Jan. 26, 1950: Citation’s 16-race win streak came to an end in the La Sorpresa Handicap at Santa Anita. Despite giving 16 pounds to the winner, Miche, Citation, carrying 130 pounds, lost only by a neck.

Jan. 27, 1973: Penny Chenery accepted the Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year on behalf of Secretariat, who was also voted champion two-year-old of 1972.

Jan. 27, 2003: Azeri became the first female since Lady’s Secret in 1986 to receive the Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year. 

Jan. 28, 1979: Bob Baffert won his first race as a Thoroughbred trainer, saddling Flipper Star to win the second race at Rillito Park in Tucson, Ariz. The winner’s share of the $600 purse was $330.

Jan. 28, 1999: The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association announced the creation of the “Claiming Crown,” a six-race event to be held at Canterbury Park.

Jan. 28, 2006: Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey rode the final race of his career at Gulfstream Park, finishing second aboard Silver Tree in the Sunshine Millions Turf. Bailey retired with 5,892 victories in the saddle and his mounts earned more than $295 million.

Jan. 29, 1960: Future Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Carry Back finished tenth in his first start ever, a three-furlong race for two-year-old maiden runners at Hialeah. Sired by Saggy, the only horse to defeat Citation during his three-year-old season, out of an undistinguished mare named Joppy, Carry Back became a popular runner and was dubbed “the people’s horse.”

Jan. 29, 1969: Patti Barton, a 24-year-old exercise rider, applied for a jockey’s license in Las Cruces, N.M. The stewards declined to act on the application, which if approved would have made Barton the first female licensed jockey in Thoroughbred racing.

Jan. 29, 1973: Forego, eventual three-time Horse of the Year, 1974-76, broke his maiden by eight lengths in his second career start, at Hialeah Park.

Jan. 29, 2003: Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. gained his 9,500th career win aboard Saxony in the fifth race at Santa Anita.

Jan. 29, 2007: Barbaro, the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner, was euthanized at the New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa., due to complications from laminitis. Barbaro had developed laminitis while recovering from an injury to his right hind leg suffered during the 2006 Preakness Stakes.

Jan. 30, 1981: Jockey Julie Krone rode in her first race ever, finishing second by three lengths in a six-furlong sprint for $3,500 maiden claimers at Tampa Bay Downs.  Her mount, a 22-1 shot trained by Jerry L. Pace, was named Tiny Star.

Jan. 30, 1992: For the second time in one month, jockey Mike Smith won six races in one day at Aqueduct Racetrack. His first six-winner day at Aqueduct occurred Jan. 13.

Jan. 31, 1958: Jockey Bill Shoemaker notched his 3,000th career win, aboard Eternal Pere, in the eighth race at Santa Anita Park.

Feb. 1, 1941: Golden Gate Fields opened for its inaugural race meet. After a five-day “season,” the track was forced to close because severe rainstorms washed out the racing surface. The advent of World War II prevented the facility from reopening until Sept. 9, 1947.

Feb. 1, 1999: Owner-breeder and philanthropist Paul Mellon of Rokeby Stable died at his residence in Upperville, Va. He was 91.

Feb. 1, 2008: Jockey Russell Baze won an unprecedented 10,000th race in North America when he guided Two Step Cat to victory in the 3rd race at Golden Gate Fields.

Feb. 3, 1989: Apprentice jockey Nate Hubbard hung on for second—literally—when his horse, Sweetwater Oak, stumbled near the finish line at Golden Gate Fields and flipped the rider out of his saddle. As he tumbled forward, Hubbard grabbed on to the filly’s neck and hung in mid-air until the race was over. The track stewards ruled it an official finish because Hubbard’s feet never touched the ground and Sweetwater Oak carried her assigned weight throughout the race.

Feb. 3, 1990: Jockey Bill Shoemaker rode his final career race at Santa Anita Park, finishing fourth aboard Patchy Groundfog in ‘The Legend’s Last Ride.’ He retired with a then-record 8,833 wins.

Feb. 4, 1926: Wheatley Stables, formed by Mrs. Henry Carnegie Phipps, recorded its first win ever, with a two-year-old filly named Sturdy Stella.

Feb. 4, 1997: Cigar was named Horse of the Year for the second consecutive year.

Feb. 4, 2005: Jockey Richard Migliore scored his 4,000th career victory aboard Benjamin Baby in the seventh race at Aqueduct.

Feb. 5, 1997: A six-year-old horse, Isitingood, broke the world record for a mile—1:32 1/5—set in 1968 by Dr. Fager.  Isitingood was timed in 1:32.05 over the Santa Anita Park turf course.

Feb. 7, 1969: Diane Crump became the first woman jockey in America to compete in a parimutuel race when she finished tenth of 12 aboard a 48-1 shot, three-year-old Bridle ’n Bit, in the seventh race at Hialeah Park.

Feb. 7, 1996: A racing oddity occurred at Oaklawn Park when the winners of seven consecutive races started from the number one post position.

Feb. 7, 1999: Jockey Eddie Delahoussaye picked up his 6,000th career victory aboard Sweetcakesanshakes in the third race at Santa Anita Park. Delahoussaye became the 14th rider in North American racing history to reach the 6,000-win mark.

Feb. 8, 1941: Whirlaway began his three-year-old season with a win in a six furlong allowance race at Hialeah.

WEEKEND STAKES RACES (unrestricted stakes in N.A. worth $75,000 and up)
Santa Monica Stakes, 4&up (f&m), $300,000, Grade I, 7F, Santa Anita Park
John B. Connally Turf Cup, 4&up, $200,000, Grade III, 1 1-8M (T), Sam Houston Race Park
Santa Ysabel Stakes, 3yo fillies, $100,000, Grade III, 1 1-16M, Santa Anita Park
Affectionately Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $75,000, 1 1-16M, Aqueduct
Dancing Count Stakes, 3yo, $75,000, 6F, Laurel Park

Holy Bull Stakes, 3yo, $400,000, Grade III, 1M, Gulfstream Park
Forward Gal Stakes, 3yo fillies, $200,000, Grade II, 7F, Gulfstream Park

Coyote Lakes Stakes, 4&up, $75,000, 1 1-2M, Aqueduct