Name: Amy J. Zimmerman
What I do for a living: Executive Producer, HRTV; VP, Santa Anita; Sr. Associate Producer NBC Sports
How and when I was introduced to Thoroughbred Racing: I was a horse-crazy 8-year-old and one of my Dad’s friends owned a racehorse. I started reading entries and results to follow him.
My favorite racetrack: Santa Anita
My favorite Thoroughbred racing event: Kentucky Derby
Other sports/teams I follow: USC Football
What I would like to see more of in Thoroughbred Racing: Unification
What I would like to see less of in Thoroughbred Racing: Fractionalization
Three words that define what Thoroughbred Racing means to me: Who I am
First Thoroughbred track I ever attended was: Hollywood Park
Favorite All-time Thoroughbred: Secretariat and John Henry
My personal best moment in the sport of Thoroughbred Racing: There are 30 years of moments, but hope the best one is still to come.
Best racetrack food can be found at: Saratoga - the wood fire pizza
My favorite jockey: All-time - Bill Shoemaker. Currently – Garrett Gomez and Martin Garcia because my son adores them both.
My favorite trainer: All-time – Charlie Whittingham. Currently – Matthew Chew because no one is kinder to his horses.
My Heroes: My Mom and Dad – and the older my son gets, the more that is true!
Person in Thoroughbred Racing I’d like to have dinner with: Frank Stronach
My philosophy on life: It all comes down to Please and Thank You
Favorite quote or motto: “Mommy, I love you,” by Henry Zimmerman
Favorite animal other than a horse: Tricolor Collies
Favorite non-Thoroughbred racing sports event I have attended: The 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing while working for NBC
Favorite food: Lobster
Favorite vacation spot: Kaanapali Beach, Maui
Favorite city: Cutchogue, NY
Favorite Musician/band: Melissa Etheridge
Favorite all-time movie(s): “The African Queen” and “Casablanca” - there’s no substitute for great writing.
Favorite TV Show: Anything written by Aaron Sorkin
Favorite hotel: Hyatt Regency Maui
Websites I visit daily: Paulick Report, DRF, The Blood-Horse
What I drive: BMW 335i and Corvette Convertible (I like fast cars)
Pet Peeve: Liars
Favorite movie about horse racing: “Secretariat.” It wasn’t the best, but will always be my favorite because I saw it with my Mom and Dad shortly after my Mom’s leukemia diagnosis.
Which actor would play me in a movie: Kristy McNichol
Alma Mater: University of Southern California
Favorite Radio shows/channels: Sirius XM - Classic Vinyl, Spectrum and The Pulse
Best Book I recently read: The Drop by Michael Connelly
Favorite Memento: A picture of Secretariat that Meadow Stable sent me in reply to a letter written when I was 11. Few things have impacted my life more.
Favorite Dessert: Key Lime Pie
Favorite Drink: Caffeine Free Coke
Favorite Scent: Lavender
What I like about my job: I work every day at a place other people go to have fun.
Favorite Tech gadget: Noise-Cancelling Headphones
No. 1 Bucket List Item: Working all three Triple Crown races when there is a Triple Crown winner.
June 21, 1924: Exterminator, winner of the 1918 Kentucky Derby, concluded his seven-year racing career. Exterminator raced until he was nine, winning 50 of his 100 starts. He seldom carried less than 130 pounds in handicap races. Like other geldings Kelso, Forego, and John Henry, Exterminator improved with age, enjoying his greatest success when he was seven.
June 21, 1947: Assault won the Brooklyn Handicap and dethroned Whirlaway as the then money-winning champion of the world. The victory boosted his earnings to $576,670.
June 21, 1975: S. Kaye Bell became the first woman to train the winner of a $100,000 stakes race when she sent Mr. Lucky Phoenix to win the Michigan Mile and One-Eighth Handicap at Detroit Racecourse.
June 22, 1935: Seabiscuit won his first race, at Narragansett Park.
June 23, 1985: With a victory aboard Greinton in the Hollywood Gold Cup, Laffit Pincay Jr. became the second jockey in history to surpass $100 million in purse earnings.
June 23, 2002: Hall of Fame Jockey Chris McCarron ended his 28-year riding caring after piloting Came Home to an easy win in the Grade III Affirmed Handicap at Hollywood Park. McCarron finished his career with 7,141 victories and his horses earned purses of $264,351,579.
June 24, 1893: The field for the American Derby at Washington Park was held at the post for an hour and 40 minutes, the longest pre-race delay in history. Boundless, with “Snapper” Garrison aboard, won the $49,500 race, which was witnessed by a crowd of 48,000. Garrison and three other riders were each fined $250 for bad conduct at the start.
June 24, 1952: Jockey Eddie Arcaro rode his 3,000th career winner at Arlington Park. He was the first American-born rider to reach that mark.
June 24, 1972: In the fastest workout of the day for six furlongs, Secretariat went the distance in 1:12 4/5 at Belmont over a sloppy track. He would make his debut 10 days later, in a July 4 race for maiden runners at Aqueduct.
June 24, 1973: Charlie Whittingham swept the top three spots in the Hollywood Gold Cup Invitational Handicap when his trainees Kennedy Road, Quack and Cougar II finished first, second and third, respectively.
June 24, 1977: Alydar, at odds of 2.10-1, broke his maiden by 6 3/4 lengths at Belmont Park.
June 24, 1979: Affirmed, ridden by Laffit Pincay Jr., became the first horse to top $2 million in earnings after he won the Hollywood Gold Cup.
June 24, 1990: Criminal Type became the first horse to win consecutive $1 million races after capturing the Hollywood Gold Cup. He had previously won the $1 million Pimlico Special on May 12.
June 25, 2000: Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus was syndicated by Coolmore Stud for a reported $70 million.
June 26, 1938: Nearco ended his career a perfect 14-for-14 by winning the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp.
June 26, 1986: Jockey Sandy Hawley won his 5,000th career race, aboard Mighty Massa, at Canterbury Downs.
June 26, 1992: Jockey Dave Gall became the eighth rider in history to ride 6,000 winners when he rode Nana’s Nice Boy to victory at Fairmount Park.
June 26, 1994: Jockey Chris McCarron rode his 6,000th career winner, Andestine, in the Milady Handicap at Hollywood Park. He was the 11th rider to reach 6,000 and the third-youngest, behind Bill Shoemaker and Laffit Pincay Jr.
June 26, 2000: Hall of Fame trainer Lucien Laurin, conditioner of 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat, died at the age of 88.
June 27, 1860: The Queen’s Plate, the oldest continuously run stakes race in North America, was first run. Don Juan was the winner, after winning two of the three heats that comprised the event.
June 27, 1932: Calumet Farm recorded its first victory in a Thoroughbred race with two-year-old Warren Jr., who won by a nose at Arlington Park to earn $850.
June 27, 1986: Jockey Kent Desormeaux rode in his first race ever, finishing third aboard a $2,500 claimer named Ducknest Coal Mine, at odds of 35-1, in the second race at Evangeline Downs.
June 28, 1906: Rockingham Park opened its doors for the first time. A crown of more than 10,000 came to the tiny outpost of Salem Depot, N.H., by train from as far away as New York City. The facility, which cost over $1 million to construct, was proclaimed by the press to be the world's finest.
June 28, 1977: Steve Cauthen, on his first day as a journeyman jockey, won with his first three mounts at Belmont Park.
June 28, 1989: Arlington International Racecourse opened in Arlington Heights, Ill. It had been rebuilt after a fire destroyed the old facility, July 31, 1985.
June 29, 1968: Jockey Eddie Delahoussaye won his first race, at Evangeline Downs, aboard Brown Shill.
June 29, 1968: Gamely, Princessnesian and Desert Law—all owned by William Haggin Perry and trained by Jim Maloney—finished 1, 1A and 1B, respectively, in the Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park.
June 29, 1969: Jockey Ray Sibille won his first career race, at Evangeline Downs.
June 29, 1983: Jockey Angel Cordero Jr. won his 5,000th career race, aboard Another Rodger, in the ninth race at Belmont Park. He was the fourth rider in history, behind John Longden, Bill Shoemaker and Laffit Pincay Jr., to hit that mark.
June 30, 1973: Three weeks after he won the Triple Crown, Secretariat scored another victory, a nine-length win in the Arlington Invitational Stakes at Arlington Park, where he was sent off at the shortest odds in his career, 1-20. With no place or show wagering on the four-horse race, which was run with a three-horse field against Secretariat, the track had a minus win pool of $17,941. More than 40,000 spectators turned out for the event.
June 30, 1978: Spectacular Bid won his first race, at Pimlico, by 3 1/4 lengths.
June 30, 1990: Retired jockey Bill Shoemaker won his first race as a trainer, sending two-year-old filly Tempest Cloud to her maiden victory at Hollywood Park.
June 30, 1991: One year after his first victory as a trainer, Bill Shoemaker recorded his first Grade I win, with Alcando in the Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood Park.
July 1, 1966: Jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. won with his first mount in the United States, at Arlington Park, aboard two-year-old filly Teacher’s Art, owned and bred by Fred W. Hooper.
July 1, 1998: Hall of Fame jockey Sandy Hawley retired from race riding after competing in the Dominion Day Handicap at Woodbine Racecourse.
July 1, 2001, Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel won two Grade I races on opposite coasts, on different surfaces, both via disqualification. First, Senure was elevated to the top spot in the United Nations Handicap, a turf race at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J., following the disqualification of With Anticipation for a bumping incident in midstretch. Then, just 30 minutes later and on the same CBS telecast, Aptitude was placed first after Futural was disqualified for a similar infraction in the Hollywood Gold Cup, a Grade I dirt race at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif.
July 2, 1989: Jockey Steve Cauthen became the first rider in history to sweep the world’s four major derbies after winning the Irish Derby with Old Vic. He had previously won the Kentucky Derby with Affirmed (1978), the Epsom Derby with Slip Anchor (1985) and Reference Point (1987) and the French Derby with Old Vic (1989).
July 2, 2007: Following a four-day carryover of $3,274,505, Hollywood Park’s Pick Six pool reached a record $10.87 million. The day’s 13 winning tickets were worth $576,064.40 each.
July 3, 1937: The Del Mar Turf Club, with crooner Bing Crosby as president and actor Pat O’Brien as one of the club officers, opened for racing.
July 3, 1977: Seattle Slew’s nine-race winning streak came to an end in the Swaps Stakes at Hollywood Park, when he finished fourth, beaten 16 lengths by J.O. Tobin.
July 3, 1982: D. Wayne Lukas-trained Landaluce, ridden by Laffit Pincay Jr., won the first of her five consecutive victories at Hollywood Park. The daughter of Seattle Slew, owned by Barry Beal and Lloyd French, died of a viral infection in November of that year, but was posthumously voted champion two-year-old filly of 1982.
July 4, 1950: Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens saddled his first winner, sending out Populace to victory in the third race, a $5,000 claimer, at Aqueduct.
July 4, 1954: Two-year-old Ribot won his first race, the Premio Tramuschio. He concluded his career in 1956, with 16 wins in as many starts.
July 4, 1972: Two-year-old Secretariat, ridden by Paul Feliciano, ran fourth to winner Herbull in his racing debut, blocked badly throughout the race, at Aqueduct. It was the poorest placing of Secretariat’s career.
July 4, 1976: Charlie Whittingham swept the top three spots in the American Handicap at Hollywood Park with his trainees King Pellinore, Riot in Paris and Caucasus. On July 26, he repeated the feat in the Sunset Handicap, with Caucasus first, King Pellinore second and Riot in Paris third.
July 4, 1978: Trainer D. Wayne Lukas won his first $100,000 stakes race—over the turf—taking the American Handicap with Effervescing, ridden by Laffit Pincay Jr., at Hollywood Park.
July 4, 1998: Elusive Quality ran the fastest mile in history in the Poker Handicap at Belmont Park. The five-year-old horse was timed in 1:31 3/5 over a firm turf course.
July 4, 2000: Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze scored his 7,000 career victory aboard This Is the Moment at the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton, Calif. Baze became the sixth jockey to join the 7,000-win club.
SATURDAY, JUNE 23
Mother Goose Stakes, 3yo fillies, $300,000, Grade I, 1 1-16M, Belmont Park
Hollywood Oaks, 3yo fillies, $150,000, Grade II, 1 1-16M, Betfair Hollywood Park
Donald LeVine Memorial Handicap, 3&up, $150,000, 7F, Parx Racing
Sweet and Sassy Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $150,000, 6F, Delaware Park
Boiling Springs Stakes, 3yo fillies, $100,000, Grade III, 1 1-16M (T), Monmouth Park
Debutante Stakes, 2yo fillies, $100,000, Grade III, 6F, Churchill Downs
Cinderella Stakes, 2yo fillies, $100,000, 5 1-2F, Betfair Hollywood Park
Glowing Honor Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $85,000, 6F (T), Belmont Park
SUNDAY, JUNE 24
King Edward Stakes Presented by TVG, 3&up, $250,000, Grade II, 1M (T), Woodbine
Highlander Stakes, 3&up, $200,000, Grade II, 6F (T), Woodbine
Singspiel Stakes, 3&up, $150,000, Grade III, 1 1-2M (T), Woodbine
My Dear Stakes, 2yo fillies, $150,000, 5F, Woodbine
Beverly Hills Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $100,000, Grade III, 1 1-4M (T), Betfair Hollywood Park
Tweedside Stakes, 3yo fillies, $90,000, 1 1-16M (T), Belmont Park
TUESDAY, JUNE 26
San Juan County Commissioners Handicap, 3&up, $100,000, 1 1-8M, SunRay Park
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27
Girls, Inc. of Shelbyville, Shelby County Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $100,000, 1M (T), Indiana Downs