Thursday, July 19, 2012
AMERICA'S BEST RACING Thoroughbred Notebook
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FEATURING
Joe Harper
PHOTOS
This Week
Fan Photo
VOICES
From the Grandstand
Multi-Media
In the News
In the Blogosphere
NHC NEWS
CALENDAR
Weekend Stakes Races
Racing to History
TURN OF FOOT
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK  top 
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Vintage photos of jockeys getting ready for the trip to Saratoga (Image courtesy of NYRA via the @MattHunterYNN Twitter feed)
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2011Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom is back in action at Fair Hill Training Center (Image courtesy the @TeamValor Twitter feed)
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New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees visiting his filly Mary Fildes at the barn this morning before she runs next Thursday. (Image and information via the @Simon_Callaghan Twitter feed)
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Del Mar trends in San Diego hours before the first race on the historic track’s Opening Day on Wednesday.
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This lady is having tons of fun with fashion on Del Mar’s Opening Day. (Image courtesy of HorsePhotos.com)
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Image courtesy of Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

Joe Harper, President, CEO and Director of Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, was right in the middle of the scrum when his popular Southern California track kicked off its 75th anniversary season yesterday. It was his 36th opener at the seaside oval, most of them with him in the top spot. Bing Crosby, one of America’s great show-business names, opened Del Mar in 1937 and Harper, who had a Hollywood background as the grandson of iconic film producer/director Cecil B. DeMille, has a style, feel and show-biz flair that remind many of Bing at his best. Unlike some racetrack executives, Harper has no desire to sit in ivory towers. His Del Mar season begins each morning at 4:30 on a horse on the backstretch, proceeds through a personal-visit-to-every-nook-and-cranny racetrack day and then goes well into the evening on an active social circuit. And the nicest part of it all for the native Californian who everyone knows simply as “Joe,” is that he loves every minute of it.

TWO MINUTE LICK WITH JOE HARPER top

Name:  Joe Harper

What I do for a living:  Sit back and watch the greatest crew ever do their thing.

How and when I was introduced to Thoroughbred racing:  Shortly after World War II, in short pants and holding my mother’s hand, I went to the races and watched her horses run.

My favorite racetrack:  I better say Del Mar or I won’t get a paycheck.

My favorite Thoroughbred event:  Opening Day at Del Mar.

Other sports/teams I follow:  University of Arizona basketball and San Diego Chargers football.

What I would like to see more of in Thoroughbred racing:  Intelligent people.

What I would like to see less of in Thoroughbred racing:  Ignorant people.

Three words that define what Thoroughbred racing means to me:  A great career.

First Thoroughbred track I ever attended was:  Santa Anita

Favorite all-time Thoroughbred:  Secretariat

My personal best moment in the sport of Thoroughbred racing:   Watching my friend John Mabee win the first Pacific Classic.

Best racetrack food can be found at: The Del Mar stable kitchen. Go for their breakfast burrito.

My favorite jockey:  Bill Shoemaker

My favorite trainer:   Charlie Whittingham

My heroes:  My amazing wife Barbara.

Person in Thoroughbred racing I’d like to have dinner with:  Mike Pegram (He’ll pick up the check.)

My philosophy on life:  It’s short, have fun.

Favorite quote or motto:  Don’t sneeze behind a skittish mule.

Favorite animal other than a horse:  My bulldog Valerie.

Favorite non-Thoroughbred sporting event I have attended:  Watching the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the New York Yankees in the 1963 World Series

Favorite food:  Meat loaf

Favorite vacation spot:  Any white sand, warm water beach not in a Third World country.

Favorite city:  San Diego

Favorite Musician/band:  Lady Gaga

Favorite all time movie(s):   “The Ten Commandments” (Would you believe I played a Hebrew slave in it?)

Favorite TV show:  “The West Wing”

Favorite hotel:  Any Peninsula hotel

Websites I visit daily:  TRA and The Paulick Report

What I drive:   An old GMC Yukon

Pet Peeve:  Hypocrites

Favorite movie about horse racing:  “Seabiscuit”

Which actor would play me in a movie:  Harrison Ford (I wish)

Best book I read recently:  The Book Thief

Favorite dessert:  Hot apple pie a la mode

Favorite drink:  Diet Coke

Favorite scent:  The backstretch

What I like about my job:  Everything

Favorite tech gadget:  “i” anything

Twitter handle:  I don’t do it

No. 1 Bucket List item:  To die with nothing left on my Bucket List
FAN PHOTO OF THE WEEK top
NTRA

Congratulations to Reena Rosskopf on winning the Fan Photo of the Week contest! From Reena: "Geese Crossing" at Golden Gate Fields on Closing Day of the Spring/Summer meet." Want in? E-mail your submissions with a brief caption to photos@NTRA.com!

VOICES top
FROM THE GRANDSTAND top

Bob Baffert on yesterday’s record-breaking opening day at Del Mar:
“It’s crazy here. It’s like Derby Day without the Derby. It goes to show that racing is alive and well in California.”

Chris Erskine in the Los Angeles Times regarding the high fashion on display at Del Mar yesterday:
"The opening-day crowd at Del Mar makes the Kentucky Derby look like a Marine Corps mud run.” 

Trainer Donald Warren on Patrick Valenzuela, regular rider of Acclamation, who will be favored in Saturday’s Eddie Read Stakes at Del Mar:
“I’ve always thought he was a wonderful rider, especially on these speed-type horses, so unless he screws up on a personal level…we know how many problems he’s had in the past…but I’ve always liked the guy and right now, I’m committed to using him as long as everything goes right.”

Jockey Rosie Napravnik, quoted by Mark Singelais, in the Albany Times-Union:
"I feel like an equal with all the other jockeys. We ride every day together. We're on a level playing field. It's just another day at the office for me."

Erin Halloran, co-owner/creator of the Equine Journey at the Inn at Bay Shore, MI, telling the New York Times why she knew that horses could play an important role at a resort spa:
“Horses are my therapy. Throughout my whole life, that’s where I’ve gone to get that relaxation and peace of mind, no matter what was going on in my life.  I always felt a sense of calm around the horses.”


MULTI-MEDIA top

Video: Ray Paulick interviews actor/producer John Ortiz in the opening day paddock at Del Mar (PaulickReport YouTube channel)

Video: Trainer Peter Miller talks about his love for racing and for Del Mar (TVGNetwork’s YouTube channel)

Video: Jockey Chantal Sutherland on preparing for Del Mar’s Opening Day (LiveFitMagazine’s YouTube channel)

Video: A visit with the undisputed hat designing champion of Del Mar (Fox5 San Diego)

Video: A montage of Del Mar excitement (America’s Best Racing)

Video:  Horses settling in for Saratoga’s Opening Day (Hudson Valley Your News Now)

Video: Saratoga Race Course hosted its 32nd Open House on Sunday afternoon (Saratogian)

Video:  John Velazquez talks about winning the Belmont and his injury just 8 days later (America’s Best Racing)

Video: TLC’s “Four Weddings” covers a ceremony and reception at Belmont Park (TLC’s YouTube channel)

Video: Arlington jockey Tim Thornton, with the benefit of “helmet cam,” gives fans the best seat in the house (ArlingtonParkVideos YouTube channel)

Video: Chantal Sutherland stands up for Ontario racing (Standardbred Canada)

Video: Looking ahead to next Tuesday’s Night School, an intro to evaluating workouts (Horse Player Now)

Video: Alex Brown summarizes racing news of the week (AlexBrown444’s YouTube channel)

Video: Horse whisperer Buck Brannaman (KRCTV’s YouTube channel)

Video: Meet Justin the painting horse (Louisville Courier-Journal videos)

Video: The Hunter class at Pimlico’s Totally Thoroughbred horse show (FirstLightFarm2011’s YouTube channel)

Photo: Go behind the scenes at the Ritvo barn at Saratoga (Dominique Ritvo’s Facebook album)

Photo: Rachel Alexandra, her son, and others at Stonestreet Farm (Daily Racing Form)

Photo: The weanlings of Zayat Stables (ZayatStabes.com)

Photo: Horse racing season begins at Portland Meadows (Oregon Live)

Photo: The leadline class at Pimlico’s Totally Thoroughbred horse show is filled with cuteness (JHA Photo)

IN THE NEWS top

New York court upholds trainer Rick Dutrow’s suspension (Blood-Horse)

Hall of Fame trainer Frank “Pancho” Martin dies (Blood-Horse)

Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association releases list of owners committed to running their two-year-olds of 2012 without race-day medication (TOBA press release)

Del Mar’s 75th Opening Day a record-breaker (UT San Diego)

Jockey Chantal Sutherland has spill on Opening Day at Del Mar (NBC San Diego)

Jockeys battle for winning mounts at Del Mar (North County Times)

Which jockey will fill Rosario void at Del Mar? (U-T San Diego)

Del Mar courts California horses as season opens (LA Times)

Del Mar, Saratoga openings trigger flurry of activity in Vegas (Daily Racing Form)

Horse racing: season’s greetings (Saratogian)

The new Saratoga (ESPN)

Linda Rice looks for more success in Saratoga (America’s Best Racing)

Rosie Napravnik: “I feel like an equal” at Saratoga (Albany Times Union)

Why Thoroughbred racing thrives in Saratoga (Saratogian)

Saratoga survival guide: reading the program (ESPN Radio)

Saratoga Springs native Matt Muzikar has emerged as a top jockey agent (Schenectady Daily Gazette)

NYRA changes rules for its two-year-old races (Albany Times-Union)

Zo Impressive ready for Coaching Club American Oaks rematch (Blood-Horse)

Royal Delta headlines Del ‘Cap (Kansas City Star)

Acclamation looms large in the Eddie Read (Thoroughbred Times)

2011 BC Dirt Mile champ Caleb’s Posse retired (Louisville Courier-Journal)

Went the Day Well through for 2012 (Bradenton Herald)

Curlin’s dam, Sherriff’s Deputy, dies (Blood-Horse)

The countdown begins to the Breeders’ Cup Classic (Kentucky Forward)

The latest NTRA Thoroughbred Poll (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

Rick Pitino names horse ‘Russdiculous’ in honor of guard Russ Smith (Yahoo! Sports)

Keeneland announces 17 stakes races in fall meet will total $4.5 million in purse money (Louisville Courier-Journal)

Monmouth to host jockey welfare conference (The Blood-Horse)

CEOs, including Churchill Downs’ Bob Evans, share their best practices for customer service (Forbes)

What’s the big deal about I’ll Have Another’s vet treatment? (ESPN)

A film about horse racing as an addiction (Examiner.com)

Remembering Secretariat’s 1973 Belmont (iSportsWeb)

The sound of horses racing on TV is actually a recording of stampeding buffalo (The Atlantic)

Sale of oil painting to benefit Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (The Blood-Horse)

Racing Season at Saratoga offers the chance to indulge...and to donate (Forbes)

Supermodel Kate Moss to design jockey’s silks for Glorious Goodwood (Marie Claire UK)

Pimlico’s Thoroughbred horse show deemed a success (Thoroughbred Times)

Find your inner peace, not your inner cowgirl with Equine Therapy at top spas (Chronicle Herald)

IN THE BLOGOSPHERE top

Del Mar, Saratoga offer horse racing’s summer paradise (SportsNOLA)

Comparing Saratoga and Del Mar (Thoroughbred Horse Racing)

Why I love Del Mar (Horse Racing Nation)

How to dress for Opening Day at Del Mar (Lisa Price)

Saratoga Opening Day preview (Horse Racing Nation)

This week at Saratoga (Brooklyn Backstretch)

How to beat Saratoga (A Game of Skill)

Playing the late pick 4 on opening day at Saratoga (Daily Racing Form)

Repole eyes a hat trick at Saratoga (ESPN)

NYRA announces return of “Fan the Day” at Saratoga (New York Post)

Handicapping: Why winning isn't always everything (America’s Best Racing)

Royal Delta or Awesome Maria in the Delaware Handicap? (Horse Racing Nation)

The four most likely Breeders’ Cup race winners this year (TwinSpires.com)

Thoughts on last Saturday’s stakes events (Daily Racing Form)

Lasix: the third rail of American racing (Horse Race Insider)

Waiting for the report from the Aqueduct injury task force (Brooklyn Backstretch)

A racing comparison of Hong Kong and the USA (Horse Racing Nation)

Q&A with Georganne Hale about Pimlico’s very popular Totally Thoroughbred show (Off-Track Thoroughbreds)

Off-the-track Thoroughbred shows take over the calendar (Retired Racehorse Blog)

Retired racehorse Tall Glass has a new home with as a successful show horse (Paulick Report)

NHC NEWS top
NTRA

GET QUALIFIED
Qualifiers to the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship, presented by Sovereign Stable and Treasure Island Las Vegas, are taking place online and across the country as the first-half of the DRF NHC Tour season comes to an end on July 31.

Horse Players Qualify is conducting Players Challenge qualifiers on July 22 and 29.  For more details on the Players Challenge and a schedule of Players Challenge qualifiers click here

Horsetourneys.com is back in July with two NHC contests, July 22 and 28.  Click here to view the schedule.

Woodbine Racetrack is hosting the "Thoroughbred Summer Saratoga Challenge" on July 22.  Play for your share of up to $20,000 and two NHC berths.  Click here for details. 

The 2012 Del Mar Handicapping Challenge takes place July 28-29.  Five NHC spots and $60,000 in cash prizes will be awarded.  Click here for more details. 

Keeneland is accepting entries for the July 28 handicapping challenge.  The entry fee is $150 and three NHC berths will be awarded.  Click here to view rules and to download entry form.

TwinSpires.com is awarding two NHC seats in their TSOHS Monthly Final tournament on July 28.  Players can buy in for $200 or qualify for as little as $25 in the monthly satellite contests. Players must be TwinSpires.com members to participate. Visit www.twinspires.com for details.

NHC winner Michael Beychok taking on all comers in “Beat the Champ” contest (Twin Spires)

Click here to view the current Daily Racing Form NHC Tour schedule.

Click here to view the current list of NHC 14 qualifiers. 

SOVEREIGN STABLE ROSTER POINTING FOR SARATOGA ASSAULT
Sovereign Stable, a presenting sponsor of the NHC, has several 2- year-olds gearing up for the upcoming lucrative Saratoga meet and shares are still available in a few of these prospects.  Go to www.sovereignstable.com and click on “Current Opportunities” to see these 2-year-olds.

DAILY RACING FORM NHC TOUR LEADER BOARDS
The first half of the DRF NHC Tour will be ending on July 31.  Cash prizes of $50,0000 will be awarded to the top ten finishers of the first-half Leader Board.  Mark McGuire (Newbury Park, CA) is in the top spot on both the full and first-half Leader Boards. Click here to read Dave Tuley's Daily Racing Form article, "NHC Tour bonuses fulfill goal: get players to play".

Click here to view the overall Leader Board standings. 

Click here to view the first-half Leader Board standings.

The top 100 on the overall year-end Leader Board will be guaranteed entry in the 2013 NHC. Click here to view the top 100 standings.


Name

1H LB Points

Name

Full LB Points

Mark McGuire

9,722

Mark McGuire

10,466

Rhonda Sylvester

8,661

Christopher Larmey

9,295

Mark Streiff

8,223

Edmund Teicht

8,892

Christopher Larmey

7,872

Rhonda Sylvester

8,661

Edmund Teicht

7,550

Mark Streiff

8,223

     

Player Profile

 

 

Ken Seeman

  

Stephen Coombs
Steve lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  He qualified for NHC 14 on NHCQualify.com on June 30.  This will be his second appearance at the NHC. 

Click here to read Steve's complete NHC player biography.

Learn more about the 2012 Daily Racing Form NHC Tour (NHC)

CALENDAR top
RACING TO HISTORY top

July 19, 2000: Allen Paulson, owner and breeder of Cigar, died in La Jolla, Calif. after a long battle with cancer. He was 78.

July 20, 1951: Six-year-old Citation, the first Thoroughbred to earn $1 million, was retired.

July 20, 1974: Carl Rosen’s Chris Evert trounced Miss Musket by 50 lengths in the world’s richest match race, a $350,000 winner-take-all contest at Hollywood Park.

July 20, 1988: John Galbreath, founder of Darby Dan Farm, died at age 90. He was the first person to have owned and bred winners of the Kentucky Derby (Chateaugay and Proud Clarion) and the Epsom Derby (Roberto).

July 20, 2009: Jockey Rosemary Homeister Jr. became Thoroughbred racing’s second winningest female jockey when she rode Gambles List to victory in the third race at Colonial Downs. The win was the 2,138th of Homeister’s career. Julie Krone holds the all-time record for wins by a female rider with 3,704.

July 21, 1989: Jockey Chris McCarron notched his 5,000th winner, riding I Sure Hope So to victory in the fifth race at Hollywood Park.

July 21, 2010: Opening day at Del Mar attracted 45,309 spectators, the largest crowd in Del Mar history.

July 22, 1999: Dale Baird, the winningest trainer in history, recorded his 8,000th victory at Mountaineer Race Track in Chester, W.V., sending out Midsummer Scene to take the 6th race.

July 23, 1947: Early Edition, Hunter’s Sun and Brown Jewel, all offspring of the sire Hunter’s Moon IV, finished 1-2-3, respectively, in a race at Hollywood Park

July 23, 1985: A bay colt, Seattle Dancer, son of Nijinsky II and the mare My Charmer, sold to Robert Sangster for $13.1 million—the record price for a Thoroughbred. Seattle Dancer, a half brother to 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, raced five times as a three-year-old to earn less than $150,000 from two wins, one second and one third before he was retired. The previous record for a horse sold at auction was $10.2 million, paid by Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum in 1983 for Snaafi Dancer, who never raced.

July 25, 2003: “Seabiscuit”, starring Tobey Maguire, Chris Cooper, Jeff Bridges and jockey Gary Stevens opened in movie theatres nationwide. The film would go on to earn over $120 million at the box office and $80 million in DVD sales. 

July 26, 1962: Jockey Angel Cordero Jr. rode his first winner in the U.S., Counterate, at Aqueduct Racetrack.

July 26, 1973: The New York Racing Association and the Philip Morris Corporation announced the inaugural Marlboro Cup, a race to feature Secretariat and his stablemate, Riva Ridge, that would be run Sept. 15 at Belmont Park.

July 27, 1973: In preparation for the Aug. 4 Whitney Stakes, Secretariat worked a mile at Saratoga Racecourse in 1:34 over a muddy track. His workout time was 4/5 of a second lower than the 55-year-old track record for the distance. He galloped out another eighth of a mile for a final time of 1:47 4/5, which was 2/5 of a second lower than the track record.

July 27, 2008: Jockey Kent Desormeaux scored the 5,000th win of his career after guiding Bella Attrice to victory in the 7th race at Saratoga. Desormeaux, 38, was the 23rd jockey to reach the 5,000-win mark.

July 28, 1951: Citation, then the world’s leading money-winning Thoroughbred, was paraded before a crowd of 28,000 at Arlington Park in his last public appearance at a track before being retired to stud.

July 28, 1987: Jockey Angel Cordero Jr. won his 6,000th victory in the Colleen Stakes at Monmouth Park aboard Lost Kitty. He was the fourth rider in racing history to accomplish that feat.

July 29, 1953: Jockey Walter Blum rode his first career winner at Saratoga Racecourse.

July 29, 1972: In preparation for a July 31 race at Saratoga, Secretariat went three furlongs in :35.

July 29, 1973: Jockey Pat Day rode his first career winner, Forblunged, in a $2,000 claiming race at Prescott Downs, Prescott, Ariz. His mount earned $347—the winner’s share of the $631 purse.

July 29, 1995: Jockey Russell Baze won his 5,000th career victory, aboard Cyrus Says, in the sixth race at Sonoma County Fair. He was the 15th rider to reach that plateau.

July 29, 2004: Jockey John Velazquez earned the 3,000 victory of his career in the second race at Saratoga aboard Runingforpresident.

July 30, 1870: Monmouth Park opened with a five day race meet.

July 30, 2008: Lava Man was retired, ending a storybook career as one of racing’s best-ever claims. The seven-year-old California-bred gelding won $5,268,706; with over $5.1 million of that coming for owners STD Stable and Jason Wood, who claimed Lava Man for $50,000 in 2004.

July 31, 1972: Secretariat, ridden for the first time by Ron Turcotte, won his second victory in three starts, on opening day at Saratoga Racecourse. The pair were sent off at odds of 2-5.

Aug. 1, 1945: Open racing resumed in place of the war-time restricted, or zoned, system in England.

WEEKEND STAKES RACES top

FRIDAY, JULY 20
Schuylerville Stakes, 2yo fillies, $150,000, Grade III, 6F, Saratoga

James Marvin Stakes, 3&up, $100,000, Grade III, 7F, Saratoga

SATURDAY, JULY 21
Delaware Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $750,000, Grade II, 1 1-4M, Delaware Park

Delaware Oaks, 3yo fillies, $400,000, Grade II, 1 1-16M (T), Delaware Park

Virginia Derby, 3yo, $600,000, Grade II, 1 1-4M (T), Colonial Downs

Eddie Read Stakes, 3&up, $300,000, Grade I, 1 1-8M (T), Del Mar

TVG Coaching Club American Oaks, 3yo fillies, $300,000, Grade I, 1 1-8M, Saratoga

Arlington Oaks, 3yo fillies, $150,000, Grade III, 1 1-8M, Arlington Park

Virginia Oaks, 3yo fillies, $150,000, Grade III, 1 1-8M (T), Colonial Downs

Sussex Stakes, 3&up, $100,000, 1 1-16M (T), Delaware Park

Willard Straight Stakes, 3&up, $100,000, 5 1-2F (T), Saratoga

California State Fair Sprint, 3&up (f&m), $75,000, 6F, Sacramento

Prairie Gold Lassie Stakes, 2yo fillies, $75,000, 5 1-2F, Prairie Meadows

Prairie Gold Juvenile Stakes, 2yo, $75,000, 5 1-2F, Prairie Meadows

SUNDAY, JULY 22
Nijinsky Stakes, 3&up, $300,000, Grade II, 1 1-8M (T), Woodbine

Sanford Stakes, 2yo, $200,000, Grade II, 6F, Saratoga

San Clemente Handicap, 3yo fillies, $150,000, Grade II, 1M (T), Del Mar

Ontario Matron Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $150,000, Grade III, 1 1-16M, Woodbine

Duluth Stakes, 3yo, $100,000, 1M (T), Saratoga

WEDNESDAY, JULY 25
Lake George Stakes, 3yo fillies, $200,000, Grade III, 1 1-16M (T), Saratoga

THURSDAY, JULY 26
Quick Call Stakes, 3yo, $100,000, 5 1-2F (T), Saratoga

You’d Be Surprised Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $100,000, 1 1-8M, Saratoga


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TURN OF FOOT top
Where would you rather attend Opening Day – A) Saratoga or B) Del Mar? Tweet your answers to @ABRLive!