TORNADO-PRODUCING STORMS DAMAGE HORSE BARNS AT CHURCHILL DOWNS
Churchill Downs Racetrack had to cancel racing, training and simulcast wagering today following severe storms that damaged barns in the Louisville track’s stable area and a number of stable area structures, including some living accommodations for backstretch workers. No injuries to workers or horses on site were reported.
Officials from the National Weather Service (NWS) visited the Churchill Downs stable area this morning and determined that a tornado touched down in the barnyard. At this time, the NWS has not determined the size or strength of the tornado that damaged seven barns and the track’s backstretch chapel. No injuries to human beings or horses have been reported at the track, and Churchill Downs officials are examining the damaged stables to determine whether some may again be safely inhabited by horses and their human connections.
Churchill Downs officials, in conjunction with Churchill Downs horsemen and Louisville-area emergency responders, have arranged for the possible evacuation of approximately 150 horses to the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center, located in close proximity to the racetrack. Churchill Downs officials will assess the need for potential relocation of horses when they can better assess damage to the stable area. Churchill Downs is also coordinating with the American Red Cross and local emergency management officials to provide temporary shelter for approximately 100 stable-area workers whose accommodations were damaged or compromised by the strong winds.
"We want to credit the fast response and cool heads of the emergency responders from the Louisville Fire Department, Louisville Metro Police Department, Louisville Gas and Electric Company and our Churchill Downs personnel on site for helping us quickly see to the needs of our horsemen and their livestock and the stable-area workers who required assistance,"Churchill Downs President Kevin Flanery said. "It was an amazing team effort under very difficult circumstances, including the continued threat of severe weather in the Louisville region. We are extremely grateful to these individuals for truly helping us weather the storm."
Churchill Downs will conduct its scheduled "Downs After Dark"night racing program tomorrow as scheduled.
"We are incredibly fortunate to have survived last night’s tornado without injury to our backstretch human or equine population,"said Flanery. "We have a lot to clean up and are coordinating with horsemen whose barns were affected on relocation arrangements for horses that may need to be moved off site - and returned to the track for live racing - for the remainder of our 2011 Spring Meet. We met with horsemen today for an update on clean-up efforts and have their support to resume live racing tomorrow with our Downs After Dark program. We will be prepared to receive horses shipping into Churchill Downs for tomorrow’s race card.
"Additionally, we will use our Churchill Charities 'Pony Up For Charity’ fundraiser already scheduled for our night racing event tomorrow to raise money for backstretch storm victims,"Flanery continued. "Some horsemen lost equipment and feed and many backstretch workers’ living accommodations were damaged or compromised by the storm. We are hoping our guests will give generously to help those in our extended racing family that have immediate needs due to the storm. We were very lucky to come through this difficult time with no injuries or damage to our clubhouse and grandstand areas of the racetrack. The iconic Twin Spires of Churchill Downs still tower over the track, and we look forward to celebrating our good fortune tomorrow night under the lights for Downs After Dark.”
As part of the "Pony Up For Charity"promotion, customers may ask their server to add or "Pony Up"a dollar or more to their food and beverage tab at Friday’s Downs After Dark event. Customers who "Pony Up"will receive a commemorative sticker, "I PONIED UP FOR CHARITY"with the Churchill Charities black and red horse head logo. Churchill Charities had partnered with New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program to serve as the beneficiary for the June 24 "Pony Up For Charity"fundraiser, but as a result of the needs created by the tornado damage, will dedicate this Friday night’s proceeds to storm victims. Churchill Charities will designate the July 1 Downs After Dark "Pony Up for Charity"event to benefit the New Vocations program.
JOYFUL VICTORY HEADLINES MOTHER GOOSE top
A select field of sophomore fillies headed by dual graded stakes winner Joyful Victory has been entered to contest Saturday’s 55th renewal of the Grade I, $250,000 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.
Joyful Victory, trained by Larry Jones for Fox Hill Farms, most recently was fourth as the favorite in the Kentucky Oaks on May 6. She broke from the rail that day in a field of 13, and Jones said he thought the filly might not have been able to hit her best stride.
"There was some traffic, and I don’t think she was able to do her running when she wanted,"said Jones. "She’s a big, long-striding filly and she needed to be cruising faster than she was able to [in the Oaks]. If you look at her race in the Breeders’ Cup [Juvenile Fillies] last year when Tony [Dutrow] had her, it was the same kind of race, and the outcomes were similar.”
Trained for the first three starts of her career by Dutrow, Joyful Victory graduated from a maiden win at Delaware Park in September to a third-place showing in the Frizette at Belmont one month later. Sent to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, November 5 at Churchill Downs, she stalked the early pace before fading to fifth.
The daughter of Tapit turned in back-to-back dominant efforts at Oaklawn Park this year to start her sophomore campaign for Jones, romping by 8 3/4 lengths in the Honeybee on March 12 and seven lengths in April’s Fantasy Stakes, both at the 1 1/16-mile Mother Goose distance. She has worked three times since the Oaks, most recently breezing a bullet five furlongs in 1:00.40 on June 20 at Delaware Park.
"Rick Porter [of Fox Hill Farms] picked out this spot for her after the Oaks,"Jones said. "We gave her a little time after that race and she’s been steadily picking it up in her works, so I believe we’ve got her where we want her.”
Ramon Dominguez has been named to ride Joyful Victory, the 9-5 morning-line favorite, from post position 4.
Salty Strike, who finished a well-beaten fourth behind Joyful Victory In the Honeybee, is back after a pair of persuasive races of her own at Churchill – a 3 3/4-length victory in the Dogwood on June 4 and a seven-length optional claiming conquest on May 20. Having saddled her to a 3-1-1 mark from seven starts, trainer Ken McPeek said he now has a better understanding of the Smart Strike filly.
"She’s done very well since we got her back on the dirt,"McPeek said. "She doesn’t like synthetic, she doesn’t seem to be a two-turn filly, and Lasix seems to dull her a little bit.”
Owned and bred by Craig Singer, Salty Strike raced twice as a juvenile, breaking her maiden impressively upon debut at Churchill Downs last May, then finishing third in Churchill’s Debutante Stakes on June 26. Sidelined after that race with a fractured cannon bone, she lost her comeback allowance race – and first start on Lasix – by a length. She also raced on Lasix when fourth in the Honeybee and sixth in an allowance race over Keeneland’s Polytrack on April 21. Without Lasix in her two most recent starts, McPeek has seen a different filly.
"Lasix takes a lot of fluid out of them, and without it she’s bounced out of her races really quickly,"McPeek said. "She’s dappled out from head to toe right now and she got to New York Monday morning and has settled in really well."
Manoel Cruz comes in to ride Salty Strike – tabbed as the 5-2 morning-line second choice – from post 2.
The complete field, in post position order, for the Mother Goose is: Victoria’s Wildcat (jockey: David Cohen, morning line odds: 12-1); Salty Strike (Manoel Cruz, 5-2); My Assets (Alex Solis, 12-1); Joyful Victory (Ramon Dominguez, 9-5); Buster’s Ready (John Velazquez, 7-2); R Gypsy Gold (Javier Castellano, 15-1); and Alseera (Alan Garcia, 6-1).
CHECK YOUR SOUL, QUEEN’SPLATEKITTEN, INGLORIOUS HEAD 17 ENTERED FOR QUEEN’S PLATE top
Check Your Soul, Queen’splatekitten and Inglorious top a field of 17 Canadian-foaled three-year-olds for the $1 million Queen’s Plate, Canada’s most famous horse race, Sunday at Woodbine in Rexdale, Ont. This year’s renewal of the mile-and-a-quarter Queen’s Plate boasts the event’s largest field since 1999.
Check Your Soul, an Ontario homebred owned by Charles Fipke, will be trying to give his Hall of Fame trainer, Roger Attfield, a record ninth Plate win. Attfield, currently tied at eight Plate victories with Harry Giddings Jr., last won the Plate in 2008 with another Fipke homebred, Not Bourbon. His other Plate winners were Norcliffe (1976), Market Control (1987), With Approval (1989), Izvestia (1990), Alydeed (1992), Peteski (1993) and Regal Discovery (1995).
To be ridden from post 13 by Patrick Husbands, Check Your Soul did not race as a two-year-old, but has won three of his four starts this year, including a three and one-quarter length score in the Plate Trial at Woodbine on June 5. Twenty-five Plate Trial winners, including the last three (Not Bourbon in 2008; Eye of the Leopard in 2009 and Big Red Mike in 2010) have gone on to Plate glory.
The appropriately-named Queen’splatekitten, purchased by Mill House this winter and conditioned by North America’s leading trainer, Todd Pletcher, will also be well supported. The son of Kitten’s Joy won Woodbine’s Marine Stakes on May 21 by three lengths. The win was Queen’splatekitten’s third from six career outings asnd kept him perfect in two starts over Woodbine’s Polytrack. The only time he’s been worse than second was in this year’s Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland, when he finished seventh, six lengths behind the winner Brilliant Speed.
"When we bought him, we had this race in mind,"said Pletcher. "It’s always been our primary focus, so we feel like we’ve gotten to this point the way we had planned.”
Pletcher’s go-to jockey, John Velazquez, will ride Queen’splatekitten, who will depart from post 14.
Pletcher will also send out Zayat Stables’ Imhotep, who drew the rail. Still a maiden after three starts, including a sixth place finish to Check Your Soul in the Plate Trial, Imhotep will be ridden for the first time by Emile Ramsammy, who will be seeking his third Plate triumph after victories with Victor Cooley in 1996 and Edenwold in 2006. The last maiden to win the Plate was Scatter The Gold in 2000.
Donver Stable’s Inglorious, trained by Josie Carroll, is fresh from her three-quarter-length victory in the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks, presented by Budweiser, on June 5.
Carroll will be seeking a second Plate win, after becoming the first female conditioner to win the 'Gallop for the Guineas’ in 2006 with Edenwold. To be ridden from post 9 by Woodbine’s leading rider, Luis Contreras, Inglorious, a four-time winner in six career starts, is the field’s leading money winner with $650,000 and is also perfect in four trips over Woodbine’s Polytrack.
The daughter of Hennessy-Noble Strike will try to become the 34th filly to win the Queen’s/King’s Plate since 1860 and the first filly (fifth overall) since Dancethruthedawn in 2001 to capture both the Oaks and the Plate. Other fillies who won both are Flaming Page (1962), La Lorgnette (1985) and Dance Smartly (1991).
Post time for the 152nd edition of the Plate, the oldest continuously run stakes race in North America, is slated for 5:36 p.m. (ET) on Sunday. The race will be televised live in the U.S. on TVG.
PLUM PRETTY TOPS QUINTET ENTERED IN HOLLYWOOD OAKS top
Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty headlines a field of five 3-year-old fillies entered in the Grade II, $150,000 Hollywood Oaks, to be run at 1 1/16 miles over Cushion Track Saturday at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif.
A neck winner of the Kentucky Oaks May 6 at Churchill Downs after a 25-length victory in the Sunland Park Oaks some six weeks earlier, Plum Pretty was originally scheduled to compete in the $250,000 Mother Goose Saturday at Belmont Park.
However, the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro and the A.P. Indy mare Liszy had a temperature earlier in the week – which quickly subsided – and those plans changed.
Owned by Peachtree Stable and trained by Bob Baffert, who won this event in 2003 with Santa Catarina and in 2007 with Tough Tiz’s Sis, Plum Pretty has won three of five career starts and earned $761,200.
If she runs and succeeds Saturday, Plum Pretty would join Fran’s Valentine as the only filly to win the Kentucky Oaks and Hollywood Oaks. Fran’s Valentine completed the double in 1985 for trainer Joe Manzi and owner Earl Scheib’s Green Thumb Farm Stable.
Meanwhile, Zazu will try to make some history for trainer John Sadler.
Sadler, who saddled Switch for his first win in this race a year ago, will attempt to become the first trainer to repeat in the race since Charlie Whittingham won consecutively with Turkish Trousers in 1971 and Pallisima in 1972. Whittingham leads all trainers with six Oaks victories.
Owned by Jerry and Ann Moss, Zazu returns to California after finishing third in the Kentucky Oaks. The gray daughter of Tapit and the Mr. Greeley mare Rhumb Line finished 2 3/4 lengths behind Plum Pretty.
Second in three races in a row, Big Tiz will stretch to two turns again for owners Allen and Susan Branch and Cory Wagner and trainer Mark Glatt. The Tiznow filly out of the Carson City mare Squall City was runner-up behind May Day Rose in the seven-furlong Railbird at Hollywood in her most recent outing on May 21.
Off the board only once in eight starts, Big Tiz has earned $160,110.
From the inside out, the field for the Hollywood Oaks is: Love Theway Youare (jockey: Alonso Quinonez, weight: 115 pounds); Wallstreeter (David Flores, 113); Plum Pretty (Martin Garcia, 123); Zazu (Joel Rosario, 119); and Big Tiz (Patrick Valenzuela, 113).
Ridden to victory at the Oceanport, N.J. oval by Elvis Trujillo, E Street Shuffle paid hunch players, music fans and handicappers, alike, $9.00 for every $2.00 win wager. The son of Pulpit is owned by Stu Sackowitz and Dave Gherman and trained by Anthony Margotta, Jr.
"GALLOPING OUT" FUNDRAISING RACE AT ARLINGTON SATURDAY TO BENEFIT RETIRED THOROUGBREDS top
In addition to Saturday’s six $100,000 stakes races restricted to Illinois-registered horses that comprise the annual Prairie State Festival, Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Ill., will also host a specially designated race on the card to benefit the Galloping Out Foundation for the rescue and care of retired Thoroughbred racehorses.
Arlington Park will donate the purse money and commissions earned on the race to the Galloping Out Foundation, a 501(c)-3 non-profit organization to provide for the care of retired Thoroughbred race horses. The Foundation was established in 2010 as a cooperative effort between the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and the Chicagoland Thoroughbred racecourses.
"Our most important goal is making sure the Thoroughbred athlete has a chance for a second career once his racing days are over,"said Galloping Out President Nate Ruffalo. "These horses have been so good to us that we want to be sure we are good to them after they are done racing. That’s what Galloping Out is all about.”
MONMOUTH’S SOPHIA MANGALEE TO COMPETE IN GRUELING MONGOL DERBY top
Sophia Mangalee, the marketing director at Monmouth Park and the wife of jockey Navin Mangalee, will soon be taking on an incredible challenge.
Mangalee is preparing to compete in the third annual renewal of a grueling race known as the "The Mongol Derby"– an event that covers some 630 miles over 10 days on about three dozen semi-wild Mongolian mountains. She is one of only two Americans among the 25 global competitors approved to race the course that traces the postal route system of Genghis Khan nearly a thousand years ago (sort of a precursor to our old Pony Express).
"It's all about survival...a true test of horsemanship to go out there and ride 14 hours a day on three to fourdifferent horses a day," said Mangalee about the event that kicks off on August 6 and which was won by an American last year.
Mangalee is no stranger to athletic tests of endurance. She has run two marathons, including one in Barcelona, and she expects that experience to come in handy while being alone on the steppes of Mongolia -- though she will be equipped with a GPS device just in case she runs into trouble.
The Mongol Derby carries a $10,000 entry fee and an additional requirement to raise money for multiple charities – of which one must be Mercy Corps Mongolia. Mangalee’s U.S.-based charity is Celtic Charms - a therapeutic riding center for disabled children located near Monmouth Park. She has already raised $3,000 in charitable funds with more than a month to go until race time.
You can follow Sophia's training during the upcoming months, and the race itself, on her blog at www.mongolderbyrider.com.
THIS JUST IN - CHICAGO NEWS ANCHOR HAS STAR TWO YEAR OLD top
Chicago news anchor Ron Magers, host of ABC 7’s nightly newscast in the Windy City, has suddenly found himself highly interested in certain developments north of the border. That’s because his two-year-old gelding Banner Bill, owned under the name R Plus Partners, extended his perfect record to two-for-two last Saturday in capturing Woodbine’s five-furlong Victoria Stakes by a gaudy 5 3/4 lengths.
While Magers has loved racing most of his life and started getting involved in owner partnerships when he moved to Chicago some 30 years ago, a key moment in his racing life came in 1991 when he and his wife Elise claimed a three-year-old filly named Lemhi Go for $16,000. Lemhi Go went on to win multiple stakes for the Magerses, and she retired with a lifetime bankroll of $330,805.
"The whole thing was lightning in a bottle,"Magers told Thoroughbred Daily News. "She just grew up before our eyes, and we made a lot of money with her on the track.”
Indeed, Lemhi Go continues to be the gift that keeps on giving. She is the second dam of Banner Bill.
There is no official word on a next start for the Ralph Biamonte-trained son of Rockport Harbor. Though the July 16 Colin Stakes going six furlongs at Woodbine would seem a tempting option.
POIGNANT HUNCH PLAY COMES THROUGH AT MONMOUTH top
Last Sunday, a day after the death of Clarence Clemons, the popular saxophonist who was a founding member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, Monmouth Park’s third race went to a four-year-old gelding named E Street Shuffle.
Ridden to victory at the Oceanport, N.J. oval by Elvis Trujillo, E Street Shuffle paid hunch players, music fans and handicappers, alike, $9.00 for every $2.00 win wager. The son of Pulpit is owned by Stu Sackowitz and Dave Gherman and trained by Anthony Margotta, Jr.
RACING TO HISTORY top
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.
July 5, 1991: Jockey Ray Sibille won his 3,000th career race, aboard Sporting Surf at Pleasanton.
July 6, 1975: Locust Hill Farm’s undefeated filly Ruffian engaged Kentucky Derby winner Foolish Pleasure in a match race at Belmont Park. Racing on the lead, Ruffian sustained a severe leg injury and was pulled up by jockey Jacinto Vasquez. The filly was euthanized the following day when efforts to save her proved futile.
July 6, 1977: In the second of their 10 meetings, Alydar defeated Affirmed to win the Great American Stakes at Belmont Park. This was the first of Alydar’s three victories over Affirmed.
WEEKEND STAKES RACES (unrestricted stakes in N.A. worth $75,000 and up) top
SATURDAY, June 25th
Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap, 3&up, $300,000, Grade III, 1 1-8M, Prairie Meadows
Mother Goose Stakes, 3yo fillies, $250,000, Grade I, 1 1-16M, Belmont Park
King Edward Stakes, 3&up, $250,000, Grade II, 1M (T), Woodbine
Iowa Derby, 3yo, $250,000, Grade III, 1 1-16M, Prairie Meadows
Iowa Oaks, 3yo fillies, $200,000, Grade III, 1 1-16M, Prairie Meadows
Donald LeVine Memorial Handicap, 3&up, $200,000, 7F, Parx Racing
Hollywood Oaks, 3yo fillies, $150,000, Grade II, 1 1-16M, Hollywood Park
New York Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $150,000, Grade II, 1 1-4M (T), Belmont Park
Boiling Springs Stakes, 3yo fillies, $150,000, Grade III, 1 1-16M (T), Monmouth Park
My Dear Stakes, 2yo, $150,000, 5F, Woodbine
Sweet and Sassy Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $125,000, 6F, Delaware Park
Debutante Stakes, 2yo fillies, $100,000, Grade III, 6F, Churchill Downs
Charlie Barley Stakes, 3yo, $100,000, 1M (T), Woodbine
Lighthouse Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $75,000, 1 1-16M, Monmouth Park
SUNDAY, JUNE 26
Highlander Stakes, 3&up, $200,000, Grade II, 6F (T), Woodbine
Singspiel Stakes, 3&up, $150,000, Grade III, 1 1-2M (T), Woodbine
Beverly Hills Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $100,000, Grade III, 1 1-4M (T), Hollywood Park
Blue Sparkler Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $75,000, 6F, Monmouth Park
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29
Girls Inc. of Shelbyville, Shelby County Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $100,000, 1M (T), Indiana Downs