Equestrian Sports

Equestrian Sports
▪ 2009


Thoroughbred Racing.

United States.
      A seemingly invincible three-year-old colt named Big Brown took American Thoroughbred racing by storm during the 2008 spring classic season. In the 134th Kentucky Derby on May 3, Big Brown, making only his fourth career start, teamed up with jockey Kent Desormeaux to score a dominating 43/4-length victory over Eight Belles before 157,770 spectators, the second largest crowd in the event's history. Tragedy marred the race when Eight Belles, the lone filly in the field of 20 three-year-olds, suffered catastrophic fractures in both front ankles while pulling up and had to be euthanized on the track.

      Two weeks later Big Brown prevailed effortlessly in the 133rd Preakness Stakes, winning by 51/4 lengths over Macho Again and leading most observers to believe that his quest to become the 12th American Triple Crown winner and the first since Affirmed in 1978 was a forgone conclusion. When Big Brown was sent off as the heavy 3–10 favourite in the 140th Belmont Stakes on June 7, the only concern was the fact that he was racing with a patched quarter crack in his left front foot. In spite of running prominently in third position for a mile, however, the colt failed to exhibit the flair that he had shown in his previous tests and finished last after being eased during the stretch run by Desormeaux. Da'Tara, the longest shot in the field of nine at 38–1, led all the way under jockey Alan Garcia to prevail by 51/4 lengths over Denis of Cork.

      Big Brown came back to win the $1 million Haskell Invitational Stakes on August 3 and the ungraded $500,000 Monmouth Stakes on the turf on September 13, both at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J. The colt suffered a career-ending injury to his right front heel during an October 13 workout at Aqueduct in Queens, N.Y., while preparing for a start in the Breeders' Cup Classic. He was scheduled to begin stud duty in 2009 at Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Ky.

      The growing use of anabolic steroids in American Thoroughbred racing was thrust into the spotlight after Big Brown's trainer, Dick Dutrow, Jr., spoke about regularly administering doses of the drug to the colt during the lead-up to the Triple Crown races. Industry leaders began calling for anabolic steroid regulations, which all horse-racing states were expected to have in place in 2009. The trainers of horses entered in the 2008 Breeders' Cup World Championships were subject to a one-year suspension from the event for any tests that were returned positive for the drug.

      The 25th anniversary running of the Breeders' Cup World Championships, held October 24–25 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., was dominated by European-based horses, which accounted for five victories and five second-place finishes. The impressive showing included long shots Raven's Pass and Henrythenavigator, which finished one-two in the $4.58 million Classic. Odds-on favourite Curlin ran fourth, which damaged the colt's chances for a second straight Horse of the Year title. Four-year-old filly Zenyatta kept her record unblemished in seven starts while staking claim to Horse of the Year honours with a powerful come-from-behind victory in the Ladies' Classic. The addition of three new events (Marathon, Turf Sprint, and Juvenile Fillies Turf) expanded the two-day Breeders' Cup program to 14 races, which generated a worldwide handle of $155,474,553. Garrett Gomez made history by winning four races, the first jockey to ride more than two winners on a Breeders' Cup program.

      It was the first time that the Classic and the other main track Breeders' Cup races had been held on a synthetic racing surface rather than on dirt. The Cushion Track surface installed at Santa Anita in 2007 proved to have drainage problems, however, which forced the track to cancel 11 live racing dates during its winter-spring season. It was replaced with a Pro-Ride synthetic surface during the summer months. Santa Anita filed suit against the manufacturers of Cushion Track.

       Curlin's September 27 victory in the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes at Belmont Park made him the all-time leading money-winning American Thoroughbred. The $450,000 winner's purse sent his career total to $10,246,800, eclipsing Cigar, which was retired in 1996 after earning $9,999,815.

      The New York Racing Association emerged from bankruptcy in 2008 and on September 12 received a 25-year extension on its franchise to operate Belmont Park, Aqueduct, and Saratoga Race Course. Bay Meadows Race Course in San Mateo, Calif., which first opened in 1934, closed on August 17.

      Jockey Earlie Fires, 61, announced his retirement on September 21 after a 44-year career. The Hall of Famer ranked ninth all-time among North American jockeys, with 6,470 victories. Legendary trainers D. Wayne Lukas, Nick Zito, and Bob Baffert joined forces in June to create the Thoroughbred Legends Racing Stable. Trainer Frank Whiteley, Jr. (Whiteley, Frank Yewell, Jr. ), died on May 2 at the age of 93. Genuine Risk, one of only three fillies to have won the Kentucky Derby, died on August 18 at age 31.

John G. Brokopp

      In 2008 Aidan O'Brien was champion Thoroughbred horse trainer in Britain, as well as at home in Ireland. Hopes that he could beat Bobby Frankel's world record of 25 Group (or Grade) 1 victories in a season were disappointed, however, as his stable form declined in the autumn. He added only three more victories after September 14 and ended the year with 23. O'Brien's Duke of Marmalade won five times, and Henrythenavigator achieved four victories in Group 1 races, including the 2,000 Guineas in May. Both horses were retired to stud at season's end. Coolmore Stud, for which O'Brien trained, announced the retirement of its most influential stallion, Sadler's Wells, in May due to declining fertility.

      Johnny Murtagh, who replaced Kieren Fallon as stable jockey in January, rode most of O'Brien's winners. Fallon was acquitted at a race-fixing trial in December 2007, but it was later announced that he had tested positive for a banned substance while riding in France the previous August. Fallon had already served a six-month ban for an earlier positive result there. In January 2008 the six-time British champion was banned until Aug. 7, 2009.

       Godolphin was no match for Coolmore in 2008, but Sheikh Muhammad al-Maktoum did make several significant purchases. He bought Australia's Woodlands Stud, with some 1,000 horses, in March. In August he added the main yard at the Chantilly (France) stables of André Fabre and sent 35 two-year-olds and 70 yearlings there in the autumn. In September he purchased the Kentucky farm and 250 horses belonging to Stonerside. One of the Stonerside horses, Raven's Pass, defeated Henrythenavigator and the American defending champion, Curlin, in the Breeders' Cup Classic. The first English-trained winner of the Classic, Raven's Pass carried the colours of Sheikh Muhammad's wife, Princess Haya of Jordan, who was also successful with New Approach in the Epsom Derby.

      Horses from the U.S. and South Africa divided the six races at Nad al Sheba on Dubai (U.A.E.) World Cup day in March. Curlin, already a winner at Nad al Sheba that month, beat the South African-trained Asiatic Boy in the World Cup. The South Africans had dominated the preceding International Festival, often, as in the case of Asiatic Boy, with horses bought in South America.

      Alain de Royer-Dupre broke a sequence of 21 consecutive years in which Fabre had been champion trainer in France. The new champion owed his success to the Aga Khan's horse Zarkava, winner of the 2008 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, which was worth twice as much as in 2007 thanks to Qatar, which sponsored all 11 Group races on the Arc weekend. Zarkava retired unbeaten in seven races, five of them in 2008.

      Bad weather in August and September disrupted several important meetings in England. York was washed out, but all of the most significant races were redistributed between Newmarket, Newbury, and Goodwood at the end of the same week. Haydock's Group 1 Sprint Cup was run at Doncaster. A strike halted both Thoroughbred and harness racing in Italy between October 7 and November 8. Many big races were lost, but the action achieved its objective of persuading the government to give more money to the sport.

      Kerrin McEvoy, who had been second jockey for Godolphin, returned home to Australia as a consequence of the Woodlands sale. He rode Godolphin's England-based All the Good to victory in the Caulfield Cup in October. All the Good missed the Melbourne Cup in November because of an injury, but the race still attracted a record seven European runners. Bauer, already winner of the Geelong Cup, was the best of them. In the event, however, he failed by a nose to catch 40–1 long shot Viewed, which gave his Australian trainer Bart Cummings, at almost 81 years old, a record 12th winner of the great race.

      Not Bourbon was trainer Roger Attfield's eighth winner of the Queen's Plate, the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown. The colt arrived for the second leg, the Prince of Wales Stakes, as the overwhelming favourite, but he finished sixth (behind winner Harlem Rocker), after which he required throat surgery. Marlang captured the third leg, the Breeders' Stakes, in August. Marsh Side was a surprise winner of the Canadian International in October. It was the first victory since December 2006 for the California-trained Marsh Side, which finished last in the same race in 2007.

Robert W. Carter

Harness Racing.
      Two three-year-old colts with long run-on names captivated harness racing fans in North America in 2008. The pacer Somebeachsomewhere and the trotter Deweycheatumnhowe dominated their divisions during the season, and by the end of the year, each had earned a future in the breeding ranks.

      Somebeachsomewhere was truly a hero to many in harness racing because of his grassroots ties. He was foaled in Ohio at a small farm and then sold as a yearling to a group of enthusiasts from Nova Scotia. One of the Canadian owners, auto dealer Brent MacGrath, handled the training duties and turned the promising colt into a champion. After having been unbeaten in six starts as a two-year-old, Somebeachsomewhere won the first four starts of his sophomore season, including the $1.5 million North America Cup in Ontario, before being upset by Art Official in the $1.1 million Meadowlands Pace. In that race Somebeachsomewhere was beaten by a neck in a time of 1 min 47 sec for the mile. Later in the season, at the Red Mile track in Kentucky, Somebeachsomewhere paced a mile in 1 min 46.4 sec, the fastest ever by a three-year-old. He also paced the fastest mile ever by a three-year-old on a half-mile track with a 1-min 49.2-sec clocking. Somebeachsomewhere ended the season with 14 wins in 15 starts and earnings of $2,448,003.

      MacGrath created some controversy when he deliberately skipped racing Somebeachsomewhere in the Little Brown Jug, the traditional big prize for three-year-old pacers. The format of the Little Brown Jug, which could require a horse to race three heats in one afternoon, was deemed to be too grueling by MacGrath, who was concerned about the toll that a demanding race in the Jug might take on his horse. With the expected star absent, the Little Brown Jug went to Shadow Play, driven to victory by Ohio native David Miller.

      Deweycheatumnhowe was also unbeaten as a two-year-old in 2007, winning all 10 of his starts. He continued winning as a three-year-old, dominating his trotting foes and extending his streak to 15 straight wins in capturing the $1.5 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands. In early September “Dewey” tasted defeat for the first time when his rival Crazed trotted past to win in the stretch in an elimination for the Canadian Trotting Classic, but he rebounded to win the final. In early October Dewey was beaten by Celebrity Secret in a heat of the prestigious Kentucky Futurity but came back to win the event in a third-heat race-off. He also lost his final race and thus had 12 wins in 15 starts and earnings of $2,218,987.

      In Europe French trotter Offshore Dream captured the grueling Prix d'Amerique for the second consecutive year. The small six-year-old bay rallied in the stretch to win the 2.7-km (1.67-mi) race, held at the Vincennes racecourse near Paris in late January. He was driven by his trainer, Pierre Levesque. Four months later in Sweden, the Italian star Exploit Caf won the coveted Elitlopp for French driving ace Jean-Michel Bazire. Oiseau de Feux of France finished second, and American trotter Enough Talk was third.

      In Australia, Blacks A Fake and trainer-driver Natalie Rasmussen won the Inter-Dominion Pacing Championship series, considered the greatest prize in Southern Hemisphere harness racing, for the third consecutive year. The eight-year-old pacer earned the trophy at the Moonee Valley track in Melbourne.

Dean A. Hoffman

      High winds forced the abandonment of the second day of the Cheltenham Festival in March 2008, but the lost races were redistributed between the remaining two days. Paul Nicholls took the first three places in the Gold Cup Chase as Denman beat the 2007 winner, Kauto Star, and Neptune Collonges. All three horses were also big race winners in Ireland's steeplechase season. Nicholls, who was British champion trainer for the third season, also won Cheltenham's Champion Chase with Master Minded and the Triumph Hurdle with Celestial Halo.

      Princesse d'Anjou won the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris for the second time. Maruka Rascal, Japan's Steeplechase Horse of the Year in 2006, took that country's Nakayama Grand Jump. That race was supplanted as the world's richest over obstacles by the English Grand National, which was won by Comply or Die for trainer David Pipe.

Robert W. Carter

▪ 2008


Thoroughbred Racing.

United States.
      The valiant eight-month battle to save the life of Thoroughbred racehorse Barbaro following a catastrophic injury to his right hind leg in the Preakness Stakes two weeks after he won the 2006 Kentucky Derby was lost on Jan. 29, 2007, when the colt was euthanized. Barbaro was the subject of worldwide attention during his recovery from surgery, but after overcoming numerous setbacks, the colt ultimately was afflicted with the hoof disease laminitis, which affected both front feet, a complication resulting from his inability to bear weight on his hind legs.

      Three events—the Dirt Mile, the Filly and Mare Sprint, and the Juvenile Turf—were added to the 2007 Breeders' Cup World Championships, which were held over a two-day period (October 26–27) for the first time in the competition's 24-year history. The 11 races, worth $23 million in total purses, were held at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J. Officials later announced the addition of three more races—the Turf Sprint, the Juvenile Fillies Turf, and the Dirt Marathon—to the card in 2008.

      Prevailing convincingly over one of the most formidable fields ever assembled for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic, Curlin teamed with jockey Robby Albarado for a 41/2-length victory over Hard Spun in 2:00.59 for the 11/4-mi race. Curlin's Classic triumph, along with wins earlier in the year in the Preakness Stakes and the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park, likely sealed Horse of the Year honours for the three-year-old colt.

 The quest for American Thoroughbred racing's 2007 Triple Crown began with Street Sense, ridden by Calvin Borel, rallying from next to last in a field of 20 to win the 133rd Kentucky Derby by 21/2 lengths over Hard Spun as the 4.90–1 favourite. Curlin finished third. Five weeks later Rags to Riches became the first filly in 102 years (and only the third in history) to win the 11/2-mi Belmont Stakes. Ridden by John Velazquez, the filly dueled with Preakness-winner Curlin for a quarter of a mile before defeating him by a head. In September, however, after suffering a hairline fracture on her right pastern following a second-place finish in the Gazelle Stakes, Rags to Riches was sidelined for the remainder of the year.

      Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Erie, Pa., the first new racetrack to open in the U.S. since 2005, began its inaugural racing season on September 1. Presque Isle Downs' one-mile, two-turn track used one of the revolutionary new weather-resistant synthetic racing surfaces. (See Sidebar (Horse Racing's Revolutionary Running Surfaces ).)

      On the business front, Churchill Downs, Inc., and Magna Entertainment Corp., the two largest American racetrack owners, put competition aside in March to partner on the creation of TrackNet Media Group, which would distribute the racing content of the tracks owned by the two companies. Churchill Downs, Inc., in June purchased AmericaTAB, Bloodstock Research Information Services, and the Thoroughbred Sports Network (TSN) for $80 million to strengthen its position in the Internet account wagering sector. Magna, which reported losses of $20.9 million for the first six months of the year, announced in September that it would sell Thistledown in Ohio and Portland Meadows in Oregon in addition to the previously announced Great Lakes Downs in Michigan. The company in 2007 also completed its purchase of the remaining interests in the Maryland Jockey Club.

      A world-record price for a broodmare, $10.5 million, was paid for five-year-old Playful Act during the first session of the November Breeding Stock Sale at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky. The Irish-bred Group I stakes winner was purchased by John Ferguson on behalf of Sheikh Muhammad ibn Rashid al-Maktoum of Dubai.

      Jockey José Santos, 46, announced his retirement on July 30, one week before his induction into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Santos had not ridden since breaking his back in five places in a spill on February 1 at Aqueduct Racetrack in New York. He rode 4,083 winners and accounted for more than $188 million in purses during his career. The retirement of Argentine-bred Invasor, the 2006 Horse of the Year, was announced on June 23 after it was revealed that he had suffered a fracture in his right hind ankle following a workout at Belmont Park. Invasor won 11 of 12 career starts, including the 2007 Dubai (U.A.E.) World Cup in March, and $7.8 million in purses.

      Two-time Horse of the Year John Henry was euthanized on October 8 at age 32. During an eight-year track career, the legendary gelding had 39 wins (16 in Grade 1 stakes) in 83 starts and retired at age nine in 1984 as Thoroughbred racing's all-time money winner, with $6,591,860. In November the sport mourned the death of jockey Bill Hartack (Hartack, Bill ). Dale Baird, 72, the all-time leading trainer in number of wins, with 9,445, was killed in an automobile accident just outside Indianapolis on December 23.

John G. Brokopp

      American-trained Thoroughbred Invasor on March 31, 2007, won the $6 million Dubai (U.A.E.) World Cup at Nad al Sheba, beating horses from Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, and Japan. Horses from the United States (two), Hong Kong, Japan, and South Africa won the other races on the World Cup card. On the same day, it was announced that a new racecourse, Meydan, would be constructed adjacent to Nad al Sheba. Meydan was due to be completed in November 2009, and the 2010 Dubai World Cup was scheduled to be run there.

      Sheikh Muhammad al-Maktoum, the emir of Dubai and founder of Meydan, was very active in world racing. He had been on poor terms with the Coolmore stable for several years and had been outmaneuvered by his Irish rivals both on the racecourse and in his breeding interests. He had responded by purchasing a number of leading performers as stallion prospects and had bought shares in active racehorses but left them with their current connections for the remainder of their racing careers. The major purchases for Maktoum's Darley Stallions included Authorized, winner of the Epsom Derby in June; Manduro, Invasor's successor as the highest-rated horse in the world; Admire Moon, the best older horse in Japan; 2006 European champion two-year-old Teofilo (injured in April and retired without racing again); and three U.S.-based horses—Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, Hard Spun, and Any Given Saturday. Yearling purchases included a Kingmambo colt for which Maktoum outbid Coolmore, paying $11.7 million, the second highest price ever. These deals raised Darley's holdings to 59 stallions in six countries, including Japan and Australia.

       Coolmore began the year badly. George Washington, the highest-rated three-year-old of 2006, proved infertile and was returned to training. Holy Roman Emperor, the principal rival to Teofilo, was hurriedly retired to stud in his place. Aidan O'Brien, who trained most of the Coolmore horses, was therefore deprived of the chance of training Holy Roman Emperor for the classic races, but he still ended as champion trainer in Ireland and Britain, where he ran an unprecedented eight horses in the Derby.

      O'Brien was ranked sixth in France, where he won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe with Dylan Thomas, ridden by jockey Kieren Fallon. The following day Fallon appeared in court in London as one of three jockeys among six men charged with conspiracy to defraud customers of the betting exchange Betfair. The trial was predicted to last four months, and before the end of the first week, Fallon announced that he would not ride again until it was over. The judge dismissed the charges against all six in early December. It was announced the following day, however, that Fallon had tested positive for cocaine when riding in France in August. He had served a six-month ban after a similar positive test. A longer ban was anticipated. Another 12 jockeys were banned in different cases in Britain without the necessity of a trial.

       Australian racing and breeding were thrown into chaos by an outbreak of equine influenza in New South Wales in mid-August. Queensland was also affected, but Victoria escaped. Australia previously had been clear of the disease, which affected an estimated 42,000 horses and halted all movement of equines in the two states involved. The three major Australian races survived. Master O'Reilly won the Caulfield Cup after the two favourites, Maldivian and Eskimo Queen, were both injured in an unfortunate incident in the starting gate and had to be scratched. A week later El Segundo, runner-up in the 2006 Cox Plate, won the 2007 race. In the Melbourne Cup the home-trained Efficient triumphed over Purple Moon from England and O'Brien's Irish challenger, Mahler.

      There was another outbreak of influenza in Japan, and some meetings were canceled between July and September. Prior to the outbreak, Vodka gained a significant success in the Tokyo Yushun (Derby), becoming the first filly to win the classic race since 1943.

      In the Canadian Triple Crown, Emma-Jayne Wilson became the first woman jockey to win the Queen's Plate when she rode Mike Fox to victory over Alezzandro by half a length. Alezzandro went on to win the Prince of Wales Stakes but finished sixth behind winner Marchfield in the Breeders' Stakes. Mike Fox ran poorly in both of the latter races. The Chicago-trained Cloudy's Knight beat the English favourite, Ask, by a nose in the Canadian International Stakes.

Robert W. Carter

Harness Racing.
      Tim Tetrick dazzled harness racing fans in 2007 with his relentless quest to win more races in a single season than any other driver. The native Illinoisan, who turned 26 in November, displayed remarkable reinsmanship and endurance as he often raced at one track in the afternoon and at another in a different state that night. His target was the record of 1,077 wins set in 1998 by driver Walter Case, Jr. Tetrick had won 677 races in 3,371 starts in 2006, but his pursuit in 2007 required a higher level of commitment, so he moved from the Chicago area to Eastern tracks, where opportunities to drive were more plentiful. Tetrick surpassed Case's record on November 27 when he won at Dover (Del.) Downs. By the end of the 2007 season, Tetrick had compiled 1,188 wins from 4,728 drives, with earnings of more than $18.3 million. Meanwhile, Canadian Hall of Famer John D. Campbell (Campbell, John D. ), who had suffered a severely broken leg in October 2006, earned Driver of the Year honours in February and made an amazing return to the track in April.

      Donato Hanover proved to be the dominator in 2007. The three-year-old bay colt was flawless throughout the season, winning major races with ease. Among his triumphs were the $1.5 million Hambletonian and the $742,000 Kentucky Futurity (the first and third legs of the Triple Crown for trotters), as well as the $970,000 Canadian Trotting Classic. Donato Hanover was held out of the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Yonkers Trot (won by Green Day), to prepare for the $600,000 World Trotting Derby, where he prevailed by 11/2 lengths. As a two-year-old in 2006, Donato Hanover had finished third in his first race, a nonbetting affair. He won his next eight races in his freshman campaign and was syndicated for breeding purposes for $6 million. Despite great pressure on the champion as he returned for his second season, Donato Hanover pushed his winning streak to 19 races with the 2007 Kentucky Futurity, in which his time for the mile of 1 min 501/5 sec tied the record. Pampered Princess, the best three-year-old filly trotter of 2007, tried her luck against Donato Hanover several times, always in vain.

      No three-year-old pacer dominated the way that Donato Hanover did the trotters. The honours in the pacer division were shared by Tell All (winner of the North America Cup and Little Brown Jug) and Southwind Lynx (winner of the Meadowlands Pace). Always A Virgin was a consistent contender in the division, but he encountered bad luck in the Meadowlands Pace when he broke stride and in the Little Brown Jug when he was boxed in until late in the race and was unable to gain racing room.

      France's greatest trotting event, the Prix d'Amerique, held at the Vincennes track near Paris, was taken by Offshore Dream. He was one of the few five-year-olds to win this marathon test, usually won by older and more seasoned horses. Sweden's Elitlopp was won by L'Amiral Mauzun, an eight-year-old French-based gelding that had proved his ability over a variety of distances. L'Amiral Mauzun's French driving ace, Jean-Michel Bazire, enjoyed extraordinary success in 2007 in the international trotting events. In Australia, Blacks A Fake took his second consecutive Inter-Dominion Pacing Championship, again under the reins of trainer Natalie Rasmussen, who in 2006 had become the first female driver to win an Inter-Dominion final.

Dean A. Hoffman

       Kauto Star had a spectacular 2006–07 steeplechase season and earned a bonus of £1 million (about $2 million) for winning the Betfair Chase, the King George VI Chase, and the Cheltenham Gold Cup, all at three miles or farther. The French-bred champion also won the Tingle Creek Chase at two miles.

       Irish horses dominated elsewhere. Sublimity was the seventh Irish winner in the past nine runnings of England's Champion Hurdle, while Silver Birch was the fourth Irish winner of the Aintree Grand National in five years. Two Irish-owned horses prevailed in France, with Mid Dancer capturing the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris (his 17th consecutive victory in France) and Zaiyad winning the Grande Course de Haies d'Auteuil. Karasi, bred in Ireland but trained in Australia, won Japan's Nakayama Grand Jump, for the third straight year.

Robert W. Carter

▪ 2007


Thoroughbred Racing.

United States.
 In the wake of Barbaro's impressive 61/2-length victory in the Kentucky Derby on May 6, 2006, all eyes were on the handsome Thoroughbred colt in the Preakness Stakes two weeks later, amid speculation that he possessed the talent to become the first U.S. Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. Those hopes were dashed shortly after the start of the race when Barbaro, the heavy 1–2 favourite, broke down in his right hind leg and was pulled up by jockey Edgar Prado before a record crowd of 118,402 spectators at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md. Bernardini, ridden by Javier Castellano, went on to win the race.

      Barbaro was transported to the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center, the country's preeminent equine veterinary and surgical hospital, where the chief of surgery repaired the damage during a five-hour procedure, using 27 pins and a stainless steel plate.The efforts to save Barbaro's life and the colt's will to survive elicited a tremendous outpouring of affection from people all over the world, and the Barbaro Fund, begun with an anonymous donation, raised more than $1.2 million for the New Bolton Center. Two months after the initial surgery, Barbaro developed a severe case of laminitis that required yet another surgery to remove 80% of the afflicted left hind foot. The surgical team gave him little hope of survival, but by autumn Barbaro appeared on the road to recovery, with prospects bright for him to be put to stud in the future.

      In an effort to decrease the number of career-ending and catastrophic injuries to Thoroughbred horses, many tracks were replacing traditional racing surfaces of soil and sand with a layered blend of recycled materials, sand, and fibres coated in wax. Turfway Park in Florence, Ky., the first American track to make the conversion to a synthetic racing surface, reported a dramatic reduction in the number of fatal injuries. During the 2005–06 season, 3 horses from 10,208 starters had to be euthanized, as opposed to 24 from 8,925 starters during the same period in 2004–05. Other tracks that introduced a new synthetic surface included the historic Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., and Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif. Meanwhile, California's Horse Racing Board mandated that all tracks in the state make the conversion by 2008.

      The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which U.S. Pres. George W. Bush signed on October 13, provided an exemption for activity that was permitted under the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 and amended in 2000. The new law permitted the transfer of pari-mutuel wagers between states via telephone or other electronic means.

      The 23rd Breeders' Cup World Championships, held on November 4 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., reflected the growing impact of account wagering. The record all-source handle on the 10-race program of $140,332,198 (a 13.1% increase over the previous record of $123,978,241 set in 2005 at Belmont Park in New York) included $4.8 million wagered through TVG, $4 million bet through youbet.com, and $2.3 million wagered through America TAB.

      Purses for the eight Breeders' Cup races totaled $20 million, an increase of 42.9% over 2005, which made it the second richest single day of racing in the world. (The U.A.E.'s Dubai World Cup card held in March boasted $21 million in total purses.) Invasor, a four-year-old Argentine-bred colt ridden by 18-year-old jockey Fernando Jara, upset heavily favoured Bernardini by one length in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic and thereby all but clinched 2006 Horse of the Year honours. Jara had won the Belmont Stakes aboard Jazil, but the colt skipped the Breeders' Cup after suffering a bruised bone in his leg.

       Russell Baze on December 1 surpassed retired Laffit Pincay, Jr., as the leading race-winning jockey of all time. The 48-year-old Baze took career victory number 9,531 at Bay Meadows Race Course in San Mateo, Calif., a circuit the Canadian jockey had dominated during his 32-year career. The milestone came almost exactly seven years after Pincay broke Bill Shoemaker's previous record of 8,833 wins. Trainer Todd Pletcher's victory with Roman Dynasty in the Discovery Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack in New York on October 25 was his 53rd triumph of the year in a graded stakes race. This equaled the record set in 1987 by Pletcher's mentor, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

      Prominent Thoroughbred owner and breeder Bob Lewis, age 81, died on February 17 in Newport Beach, Calif. Racing Hall of Fame trainer Scotty Schulhofer (Schulhofer, Scotty ) died in December at age 80 (see Obituaries). Saint Liam, the six-year-old stallion whose victory in the 2005 Breeders' Cup Classic catapulted him to Horse of the Year honours, was euthanized in August as a result of injuries he suffered in a freak accident.

John G. Brokopp

       Japanese breeders and owners had invested in the best Thoroughbred bloodstock for at least 30 years, and the resulting shift in the balance of power was revealed by Japanese racing successes in 2006. Hat Trick won the Hong Kong Mile in December 2005. At the Dubai (U.A.E.) World Cup meeting in March, Heart's Cry won the Sheema Classic, and Utopia captured the Godolphin Mile. Cosmo Bulk won the Singapore Airlines International Cup in May, and Dance in the Mood claimed the CashCall Mile at Hollywood Park in July. Delta Blues and runner-up Pop Rock were separated by a short head at the end of the Melbourne Cup on November 7, but they finished 41/2 lengths clear of their 21 rivals. Heart's Cry was narrowly beaten by Hurricane Run and Electrocutionist in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes in July. After running third behind Rail Link and Pride in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on October 1, Japanese champion Deep Impact tested positive for a banned substance (from a nasal spray) and was disqualified. A month later, however, he captured the Japan Cup. After winning the Arima Kinen (Grand Prix) on December 24, Deep Impact was retired to stud.

      The Japan Racing Association opened more races to international competition in 2006, bringing the number of races open to foreign horses to 85. In the Global Sprint Challenge—a joint promotion with Australia, the U.K., and Hong Kong—Takeover Target won the first of two Australian legs in February and then added another victory and a third-place finish at Britain's Royal Ascot meeting in June. Takeover Target ensured triumph in the overall Challenge back in Japan with a second-place finish in September and another win in October. The Australian colt was scratched from the Hong Kong Sprint in December, however, after having failed a prerace drug test.

      Ascot reopened in 2006 with a new grandstand and newly aligned courses. June 20, the day that Takeover Target won the King's Stand Stakes, was the first complete test of the £230 million (about $420 million) project. As architecture the grandstand was a sensation, but it drew many complaints about ease of movement and poor viewing. With Doncaster closed for rebuilding, the St. Leger was run at York. Sixties Icon sped past 50–1 longshot The Last Drop by 21/2 lengths. Red Rocks, which went on to win the Breeders' Cup Turf in November, was third. All three of the top horses had been sired by former champion Galileo.

      Small owners made news during the year. Takeover Target cost $A 1,375 (about U.S.$1,000) and was owned by his trainer, Joe Janiak, a part-time taxi driver living in a mobile home alongside Queanbeyan racecourse on the edge of the Australian Capital Territory. Sir Percy, winner of the Epsom Derby, was the only horse owned by Anthony and Victoria Pakenham, who paid 16,000 guineas (about $30,000) for him. Speciosa, winner of the 1,000 Guineas, was the only three-year-old Thoroughbred trained by steeplechase specialist Pam Sly, who also held shares in the filly with her son.

       Godolphin had a difficult year, starting with the death on January 4 of Sheikh Maktum al-Maktum (Maktum, Sheikh Maktum ibn Rashid al- ). (See Obituaries.) His Gainsborough operation was incorporated into the Godolphin and Darley stables of Sheikh Muhammad al-Maktoum. Electrocutionist won the $6 million Dubai World Cup, the climax of a very successful International Racing Carnival. Godolphin was not ready for the European season, however, and the stable had only 15 winners in Britain before the end of July. In a change of policy, Godolphin sent 80 two-year-old horses to its principal trainer, Saeed bin Suroor, but it was September 27 before one of them won a race.

      Coolmore Stud had a satisfactory year, but stable jockey Kieren Fallon was banned from riding in Britain after he was one of 11 people charged on July 3 with conspiracy to defraud. (Two other jockeys and a trainer also were among those charged.) Fallon continued to ride in Ireland, France, and Australia, but the ban was observed in North America. The case was not expected to be heard until late 2007.

      In the Canadian Triple Crown, Edenwold won the Queen's Plate on June 25 but disappointed thereafter. Shillelagh Slew, which ran fifth in the Queen's Plate, was awarded the Prince of Wales Stakes (after Malakoff was disqualified for interference) and finished third behind Royal Challenger and French Beret in the Breeders' Stakes. Shillelagh Slew emerged as Canada's top three-year-old colt, winning the Canadian Derby in August and the Ontario Derby in October. Collier Hill, an English-trained eight-year-old gelding, won the Canadian International for older turf horses.

Robert W. Carter

Harness Racing.
       Drugging problems that had plagued other sports for years were a major topic of concern in harness racing in 2006. French trotter Jag de Bellouet was the overpowering winner of the Prix d'Amerique at the Vincennes racecourse near Paris in January, but the joy of French racing fans turned to dismay after the race when Jag de Bellouet failed a drug test. He was disqualified, and Gigant Neo of Sweden was declared the winner. Several months later the furor over the drugging scandal had subsided, and Jag de Bellouet was invited to the Elitlopp at the Solvalla racecourse in Stockholm. He rose to the occasion, demonstrating absolute mastery over some of Europe's best trotters in the fastest time ever recorded in the Elitlopp. He was saluted as one of the all-time greats, but once again the bubble burst when it was announced that he had tested positive for a prohibited drug. This time, however, Lets Go, the second-place horse from Germany, also tested positive. The Elitlopp victory was thus awarded to Conny Nobell, the third-place finisher. The Swedish Trotting Association later levied fines against Christophe Gallier, Jag de Bellouet's trainer-driver, and Lets Go's trainer, Holger Ehlert.

      Driver Eric Ledford, an assistant trainer, and the Ledford Stable veterinarian were arrested in March by the New Jersey state police. Authorities also seized quantities of the drug Aranesp. The Ledford Stable had been winning races at an extraordinarily high rate at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey, the largest harness track in the U.S. Law-enforcement officials had also learned that horses going into the Ledford Stable from other trainers were showing remarkable improvement. A month later Ken Rucker, the leading trainer at the Meadowlands, made headlines when one of his horses tested positive. Rucker had signed an agreement with the Meadowlands stating that none of his horses would be permitted to start at the track if he violated certain rules. As a result, horses trained by Rucker were no longer allowed to compete there.

      There were happier moments in harness racing in 2006, however, including Glidemaster's victory in the $1.5 million Hambletonian. His mile time of 1 min 511/5 sec was the fastest in the race's eight-decade history. Glidemaster overcame foot problems on the eve of the race to give driver John Campbell a record sixth win in the Hambletonian. Among three-year-old trotters, Glidemaster had to share the spotlight with Passionate Glide. A fan favourite wherever she raced in 2006, Passionate Glide won the Hambletonian Oaks and other major filly trotting races with ease.

      Campbell suffered a fractured tibia in late October when he was involved in an accident at the finish of a race in Toronto. His horse had to be euthanized, and Campbell underwent several surgeries to repair his leg. He remained the leading all-time money winner in harness racing, however, having driven the winners of more than $240 million in purse money.

      Among three-year-old pacers in North America, no one horse dominated. The spotlight was first on Total Truth, winner of the North America Cup in Toronto in June. A month later Artistic Fella was victorious in the Meadowlands Pace. In September Mr Feelgood won the Little Brown Jug.

      The final of the Inter-Dominion Pacing Series was held in Hobart, Australia, in early April. Blacks A Fake won the series for a purse of $A 1.5 million (about U.S.$1.1 million) and thereby made Natalie Rasmussen the first woman to have trained and driven an Inter-Dominion champion.

Dean A. Hoffman

      Irish horses again dominated the 2005–06 steeplechase season. Kicking King began the trend, winning the King George VI Chase in December 2005. At the Cheltenham Festival in March 2006, War of Attrition took the Gold Cup, Brave Inca won the Champion Hurdle, and Newmill captured the Queen Mother Champion Chase. After nine horses died during the four-day festival, however, a number of changes were made to the course. Numbersixvalverde upset defending champion Hedgehunter in the Aintree Grand National.

      Princesse d'Anjou won the Grand Steeplechase de Paris and Prix La Haye Jousselin, the top staying chases in France. In Japan, Australian-trained Karasi won his second Nakayama Grand Jump, the world's most valuable race over obstacles.

      Champion trainer Martin Pipe retired in April. Cheltenham celebrated his achievements on October 24 with a six-race card that included the 4182 Winners in 32 Years Winning Post Handicap Chase. Former trainer David Nicholson (Nicholson, David ) died in August. (See Obituaries.)

Robert W. Carter

▪ 2006


Thoroughbred Racing

United States.
      Problems continued in 2005 for the beleaguered New York Racing Association (NYRA), operator of Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga racetracks since 1955. The franchise agreement was scheduled to end on Dec. 31, 2007, and after losing $15 million in 2004 and $22 million in 2003, the association was struggling to remain solvent. Clerk of scales Mario Sclafani and his assistant Braulio Baeza, a former jockey and member of racing's Hall of Fame, were arraigned on criminal charges of falsifying records in 2004 by allowing jockeys to ride over the prescribed weight without informing the public. The pair were removed from their positions on January 12 and fired on September 21. Meanwhile, a deferred-prosecution agreement struck in 2003 for the NYRA's involvement in tax evasion and money laundering by its pari-mutuel clerks was dismissed by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York.

      On the track, Giacomo scored the second biggest upset in the 131-year history of the Kentucky Derby by rallying from far back under jockey Mike Smith to prevail by a length over Closing Argument and paying $102.60 to win. (Donerail paid $184.90 in 1913.) After finishing third in the Derby, Afleet Alex won both the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes to complete the 2005 Triple Crown. In the Preakness Afleet Alex stumbled to his knees and nearly fell when interfered with by another horse as they approached the stretch, yet he went on to win convincingly for jockey Jeremy Rose. In the Belmont Afleet Alex ran his final quarter mile in only 24.50 sec. He became the 49th horse and the 10th in the past 12 years to win two legs of the Triple Crown. Afleet Alex underwent surgery in July, however, for a fracture in his left foreleg that was detected shortly after the Belmont. He was retired to stud in December, having won 8 of 12 career starts and $2,765,800 in purses.

      The eight Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championship races were held on October 29 at Belmont Park. A record $116,465,923 was wagered at the host track and at simulcast locations around the world, breaking the previous mark of $109,838,668 established in 2004 at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas. Saint Liam, the 2–1 favourite, won the $4,680,000 Breeders' Cup Classic. The victory established his claim to the Eclipse Award for top older male horse and put him into contention for Horse of the Year honours.

      Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif., was purchased in July for $260 million from Churchill Downs, Inc., by Bay Meadows Land Co., a subsidiary of Stockbridge Capital Group. All turf racing for Hollywood Park's 31-day fall meeting was canceled when the track's newly renovated one-mile grass course was deemed unsatisfactory. Eight graded stakes were affected. Zia Park in Hobbs, N.M., opened on September 23. It was the first racetrack in the country specially constructed and designed to accommodate both racing and slot machines and was the first major North American racetrack to open since Lone Star Park in 1997. The revolutionary synthetic all-weather racing surface Polytrack was used for the first time at a pari-mutuel meeting in North America at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky.

      As a result of the damage inflicted on Louisiana racetracks by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the scheduled 83-day meeting at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans was shortened to 37 days and moved to Louisiana Downs in Bossier City beginning on November 19, while the 88-day meeting at Delta Downs in Vinton was moved to Evangeline Downs in Opelousas with a December 1 start date.

      Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day announced his retirement at age 51. Day, who ranked fourth all time with 8,803 victories, earned $297,912,019 in purses during a career that began in 1973. He rode in the Kentucky Derby a record 21 straight years (1984–2004) and won with Lil E. Tee in 1992. He also won the Preakness five times and the Belmont three times while earning four Eclipse Awards for outstanding jockey. Another Hall of Fame jockey, 42-year-old Gary Stevens, in November announced his retirement, citing chronic knee problems. During a 26-year career, Stevens rode more than 5,000 winners, including 8 in Triple Crown races, and earned more than $221 million in purses, which ranked him fifth on the all-time list. Angel Cordero, Jr., a two-time Eclipse Award winner, emerged from a 10-year retirement for one day to ride a horse in the $300,000 Cotillion Handicap at Philadelphia Park as part of a promotion to raise money for hurricane relief efforts. West Coast-based Russell Baze became the second jockey to win 9,000 races, behind Laffit Pincay, Jr., who retired in 2003 with 9,530 wins.

      Hall of Fame jockey Ted Atkinson (Atkinson, Theodore Frederick ) died on May 5 at age 88. (See Obituaries.) Owner and breeder John Ryan Gaines, who was considered the founding father of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, died in February.

John G. Brokopp

      The Asian Mile Challenge, which involved one race in Hong Kong and one in Japan, was introduced in 2005. Races in Australia and Dubai (U.A.E.) were scheduled to be added in 2006. The more ambitious Global Sprint Challenge was composed of two races each in Australia, the U.K., and Japan and was expected to add a final event in Hong Kong in December 2006. In the Champions Mile in Hong Kong, Bullish Luck beat his stablemate Silent Witness by a short head. Silent Witness was unbeaten in 17 shorter-distance races, but he had never before attempted a one-mile race. In the Yasuda Kinen, the Japanese half of the Mile Challenge, Silent Witness and Bullish Luck finished third and fourth, respectively, behind Asakusa Den'en. On October 2 Silent Witness showed that his real merit was at shorter distances when he beat 15 rivals in the Sprinters Stakes at Nakayama, Japan, the final race of the Global Sprint Challenge. The undefeated Deep Impact became the first winner of the Japanese Triple Crown since 1994. The colt, sired by the 1989 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Sunday Silence, was so dominant that his backers had their stakes returned, without increment, when he beat 15 rivals in the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger).

      All of the big races traditionally run at England's Ascot racecourse were shared out between other courses in 2005 while new grandstands were being built at Ascot and parts of the racecourse were realigned. Kempton Park was also closed and would reopen in March 2006 as an all-weather track with floodlit racing and the same kind of Polytrack surface that was introduced in 2005 at Turfway Park in Kentucky. On July 9 Lingfield Park, the first English course to use Polytrack, staged the first Group race to be run in Europe on an artificial surface.

      Motivator looked like a good prospect in June when he won the Epsom Derby by five lengths over Walk in the Park. Up to that point Motivator was undefeated in four races, but he was beaten twice by Oratorio before finishing fifth to Hurricane Run in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in Paris. Motivator was the third consecutive Derby winner that seemed to be unable to win again. Hurricane Run, the sixth Arc winner trained by André Fabre, also won the Irish Derby ahead of Scorpion. The latter redeemed himself with a victory in the St. Leger at Doncaster, Eng. Hurricane Run lost to Shamardal in the Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby) at Chantilly, which was run for the first time over 2,100 m (about 11/3 mi). Shamardal and 2,000 Guineas winner Footstepsinthesand both suffered midsummer injuries, and their owners, Coolmore Stud and Godolphin, respectively, retired them to stud in Australia before retrieving them for the Northern Hemisphere breeding season.

      Coolmore, with the help of its new stable jockey, Kieren Fallon, enjoyed an excellent year after the disappointments of 2004. Shamardal and Dubawi both excelled for Godolphin, but the stable's Kentucky Derby hope, Blues and Royals, which won the UAE Derby in March by 12 lengths, developed colitis and had to be put down in June. Godolphin suffered other disappointments during the season and ended the year at odds with Coolmore, as its owners refused to buy any yearling sired by a Coolmore stallion.

      Jamie Spencer, a failure as the stable jockey for Coolmore in 2004, returned to Britain and became the champion rider. Robert Winston led Spencer by two wins when he suffered serious injuries in a fall at Ayr on August 6. He missed the rest of the season. Lanfranco (“Frankie”) Dettori, the 2004 champion, missed eight weeks of riding because of injury and Ioritz Mendizábal, his French counterpart, suffered a similar misfortune. That left the door open for Christophe Soumillon to reclaim the jockey title in France and to set a new French record for the number of wins. Many of Soumillon's 226 winners were owned by the Aga Khan, who expanded his racing and breeding operation with the purchase of all the bloodstock owned by the late Jean-Luc Lagardere.

      Three different horses were victorious in the Canadian Triple Crown. On June 26 Wild Desert captured the Queen's Plate by half a length, but three weeks later he managed only to finish third behind Ablo in the Prince of Wales. Both horses skipped the Breeders' Stakes, which was won by Jambalaya in his first major stakes race.

      In Australia the seven-year-old mare Makybe Diva became the first winner of three Melbourne Cups. She carried a joint top weight in a field of 24 horses for Australia's richest race and started as the favourite for the 2-mi handicap. Ten days earlier, Makybe Diva had won the Cox Plate, the richest weight-for-age race in the Southern Hemisphere, over 11/4 mi. Railings captured the Caulfield Cup.

Robert W. Carter

Harness Racing.
      Vivid Photo and Classic Photo battled for supremacy in the ranks of three-year-old trotters for most of the 2005 North American harness racing season. Pennsylvania horseman Roger Hammer (with co-owner Todd Schadel) had first raced Vivid Photo for a meager $2,115 purse at a fair in Bloomsburg, Pa., in June 2004. The young colt was so rambunctious early in his training that he was castrated so that he would keep his mind on racing. In the 2005 Hambletonian, Hammer positioned Vivid Photo behind the favoured Classic Photo until the stretch and then roared past the favourite to victory and a $750,000 first-place check. Vivid Photo's Hambletonian win was one of the most popular triumphs of the season. Strong Yankee, however, came on late in the season to defeat Vivid Photo in the Kentucky Futurity and the Breeders Crown.

      In the Little Brown Jug, held at the county fair in Delaware, Ohio, three-year-old pacer P-Forty-Seven faced a powerful three-horse combination from the same stable—Rocknroll Hanover, Village Jolt, and Cam's Fool. Rocknroll Hanover, at that time the victor in seven of his nine starts, including two $1 million races, loomed as the heavy favourite. P-Forty-Seven seemed to have fate on his side, however. He showed incredible tenacity in winning both heats and set off a winner's circle celebration for his Ohioan owners and trainer.

      The season's top older trotters were the gelding Mr. Muscleman and the mare Peaceful Way. Mr. Muscleman won 12 of his 14 starts, banking $1,364,220 in the process and bringing his career earnings to $3,250,000. Peaceful Way was equally successful in her abbreviated campaign, but her season was marred when she broke stride and lost her chance in the Maple Leaf Trot on September 17 in Toronto. Mr. Muscleman won the race, which had been publicized as a “battle of the sexes.”

      Hall of Fame trainer-driver Stanley Dancer (Dancer, Stanley Franklin ), who won the trotting Triple Crown twice (1968 and 1972) as well as the 1970 pacing Triple Crown, died in September. (See Obituaries.)

      In European racing, the French endurance classic, the Prix d'Amerique, was raced on January 30 at the Vincennes racecourse near Paris, and fans cheered wildly as the French star Jag De Bellouet defeated the Swedish challenger Gigant Neo. The race was contested over 2,700 m (12/3 mi) for a purse of €1 million (about $1.2 million). Four months later Europe's best sprinters gathered at the Solvalla track in Stockholm to contest the Elitlopp. Norwegian harness racing devotees had traveled to Sweden to support their native hero Steinlager, hoping he could show up Swedish defending champion Gidde Palema. When Steinlager won the duel, delighted Norwegian spectators sang and waved national flags. At year's end six-time Elitlopp winner Stig Johansson of Sweden announced at age 60 that he was retiring from driving, though he would continue as a trainer. During a 42-year career in the sulky, Johansson attained more than 6,220 victories, including 3 on his last day.

      New Zealand pacer Elsu dominated the 2005 Inter-Dominion Carnival held in Auckland, N.Z. Elsu's driver, David Butcher, allowed the field of 14 horses to settle into position early in the 2,700-m race before making his move. Elsu paced with authority and electrifying speed and won impressively. Racegoers “down under” agreed that they had not seen a pacer of Elsu's stature in a decade.

Dean A. Hoffman

       Irish horses dominated the big steeplechase meetings at Cheltenham and Aintree racecourses in 2005. Kicking King won the Cheltenham Gold Cup as well as the King George VI Chase at Kempton. Hardy Eustace captured the Champion Hurdle, in which the first five finishers were trained in Ireland. Moscow Flyer, unbeaten in six races during the British season, was victorious in the Queen Mother Champion Chase. Nine-year-old Hedgehunter, the 7–1 favourite in 2005 after having fallen tired at the last fence in the 2004 race, won the Grand National. Best Mate, winner of three Cheltenham Gold Cups, was out of action from Dec. 28, 2004, until Nov. 1, 2005, when he suffered a heart attack and died after a comeback race at Exeter. Sleeping Jack, ridden by Christophe Pieux, beat 17 rivals in the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris, the largest field for the race since 1978. Pieux was bidding for a record 16th French jockey championship in 2005, but he was beaten by Jacques Ricou. In Britain Martin Pipe was champion trainer for the 15th time in 17 seasons, and Tony McCoy was the top jockey for a record 10th time. Irish-bred but Australian-trained Karasi won the Nakayama Grand Jump, the world's richest chase.

Robert W. Carter

▪ 2005


Thoroughbred Racing.

United States.
      Thoroughbred horse racing's long wait for another Secretariat appeared to be over in 2004 when Smarty Jones, a colt of the same chestnut hue and charismatic qualities as the 1973 Triple Crown champion, won the hearts and captured the imaginations of Americans eager to embrace a new Thoroughbred hero. On May 1 he became the first undefeated horse since Seattle Slew in 1977 to win the Kentucky Derby, and two weeks later he posted a dominating victory in the Preakness Stakes. The stage was set for Smarty Jones to become the 12th Triple Crown champion and end the 26-year drought since Affirmed won in 1978. The prohibitive 3–10 favourite to win the Belmont Stakes on June 5, Smarty Jones, under jockey Stewart Elliott, held the lead in the stretch but was passed by 36–1 longshot Birdstone, ridden by Edgar Prado, in the closing strides to lose by a length. Smarty Jones did not race again. Diagnosed with chronic bruising of the cannon bone in all four fetlock joints, he was syndicated for $39 million and retired to stud in August at Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Ky. The Pennsylvania-bred colt won eight of nine career starts and $7,613,155 in purse money, including a $5 million bonus.

      The U.S.'s jockeys made news on several fronts in 2004. California emerged as the battleground state for what was becoming a national movement on behalf of the Jockeys' Guild to raise the scale of weights. The proposal, made in response to what was perceived as a need to improve the health of riders, would raise the minimum weight of riders to 53.5 kg (118 lb) from the present 51 kg (112 lb) and would require a minimum of 5% body fat. In Kentucky a U.S. District Court judge granted a preliminary injunction to block enforcement of a state rule that banned advertising patches on jockeys. The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority then suspended the rule, and for the first time, jockeys wore ads on their pants at the Kentucky Derby. In November Churchill Downs management banned 14 jockeys from its racetrack for the balance of the autumn meet when they refused to ride because of a dispute over health-insurance coverage.

      In the spring, demolition work began on the historic Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla., built in 1939, as part of a two-year $120 million redevelopment plan. The 2005 meet was to be conducted in temporary structures. Churchill Downs, Inc., bought the historic Fair Grounds in New Orleans in October. The sale price of $47 million included the track's five offtrack-wagering facilities. The Fair Grounds had been mired in bankruptcy after a district court ruled that the track owed horsemen $90 million in withheld video-poker revenue. The dispute was settled for $25 million in August.

      In a move that could exert far-reaching effects, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell on July 5 signed legislation that authorized slot machines at 14 locations in the state, including the four existing racetracks. In Florida voters narrowly passed a constitutional amendment in November that would allow residents of Broward and Miami-Dade counties to vote on authorizing slot machines at racetracks. If approved, seven pari-mutuel facilities, including Gulfstream Park, would get slot machines. Voters in Oklahoma approved a referendum that paved the way for the installation of bingo machines at racetracks.

      Jockey Patricia Cooksey, aged 46, the second leading female rider in history, after Hall of Fame jockey Julie Krone, retired on June 24. Plagued with illness and injury for several years, she was only the second woman to ride in the Kentucky Derby and the first to ride in the Preakness. Cooksey had 2,137 victories from 18,266 career mounts. Two high-profile leaders of the American Thoroughbred racing industry also resigned. Tim Smith, the first and only commissioner of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association since the organization's founding in 1998, stepped down on September 1, while Barry Schwartz, chairman and CEO of the beleaguered New York Racing Association since 2000, resigned in late 2004.

      Belmont Stakes winner Birdstone was retired in November when he was diagnosed with a bone chip in his left front ankle. He won five of nine starts and $1,575,600 in purses. Six-year-old Pleasantly Perfect, whose career earnings of $7,789,880 ranked fourth all-time behind Cigar, Skip Away, and Fantastic Light, was retired after having injured his left hind ankle during his third-place finish in the Breeders Cup Classic on October 30 with Jerry Bailey (see Biographies (Bailey, Jerry )), who had recently recovered from a broken wrist, on board. A multiple-stakes winner, Pleasantly Perfect won 9 of 18 career starts. Azeri, North America's top money-winning female Thoroughbred, was retired in December at age six. She had career earnings of $4,079,820 and was the 2002 Horse of the Year.

John G. Brokopp

      Betting exchanges, which had revolutionized the betting industry in Britain, continued to have an expanding impact on Thoroughbred horse racing in 2004. (Betting exchanges are online sites where individuals wager against each other.) In common with so many other creations of the computer age, they challenged national boundaries, and those who controlled wagering were worried by the threat that exchanges presented. Racing authorities in Australia, where the federal government ignored the opposition of states and refused to ban them, and Hong Kong, where betting on horse racing fell for the seventh consecutive year in the season ended in June, were particularly concerned.

      British racing authorities had never held control over betting, and bookmakers had customarily refused to reveal details of their business. Betfair, the biggest exchange, had begun cooperating with the British Jockey Club's security department following a 2003 agreement and helped to expose malpractices by two prominent owner-backers. The root of the controversy, however, was not dishonesty but money, both for governments and for the financing of racing.

      British racing was bedeviled by stories of corruption all year, not least when jockey Kieren Fallon was one of 16 people arrested on September 1 during a race-fixing investigation. No charges were expected until 2005. Fallon was also suspended for 21 days for having failed to push Ballinger Ridge to win in a race at Lingfield Park on March 2. Betfair had alerted the Jockey Club to irregular betting patterns before the race. Fallon, a six-time champion in the previous seven years, lost his title to Lanfranco (“Frankie”) Dettori. Champion in 1994 and 1995, Dettori returned to the top with the help of the Godolphin stable, for which he served as the number one jockey.

      Godolphin had many bright prospects, including all but a handful of the only crop of foals sired by their best-ever horse, Dubai Millennium, before his early death in 2001. Godolphin also took over the best two-year-old in Britain, Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes winner Shamardal. The stable had no luck in the early season classics but won important prizes with Sulamani, Refuse to Bend, Rule of Law, and Doyen, which beat the American-trained Hard Buck in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes. The stable of Coolmore Stud, on the other hand, had a miserable season, made worse by the erratic big-race performances of its best horses, Powerscourt and Antonius Pius. Oratorio, the best Coolmore two-year-old, was beaten by two and a half lengths by Shamardal in the Dewhurst. Coolmore's principal owner between about 1975 and 1990, Robert Sangster, died on April 7. (See Obituaries (Sangster, Robert ).)

      The great success of the year in Europe was the expansion of valuable races restricted to fillies and mares. There were 39 Group races in this category in 2004, including 4 newly promoted to Group 1, compared with 20 in 2002. The aim was to encourage owners to keep fillies in training. A remarkable experiment was conducted at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis on September 18 when two trotting and two Thoroughbred races were conducted on a specially laid fibresand track with a 425-m (465-yd) circuit. Ioritz Mendizabal, born in the Basque country and still based in southwestern France, was France's champion jockey. He set a new French record when he won his 208th race of the year on November 16.

      The most important introduction in 2004 was the Dubai (U.A.E.) International Racing Carnival at Nad al Sheba Racecourse. Nine days of racing between January 29 and March 11, with rich prizes paid in U.S. dollars rather than dirhams, led up to the Dubai World Cup meeting on March 27. The festival attracted horses from a number of countries, and South African trainer Mike de Kock had notable success with Crimson Palace, Lundy's Liability, and Victory Moon. Godolphin bought Crimson Palace after her victory on January 29, and she went on to win the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park outside Chicago in August. Brazilian-bred Lundy's Liability won the U.A.E. Derby, and Victory Moon won twice before finishing third to the Californian pair Pleasantly Perfect and Medaglia d'Oro in the Dubai World Cup.

      Godolphin's Sulamani beat the German-trained Simonas in the Canadian International, but the Canadian-trained Soaring Free won the Atto Mile at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. Niigon was a below-standard winner of the Queen's Plate. Makybe Diva became the fifth horse and the first filly or mare to win two Melbourne Cups. Bred in England by her Australian owners, she started favourite in a field of 24 and defeated the second favourite, Vinnie Roe, which had just won the Irish St. Leger for a record fourth consecutive year. Savabeel, which beat the 2003 winner, Fields of Omagh, in the Cox Plate, was the first three-year-old to win the Southern Hemisphere's richest weight-for-age event since 1995.

Robert W. Carter

Harness Racing
      Windsong's Legacy became the first trotter to capture the Triple Crown in 32 years when he swept the Hambletonian, Yonkers Trot, and Kentucky Futurity in 2004; the last trotter to accomplish this harness-racing feat was Super Bowl in 1972. Windsong's Legacy was just the seventh horse to claim the trotting Triple Crown.

      The newest Triple Crown winner was barely a month old in the spring of 2001 when his mother, Yankee Windsong, died after colic surgery. The orphan colt was raised drinking milk replacer out of a bottle and a bucket at Hanover Shoe Farms in Pennsylvania. He was sold as a yearling for $27,000. Raced lightly as a two-year-old in 2003, winning $30,838, Windsong's Legacy was sold on the eve of his three-year-old campaign. His Norwegian-born trainer and driver, Trond Smedshammer, had no idea that Windsong's Legacy would become a superstar, and he and his partners sold a majority interest to Fredrik Lindegaard of Norway.

      Windsong's Legacy blossomed into a new horse in 2004. He won 9 of his 12 starts, with two second-place finishes and one third place. His winnings came to $1,713,806, a single-season earnings record for trotters. In all of his Triple Crown victories, Windsong's Legacy let others set the pace and then swept to victory in the homestretch. After wrapping up the Triple Crown with a victory in the Kentucky Futurity on October 9, Windsong's Legacy retired from racing. He was scheduled to begin breeding service in 2005.

      The top pacer in North America was Rainbow Blue, a nearly flawless filly that crushed her opponents. As a two-year-old, she won six of her seven starts. She was unbeaten for the first several months of the 2004 racing season. She suffered a freak defeat in the Mistletoe Shalee at the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, N.J., however, when she shied at a photographer near the track, causing her to break stride and lose her chances in the race. Otherwise, Rainbow Blue could do no wrong for trainer George W. Teague, Jr., of Delaware. She won the Breeders Crown in late October in typically effortless fashion. Rainbow Blue's regular driver, Ron Pierce, said before the coveted Little Brown Jug for three-year-old pacers that he would love to race her against colts in that event, but she was not eligible to compete. Pierce won the Little Brown Jug anyway, with Timesareachanging. Rainbow Blue ended her season with 20 wins in 21 starts and earnings of $1,195,010 for the year.

      While Windsong's Legacy dominated the three-year-old trotting division, the three-year-old pacers took turns winning the big events. Mantacular won the North America Cup, Holborn Hanover captured the Meadowlands Pace, and Western Terror took the Breeders Crown.

      In Europe in late January, French horsemen celebrated when one of their own, Kesaco Phedo, took the prestigious Prix d'Amerique at the Vincennes racecourse outside Paris. The marathon event (approximately 2,700 m [12/3 mi) historically had favoured French horses, bred for endurance. Finishing second was Abano As of Germany, while Jag de Bellouet of France was third. Four months later Kesaco Phedo was in Sweden, trying to match strides with Europe's best sprinters in the Elitlopp, a 1,600-m (1-mi) race. He was not sound at this time, however, and was never a factor as Swedish star Gidde Palema proved to be a popular winner.

      In Perth, Australia, the pacing gelding Jofess scored a narrow victory in the Inter Dominion Pacing Championship Grand Final for the best harness horses “down under.” Jofess led from the start and prevailed by a nose over The Falcon Strike in a furious finish. Sokyola finished third.

Dean A. Hoffman

      In March 2004 Best Mate won his third consecutive Cheltenham Gold Cup, but the official handicapper still did not rate him high enough to be considered one of the all-time great steeplechasers. Irish-trained Hardy Eustace won the Champion Hurdles at both Cheltenham and Punchestown (Ireland), while Irish-trained Rule Supreme won the French Grande Course de Haies d'Auteuil. Third in the latter race was Kotkijet, winner of the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris three weeks earlier. Amberleigh House, trained by 73-year-old Donald (“Ginger”) McCain, won the Grand National at the age of 12. McCain had also trained Red Rum, a three-time winner of the race between 1973 and 1977.

Robert W. Carter

▪ 2004


Thoroughbred Racing.

United States.
      Thoroughbred horse racing in the U.S., which less than a decade earlier had maintained a hostile stance toward competition from casinos, in 2003 moved closer to forging a partnership with its old adversary. In the eight states that allowed racetracks to have electronic gaming devices, Thoroughbred racing and breeding programs that had been on the brink of extinction were revitalized with an influx of cash from slot-machine revenue. At least a dozen other states were taking “racino” legislation under serious consideration.

      The New York Racing Association (NYRA) was the subject of a scathing 64-page report released by New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer in June following a three-year investigation that uncovered alleged abuses by employees at NYRA-operated tracks. NYRA president Terry Meyocks resigned his position on September 29.

      Funny Cide dominated the racing headlines in the spring by becoming the first New York-bred horse and the first gelding since Clyde Van Dusen in 1929 to win the Kentucky Derby. Almost a week later, scandal was threatened when a controversial photo taken of the finish appeared to show an illegal prodding device in the right hand of winning jockey José Santos. The Churchill Downs board of stewards exonerated Santos of any wrongdoing, however, when they concluded that he was carrying nothing except his whip. Funny Cide scored a convincing victory in the Preakness Stakes two weeks later, but he failed in his bid to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978 when Empire Maker, which had run second in the Derby and skipped the Preakness, raced to victory in the Belmont Stakes with jockey Jerry D. Bailey on board. Ten Most Wanted, ridden by Pat Day, finished a close second, with Funny Cide third.

      The Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, held at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., on October 25, proved to be entertaining and eventful. A dead heat was recorded for the first time in the 20-year history of the event when Johar and High Chaparral finished on even terms in the Breeders' Cup Turf. Julie Krone became the first female jockey to win a nonsteeplechase Breeders' Cup race when she guided Halfbridled to victory in the Juvenile Fillies. Pleasantly Perfect's win in the $4 million Classic gave trainer Richard Mandella a record fourth win on the program—he had saddled Halfbridled and High Chaparral as well as Action This Day, the winner in the Juvenile. The Ultra Pick 6 wager on Breeders' Cup day raised eyebrows for the second straight year when a lone bettor, in Rapid City, S.D., parlayed an $8 wager into the only ticket in the country with all six winners, worth $2.6 million.

      Jockey Gary Stevens, who portrayed George (“The Iceman”) Woolf in the 2003 movie Seabiscuit, was nearly killed in a bizarre spill in the Arlington Million, at Arlington Park outside Chicago, on August 16. His mount, Storming Home, veered sharply crossing the finish line, unseating Stevens into the path of oncoming horses. Stewards disqualified Storming Home from victory in the $1 million race, and the win was given to runner-up Sulamani. Stevens suffered a collapsed lung but returned to riding less than three weeks later.

      Bobby Frankel set a new single-season North American training record in 2003. Sightseek, which won the Beldame Stakes on October 4 at Belmont Park, was Frankel's 23rd victory in a Grade I stakes, which broke the record set by D. Wayne Lukas in 1987. On October 31 Frankel surpassed Lukas's single-season earnings record of $17,842,358. On November 29 at the NYRA's Aqueduct, Bailey won three stakes races on the program to reach 70 for the year and break Mike Smith's single-season record of 68. Bailey surpassed his own 2002 North American single-season $19.2 million earnings record by pocketing $23,354,960.

      Two legendary jockeys died in 2003—Johnny Longden (Longden, John Eric ), who at the time of his retirement in 1966 held the record for wins, and Bill Shoemaker (Shoemaker, William Lee ), who had broken Longden's record in 1970. (See Obituaries.) Thoroughbred owner and breeder Henryk de Kwaitkowski, who had purchased famed Calumet Farm for $17 million at auction in 1992, died at age 79 in March. Laffit Pincay, Jr., who had surpassed Shoemaker as racing's all-time leading jockey in 1999 and rode a record 9,531 winners during his long career, announced his retirement at the age of 56 on April 29, 2003, nearly two months after he fractured his neck in a spill at Santa Anita.

      Equine deaths in 2003 included Spectacular Bid, which succumbed to a heart attack at age 27. He won 26 of 30 career starts during 1978–80, including the 1979 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, and was undefeated in nine starts as a four-year-old in 1980, the year he was named Horse of the Year and retired with earnings of $2.7 million. Sunny's Halo, winner of the 1983 Kentucky Derby, was humanely destroyed at age 23.

John G. Brokopp

      In 2003 the introduction of North American-style alternatives to turf courses was accelerating in European Thoroughbred racing. Sweden, Germany, and Belgium had been the first European countries to introduce dirt racing, and Lingfield Park had opened the first British “all-weather” track in October 1989. Cagnes-sur-Mer and Pau, two winter courses in the south of France, first used fibresand tracks in January 2000. Another French track, Deauville, a year-round training centre as well as the scene of top-class summer racing, opened one in July 2003 and scheduled its first all-dirt meeting for December 2003–January 2004. In Britain the greater use of dirt tracks led to an expansion of the fixture list, which would mean racing seven days a week throughout most of 2004. Ireland was the last important European racing country without such a course, but one was planned at Naas.

      Ireland staged the race of the year when High Chaparral, ridden by Mick Kinane, narrowly beat Falbrav and Islington in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown in September. High Chaparral and Islington followed up with victories in Breeders' Cup races at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., in October. The fourth- and fifth-place horses at Leopardstown were Alamshar, which won the Irish Derby in June and became the only horse to beat the champion three-year-old Dalakhani, and Moon Ballad, winner of the 2003 Dubai World Cup. Alamshar and Dalakhani, which won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe over Mubtaker and High Chaparral at Longchamp in Paris, were both owned by the Aga Khan. He retired Dalakhani to stud in Ireland but sold Alamshar to Japanese breeders.

      Falbrav was trained in Italy until after he won the Japan Cup in November 2002. The half-Japanese-owned colt moved to trainer Luca Cumani at Newmarket in England and won four G1 races in 2003. Rakti was also moved to England and won G1 races in Italy and England; he ended his career with a two-length defeat of Rakti in the Hong Kong Cup in December before being retired to stud in Japan. Choisir was one of the sensations of the summer in England. The giant Australian-trained sprinter won twice at Royal Ascot in the space of five days, taking the G1 Golden Jubilee Stakes in record time. He put up a heroic fight when beaten by Oasis Dream in the July Cup at Newmarket 19 days later.

      Although they won big prizes, Coolmore Stud and Godolphin, the two biggest competitors in European racing, generally had quiet years. Sheikh Muhammad al-Maktoum, the moving spirit behind Godolphin, allowed his trainers a wider range of horse types on both sides of the Atlantic and experienced more success with runners in his own colours. Darley, the sheikh's management company, expanded into Japan with six horses competing in Regional Racing, the lower level of the sport. Darley also built a successful breeding program in Dubai, and Campsie Fells, winner of the Prix Vanteaux at Longchamp in April, became the first Group race winner bred there. She was followed by two more U.A.E.-bred Group winners, Splendid Era and Cairns, at Newmarket in October. Lucky Strike became the first Dutch-trained winner of a Group race when he took the Prix de la Porte Maillot at Longchamp in June.

      Coolmore changed its jockey in November, replacing Kinane with Jamie Spencer. Kinane, who captured his 13th Irish championship, had four winners on the last day of the season, including two on his final rides for the Coolmore trainer, Aidan O'Brien. Kinane joined Alamshar's trainer, John Oxx, taking over from Johnny Murtagh, who had struggled with his weight. Kieren Fallon was British champion for the sixth time in seven years. Christophe Soumillon won his first championship in France and became the first jockey to ride 200 winners there since Cash Asmussen in 1988. Pat Eddery, the second most successful jockey ever in Britain, with 4,632 wins and 11 championships, retired in November.

      Wando, ridden by Patrick Husbands, was the first Canadian Triple Crown winner since Peteski in 1993, with victories in the Queen's Plate, the Prince of Wales, and the Breeders' Stakes. Trainer Andrew Balding, whose excellent first season in Britain included winning the Epsom Oaks with Casual Look, sent Phoenix Reach to capture the Canadian International. Balding's first horse to run in Australia, Paraca, fared less well, finishing last to Fields of Omagh in the Cox Plate. Northerly, winner of the previous two Cox Plates and Australian Horse of the Year for 2002–03, suffered a serious injury in August. Makybe Diva, bred in Britain by her Australian owner, ran fourth to Mummify in the Caulfield Cup and then beat an international field in the Melbourne Cup 17 days later.

      Owner-breeder Jean-Luc Lagardère died in March. He was a major industrialist and had been president of France-Galop, the sport's ruling body in France, since 1995. (See Obituaries (Lagardere, Jean-Luc ).)

Robert W. Carter

Harness Racing.
      No Pan Intended became only the 10th pacer in harness-racing history to sweep the Triple Crown when he won the Cane Pace, Little Brown Jug, and Messenger Stakes in 2003. The bay colt came into the season lightly regarded, but he soon developed an enthusiastic following for his workmanlike way of winning. He won the Cane Pace at Freehold Raceway in New Jersey on September 1 and followed with a victory in the Little Brown Jug at the Delaware (Ohio) county fair on September 18. That put strong pressure on No Pan Intended to win the Messenger Stakes on October 18 at The Meadows, a track south of Pittsburgh, Pa. Driver David Miller made a determined bid at the start of the one-mile race and grabbed the lead after a quarter of a mile. Then Miller slowed the tempo and dared anyone to challenge him. When other horses attacked in the final quarter mile, No Pan Intended was ready; he held them off to win by more than a length in his 10th straight victory. “This horse doesn't do anything fancy,” said winning owner Bob Glazer after the race. “He just gets the job done.” No Pan Intended had originally been named Pacific Wish by his breeder, but Glazer, whose Peter Pan Stable was inspired by a childhood nickname, came up with a new name after paying $150,000 for the colt as a yearling in 2001.

      While No Pan Intended was the top three-year-old pacer in harness racing, the three-year-old trotters took turns winning major races. Canadian-owned Amigo Hall pulled an upset when he won the $1 million Hambletonian at odds of 27–1 on August 2 at the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, N.J., Sugar Trader won the Yonkers Trot, while Mr. Muscleman won the Canadian Trotting Classic and the Kentucky Futurity.

      The dominant older pacer in North America in 2003 was the four-year-old Art Major. In 11 starts he won 8 races and placed second 3 times, banking $1,082,930 for the year. He retired in early October to begin breeding service in New York. The six-year-old pacing mare Eternal Camnation continued to defy time as she raced her way to $3 million in career earnings. Her matches against five-year-old Bunny Lake and four-year-old Worldly Beauty drew loyal and enthusiastic fans, who knew they were watching racing history in the making.

      In Europe the German-owned trotter Abano As splashed over a sloppy track at the Vincennes course outside Paris to win the Prix d'Amerique in late January. Driver Jos Verbeeck asked Abano As for every ounce of courage in the final strides to hold off Insert Gede and Gigant Neo in the marathon race over 2,700 m (about 1.7 mi). Four months later five-year-old From Above showed determination and class when he upset cofavourites Victory Tilly and Scarlet Knight to win the prestigious Elitlopp, a one-mile race at the Solvalla racecourse in Stockholm. From Above and driver Orjan Kihlstrom surged past the leaders in the final strides.

      In early April, Baltic Eagle came into the Inter-Dominion Pacing Final in Christchurch, N.Z., seemingly unbeatable. Trainer-driver Kim Prentice raced Baltic Eagle with great confidence, sitting on the outside most of the race and winning by a length over fellow Australian pacer Mont Denver Gold. The third-place finisher was Holmes D G, representing New Zealand.

Dean A. Hoffman

      Best Mate, ridden by Jim Culloty, was the champion steeplechaser in Britain in 2003, winning his second consecutive Cheltenham Gold Cup by 10 lengths. Monty's Pass, with Barry Geraghty on board, became the third Irish-trained winner of the Grand National in five years, with a 12-length triumph on April 5. Two weeks later Culloty guided Timbera to victory in the Irish Grand National. Rooster Booster won the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, and the Irish-trained mare Nobody Told Me won the French equivalent, the Grande Course de Haies d'Auteuil. Line Marine, another mare, beat the English-trained Batman Senora in the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris in May.

Robert W. Carter

▪ 2003


Thoroughbred Racing.

United States.
      A breach of pari-mutuel wagering security that placed the integrity of the burgeoning simulcast and phone account wagering industry in jeopardy rocked American horse racing in October 2002 when a plot was uncovered to collect fraudulently more than $3.1 million in winning wagers on the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, held on October 26 at Arlington Park outside Chicago. The Breeders' Cup was held at Arlington Park for the first time in the 19-year history of the competition, and worldwide wagering on the 11-race program was a Breeders' Cup record $116,367,198.

      Suspicions of irregularities were aroused when it was revealed that one man held all six winning tickets (worth $428,392 each) and 108 of 186 winning consolation tickets (worth $4,606 each) among all bets placed nationwide on a wager called the Ultra Pick Six. The winning tickets became objects of closer scrutiny when it was revealed that only one horse, the winner, had been selected in each of the first four Ultra Pick Six races, while all of the horses in each of the last two races had been selected, a highly unusual betting pattern. Three former college fraternity brothers appeared before a federal magistrate on November 12, charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with a wager that had been placed by means of an automated telephone betting account with the Catskill Regional Off Track Betting Corp. Further investigation revealed that the trio may have successfully cashed fraudulent winning bets at other tracks during “test runs” in the weeks leading up to Breeders' Cup Day.

      Tim Smith, the commissioner of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), announced the formation of the NTRA Wagering Technology Working Group to recommend security measures and to ensure that the system was protected from any further abuse. Individual measures also were being taken by Catskill OTB and by tracks in other horse-racing jurisdictions around the country.

      On May 4 War Emblem stunned the racing world with a front-running victory in the 2002 Kentucky Derby. The colt won the Preakness Stakes two weeks later but was stymied in his bid to become the 12th U.S. Triple Crown winner when he stumbled at the start of the Belmont Stakes and finished eighth behind the astonishing victor, 70–1 long shot Sarava.

      National attention had been drawn to War Emblem when he won the April 6 Illinois Derby at Sportsman's Park (in Cicero, Ill.), which advertised a $1 million insured cash bonus to the owner of a three-year-old that won the Illinois Derby and any one of the three Triple Crown races. Trainer Bob Baffert encouraged Saudi Prince Ahmed bin Salman to purchase a 90% interest in the colt from Chicago-based industrialist Russell L. Reineman. When War Emblem won the Kentucky Derby, Reineman claimed that he and not Bin Salman was entitled to the entire bonus. The decision was in the hands of the courts when Bin Salman died of a heart attack in July. (See Obituaries (Bin Salman, Prince Ahmed ).) War Emblem was sold in September for $17 million and was to be put to stud in Japan in 2003.

      It was announced in August that Sportsman's Park would cease operations. The National Jockey Club, owner and operator of the venerable Chicago-area track, entered into a 99-year lease agreement with Hawthorne Race Course, where racing operations would continue. The two tracks had coexisted on adjacent properties as separate family-owned and operated organizations for seven decades.

      Jockey Chris McCarron surprised the racing world by announcing his retirement in June. During his 28-year career, the two-time Eclipse Award winner won 7,139 races (sixth on the all-time list). On August 10 Pat Day guided With Anticipation to victory in the Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap. The triumph gave Day $264,580,968 in career purse earnings and thereby vaulted him ahead of McCarron as the leading purse-winning jockey of all time. On October 26 Russell Baze, age 44, reached the 8,000-career-victory plateau. Laffit Pincay, Jr., Bill Shoemaker, and Day were the only other members of the exclusive “8,000” club. Jockey Jerry D. Bailey ended the year with purse earnings of more than $22,800,000, breaking the single-season record he set in 2001.

      Veteran owner and breeder Ogden Phipps died on April 22 at age 93. (See Obituaries (Phipps, Ogden ).) John Mabee, who was prominent for 45 years as a breeder, owner, and track executive, died two days later. On May 7 the last living U.S. Triple Crown winner, Seattle Slew, died of old age at 28. Seattle Slew, which won the Triple Crown in 1977, was retired undefeated to stud in 1979 and went on to a successful career as a stallion. His passing left the sport without a living Triple Crown winner for the first time in 83 years. Sunday Silence, the 1989 Horse of the Year and the world's all-time leading sire by earnings, died from the complications of an infection on August 19. Spend a Buck, the 1985 Horse of the Year, died on November 24.

John G. Brokopp

Thoroughbred Racing.

      On Oct. 6, 2002, BBC television broadcast a Panorama program dealing with corruption in horse racing, and the repercussions were likely to have a lasting effect on the sport in Britain. The program included accusations by Roger Buffham, former head of security for the Jockey Club, one of British racing's key regulatory organizations, that the sport was “institutionally corrupt.” Jeremy Phipps, who had succeeded Buffham as the club's chief security officer in 2001, resigned a few days after the broadcast, which contained covert film of him making disparaging remarks about the club. In the longer term, the scandal was likely to result in the loss of the club's disciplinary responsibilities to the British Horseracing Board, although Minister for Sport Richard Caborn left it to the Jockey Club to propose improved ways of discharging its responsibilities.

      Aidan O'Brien was champion trainer for the second consecutive year in Britain and for the sixth time in succession at home in Ireland. He gained seven Group 1 (G1) victories in Britain, four in France, three in Ireland, and two in Italy. He also scored with High Chaparral, winner of both the English and Irish Derbys, in the Breeders' Cup Turf and with Ballingarry in the Canadian International Stakes. O'Brien extended Rock of Gibraltar's sequence of G1 victories to seven, five of them in 2002, but he was disappointed when that colt beat the favourite, Hawk Wing (which he also had trained) by a neck in the Two Thousand Guineas. O'Brien would have been even more dominant during the year if his stable had not been afflicted by a respiratory infection for most of August. Rock of Gibraltar was named Horse of the Year in November, two days after being retired to stud.

      Johannesburg was another disappointment for O'Brien, both in the Kentucky Derby, where he finished eighth, and in the newly created Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, after which he was retired. The royal meeting was extended to five days because of Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee celebration, an experiment that was to be repeated in 2003. O'Brien had almost ceased to train for steeplechase, where he gained his early success, but he retained Istabraq. The 10-year-old champion was retired in 2002 as the winner of 23 of his 29 races over hurdles.

      Jockey Michael Kinane, who rode for O'Brien, was champion rider in Ireland for the 12th time. Kieren Fallon claimed his fifth British riding title in six years, while Dominique Boeuf headed the list in France for the fourth time. André Fabre was the leading French trainer for the 16th time, although he was pressed by Pascal Bary for most of the season.

      Although Coolmore (and O'Brien) won the battle with rival Godolphin for the 2002 European Thoroughbred season, Godolphin gained a notable success with Marienbard in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Marienbard was then retired to stud in Japan. Marienbard was one of 12 English- or Irish-trained winners in the 26 G1 races in France. Foreign horses were also active at lower levels, winning 18 Group 2 and Group 3 events there. Italian horses had their best year in some time, highlighted when Rakti became the first home-trained winner of the Derby Italiano since Tisserand in 1988 and Falbrav won the Japan Cup. Nevertheless, German horses, forced abroad by poor domestic prize money, continued to dominate many Italian prizes. Boreal, winner of the 2001 Deutsches Derby, gained a significant success in the Coronation Cup at Britain's Epsom Downs on the same day that Kazzia, bought by Godolphin in Germany, won the Oaks.

      In Canada, T J's Lucky Moon, an 82–1 long shot, scored an upset in the Queen's Plate on June 23, giving his trainer, Vito Armata, and jockey, Steven Bahen, their biggest career victories. His time was the slowest since 1986, and he finished 10th behind la Cinquieme Essai in the Prince of Wales Stakes on July 21. Portcullis won the Breeders' Stakes, the final leg of the Triple Crown, in a poor year for Canadian three-year-olds.

      Ireland's Dermot Weld, the first trainer from the Northern Hemisphere to win a Melbourne Cup (with Vintage Crop in 1993), added a second victory in Australia's greatest race with Media Puzzle. Northerly won the Cox Plate and the Caulfield Cup but was not risked over the 3.2-km (2-mi) Melbourne Cup. Godolphin's Grandera ran third in the Cox Plate, one length in front of the great New Zealand mare Sunline, which was retired immediately after failing in her attempt to win a 14th G1 race. In 2003 Northerly was likely to be groomed for the Dubai World Cup, which Godolphin won in 2002 with Street Cry.

      The British breeding industry lost both Nashwan and Unfuwain during the year, as well as their former trainer, Dick Hern, who died in May. (See Obituaries (Hern, Maj. William Richard ).) The stallions were to be replaced at Shadwell Stud by the 2001 Arc winner, Sakhee, and Act One, which lost his unbeaten record when he finished second to Sulamani in the Prix du Jockey-Club in June. Act One's breeder, Gerald Leigh, who also gained G1 success with Irish One Thousand Guineas winner Gossamer, died that same month.

Robert W. Carter

Harness Racing.
      The year 2002 was a decisive one for Karin and Blair Burgess and their champion pacer Real Desire. At the end of the 2001 racing season, the Burgesses and Blair's father, Bob, had a decision to make. Should they retire their prize three-year-old to a lucrative life of breeding or race him another year? Their partners were breeders who believed that Real Desire had done enough. In two seasons on the track, he had won 15 of 27 races and more than $2 million.

      The Burgesses, who had cared for and trained Real Desire his entire career, decided to race him, and they were absolutely right. As a four-year-old in 2002, Real Desire won 10 of 13 starts and added another $1 million to his career bankroll. Probably his most impressive victory came in late July when he started from the extreme outside number 10 post position in the $500,000 Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, N.J. He raced on the outside for much of the mile and still had the speed and courage to pull away from some of the best pacers in the world in the homestretch. Real Desire retired in early October and was scheduled to begin breeding duties in 2003 at a fee of $10,000.

      The most heralded American trotter of the year was Kadabra, whose magical speed carried him from humble beginnings to the heights of harness racing. Kadabra was a winner from the time he started racing. In his 14 starts as a two-year-old in 2001, the Illinois-born colt won a dozen times and finished second twice. Those accomplishments prompted a group of American and Canadian investors to purchase Kadabra for $800,000 in early 2002. The new owners formed the Abra Kadabra Stable and sat back and enjoyed the magic show of their talented trotter. Kadabra was not eligible to race in the Hambletonian, the biggest event for three-year-old trotters, because he was not nominated in time, but he won virtually everything else, including the Breeders Crown, the Canadian Trotting Classic, and the Stanley Dancer. He earned over $1 million in 2002.

      The pony-sized colt Chip Chip Hooray trotted to an upset win in the $1 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands on August 3. On the same race card, seven-year-old Swedish import Victory Tilly set a world trotting record for one mile of 1 min 50.4 sec in the $500,000 Nat Ray.

      The best trotter on the European continent remained the Italian sensation Varenne. In 2002 he won both the Prix d'Amerique, the French endurance classic, in Paris in January, and the Elitlopp, the Swedish sprint test, in Stockholm in May. Varenne's only North American appearance in 2002 came as the defending champion in the Trot Mondial in Montreal in September. After repulsing a brave challenge by the American seven-year-old Fool's Goal, Varenne was passed just before the wire by the French mare Fan Idole. The taste of defeat was made even more bitter after Varenne was disqualified and placed last for having cut the final turn too sharply and left the course.

      In Australia Smooth Satin scored a major upset in March as he nipped Shakamaker to win the Inter-Dominion Grand Final at Harold Park in Sydney. Courage Under Fire and Shakamaker were the favourites and engaged in a speed duel before Smooth Satin's come-from-behind win.

Dean A. Hoffman

      Tony (“AP”) McCoy became the most successful jump jockey ever, riding his 1,700th career winner on Aug. 27, 2002. He was British champion for the seventh time and finished the 2001–02 season with a season-record 289 wins (plus one in Ireland). McCoy was the stable jockey for Martin Pipe, who was the top trainer for the 12th time.

      Meanwhile, Jim Culloty rode the winners of both the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Best Mate, and the Grand National, Bindaree. Irish-trained Florida Pearl beat Best Mate by three-quarters of a length in the King George VI Chase but finished well behind him in the Gold Cup. French-bred Hors La Loi III took the Champion Hurdle in March. Double Car won the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris in May, but later he was disqualified for failing a drug test; after an appeal failed, El Paso III was awarded the race. Five European horses and the U.S.-trained All Gong challenged for the Nakayama Grand Jump in Japan in April, but none of them finished closer than fifth behind the New Zealand-trained St. Steven.

Robert W. Carter

Show Jumping and Dressage.
      Dermott Lennon of Ireland won the individual gold medal for show jumping at the World Equestrian Games in Jérez de la Frontera, Spain, in September 2002. Riding Liscalgot, he beat Eric Navet of France, American Peter Wylde, and Helena Lundback of Sweden in a final that required each competitor to ride all four horses. Navet was also a member of the quartet that won the jumping team gold medal for France.

      Nadine Capellman, riding Farbenfroh, defeated Beatriz Ferrer-Salat of Spain on Beauvalais and fellow German Ulla Salzgeber on Rusty in the individual dressage championship. Germany won the team gold, ahead of the U.S. and Spain.

      The U.S. triumphed in the three-day eventing team competition, beating France, Great Britain, and Australia. Jean Teulere of France captured the individual eventing gold on Espoir de la Mare.

Robert W. Carter

      A record 15 teams participated in the 2002 high-handicap season in Palm Beach, Fla., where Jedi, led by Argentines Adolfo Cambiaso and Marcos Heguy, won the first of the three 26-goal tournaments, the Gold Cup of Americas, defeating White Birch in the final. Venezuelan Víctor Vargas's La Lechuza Caracas, with brothers Sebastián and Juan Ignacio (“Pite”) Merlos as its outstanding players, gained the CV Whitney Cup. Gillian Johnston was the first woman to win the U.S. Open as a patron; her team, Coca Cola, was led by Miguel Novillo Astrada and Adam Snow. In the American summer season, brothers Agustín and Sebastián Merlos triumphed with Mercedes Benz in the Mercedes Benz Challenge Cup, held in Long Island, N.Y. Windsor Capital won the Pacific Coast Open, played in Santa Barbara, Calif.

      In the English high-handicap season, Urs Schwatzenbach's Black Bears, with brothers Eduardo, Miguel, and Alejandro Novillo Astrada, bested Emerging—led by Milo Fernández Araujo—in the final to capture the British Gold Cup. Emerging won the Queen's Cup, while Foxcote White gained the prestigious Warwickshire Cup. In the Spanish high-handicap season in Sotogrande, Ciguinuelas defeated local Santa María in the Gold Cup, Scapa John-Smith won the Silver Cup, and La Margarita triumphed in the Bronze. Edouard Carmignac's Talandracas overcame Royal Berrière in the final of the Gold Cup, played in Deauville, France. In Gstaad, Switz., Swissca Polo Team gained the Silver Cup.

      La Dolfina, comprising Adolfo Cambiaso, Sebastián and Pite Merlos, and Bartolomé (“Lolo”) Castagnola, showed itself to be the best team in the world after winning its first Argentine Open and third consecutive Hurlingham Open. In both finals La Dolfina downed Indios Chapaleufú II, with brothers Alberto (“Pepe”), Ignacio, and Eduardo Heguy and Milo Fernández Araujo. Indios Chapaleufú II won the Tortugas Open, where the Merlos brothers did not play for Cambiaso's quartet because they were playing in the U.S. Colorado won the São Paulo Open in Brazil.

Jorge Adrián Andrades

▪ 2002


Thoroughbred Racing.

United States.
      The thoroughbred breeding industry in the United States was dealt a severe setback in the spring of 2001 when Kentucky farms were ravaged with an outbreak of mare reproductive loss syndrome. Several thousand late-term foals and early-term fetuses, including thoroughbreds and other equine breeds, were lost. Long-term damage to the thoroughbred breeding industry was estimated at about $350 million. Speculation among veterinarians and other equine experts was that Eastern tent caterpillars had transferred cyanide from wild black cherry trees to grass, which was then ingested by the pregnant mares. Unusual spring weather conditions were thought to have caused a high production of cyanogenic material by the trees, which were common in central Kentucky.

      Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La., received permission from the state gaming board on March 19 to open an on-track casino. Another casino was planned at Delta Downs in Vinton, La. Other states that had previously legalized on-track casinos included West Virginia, Iowa, Delaware, New Mexico, and Minnesota. In October the New York legislature voted overwhelmingly to allow video lottery terminals (slot machines) at two of the state's thoroughbred tracks, Aqueduct and Finger Lakes, and three of the state's harness tracks.

      California became the 12th state to allow account wagering on horse racing when Gov. Gray Davis signed a bill approving it on August 13. Attached to the bill was a provision that would allow grooms, exercise riders, and hot walkers to unionize. Earlier that month, New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani had awarded the right to buy a majority interest in the New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. to a group led by Magna Entertainment Corp. The group was selected over the New York Racing Association.

      The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and Breeders' Cup Ltd., which had merged in 2000, announced on June 26 that the title World Thoroughbred Championships would be a permanent addition to the name of the Breeders' Cup. It was also announced that the Bessemer Trust, one of the country's leading investment banking companies, had signed on as title sponsor of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and a new series for two-year-olds on the CNBC financial television network.

      Racetracks across the country ceased operation for at least a day after the September 11 terrorist attacks, while Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., and the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J. (the track closest to the New York City attack site), shut down for a week. The Breeders' Cup races, however, went on as planned at Belmont on October 27. Jockeys, trainers, and owners who participated in the event donated $2,760,000 of the money they earned to the New York Heroes Fund, which was established by the NTRA.

      Racetrack attrition continued with the closing and planned demolition of historic Garden State Park in Cherry Hill, N.J. Opened in 1942, it was destroyed by fire in April 1977 and reopened as “the racetrack of the 21st Century” eight years later. The site was to be redeveloped into a residential and commercial complex.

      The Racing Network (TRN) ceased operation abruptly on July 30, citing a lack of an adequate number of subscribers. TRN was a 24-hour multichannel satellite-based network that carried horse and dog races on a subscription basis.

      Monarchos, who captured the 2001 Kentucky Derby, was sidelined in July when a hairline fracture was discovered in his right knee. He was expected to resume his racing career as a four-year-old. Point Given, winner of the Preakness and Belmont stakes, was retired on August 31 with a strained tendon in his left front leg. Tiznow, the reigning Horse of the Year and three-year-old colt champion, became the first two-time Breeders' Cup Classic winner by successfully defending his title in the $4 million, 11/4-mi event. Battling between horses, he surged in the final strides to defeat Sakhee by a nose following a stretch-long battle.

      Pat Day, age 47, became only the third jockey in American racing history to win 8,000 races; his landmark victory came on May 31. Only Laffit Pincay, Jr., still active with more than 9,100 career wins, and the retired Bill Shoemaker (8,833) had more victories. Russell Baze reached career win number 7,500 on September 15, and Chris McCarron captured his 7,000th victory on April 28. Jerry D. Bailey became the first jockey in history to surpass $20 million in purse earnings in a single year.

      Earlie Fires, the leading apprentice jockey in the United States in 1965 and still active with more than 6,150 victories, and West Coast-based trainer Richard Mandella were inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame on August 6. Also entering the Hall was the 1994 Horse of the Year, Holy Bull.

      Hall of Famer Horace Allyn (“Jimmy”) Jones, trainer of 1948 Triple Crown champion Citation and 53 other stakes winners and the son of the great trainer Ben Jones, died at age 94 on September 2. Affirmed, America's 11th and most recent Triple Crown champion, was euthanized at age 26 on January 12. Nureyev, one of thoroughbred racing's most successful sires, died on October 29 at age 24.

John G. Brokopp

Thoroughbred Racing.

      Two stables—the Ireland-based racing division of Coolmore Stud, the world's largest owners of stallions, and Godolphin, which deployed the pick of the horses owned by the Maktoum family—divided the European 2000–01 thoroughbred racing season between them. Godolphin, which spent the months from late October to late April in Dubayy, U.A.E., before returning to Newmarket in England, appeared to hold an advantage after a rainy winter and spring. Their luck ran out, however. Dubai Millennium, winner of the 2000 Dubayy World Cup and Godolphin's best-ever horse, died of grass sickness on April 29, halfway through his first season at stud, and their three-year-olds were disappointing. Noverre, Godolphin's only classic winner, was disqualified two months after his victory in the French Poule d'Essai des Poulains because he tested positive for methylprednisolone.

      Aidan O'Brien, who trained the Coolmore horses, dominated the classics and ended the season with 23 Group 1 victories in Europe, including 7 of the 15 English, French, or Irish classics. Galileo, who easily won the Epsom and Irish Derbys, was his best horse. The three-year-old colt went on to defeat Godolphin's Fantastic Light in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes. The Godolphin five-year-old turned the tables in the Irish Champion Stakes, however; Fantastic Light was too good for Galileo in the two-furlong-shorter race and held on by a head. Two-year-old racing also was dominated by O'Brien, whose horses won 9 of the 10 European Group 1 races open to juvenile colts. O'Brien became the first British champion trainer since 1977 to be based abroad.

      Among four- and five-year-old horses, the pendulum swung to Godolphin. Sakhee had won the Juddmonte International by seven lengths 18 days before the Irish Champion Stakes, and he went on to win the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in Paris by six lengths. Kutub followed a hat trick of Group 1 victories in Germany and Italy by winning the Singapore Gold Cup. Slickly was a Group 1 winner in France and Italy. Hatha Anna gave the stable its first success in Australia in the Group 2 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, while Give the Slip led until the final 50 yards of the Melbourne Cup before losing to Ethereal by three-quarters of a length.

      Irish prize money rose by 18% in 2000 and was projected to increase again in 2001 with government help. The British government attempted similar help by abolishing the off-course betting tax (on-course betting had been tax-free since 1987) and by replacing the betting levy. Negotiations on a new system to contribute extra finance proved difficult, however, and were nowhere near a solution at the end of the season.

      Betting turnover increased in Great Britain, Ireland, and France, but French racing had other problems. It had allowed most Group race prizes to fall behind British ones, while a protest by pari-mutuel workers caused the postponement of the Grand Prix de Paris meeting. It was run two days later but without betting. André Fabre was the champion trainer in France for the 15th consecutive year, helped by two Group 1 disqualifications from each of which Vahorimix was the beneficiary. Italy enjoyed a better season, with prizes the highest since 1997.

      German racing, which suffered from low betting turnover and static prize money, had a champion horse in Silvano, which won the Singapore Cup in March, the Queen Elizabeth II Cup in Hong Kong in April, and the Arlington Million in the U.S. in August. Silvano also was placed in other rich prizes in Dubayy, the U.S., and Australia. He was third to the Japanese-trained Stay Gold in the Dubayy Sheema Classic, on a race day that challenged the claim of the U.S.-based Breeders' Cup to be the “World Thoroughbred Championships.”

      Captain Steve from the U.S. beat rivals from Japan and France in the 2001 Dubayy World Cup, while Jim and Tonic, from France, bested Fairy King Prawn from Hong Kong and Sunline from New Zealand in a thrilling finish to the Dubayy Duty Free. Caller One in the Dubayy Golden Shaheen was another American winner at the most international meeting to date.

      Three horses divided the 2001 Canadian Triple Crown. Dancethruthedawn, whose dam, Dance Smartly, had won the series in 1991, defeated Win City by half a length in the Queen's Plate Stakes in June, then lost to her rival by the same distance in the Prince of Wales Stakes in July. Both horses skipped the third jewel, the Breeders' Stakes, which was won easily by Sweetest Thing.

      Ethereal, who gave New Zealand-bred horses their 12th Melbourne Cup win in 20 years, earlier had triumphed in the Caulfield Cup. The four-year-old mare was the 11th horse to complete the double and the first Melbourne Cup winner to be trained by a woman, Sheila Laxon. Northerly won the Cox Plate just ahead of Sunline, with Silvano fourth.

Robert W. Carter

Harness Racing.
      Two European trotters went to North America in 2001 and in just four races beat the U.S.'s best and took more than a million dollars back to the continent.

      The Italian sensation Varenne won the $1 million Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands in New Jersey on July 28. Driver Giampaolo Minnucci raced his champion with the utmost confidence, reaching the wire 41/2 lengths ahead of his closest pursuer. Verenne's time of 1:511/5 was the fastest race-mile ever trotted. Minnucci had good reason to have confidence in Varenne because earlier in the 2001 season the six-year-old trotter had won the Prix d'Amerique in France, the Lotteria in his native Italy, and the Elitlopp in Sweden. No horse had swept those events in a single year in many decades. Varenne returned to Europe after winning the Breeders Crown, then traveled back to North America for the Can$500,000 (about $320,000) Trot Mondial at the Hippodrome in Montreal in September. He once again prevailed over North America's finest and sealed his claim as the greatest trotter in the world. In his two starts in North America, Varenne earned $750,000.

      On the same day that Varenne won the Breeders Crown, a photographer-turned-horseman from Sweden named Stefan Melander started his colt Scarlet Knight in a qualifying heat for the $1 million Hambletonian. Scarlet Knight won the heat and thus earned a chance to compete for the biggest prize for three-year-old trotters. Melander had purchased Scarlet Knight in 1999 at an auction in Pennsylvania, then returned to Sweden. The colt showed remarkable ability, and Melander began to dream of winning the Hambletonian. No horse had ever come from Europe to win the Hambletonian, but Melander's dream came true on August 4. As the 10 Hambletonian finalists left the starting gate, Banker Hall stole off to a huge early lead but began to tire. Melander guided Scarlet Knight to the outside and past Banker Hall in the stretch, raising his whip in jubilation as he crossed the finish line first. In his two starts at the Meadowlands, Scarlet Knight earned $535,000.

      A pair of American three-year-old fillies also enjoyed impressive seasons. The trotter Syrinx Hanover cruised through the season unbeaten; her victories included the Hambletonian Oaks and the Breeders Crown. She was raced sparingly, however, as her owner wanted to conserve her for future years. The popular three-year-old pacing filly Bunny Lake used her base in New York as a springboard to success, winning major races in New Jersey, Kentucky, Ontario, and Pennsylvania.

      Bettor's Delight and Real Desire gave racing fans thrills whenever they battled in the classic events for three-year-old pacers. Bettor's Delight won the North America Cup in June, but Real Desire rebounded to victory in a hard-fought stretch duel in the Meadowlands Pace in July. In September Bettor's Delight won a two-heat victory in the Little Brown Jug over Real Desire, but Real Desire got revenge when he led all the way to take the Breeders Crown in October.

      Although Scarlet Knight won the Hambletonian, the king of the three-year-old trotters was a rags-to-riches colt named SJ's Caviar. He had been so sick as a two-year-old that his owner wondered if the colt would survive an early illness, but he blossomed into the best of his class in 2001. The trotter's owners had dropped his Hambletonian eligibility when he was deemed too sick to compete, but SJ's Caviar still earned over $1.2 million in 2001.

Dean A. Hoffman

      Foot-and-mouth disease led to the cancellation of British racing for 10 days in March 2001 and the loss of many other meetings, including the Cheltenham Festival. There was no racing in Ireland between February 25 and April 16, and only three Irish horses were permitted to race in Great Britain in the Grand National, which was won by Red Marauder. Only 2 out of 40 entries completed that race without mishap, but 2 horses, Blowing Wind and 2000 National winner Papillon, were remounted and finished. Free traffic across the Irish Sea resumed in early May.

      French-trained First Gold won the King George VI Chase and Martell Cup Chase but was only fifth in the Grand Steeplechase de Paris behind Kotkijet, winning his sixth consecutive race. Kotkijet was one of many champion horses owned by Daniel Wildenstein. (See Obituaries (Wildenstein, Daniel Leopold ).) The New Zealand-trained Rand won the inaugural Pegasus Jump Stakes at Nakayama, Japan, in March but then was brought down in the Nakayama Grand Jump won by Gokai three weeks later.

Robert W. Carter

Show Jumping and Dressage.
      Ludger Beerbaum of Germany rode Gladdy's S to victory in the European individual show jumping championship at Arnhem, Neth., in July, 2001, and ended the season as undisputed world number one in the Fédération Equestre Internationale/Gandini world riders rankings. The pair lost, however, to Brazilian Rodrigo Pessoa on Gandini Lianos in the Nortel Networks Grand Prix, the world's richest show jumping prize, at Calgary, Alta., in September. Ireland's team of four won the Nations Cup at both Arnhem and Calgary.

      The U.K. surpassed France and Italy to win the European three-day event championship at Pau, France, in October. The U.K.'s Pippa Funnell captured the individual gold medal on Supreme Rock. Riders from Germany and Spain took silver and bronze.

      Ulla Salzgeber of Germany rode the Russian-bred Rusty to win both the World Cup and European championship dressage. The pair were also part of the winning German team in the Nations Cup at Aachen, Ger., in June and at Verden, Ger., in August.

Robert W. Carter

      In the 2001 U.S. high-handicap season, held in Palm Beach, Fla., from January to April, Outback, led by Argentine Adolfo Cambiaso, prevailed at the U.S. Open for the third straight year, and Boca Polo triumphed in the Gold Cup in Boca Raton, Fla. Peter Brant's White Birch, led by Mariano Aguerre and Carlos Gracida, won the Sterling Cup and the Gold Cup of the Americas. In the summer season, held in Long Island, N.Y., White Birch won the Hampton Butler Handicap Cup.

      Cambiaso shone again in the English high-handicap season, conducting Dubai to three victories in a row. With his teammates—patron Ali Abwardy of Saudi Arabia, Bartolomé (“Lolo”) Castagnola, and Ryan Pemble—the polo star captured the Indian Empire Shield, the Warwickshire Cup, and the Gold Cup. The traditional Queen's Cup was suspended as a consequence of the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.

      In Australia, Brazil outclassed the local quartet 10–9 in the final of the low-handicap (14 goals) world championship. Château La Cardonne was the winner of the French Open, held in Chantilly, France. In Sotogrande, Spain, Talandracas, led by Milo Fernández Araujo, was the champion of the Gold Cup for the first time. Prior to this tournament, Sebastián Merlos and Santiago Chavanne, who also stood out in the U.S. season as Cambiaso's Outback teammate, were the key for Geebung to reach victory in the Silver Cup, while Jedi obtained the Bronze.

      In a rainy season in Argentina, La Dolfina (Cambiaso, Castagnola, and brothers Sebastián and Juan Ignacio Merlos) won the Hurlingham Open. The quartet could not repeat in the Argentine Open, in which they were beaten 17–16 in the final by Indios Chapaleufú I. The champions (Aguerre and brothers Bautista, Marcos, and Horacio Heguy) won the Open, the world's most important polo tournament, for the sixth time after a six-year losing streak.

Jorge Andrián Andrades

▪ 2001


Thoroughbred Racing.

United States.
      The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), an organization of racetracks, owners, breeders, off-track betting organizations, and sales companies, showed signs of collapsing late in 2000 when 22 U.S. racetracks announced their intentions to withdraw their support. The NTRA was formed in 1998 to create comprehensive marketing strategies for the sport and increase media exposure of thoroughbred racing. The rebel tracks, which represented more than a quarter of the NTRA's racetrack members, supplied annual membership fees totaling more than $2 million to the organization. Organizers of the withdrawal cited dissatisfaction with the NTRA and some of its policies. Talks among international racing officials that were intended to create a new global lobbying and marketing organization were initiated in a July meeting in Great Britain by racing groups from North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

      Arlington International Racecourse, near Chicago, reopened in May after a hiatus of more than two years and revived the popular Arlington Million, which was run on August 19. Midway through its summer racing season, however, the racecourse was acquired by Churchill Downs, Inc., in a merger agreement that made Arlington's owner and chairman, Richard L. Duchossois, Churchill's largest stockholder. Citing what he perceived as an unfavourable economic and political environment in Illinois, Duchossois had closed his track's doors after the completion of its 1997 racing season. In early 1999 the Illinois General Assembly had passed legislation that provided tax breaks and other incentives for the state's horse racing tracks and paved the way for Arlington's grand reopening. In addition to Arlington, other tracks that had been taken over by Churchill Downs, Inc., included Ellis Park (in Kentucky), Hoosier Park (Indiana), Calder Race Course (Florida), and Hollywood Park (California).

      Thoroughbred racing's answer to the popularity of electronic gaming devices (slot machines) came in January at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., with the debut of “Instant Racing,” a pari-mutuel game that allowed a bettor to wager on 50,000 archived horse races. Oaklawn averaged $23,000 daily on Instant Racing machines during its 52-day season, providing the revenue for two purse increases at the track for the first time in five years.

      New York City Off-Track Betting (OTB) announced in July that the city of New York was soliciting bids for its purchase and/or management. Interested parties included Churchill Downs, Inc., Frank Stronach (chairman of Magna Entertainment, Inc., which owned six racetracks around the country, including Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla., and Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif.), Greenwood Racing, Inc. (Philadelphia Park), and the New York Racing Association. New York City OTB topped $1 billion in handle for only the second time in its history during its fiscal year ended June 30.

      Fusaichi Pegasus, owned by Japanese entrepreneur Fusao Sekiguchi, won the 126th Kentucky Derby on May 6 at Churchill Downs. He started as the prohibitive 1–5 betting favourite in the Preakness Stakes two weeks later but finished second to Red Bullet, ending any hope for a Triple Crown winner in 2000. The Belmont Stakes, won by Commendable, was the first Belmont in 30 years that did not include either the Kentucky Derby or Preakness winner. Commendable's victory gave trainer D. Wayne Lukas a record-tying 13th victory in a Triple Crown classic.

      In the final race of his career, Fusaichi Pegasus finished a disappointing sixth as the 6–5 favourite in America's richest race, the $4,690,000 Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs on November 4, sending the vote for Horse of the Year honours up for grabs. It was announced in June that Irish conglomerate Coolmore Stud had reached a tentative agreement to purchase the breeding rights to Fusaichi Pegasus for a world-record sum reported to be between $60 million and $70 million.

      Jockey Julie Krone, who retired in April 1999, in 2000 became the first woman to be inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame. Krone, who won 3,545 races including the 1993 Belmont Stakes aboard Colonial Affair, was the only female jockey ever to win a classic stake race. Laffit Pincay, Jr., who in 1999 surpassed the legendary Bill Shoemaker as the all-time leading jockey, logged another milestone as the first jockey to reach 9,000 wins. The 53-year-old Panamanian accomplished the feat in flamboyant style when he rode five stake winners on October 28 at Santa Anita.

      Several important figures in U.S. horse racing died during the year. Canadian-born Hall of Fame trainer Lucien Laurin (Laurin, Lucien ) died in June. Fred W. Hooper (Hooper, Fred William ), who bred more than 100 stakes winners, including three-time champion Susan's Girl, died in August at age 102. Allen Paulson (Paulson, Allen ), who bred and owned two-time Horse of the Year Cigar and other stakes winners, died of cancer at 78. Jockey Chris Antley (Antley, Chris ) was found dead on December 2 at his home in Pasadena, Calif., apparently as a result of a severe head trauma suffered in a fall. (See Obituaries.) Hubert (“Sonny”) Hine, trainer of 1998 Horse of the Year Skip Away, died in March after a long bout with cancer.

John G. Brokopp

Thoroughbred Racing.

      In 2000 Europe enjoyed one of those years when there was not only a strong group of top-class horses but also most of them—with the unfortunate exception of Dubai Millennium—competed throughout the season. Montjeu, Petrushka, and Sinndar each succeeded in gaining Group 1 victories in England, France, and Ireland. Giant's Causeway, later named the European Horse of the Year, won five consecutive Group 1 races between June 20 and September 9 and was never out of the first two finishers in 10 appearances.

      Dubai Millennium had ended 1999 with a pair of Group 1 successes at a mile distance. He returned in March 2000 with two flamboyant triumphs at 11/4mi on the dirt at Nad al Sheba Racecourse in Dubayy, U.A.E., winning each by a wide margin and in course-record time. With jockey Frankie Dettori aboard, he led most of the way to win the world's richest race, the $6 million Dubayy World Cup, by six lengths over the American-trained Behrens. The winner's owner, Sheikh Mohammad al-Maktoum, head of the Godolphin stable, had anticipated the victory two years earlier when he changed his promising young colt's name from Yareek to Dubai Millennium.

      Dubai Millennium ran only once more, ridden by Jerry Bailey in place of the injured Dettori, in the Prince of Wales's Stakes, a race newly promoted to Group 1 status, at Great Britain's Royal Ascot on June 21. Bailey employed the same tactics to win by eight lengths over the German-trained Sumitas. Dubai Millennium's career ended when he fractured a bone in his right hind leg at exercise on August 5. He was successfully operated on and retired to Dalham Hall Stud, Newmarket, Suffolk, Eng. Giant's Causeway, Montjeu, and Sinndar also retired to stud in Ireland at the end of the year.

      August 5 was also the day on which Dettori returned to action, with wins on both his mounts at Newmarket. He had been injured on June 1 when a light plane carrying him and colleague Ray Cochrane crashed on takeoff at Newmarket, killing the pilot. Cochrane returned to action first, but a racing fall caused him to retire in the autumn. Both he and Dettori admitted that they had hurried back too quickly.

      Kieren Fallon, the reigning British champion jockey, was unable to return before the end of the season after injuring his left shoulder in a four-horse accident at Ascot on June 21. He required complex surgery to repair severed nerves. In his absence Kevin Darley, the leading apprentice in 1978, won his first British championship. Darley's finest moment came in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on September 23. He rode Observatory to a half-length victory over Giant's Causeway, who was attempting to become the first horse in Europe, since Mill Reef in 1971–72, to win six consecutive Group 1 races.

      Irish jockey John Murtagh benefited most from Fallon's absence. Murtagh won the Epsom Derby, the Irish Derby, and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in Paris on the Irish-trained Sinndar. The Aga Khan's home-bred colt was one of the best Derby winners of recent years and crowned his career with a defeat of two top-class French fillies, Egyptband and Volvoreta, in the Arc.

      Montjeu was dominant in the first half of the season and was an impressive winner of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes in July. The French-trained colt ended the season with three defeats, however, in the Arc (in which he started as the favourite but finished fourth), the Dubayy Champion Stakes, and the Breeders' Cup Turf. Kalanisi, who had missed most of 1999, improved all season and ended by winning the Dubayy Champion and Breeders' Cup Turf, ridden by Murtagh each time.

      Fifth behind Montjeu in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes was the Japanese horse Air Shakur, who had been beaten by a nose by Agnes Flight in the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) two months earlier. He went home to win the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) in October. More successful in Europe was Agnes World. He won the Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp in Paris in October 1999 and returned in 2000 to win the July Cup at Newmarket, becoming the first Japanese-trained winner of a Group 1 race in England.

      Sunline, a New Zealand-bred five-year-old mare, set a new Australasian earnings record when she won the Southern Hemisphere's richest weight-for-age race, the Cox Plate, for the second year. She scored by seven lengths ahead of Diatribe, winner of the Caulfield Cup seven days earlier. Brew, bottom weight in a field of 22, went off at odds of 14–1 but triumphed by two lengths over runner-up Yippyio in the Melbourne Cup before a record crowd of 121,015. The six-year-old gelding was ridden by 20-year-old Kerrin McEvoy, who had completed his jockey apprenticeship less than a week earlier.

Robert W. Carter

Harness Racing.
      While it was unlikely that the pacing gelding Gallo Blue Chip would win any beauty contests, the rawboned, three-year-old bay won plenty of races and money while dominating the sport of harness racing in 2000. Gallo Blue Chip won million-dollar events in both Canada and the United States during the summer and became the richest harness horse in a single season with earnings of $2,428,816.

      The champion pacer was trained by 30-year-old Mark Ford and owned by Martin Scharf of Lawrence, N.Y., who purchased Gallo Blue Chip as a two-year-old in August 1999 after the horse had won his first several starts. It was obvious that Scharf made a good buy when Gallo Blue Chip went unbeaten in eight starts in 1999.

      In 2000 Gallo Blue Chip won the $1 million North America Cup at Woodbine Racecourse in Toronto in late June and three weeks later took the $1,150,000 Meadowlands Pace in New Jersey. Favoured to win the Little Brown Jug in September, Gallo Blue Chip ran into a hot opponent in Astreos that day and finished second after a three-heat duel. He gained revenge by defeating Astreos twice in October, in the Tattersalls Pace and the Breeders Crown. French-Canadian driving ace Daniel Dube, who was in the sulky for most of Gallo Blue Chip's wins, marveled at the horse's durability late in the season. “The other horses are tired,” Dube said. “This horse doesn't get tired.”

      The best North American trotters in 2000 were the seven-year-old mare Moni Maker and her rival, Magician, a five-year-old gelding. Moni Maker had reigned as Horse of the Year in 1998 and 1999, and she capped her career by winning the $500,000 Nat Ray at the Meadowlands in August and the $500,000 Trot Mondial at the Hippodrome in Montreal in September. She had to play second fiddle to Magician, however, in the $1 million Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands in July. Magician dominated the trotting scene at the Meadowlands for most of the season and bankrolled more than $1.2 million.

      Moni Maker retired with 67 wins in 105 lifetime starts and career earnings of $5,589,256; she was the richest standardbred in history and the richest mare of any breed. She won at 28 tracks in seven countries at distances ranging from 1 mi to 15/8 mi (1 mi=1.6 km). In her final public appearance, Moni Maker traded her sulky for a saddle and was ridden to a record mile by Hall of Fame thoroughbred jockey Julie Krone. They were paired for a time trial at the historic Red Mile oval in Lexington-Fayette, Ky., and covered the mile in 1:541/5, breaking the record for a trotter under saddle by more than four seconds.

      Trotting's greatest classic, the Hambletonian, celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2000. Yankee Paco coasted to victory despite racing on the outside the entire mile. He was the first Canadian-sired winner in Hambletonian history.

      The European trotting season started in January with General du Pommeau winning the Prix d'Amerique in France impressively, but when he traveled to Sweden in late May for the Elitlopp (“Elite Race”), he was soundly defeated by the Swedish-bred gelding Victory Tilly. The five-year-old Victory Tilly, driven by six-time Elitlopp winner Stig H. Johansson, won several more races during the season, including the Oslo Grand Prix, and finished the year with winnings of more than $1 million.

      The Inter-Dominion pacing championship in Melbourne, Australia, the most important harness racing event in the Southern Hemisphere, went to Shakamaker in February after the prerace favourite, New Zealand star pacer Courage Under Fire, broke stride at the start.

Dean A. Hoffman

      Papillon, owned by American Betty Maxwell Moran, landed a great Irish gamble in the 2000 English Grand National. Ted and Ruby Walsh, respectively the Irish father (trainer) and son (jockey) team responsible for Papillon's win, followed up with Commanche Court in the Irish Grand National 16 days later. Istabraq, also Irish-trained, became the fifth horse to win three Champion Hurdles, while Looks Like Trouble won the Cheltenham Gold Cup. In November Al Capone II, the most popular steeplechaser in France, failed in his attempt to win the Prix La Haye Jousselin for the eighth consecutive year and was retired. His conqueror was First Gold, who had run third to Vieux Beaufai in the Grand Steeplechase de Paris in May.

Robert W. Carter

Show Jumping and Dressage.
      Riders from The Netherlands and Germany dominated the equestrian competition at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Jeroen Dubbeldam, riding Sjiem, won the show jumping gold medal after a jump-off with his Dutch compatriot Albert Voorn and Khaled al Eid from Saudi Arabia. Brazil's Rodrigo Pessoa, who had won the world's richest contest, the Du Maurier Grand Prix at Calgary, Alta., on Gandini Lianos a few weeks earlier, was expected to prevail in Sydney with Baloubet du Rouet. His mount refused at the eighth fence, however, and was eliminated. The pair did lead Brazil to the bronze behind Germany and Switzerland in the team event.

      Anky van Grunsven of The Netherlands rode Gestion Bonfire to win the individual dressage ahead of Germany's Isabell Werth and Gigolo, the combination that had beaten her at the 1996 Games in Atlanta, Ga. Both horses were aged 17 and were retired after the Olympics. Germany dominated the team competition, followed by The Netherlands and the U.S. It was the German team's fifth consecutive gold medal in dressage and its eighth in the past 10 Olympics.

      American David O'Connor, riding Custom Made, led throughout the individual three-day event. Andrew Hoy of Australia took the silver, and Mark Todd of New Zealand, the Olympic champion in 1984 and 1988, settled for the bronze in his final competition. Australia won its third consecutive three-day team gold. The U.K. and U.S. captured silver and bronze, respectively.

Robert W. Carter

      The 2000 U.S. high-handicap season, played in Florida from January to March, was divided in two leagues that played simultaneously in West Palm Beach and Boca Raton. Grants Farm (composed of Billy Busch, Jeff Blake, Héctor Galindo, and Sugar Erskine) obtained the Gold Cup of the Americas, defeating Excalibur (with Argentines Adolfo Cambiaso and Bartolomé Castagnola) 13–10 in the final. Meanwhile, John Goodman's Isla Carroll (with brothers Ignacio and Eduardo Heguy) defeated Coca Cola 9–8 to win the U.S. Polo Association Gold Cup in Boca Raton. Outback, led by Cambiaso with a woman—Sunny Hale—as a teammate, gained the U.S. Open for the second straight year, outclassing Everglades in the decisive encounter.

      In the English season, from May to July, Geebung (with Argentines Cambiaso and Bautista Heguy as its best men) demonstrated its power, demolishing its rivals to obtain the most important tournaments: the Queen's and Gold cups. Argentina won the traditional Coronation Cup, beating the English quartet 10–9 in an extra chukker. Woodchester was the champion of the Gold Cup, held from August to September in Sotogrande, Spain. Local team Santa María defeated Geebung for the Silver Cup.

      In Argentina, where the highest-level polo in the world is played, Indios Chapaleufú II, consisting of brothers Alberto, Jr., Ignacio, and Eduardo Heguy with Milo Fernández Araujo, won the Argentine Open, defeating Cambiaso's La Dolfina 16–13 in the final. In the Hurlingham Open, however, La Dolfina took revenge and demolished the earlier victors 17–13 to gain the championship. In April Gonzalo Heguy, son of Horacio Heguy, Sr., died at the age of 35 in a car accident in Argentina. Gonzalo had won the Argentine Open five times, playing with his brothers Marcos, Bautista, and Horacio, Jr., for Indios Chapaleufú.

Jorge Adrián Andrades

▪ 2000


Thoroughbred Racing.

United States.
      Canadian industrialist Frank Stronach, the head of MI Ventures, Inc., and Churchill Downs, Inc., dominated thoroughbred racing's business headlines in 1999 with acquisitions that established both conglomerates as giants in the industry from coast to coast. Ventures, which purchased Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., in December 1998, signed an agreement in July 1999 to acquire Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla. In August the company signed letters of intent to purchase Golden Gate Fields near San Francisco, Remington Park in Oklahoma City, and Thistledown, outside Cleveland, Ohio. Churchill Downs, Inc., which already owned Ellis Park in Kentucky and a majority interest in Hoosier Park in Indiana, made acquisitions on both coasts: Calder Race Course in Florida and Hollywood Park in California.

      Two television networks devoted to bringing coverage of the sport and the ability to wager into the comfort of people's homes were launched in 1999. The Racing Network, a Pennsylvania-based partnership between Greenwood Racing, Inc., Ontario Jockey Club, and Ladbroke Racing, was launched in March. It was North America's first provider of multitrack, multichannel, 24-hour, direct-to-home racing coverage. California-based Television Games Network (TVG) hit the airwaves in July. Backed in part by TV Guide, Inc., the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, and AT&T Broadband and Internet Services, TVG debuted with 12 hours of live racing coverage per day led by a three-member on-the-air team of analysts and handicapping authorities. The Racing Network and TVG debuts both came at a time when state and federal statutes regarding in-home wagering via the telephone and personal computers were under review.

      The 1999 Breeders' Cup championship, held on November 6 at Gulfstream Park, did little to clear up the muddled Horse of the Year picture, although it proved to be the most successful day financially in the history of U.S. thoroughbred racing. Total wagering on the 10-race card, including simulcast betting, came to an all-time North American single-day record of $100,336,230, eclipsing the previous mark of $91,338,477 set in 1998.

      For the third straight year a colt entered the Belmont Stakes with a chance to become a Triple Crown winner, but the reformed claiming horse Charismatic met the same fate that befell Silver Charm in 1997 and Real Quiet in 1998. Charismatic, winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, made a gallant bid but finished third in the grueling 2.4-km (1-mi) Belmont after running the final eighth of a mile on a fractured left foreleg. He was retired to stud in July, as was Silver Charm. Victory Gallop, who had thwarted Real Quiet's Triple Crown bid by a nose in the Belmont, was retired in August after injuring his left foreleg.

      Arlington International Racecourse, near Chicago, announced it would resume operations in 2000 after closing down in October 1997, assuring the return of the world-renowned Arlington Million. Favourable legislation passed by the Illinois legislature in May paved the way for track owner Richard L. Duchossois to reopen the $200 million showplace.

      In June D. Wayne Lukas became the first trainer to reach the $200 million plateau in career purse earnings. Lukas was the top money-winning trainer of all time, with nearly double the earnings of Charlie Whittingham (see Obituaries (Whittingham, Charles )), who ranked second on the list. Lukas, who had trained 21 individual Eclipse Award winners and saddled 12 winners of Triple Crown events, was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in August, along with jockey Russell Baze, winner of 400 or more races for a record seven years in succession. Trainer Dale Baird, who was based at Mountaineer Park in Chester, W.Va., saddled his 8,000th career winner on July 22, which made him by a wide margin the most successful trainer in the history of thoroughbred racing in number of wins.

      Two of the most successful jockeys of all time retired in 1999. Julie Krone, the sport's most successful female rider with more than 3,540 victories, including the 1993 Belmont Stakes aboard Colonial Affair, and $81 million in purse earnings, bid adieu to the sport in April. David Gall, age 57, who spent the majority of his career riding at minor tracks in downstate Illinois, ended a 43-year career in September, ranked as the fourth winningest rider of all time. His career total of 7,391 victories was surpassed by only the great Bill Shoemaker and the still-active Laffit Pincay, Jr., and Pat Day. Another giant in the industry, Paul Mellon, died February 1 in Virginia at the age of 91 (see Obituaries (Mellon, Paul )).

      Pincay, a native of Panama who came to the U.S. to ride in 1966, became racing's all-time leading jockey on December 10 at Hollywood Park, Calif., when he rode the 8,834th winner of his career in the sixth race aboard the horse Irish Nip. Pincay broke the record of 8,833 wins held by Shoemaker, a record that had stood for 29 years.

      Secretariat, the 1973 American Triple Crown winner, was honoured by ESPN as the 35th greatest North American athlete of the 20th century. Other thoroughbreds making the list included the legendary Man o' War (84th) and 1948 Triple Crown champion, Citation (97th).

John G. Brokopp

      Godolphin, the stable that held the cream of the horses owned by the Maktoum family of the United Arab Emirates, continued to dominate European thoroughbred racing in 1999, gaining nine Group 1 victories in Britain, three in Italy, and two each in France and Ireland. Godolphin bracketed its 18 Group 1 successes in Europe with the victory of Almutawakel in the Dubayy World Cup in March and of Daylami in the Breeders' Cup Turf in the U.S. in November.

      Almutawakel's defeat of the challengers Malek and Victory Gallop gave Godolphin its first victory in the world's richest race, the Dubayy World Cup, which would be even richer in 2000, with a 20% increase to a gross prize of $6 million. Two other races on the same program were increased to $2 million. There were almost no comparable prizes anywhere in the world in the early months of the year.

      Hong Kong added the world's richest five-furlong sprint as the fourth race on its International Day at Sha Tin in December. Singapore, where the new course at Kranji opened on September 25, was scheduled to introduce the Singapore Airlines International Cup, with a total value of about $1,805,000, on March 4, 2000. The Hong Kong Cup was the last of nine races in the first Emirates World Series Racing Championship. The new Singapore race would be one of several additions to that competition, of which Daylami was the first overall winner.

      In Cape Town an outbreak of African horse sickness in the region, the one area of southern Africa that previously had been clear of this deadly disease, halted all plans for an international race. Horse Chestnut, winner of seven of his eight races and hailed as the best horse produced in South Africa in many years, was sent to the U.S. An international campaign was planned once he had recovered from the lengthy quarantine period.

      Godolphin-owned Central Park, which finished fourth in the Dubayy World Cup, had been used as a pacemaker more than once. He was sent to Australia in October to act as work leader for Kayf Tara, which had repeated his successes of the previous year in the Ascot Gold Cup and Irish St. Leger, in preparation for the 1999 Melbourne Cup. Kayf Tara injured a tendon, however, and Central Park replaced him. Central Park was not caught until 27 m (30 yd) from home, and only Rogan Josh, which beat him by a neck, prevented a 50–1 shock. Another two British horses were 5th and 12th in the field of 24.

      Rogan Josh was the 11th Melbourne Cup winner trained by Bart Cummings. His first had been in 1965 but as a boy Cummings had also looked after Comic Court, which was trained by his father to win the 1950 Cup. The New Zealand filly Sunline beat Tie the Knot in the BMW Cox Plate, the Southern Hemisphere's richest weight-for-age race. Irish-trained Make No Mistake finished eighth.

      Godolphin was not uniformly successful. An attempt to turn the winter training on the dirt in Dubayy to advantage in the U.S. in May was abandoned after just one win in a dozen tries. Worldly Manner ran in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, but he and the other expensive American purchases made by the stable the previous autumn soon vanished from view. Godolphin also established the former Newmarket trainer David Loder with a stable of two-year-olds at the disused Evry racecourse, near Paris. The first season yielded just two Group 3 winners, one each in France and England, but was described as an experiment.

      European two-year-old racing was dominated by the Irish-based Aidan O'Brien, who collected 14 Group wins from 10 individuals, all colts. Three of his five Group 1 victories were in France, and one each was in England and Ireland. His best colt, Fasliyev, winner of two of those five races, injured himself in October and was immediately retired to Coolmore Stud, O'Brien's principal supporter and, with its subsidiaries in the U.S. and Australia, the biggest stallion enterprise in the world.

      As in 1997, the winner of the Prix du Jockey-Club, Montjeu, went on to win the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. El Condor Pasa, the 1998 Japan Cup winner, which arrived in France in April but remained in the control of his Japanese trainer, made a heroic attempt to lead throughout in the Arc but was caught by Montjeu close to home and beaten by half a length. Montjeu also won the Irish Derby by an easy five lengths. He ended the season with a disappointing fourth in the Japan Cup, won by the 1998 Japanese Derby winner, Special Week, from the Hong Kong–trained outsider Indigenous.

Robert W. Carter

Harness Racing
      A three-year-old trotter took possession of harness racing in 1999, winning the admiration of horsemen and fans everywhere. Self Possessed, driven by Mike Lachance, trotted the fastest race mile ever when he covered the distance in 1:513/5 to win the $1 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands in New Jersey in early August. His margin of 51/2 lengths was one of the greatest in the 74 years of Hambletonian history. In races before and after the Hambletonian, Self Possessed flashed speed that trotting devotees had never seen before, routinely making times that would have been unthinkable two decades earlier.

      Unfortunately, Self Possessed's season in the sun was all too brief, as he was retired at the end of the racing season to begin breeding duties. His sire, Victory Dream, had won the Hambletonian in 1994 and began his breeding career with great promise, but he was felled by fertility problems and illness and did not get a single mare in foal in 1999. Therefore, Self Possessed was thought to be more valuable in the breeding shed than on the track.

      One enduring champion that raced yet another season was Moni Maker, probably the most beloved trotter in the world. She had dazzled fans on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean starting as a four-year-old in 1997. Her 1999 campaign, however, was a reminder that there was no such thing as a sure thing in racing.

      Moni Maker began the year brilliantly, winning France's grueling Prix d'Amerique, the first American-owned horse to win that winter classic in 25 years. She was the defending champion in Sweden's Elitlopp (“Elite Race”) in late May and trotted two courageous heats but was no match for the victor, Remington Crown. In her first race back in the U.S., Moni Maker became unsteady after half a mile, and driver Wally Hennessey eased her out of the pack. She finished the mile but was in great distress afterward as a result of heart arrhythmia. Moni Maker took a break while trainer Jimmy Takter tested her fitness to return to racing, and in the autumn she resumed her winning ways.

      Harness racing got its second pacing Triple Crown winner in three years in 1999 as Blissfull Hall captured the three legs and a $250,000 bonus check. Blissfull Hall began his streak in early September by winning the Cane Pace at Freehold Raceway in New Jersey, then took the Little Brown Jug in Delaware, Ohio, and grabbed the crown by winning the Messenger Stakes at the Meadows near Pittsburgh, Pa., in mid-October. Blissfull Hall was owned by Daniel Plouffe of Quebec, trained by Ben Wallace, and driven by Ron Pierce. Pierce had won the Cane Pace and Little Brown Jug in 1998 with Shady Character but lost the Triple Crown when he was defeated in the Messenger Stakes. He was able to use Blissfull Hall's exceptional high speed to humble his foes in the 1999 Triple Crown tests.

      Blissfull Hall peaked as the early-season leader among three-year-old pacers, The Panderosa, was encountering problems. The Panderosa was the dominant force in his class in June and July, winning the $1 million North America Cup and then the $1 million Meadowlands Pace. Observers were beginning to think that The Panderosa could become one of harness racing's all-time greats, but he broke stride in several important races in August and September, losing much of his lustre.

      In New Zealand, Our Sir Vancelot made history in March by becoming the only horse to have won the prestigious Inter-Dominion pacing championship in three consecutive years. In his victory for trainer-driver Brian Hancock, the eight-year-old pushed his earnings past $2 million.

Dean A. Hoffman

      See More Business, blinkered for the first time, produced a 16–1 surprise in the 1999 Cheltenham Gold Cup, but the star of Anglo-Irish jumping was Istabraq, winning his second Champion Hurdle and second Irish Champion Hurdle. Another triumph for his young trainer, Aidan O'Brien, Istabraq had run 20 times over hurdles up to October 1999, winning 18 and finishing second twice.

      Bobbyjo became the first Irish-trained winner of the English Grand National since 1975. Irish horses, however, had become very expensive, and British owners were buying an increasing number of jumpers in France, where the sport was heavily concentrated on young horses. One French jumper, Al Capone II, won the Prix La Haye Jousselin, a valuable nonhandicap chase, for the seventh consecutive year. It was his 25th career success.

Robert W. Carter

Show Jumping and Dressage.
      Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil, the son of Nelson Pessoa, retained his World Cup show jumping championship on his father's French-bred Gandini Baloubet du Rouet—usually known as Baloubet—at Göteborg, Swed., in April 1999.

      The German quartet, which included its first woman member, American-born Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, defeated 13 other nations to win the European team show jumping championship at Hickstead, Eng., in August. The individual competition, however, went to Alexandra Ledermann on Rochet M. The French rider, bronze medalist at the 1996 Olympic Games, beat two Swiss rivals to become the first female victor since men's and women's titles were amalgamated in 1973.

      Anky van Grunsven of The Netherlands rode the 16-year-old Gestion Bonfire to claim their fourth World Cup dressage championship at Dortmund, Ger., in April and added the European championship—in which they had finished second for the previous four years—at home in Arnhem two months later.

Robert W. Carter

      In the 1999 U.S. high-handicap season, played from January to April in Florida, Tim Gannon's Outback, lining up Argentine players Adolfo Cambiaso and Bartolomé Castagnola, captured the United States Polo Association (USPA) Gold Cup and the U.S. Open, defeating Isla Carroll (led by Mexican brothers Memo and Carlos Gracida) and Pony Express (with brothers Bautista and Gonzalo Heguy) in the respective finals. A substitute Isla Carroll team (with cousins Ignacio and Bautista Heguy) downed Grants Farm to win the Gold Cup of the Americas in a decisive encounter played simultaneously with the USPA Gold Cup final.

      In the English season, played from May to July, Kerry Packer's Ellerston, which outclassed Pommery and the Prince of Brunei's Jerudong Park quartet in the respective finals, won the Prince of Wales Trophy and the Queen's Cup. Ellerston's playmaker and top scorer, Cambiaso—considered by many the best active player in the world—was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament. Surprisingly, Pommery (John Manconi, Henry Brett, Juan Bollini, and Alejandro Díaz Alberdi) took revenge, downing Ellerston to obtain the Gold Cup for the first time. Cambiaso shone again in the Spanish season, held in Sotogrande, Spain, leading Outback in its Silver and Gold Cup triumphs. With excellent performances by Cambiaso, Ellerstina also secured the Player's and Hurlingham opens.

      There were many surprises in the Argentine Open championship—the most important in the world—as the favourites, Indios Chapaleufú I and Ellerstina, which had won titles five and three times, respectively, were eliminated in the semifinals. Indios Chapaleufú II, comprising the three brothers Alberto, Jr., Ignacio, and Eduardo Heguy and Milo Fernández Araujo, beat La Cañada in the final to become champion for the second time. Gonzalo Pieres, one of the best-ever polo figures, announced his definitive retirement from high-handicap tournaments.

Jorge Adrián Andrades

▪ 1999


Thoroughbred Racing.

United States.
      Major developments in the business aspect of thoroughbred racing in the U.S., Real Quiet's failure to become America's 12th Triple Crown winner, and Skip Away's domination of the handicap division for most of the year generated a majority of the sport's headlines in 1998. In a collective effort by industry leaders to increase public awareness of horse racing, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) was formed. Comprised of racetracks, owners, breeders, horsemen's associations, off-track betting organizations, and sales companies, among others, the NTRA's objective was to create a comprehensive marketing strategy for the sport, increase television exposure, and build a prosperous future for thoroughbred racing and breeding.

      On March 12 it was announced that officials of Equibase Co. and Daily Racing Form had signed a licensing agreement to create a uniform database of information and standardized statistics for thoroughbred racing. Previously the two organizations collected their own information on races, including the compilation of charts and past performances. The 104-year-old Daily Racing Form, which chronicled the sport both editorially and statistically, was purchased in August by a group of private investors.

      Following his victories in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, Real Quiet attempted to become America's 12th Triple Crown champion in the 130th running of the Belmont Stakes on June 6. During an epic stretch battle witnessed by a near-record on-track crowd of 80,162, jockey Kent Desormeaux was unable to prevent Real Quiet's four-length lead at the eighth pole from diminishing to a head-bob loss by a nose at the wire to Victory Gallop, the colt that had finished second to him in the first two jewels of the Triple Crown.

      Skip Away, the Eclipse Award-winning older male of 1997, won seven straight graded stakes in 1998, including five Grade-I events, to make a strong case for himself as Horse of the Year. The streak was snapped when he finished third in the Jockey Club Gold Cup on October 10, a race he had won in 1996 and 1997. Following a sixth-place finish in the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs on November 7, a race in which he competed as the defending champion, Skip Away was retired to stud. He completed his career with earnings of $9,616,360, second in the history of the sport only to Cigar ($9,999,815), while finishing worse than third only twice in 38 lifetime starts.

      The Breeders' Cup Classic matched one of the classiest fields of thoroughbreds ever assembled, including reigning champions Skip Away and Silver Charm and the most recent two Belmont Stake winners, Touch Gold and Victory Gallop. The 2-km (1 1/4 -mi) event was captured by four-year-old Awesome Again, his sixth victory of an unblemished 1998 campaign. Nationwide wagering on the entire Breeders' Cup XV program established an all-time North American single-day record. The total handle amounted to $91,439,031, easily breaking the previous record of $82.6 million set in 1993.

      Silver Charm, the 1997 Eclipse Award-winning three-year-old colt, became the first Kentucky Derby winner to race outside of the U.S. since Carry Back ran in the 1962 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Silver Charm captured the 1998 $4 million Dubayy World Cup on March 28, defeating Sheikh Muhammad al-Maktoum's Swain in a photo finish after the two horses engaged in a stirring stretch duel.

      Arlington International Racecourse officials, citing an unfavourable economic and political environment in Illinois, chose not to hold a race meeting in 1998, which forced cancellation of the Arlington Million. The track would stay closed in 1999, and the future remained very much in doubt. The disturbing trend continued in 1998 with the November 8 closing of Detroit Race Course. Michigan's only one-mile thoroughbred racetrack, which opened in 1950, was sold for development after the owner, Ladbroke Racing, cited losses of more than $18 million since 1985. Nearly 20 racetracks across the U.S. had ceased operations during the past two decades. Meanwhile, Canadian industrialist Frank Stronach, owner of Awesome Again, signed a letter of intent in November to purchase Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. The historic track, which opened in 1934, had been acquired by Meditrust Cos. in November 1997.

      Woodford Cefis "Woody" Stephens, one of the most successful trainers in thoroughbred racing history, died on August 22, at the age of 84 (see OBITUARIES (Stephens, Woodford Cefis )).


      Sheikh Muhammad al-Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), the moving force behind most of his family's huge racing interests, threw the sport of thoroughbred racing in Great Britain into a panic at the end of 1997 with a speech written by him and his principal trainer, John Gosden, and delivered by the chief executive of the Emirates Racing Association, Michael Osborne. The sheikh made his intentions clear: either prize money must improve in 1998 or the family would transfer its horses elsewhere.

      Statistics produced for the international conference held in Paris each October showed that in 1997 owners in Britain had recouped only 23% of their costs in prize money. This placed Britain 36th in a list of 41 countries. Although the top 10 included only 3 racing locations of international importance in the sport—Argentina (1st), Hong Kong (8th), and the U.A.E. (10th)—and some of the figures appeared unreliable, that did not alter their significance. British racing could not compete with Japan (15th), where owners could expect to recover 79% of their costs, or even the U.S. (25th), where the return to owners had fallen from 47% in 1996 to 42% in 1997. The number of horses in training in Britain had increased during the past four years, and the competitiveness of racing, thanks largely to foreign owners like the Maktoums (the leading owners in Britain nearly every year since 1985), was much greater than the strength of the economy would justify. Any plan for radical change in 1998 met immediate resistance from the strongest group in British racing, the bookmaking industry. The government also was reluctant to become involved in the financial dispute between racing and bookmaking and in discussions over the level of the national betting tax, set at 6.75%.

      Sheikh Muhammad had already broken an ancient custom—that it was the owner's part to pay the bills and enjoy whatever glory might come his way on the racecourse while everything else was the department of the trainer—when he withdrew all his horses from one of the leading British trainers, Henry Cecil, in late 1995. He also greatly reduced the number of horses he had with the leading trainer in France, André Fabré. Meanwhile, he extended the operations of Godolphin stable, over which he had absolute control.

      The general direction of Godolphin policy was revealed when it was announced in April that the sheikh had taken a five-year lease, with an option of another five years, on the former racecourse at Evry, southeast of Paris, which had closed at the end of 1996. David Loder, who began training at Newmarket late in the 1992 season and saddled Desert Prince to claim victory in three Group 1 mile events in 1998, was expected to train 100 Godolphin-owned two-year-olds there. The arrival of such a powerful stable was a welcome boost for racing in France, where the supremacy of the Fabre stable had been virtually unchallenged.

      Sheikh Muhammad had enjoyed little success with horses trained in Australia and the U.S. He had much greater control over Godolphin, which was based in Britain April through October and for the rest of the year in the U.A.E., where Godolphin's Swain just barely lost the Dubayy World Cup to the American champion Silver Charm. In July the stable became the first to take the first three places in a Group 1 race, since the European pattern system was introduced in 1971, when Daylami, Faithful Son, and Central Park did so in the 1998 Eclipse Stakes.

      Faithful Son was sent to Australia to contest the Caulfield and Melbourne cups, but he finished fourth at Caulfield behind another British visitor, the 66-1 Taufan's Melody, and seventh in Melbourne. In a thrilling finish, the five-year-old New Zealand-trained mare Jezabeel came from behind to defeat another New Zealand mare, Champagne, by a neck in the Melbourne Cup, with the British trio of Persian Punch, Taufan's Melody, and Yorkshire close behind. Australia provided only one of the first seven finishers in that nation's greatest thoroughbred race. Might and Power, Australia's 1997-98 Horse of the Year, was not in the field. Winner of the Caulfield and Melbourne cups in 1997, the five-year-old gelding added the Cox Plate in October 1998, cutting more than two seconds off the course record. Phar Lap, in 1930-31, was the only previous horse to win the Cox Plate after winning the Melbourne Cup.


Harness Racing.
      Certainly the most fittingly named harness horse in 1998 was Moni Maker. The five-year-old American mare raced on two continents and made money everywhere she went. Moni Maker towered over her foes in stature and in ability. Because of her size she did not reach top form until she was three years old, and then she never stopped improving. By 1998 she was unquestionably the best trotter in the world.

      Moni Maker's Swedish-born trainer, Jimmy Takter, took her to Europe in early 1998 looking for worthy opponents. Takter knew she might not be in peak form at first, but the one race he coveted was the Elitlopp ("Elite race") in Stockholm in May. Moni Maker competed in races in Italy and Norway to prepare for the Elitlopp, and what she did to her foes in the Swedish race left Takter in awe. He said that it was perhaps the greatest racing performance ever, and certainly few of the 35,000 spectators would argue. Moni Maker and driver Wally Hennessey sat on the outside of rival Huxtable Hornline in the final heat, a tactic that often spells doom, but Hennessey had confidence in the big mare. When he asked her to trot, she astonished the crowd by leaving her pursuers in the dust to win in a record time of 1 min 53.3 sec. The bay mare later returned to the U.S. and humbled the best trotters there in some midsummer classics before returning to Europe in November.

      While Moni Maker was making headlines with her accomplishments, two three-year-old colts were making headlines for what they almost did. The trotter Muscles Yankee and the pacer Shady Character won the first two legs of the Triple Crowns for their gaits, but each failed in the third leg.

      When Muscles Yankee won the $1 million Hambletonian, the first leg of the Triple Crown for trotters, at the Meadowlands in early August, harness racing thought that a new star had arrived. He was so superior to his opponents that many of his pursuers in the Hambletonian opted not to race in the Yonkers Trot, the second leg of the Triple Crown. Muscles Yankee also won that race easily. Many then conceded the third leg of the Triple Crown, the Kentucky Futurity, to the two-time winner. The track even held a Triple Crown party on the eve of the race. No one, however, told the trotter Trade Balance and trainer-driver David Wade that Muscles Yankee could not be beaten. Wade launched an aggressive challenge in the opening heat, and Muscles Yankee surprisingly capitulated. Muscles Yankee had a chance to salvage the Triple Crown in the race's second heat, but once again Trade Balance outdueled the favourite to end his Triple Crown quest.

      Among the three-year-old pacers Shady Character won the Cane Pace and the Little Brown Jug in close finishes to set up a try for the Triple Crown. In the Messenger Stakes, however, Fit for Life triumphed, as Shady Character finished sixth in the final heat.

      France's greatest trotting classic, the Prix d'Amerique, was won by the seven-year-old mare Dryade des Bois, driven by Jos Verbeeck of Belgium, a driver with such an uncanny skill for getting the best from a horse that he was widely called "Magic Jos." In 1998 American driver Walter Case became the first person to win more than 1,000 races in a single season. Competing primarily at Yonkers Raceway in New York, he passed the former record of 853 wins in a single season.


      Cool Dawn, a former point-to-pointer, was a 25-1 winner of the 1998 Cheltenham Gold Cup, but there were no shocks in the Champion Hurdle, in which the Irish-trained Istabraq scored by 12 lengths. Earth Summit won the Grand National, adding what was clearly the world's richest race over jumps to earlier successes in the Scottish (in 1994) and Welsh versions (1997). The Grand National again triggered controversy as three horses were killed during the race and only 6 of the 37 starters completed the course.

      François Doumen trained the winner of the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris for the fifth time since 1991 when First Gold (his fourth individual winner) was successful in May. Al Capone II, the 1997 winner, missed the Grand-Steeple but showed that he was still the top French jumper when he won the richest end-of-season chase, the Prix La Haye Jousselin, for the sixth consecutive year.


Show Jumping and Dressage.
      Rodrigo Pessoa from Brazil, winner of the World Cup at Helsinki, Fin., in April 1998, in October went on to become the youngest show jumping world champion. Pessoa, the 25-year-old son of Nelson Pessoa, rode his father's Baloubet du Rouet in Finland but switched to Gandini Lianos for the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Rome. Franke Sloothaak, who was second in Rome on San Patrignano Joly, was also a member of the victorious German quartet in the WEG team competition.

      Isabell Werth on Nissan Gigolo retained the world title in the four-day dressage competition at the WEG by the narrowest of margins from Anky van Grunsven on Gestion Bonfire. Germany's all-female quartet, led by Werth and including three of the top four individuals, won the team event. New Zealanders reigned supreme in horse trials and, with four riders in the top five, easily won the team competition at the WEG.


      From March to April 1998, 10 teams took part in the U.S. Open held at the Palm Beach (Fla.) Polo Club. Escue, led by brothers Sebastian and Pite Merlos, defeated Isla Carroll in the final. Fifteen-time Open winner Memo Gracida (see BIOGRAPHIES (Gracida, Memo )) and his younger brother Carlos headed the losing team, which previously had won the Gold Cup of the Americas and the Challenge and Sterling cups. In Boca Raton, Fla., White Birch, led by Mariano Aguerre of Argentina, downed Outback in the final of the United States Polo Association's Gold Cup.

      Ellerston was by far the best team in the English high-handicap season. With an outstanding performance by Adolfo Cambiaso, helped by Gonzalo Pieres, the team outclassed Carlos Gracida's Labegoree and C.S. Brooks to win the Queen's and Gold (English Open) cups, respectively. Ellerston later defeated Lovelocks—which gained the Warwickshire Cup—for the Prince Philip Trophy, and Chile bested England 8-7 to secure the Coronation Cup.

      Cambiaso also shone in Argentina, with a record 67 goals for his team, Ellerstina, which retained the championship of the most important tournament in the world, the Argentine Open. Indios Chapaleufú I, composed of the four Heguy brothers (Horacio, Jr., Gonzalo, Bautista, and Marcos), was the winner of the Hurlingham and Player's opens.

      In Sotogrande, Spain, Geebung, led by Sebastian Merlos, won the Gold Cup, defeating John Smith in the final. Santa Maria, the local quartet, took the Silver Cup for the third straight year. Raffa and La Palmeraie were the best teams in the French season, winning the Paris Open and the Silver Cup, respectively. The International Polo Federation organized the fifth world championship for quartets with handicaps of 10-14 goals, at the Santa Barbara (Calif.) Polo and Racquet Club in August. The tournament was won by Argentina for the third time, overpowering defending champion Brazil 13-8 in the final, while England downed the U.S. 11-8 for third place.

      One of the major figures in polo, Horacio Heguy, Sr., died during the year. The second generation of the family dynasty, he played on teams that won the English Gold Cup 20 times between 1958 and 1980.


▪ 1998


Thoroughbred Racing

United States.
      Numerous thoroughbred luminaries were revealed during 1997, but at season's end no one star shone brightest. This left Horse of the Year honours a toss-up among five standouts: the undefeated two-year-old colt Favorite Trick, Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Silver Charm, and handicap division rivals Skip Away, Gentlemen, and Formal Gold.

      Favorite Trick ended a brilliant freshman campaign on Breeders' Cup Day (November 8) at Hollywood Park in California by scoring a 5 1 /2 -length victory in the Juvenile, his eighth straight win of an unblemished season. He was ridden by Pat Day, whose nine Breeders' Cup wins and $14,692,600 in purse earnings ranked first among all jockeys in the 14-year history of the event.

      Silver Charm held off Captain Bodgit by a head to win the 123rd Kentucky Derby on May 3 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. The winner was trained by Bob Baffert, who had lost the 1996 "Run for the Roses" when his Cavonnier was beaten by a nose by Grindstone. It was the third Kentucky Derby win in nine years for jockey Gary Stevens, who was elected to thoroughbred racing's Hall of Fame three days before the race.

      In the tightest finish in the last 65 runnings of the Preakness Stakes, Silver Charm bested Free House by a head, with Captain Bodgit another head back in third, in the 122nd running of that race, at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md. A stretch battle for the ages culminated in a pulsating three-horse photo finish. Three weeks later at Belmont Park on Long Island, N.Y., Silver Charm was the first horse in eight years to enter the Belmont Stakes with the opportunity to become the U.S.'s 12th Triple Crown winner. He was thwarted in his bid, however, and finished second by three-quarters of a length to Touch Gold with Chris McCarron aboard. Free House was third. The victory was especially rewarding for Touch Gold, which had finished fourth in the Preakness in spite of going to his knees and nose at the start of the race. Silver Charm was later diagnosed with a blood disorder and missed part of the season.

      Skip Away, the 1996 Eclipse Award-winning three-year-old colt, returned in 1997 and wrapped up the year ranked as North America's second leading money-winning thoroughbred of all time, with career earnings of $6,876,360 (Cigar was first with $9,999,813). Skip Away won only four races in 1997 but was never worse than third in his 11 starts. Gentlemen won four of his six starts in 1997, including Grade-I stake triumphs in the Hollywood Gold Cup, Pacific Classic, and Pimlico Special, a race in which he defeated Skip Away. Gentlemen would have been the heavy favourite in the Breeders' Cup Classic but was sidelined with a virus. Formal Gold, which defeated Skip Away in the Woodward Stakes (Grade-I), also was seeking to enhance his record in the Breeders' Cup Classic but was withdrawn nine days before the race with a fracture in his right hind leg.

      It was announced in September that Arlington International Racecourse, near Chicago, was withdrawing its request for racing dates in 1998. Arlington owner Richard Duchossois said increased competition from riverboat casinos, regulatory commission restraints, and lack of Illinois state legislative support had created an economic climate too harsh for world-class racing in Chicago to survive. Duchossois had rebuilt the track at a reported cost of $200 million and reopened it in 1989 after a 1985 fire destroyed the original structure.

      In March it was revealed that Cigar had proved to be infertile. The two-time Horse of the Year (1995 and 1996) was retired at the end of the 1996 racing season and had been booked to be bred to 71 mares in 1997, his first seaon at stud. Forego, age 27, one of the greatest thoroughbreds of all time and three-time Horse of the Year (1974, 1975, and 1976), had to be put to death after he broke a hind leg in a paddock accident.

      Jerry Bailey, winner of the Eclipse Award as the U.S.'s outstanding jockey in 1995 and 1996, had another incredible year in 1997, with more than $17 million in purse earnings. Meanwhile, on August 25 Day became the fifth jockey in racing history to reach the 7,000 plateau in career victories. In November Eddie Arcaro, a legend in the turf world who was regarded by many as the greatest jockey of all time, succumbed to liver cancer at the age of 81. . (Arcaro, George Edward ))


      Singspiel, which ended 1996 with a victory in the world's richest race on turf, the Japan Cup, started 1997 with a triumph in the race offering the richest first prize on dirt, the Dubayy World Cup. He added two important races at home in Great Britain during the summer but suffered a career-ending fracture on November 5, two days before he should have run in the Breeders' Cup Turf. Pilsudski, which had ended 1996 with a 1 1 /4 -length defeat of Singspiel in the Breeders' Cup Turf, finished 1997 with a triumph by a neck over Air Groove in the Japan Cup, his fourth success in a Group 1 contest during the year. Singspiel was retired to stud at Newmarket, Eng., while Pilsudski, which had already been sold, was retired to a farm on Hokkaido in Japan.

      Both these five-year-olds were trained by Michael Stoute at Newmarket and, after having been slow to reach peak form, showed tremendous consistency over their final two seasons. Peintre Celebre, however, was a more instant champion. He won the Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby) and Grand Prix de Paris in his fourth and fifth races, respectively. Although Peintre Celebre was beaten—under controversial circumstances—in the Prix Niel after a 12-week absence, he defeated Pilsudski by five lengths in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on October 5; in the process he cut 1.7 sec off the course record and gave his sire, Nureyev, his 100th win in a European Pattern race.

      Spinning World, another son of Nureyev, established himself as the best miler in Europe with wins in the Prix Jacques le Marois and Prix du Moulin. He was sparingly raced, however, as his owners, the Niarchos family, had just one aim—to improve on his second-place finish in the 1996 Breeders' Cup Mile, which he did with a two-length victory in the 1997 race.

      Helissio started as favourite for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, but he was not allowed an easy lead, and soft ground further compromised his chance. Swain, third in the 1996 Breeders' Cup Turf behind Pilsudski and Singspiel, scored a surprising victory. He finished one length in front of Pilsudski, followed by Helissio and Singspiel.

      Olivier Peslier had ridden Helissio to win the 1996 Arc but was claimed to ride Peintre Celebre in all the colt's races in 1997. Peslier, who went on to be champion jockey in France for the second time, rode Helissio to an impressive victory in the Prix Ganay in April, but he was replaced by Cash Asmussen when the colt won the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud.

      Pat Eddery, an 11-time champion in Britain, became only the third jockey to have ridden 4,000 winners there, reaching that milestone on Silver Patriarch in the St. Leger. The pair had been beaten in the Derby in a photo finish by the America colt Benny The Dip with Willie Ryan aboard.

      Aiden O'Brien, champion trainer over jumps each season since he was first licensed in 1993, became the first Irish trainer to send out over 200 winners in a year. His victories included the Irish 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas and the Irish Derby in a season in which Irish horses won all five home classics for the first time since 1964. O'Brien also gained Group 1 victories in England, France, and Ireland with the two-year-olds Saratoga Springs, Second Empire, and King of Kings. Second Empire won the Grand Criterium on a day when, after many horses had been prevented from traveling to the course by a stable workers' demonstration, only two of the scheduled eight races could be run. Heinz Jentzsch, the dominant trainer in Germany for almost 40 years, retired after saddling his 4,024th winner on November 8. Peter Schiergen, who rode a European-record 270 victories in 1995, was on Jentzsch's final winner and then retired to take over his stable.

      In Australia, Might and Power, a four-year-old gelding trained by Jack Denham and ridden by Jim Cassidy, led all the way in both the Caulfield and Melbourne cups. Doriemus, second by seven lengths in the Caulfield Cup and beaten only by a nose, or a "short half head," in the Melbourne Cup, had won both races in 1995.

      South African horses were allowed to run abroad for the first time since the 1970s, when a ban had been imposed because of African horse sickness. The first to try elsewhere was London News, successful in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup in Hong Kong in April. Hong Kong racing itself continued with little change after the Chinese takeover in July.


Harness Racing.
      For Malvern Burroughs the dream of winning the big race came true in 1997. In driving his three-year-old trotter Malabar Man to victory in the 1997 Hambletonian, harness racing's greatest classic in North America, the 56-year-old Burroughs achieved special recognition because he was not a professional driver. Instead, he was a businessman who drove his own horses as a hobby and gave his driving fees to charity. In the mid-1970s Burroughs had been a young New Jersey contractor whose firm had won the bid to build a new racetrack called the Meadowlands. He became interested in harness racing and obtained a license to drive in races. In 1981 the Hambletonian was moved to the Meadowlands. After Malabar Man's win, one official said, "Mal, you built this track. Now you own it!"

      Malabar Man had taken championship honours as a two-year-old in 1996 and swept through 13 wins in 16 starts in 1997, ending his career with two impressive wins in Italy in early November. His earnings for the season totaled more than $1.4 million. His accomplishments overshadowed the fact that North America had its first Triple Crown winner in 14 years as the three-year-old Western Dreamer swept the Cane Pace, Little Brown Jug, and Messenger Stakes to become the eighth pacing Triple Crown champion. Immediately after his Triple Crown triumph, Western Dreamer was upset in the Breeders Crown in Canada. On that same night, the three-year-old filly Stienam's Place easily won her Breeders Crown race and vaulted into competition as top pacer of 1997.

      In Europe the year began with a popular triumph in the Prix d'Amerique, the grueling endurance test contested over 2,700 m (1 5/ 8 mi) near Paris in January. The nine-year-old Abo Volo swept to victory for driver Jos Verbeeck. It was a poignant triumph for the Viel family, owners of Abo Volo, because the family patriarch, Albert Viel, was gravely ill at the time of the race and died a few weeks later.

      The fastest trotters in the world gathered at the Solvalla racecourse in Sweden in May to determine which was the best over the 1,600-m (1-mi) distance. The race was touted as a match between the Swedish hero Zoogin and the Norwegian Gentle Star. The traditional rivalry between the two Nordic nations was in full bloom on Elitlopp Day as partisans waved flags and shouted their support. Disaster struck, however, when Zoogin lost a shoe early in his elimination heat, broke stride twice, and was disqualified. Then the crowd groaned in dismay as Gentle Star broke stride at the start of his elimination and failed to qualify for the final. The Elitlopp final was won by Gum Ball, an American-bred horse owned in Sweden, as master horseman Stig Johansson controlled the race from the start.

      The Inter-Dominion championships, pitting the best "down under" harness horses, were held at Globe Derby Park in Adelaide, S.Aus., in March, and they furnished Aussie racing fans with unforgettable finishes. The winner of the pacing final was Our Sir Vancelot, driven by Brian Hancock, who held off a fast-closing Rainbow Knight. In the trotting championship the well-traveled New Zealand mare Pride of Petite staged one of the most dramatic stretch drives ever to win in the last possible stride for driver Tony Herlihy.


      The Irish Republican Army forced the postponement of the 150th Grand National on April 5 by telephoning two coded bomb warnings. It was run two days later, as the only race of the afternoon before a crowd of 20,000. The New Zealand-bred Lord Gyllene led virtually throughout for a 25-length win. Martell increased the prize money and confirmed its continued sponsorship until 2004.

      Mr. Mulligan was a surprise winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup, his first race since falling in the 1996 King George VI Chase, won by One Man, 11 weeks earlier. Al Capone II, the best jumper in France, won his first Grand Steeplechase de Paris in June. In November he won the Prix de la Haye Jousselin for the fifth consecutive year.

Show Jumping and Dressage.
      Germany, the reigning Olympic and world champions, won the team event at the 1997 European show jumping championships at Mannheim, Ger., the first time it had done so since 1981. Ludger Beerbaum won the individual championship, beating Hugo Simon of Austria on ET. Simon and ET had won all three legs of the Volvo World Cup at Göteborg, Swed., in May. He was the first rider to win this event three times and only the third to win all three legs.

      Anky van Grunsven of The Netherlands won the Volvo World Dressage Cup on Bonfire in April but was narrowly, and controversially, beaten by Isabell Werth of Germany and Gigolo in the European dressage championships at Verden, Ger., in August. American rider David O'Connor won the Badminton Horse Trials Three Day Event on Custom Made in May, and New Zealander Mark Todd won the Burghley Trials in September.


      In April 1997 Memo Gracida, the new leader of Isla Carroll, won his sixth consecutive and a record 15th career U.S. Open by defeating White Birch in the final at the Palm Beach (Fla.) Polo Club. Isla Carroll also gained the World Cup and the Gold Cup of the Americas, and White Birch won its eighth USPA Gold Cup. Grant's Farm Manor and Peapacton obtained the Sterling and Challenge cups, respectively.

      In England, Black Bears won the Warwickshire Cup in Cirencester, and Isla Carroll obtained the Queen's Cup in Windsor. Hubert Perrodo's Labegorce, lining up Gracida's brother Carlos and Javier Novillo Astrada of Argentina, outclassed Isla Carroll in the Gold Cup at Cowdray Park. Labegorce beat Black Bears for the Prince Philip Trophy and returned the Westchester Cup to Great Britain after 83 years as it defeated the U.S. 12-9. In Deauville, France, Ellerston White bested defending champion Labegorce to obtain the Gold Cup.

      Segurbier won the Gold Cup in Sotogrande, Spain, beating Scapa in the final, and the local Santa Maria and Belgium's Scapa triumphed in the Silver and Bronze cups, respectively. Jerudong Park, led by the sultan of Brunei's son, lined up cousins Bautista and Eduardo Heguy from Argentina and took the Zobel Cup.

      In Argentina, La Baronesa (comprising brothers Sebastian and Pite Merlos, Matias MacDonough, and Tommy Fernández Llorente), won the Los Indios Tortugas Open. Ellerstina (Adolfo Cambiaso, Mariano Aguerre, Gonzalo Pieres, and Lolo Castagnola) captured the most important tournament in the world, the Argentine Open, for the second time. Both quartets had to define the Hurlingham Open, but the match, after many suspensions, was finally canceled because of rain.


▪ 1997


Thoroughbred Racing

United States.
      Cigar, the horse that dominated U.S. competition for two seasons, was retired to stud at the conclusion of the 1996 campaign, during which he raced eight times at seven tracks in three countries, equaled the longest winning streak in thoroughbred racing history, and became the leading money-winning thoroughbred of all time. In spite of losing three of his last four starts, including a third-place finish in the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic in his final appearance, the six-year-old son of Palace Music was certain to be voted Horse of the Year, an honour he won in 1995 after being undefeated in 10 starts.

      Cigar's greatest achievement came on March 27, when he scored a thrilling victory in the inaugural running of the $4 million Dubayy World Cup at Nad as-Sheba racetrack in Dubayy, United Arab Emirates. It was only his second start of the year, and the performance came a month after his training was disrupted because of a hoof problem. He tied Citation's 20th-century record for consecutive victories by a thoroughbred when he notched his 16th straight triumph on July 13 in the Arlington Citation Challenge at Arlington International Racecourse near Chicago. Cigar was thwarted in his bid to break the record when he finished second in his next start, the $1 million Pacific Classic.

      Trained by Bill Mott and bred and owned by Allen Paulson, Cigar completed his brilliant career with earnings of $9,999,813. He retired with 19 victories, 4 seconds, and 5 thirds in 33 starts. Following farewell appearances before 16,000 admirers at the National Horse Show in New York City's Madison Square Garden on November 2 and before a crowd of 12,443 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on November 9, Cigar was formally retired to Ashford Stud after one of the most expensive syndication deals ever put together in the U.S.

      For the first time in its 13-year history, the Breeders' Cup was held outside the United States. The 1996 host track was Woodbine Race Course in Toronto. Seven championship stakes worth $11 million were held there on October 26.

      Alphabet Soup, a five-year-old making his first venture out of the state of California in seven 1996 starts, won the Breeders' Cup Classic by a nose over the tenacious three-year-old Louis Quatorze. Cigar was another head back in third in the 1 1/4 -mi event.

      Alphabet Soup was timed in a track record 2 min 1 sec. He earned $2,080,000 for his fourth win of the campaign.

      Irish-bred Pilsudski, British owned and trained, and ridden by Walter Swinburn, won the $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf. Da Hoss, whose questionable conformation had allowed his owners to purchase him for just $6,000 as a yearling, increased his career bankroll to $1,394,458 with his victory in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Mile. He had finished last in the 1995 Breeders' Cup Sprint.

      Jockey Corey Nakatani's first of two Breeders' Cup Day winners came in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint. Lit de Justice, which trailed the field of 13 early in the six-furlongs race, rallied strongly to prevail by 1 1/4 lengths in 1 min 8 3/5 sec, tying the track record. The winner was trained by Jenine Sahadi, the first woman to saddle a Breeders' Cup winner. Nakatani recorded his second Breeders' Cup victory in the $1 million Distaff with Jewel Princess. Jewel Princess won the Eclipse Award as champion older filly or mare of 1996.

      D. Wayne Lukas, who had won more Breeders' Cup races than any other trainer, gained his 13th victory when Boston Harbor won the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile by a neck, his sixth win in seven starts. Storm Song won the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and thereby clinched championship honours in her division.

      In addition to Cigar, another champion was retired at the conclusion of the 1996 racing season. The Lukas-trained Serena's Song completed an eventful career ranked as the leading money-winning female thoroughbred of all time, with earnings of $3,283,388.

      The 122nd running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4 was captured by Grindstone by a nose over Cavonnier and gave trainer Lukas an unprecedented sixth straight victory in a Triple Crown race. Grindstone never raced again. Five days after the win, a bone chip was discovered in the colt's right front knee, and he was retired.

      Grindstone raced in 15th place in the field of 19 three-year-olds for the first half-mile and was still 14th with half a mile left to race in the 1 1/4 -mi classic. He was the first Kentucky Derby winner for his 78-year-old owner, William T. Young.

      Jockey Pat Day accounted for his fifth victory in the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore, Md., the second jewel in the U.S.'s Triple Crown for three-year-olds, when he won the May 18 running of the 1 3/16 -mi event with Louis Quatorze. The winner was trained by Nick Zito, who snapped Lukas's streak of Triple Crown race victories. It was Day's third straight Preakness triumph.

      The 1 1/2 -mi Belmont Stakes on June 8 at Belmont Park near New York City went to Editor's Note and gave trainer Lukas and owner Young their second Triple Crown race victory of the year. It was Lukas's third straight Belmont Stakes triumph.

      One of the most consistent three-year-olds of 1996 was Skip Away, which defeated Cigar in the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park on October 5. Skip Away won 6 of 12 starts and $2,699,280 in purses in 1996. (JOHN G. BROKOPP)

      Helissio, beaten only once in seven appearances in France, left no doubt that he was the thoroughbred champion of Europe in 1996, climaxing the season by winning the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe by five lengths. Pilsudski, which finished second, had previously won the Grosser Preis von Baden and later triumphed in the Breeders' Cup Turf, while Oscar Schindler, which was third, had previously gained an easy success in the Irish St. Leger.

      Helissio's only failure was in the Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby), in which he finished fifth behind Ragmar. Dominique Boeuf was then replaced as his jockey by Olivier Peslier, who rode him to victory over the Coronation Cup winner, Swain, in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud. Peslier also rode Helissio to his triumphs in the Prix Niel and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and for the first time ended the year as France's champion jockey.

      Though they did not succeed in their efforts to purchase Helissio from his Spanish owner, Enrique Sarasola, Japanese breeders did buy many other leading racehorses and stallions, most notably the unbeaten Lammtarra, winner of the Derby, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in his only three appearances in 1995. Pentire, which was beaten by a neck by Lammtarra in the 1995 King George but made up by winning the 1996 edition, was also sold to a Japanese owner. At the Japan Cup in Tokyo on November 24, however, the winner was Singspiel, owned by Sheikh Muhammad al-Maktoum. Helissio tied for third.

      The sale of Lammtarra for $30 million, after just one season at stud in England, shocked the industry. The size of the offer was a surprise, and so was the fact that Europe's richest owner, Sheikh Muhammad, was willing to accept it. The sheikh had been rapidly expanding his Godolphin stable by buying horses that had shown ability for other owners, such as Classic Cliche, and then by taking over horses that had begun their careers in the sheikh's name but with other trainers. Said ibn Suroor was appointed trainer in 1995, but the sheikh retained tight control over every aspect of the operation.

      In addition to Classic Cliche, the sheikh's stars in 1996 were Mark of Esteem, winner of the Two Thousand Guineas and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, and Halling, victorious in the Prix d'Ispahan and the Eclipse and International stakes. Mark of Esteem and Halling were expected to take the place of Lammtarra at stud in 1997. Suroor won the trainers' championship from Henry Cecil, the original trainer of Classic Cliche and Mark of Esteem.

      When Mark of Esteem won the Queen Elizabeth II at Ascot on September 28, he was the third winner in three races that day for jockey Frankie Dettori, who then went on to win the remaining four contests on one of the most competitive racing days of the year. His father was 13 times champion jockey in Italy, but Dettori had spent nearly all his racing life in England. He lost his chance for a third consecutive British rider's championship when he broke his elbow in a prerace fall in June.

      European racing enjoyed a revival of confidence in 1996. Demand was strong at the yearling sales, and aggregate, median, and average prices all reached record levels. The covering fees of many stallions were immediately increased.

      The first running of the $4 million Dubayy World Cup on March 27 proved a benefit for the three challengers from the U.S., which took the first three places. Cigar had to battle Soul of the Matter to win by half a length and claim the richest first prize in the world, $2.4 million.

      In Australia Octagonal beat Saintly in a series of stakes early in the year, including the AJC Australian Derby, and was voted Horse of the Year. But he struggled in the second half of 1996, while Saintly progressed to win both the richest weight-for-age event in the Southern Hemisphere, the Cox Plate, and its most celebrated, the Melbourne Cup. (ROBERT W. CARTER)

Harness Racing.
      A historic development within the harness racing world during 1996 was the approval by the sport's administrators in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand of the use of frozen semen for breeding. No doubt inspired by outstanding reductions in race times accomplished in North America during the year by representatives of the most fashionable pacing and trotting sire lines, breeders convinced their respective authorities that it was necessary to tap directly into such blood. By the end of the year, the semen of some of the most acclaimed U.S. standardbred stallions was being advertised and booked by brood mare owners around the world.

      The Hambletonian, harness racing's most prestigious and lucrative event, and its filly counterpart, the Hambletonian Oaks, were also moving with the times and from 1997 would have an entirely new look. No longer would they be raced in the heats that for more than a century had been the norm in North American Grand Circuit competition. They would each become a one-mile dash for the cash, preceded a week earlier by eliminations for the final race.

      In the 1996 Hambletonian in early August, Continentalvictory, a daughter of siring sensation Valley Victory, overpowered favoured Lindy Lane to win the $1.2 million final. Driver Mike Lachance guided the black filly to a 1-min 52.1-sec victory in her elimination heat and then to a 1-min 52.4-sec clocking in the final to establish a world record time for two heats. Continentalvictory later won the World Trotting Derby at Du Quoin, Ill., and the Yonkers (N.Y.) Trot, and at the year's end she was voted the harness Horse of the Year.

      Jeremy's Gambit, a two-year-old son of No Nukes, won the $800,000 Woodrow Wilson Stakes for pacers at the Meadowlands in New Jersey in August. His trainer, Brett Pelling of New Zealand, in September also won the sport's blue-ribbon classic for three-year-old pacers, the $542,220 Little Brown Jug at Delaware, Ohio, with Armbro Operative.

      At the 1996 Jug meet, Jenna's Beach Boy continued his assault on world records. The four-year-old earlier in the year at the Meadowlands had paced 1 min 47.6 sec, the fastest mile ever on a one-mile (1.61-km) track and then won at Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland in 1 min 49.4 sec, the fastest race mile ever on a 5/8-mi track). In the $41,500 Senior Jug, he won by 5 1/2 lengths in 1 min 49.6 sec, a world best on a 1/2-mi oval. Before the Jug racing week was ended, however, Stand Forever, four-year-old son of Dragon's Lair, had gone a notch better, winning a $40,000 invitational in 1 min 49.4 sec.

      At the Solvalla track at Stockholm in May, the six-year-old French trotter Cocktail Jet outclassed seven rivals for a runaway win in the 3 million-krona Elitlopp. Driven by Jean-Étienne Dubios, Cocktail Jet scored comfortably in 1 min 54.9 sec.

      At Perth's Gloucester Park in Western Australia in March, Young Mister Charles won the $A400,000 Inter-Dominion Championship Pacing Grand Final. Injured two weeks before the Grand Final, he came within an ace of being scratched from the series when his near foreleg blew up to almost twice its normal size. An intensive course of swimming allowed him to stage his remarkable comeback.

      At Addington Raceway in Christchurch, N.Z., in November, five-year-old pacing stallion Il Vicolo came off a handicap of 10 m (32.8 ft) to win the $NZ350,000 New Zealand Cup. Trained and driven by Mark Purdon, Il Vicolo paced the 3,200 m (3,500 yd) in 4 min 2.3 sec.


      Imperial Call became the first Irish-trained winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 10 years, and Rough Quest, which he beat by four lengths, went on to be the first winning favourite in the Grand National since 1982. Arenice, third in France's principal jumping event two years earlier, won the Grand Steeplechase de Paris.

Show Jumping and Dressage.
      The 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga., dominated most of a year in which the results of Europe's premier show, at Aachen, Ger., in late June, proved an accurate forecast for the Olympics. The German team of Ludger Beerbaum (on Ratina Z), Ulrich Kirchhoff (Jus de Pommes), Lars Nieberg (For Pleasure), and Franke Sloothaak (Joly) won the Nations Cup as a prelude to their Olympic gold medal on the same four horses.

      In the individual competition Beerbaum triumphed at Aachen, and Kirchhoff won the Olympic gold medal. Victory in the most valuable post-Olympic event, the Hickstead Derby, went to the Belgian-based Brazilian Nelson Pessoa on Loro Piana Vivaldi. Hugo Simon of Austria on ET won the Volvo World Cup at Geneva in April.

      Isabell Werth and Gigolo, who were to progress to gold medal glory in the dressage at Atlanta four weeks later, were another combination that also prepared with a victory at Aachen. In the Grand Prix, Gigolo beat Durgo and Goldstern, and all three were members of the winning German team both there and in Atlanta.


      For the first time in history, two teams that included seven members of the same family clashed in Argentina to decide the three most important high-handicap tournaments. At the Palermo fields Indios Chapaleufú II, with three Heguy brothers (Alberto, Ignacio, and Eduardo) and Alejandro Díaz Alberdi, downed Indios Chapaleufú (four Heguy brothers: Bautista, Gonzalo, Horacio, Jr., and Marcos) 17-16 to win the Argentine Open. At the other two tournaments, the Hurlingham and Los Indios-Tortugas opens, the four-brother team won 17-15 and 12-10, respectively.

      Memo Gracida led his Outback team to the championship in the U.S. Open; Outback defeated Casa Manila in the final to give Gracida his 14th Open title. The tournament was held at the Palm Beach (Fla.) Polo Club, with 11 teams taking part. Outback, however, could not repeat its earlier triumphs against Isla Carroll and Bud Light, which overcame Gracida and his teammates in the final matches of the Gold Cup of Americas (14-10) and Challenge Cup (12-11), respectively. Bautista and Gonzalo Heguy were the playmakers of their quartet, Pony Express, when it defeated Isla Carroll 15-14 in overtime to win the Sterling Cup.

      In Sotogrande, Spain, Scapa of Scotland, with three players from Argentina, outclassed Santa Maria 10-9 in the final to win a major tournament. In Deauville, Fr., Labegorce won the Gold Cup for the first time.

      In the English high-handicap season, Ellerston White, led by Gonzalo Pieres, won the Queen's Cup; Eduardo and Ignacio Heguy's C.S. Brooks team triumphed in the Gold Cup and then defeated Ellerston White for the Prince Philip Trophy. England downed Brazil 8-4 to recover the Coronation Cup it had lost in 1995 to Argentina. (JORGE ADRIÁN ANDRADES)

▪ 1996


Thoroughbred Racing

United States.
      Cigar, a five-year-old that had competed in relative obscurity as a colt, was revealed to be one of the finest thoroughbreds of all time in 1995 when he won all 10 of his starts to become racing's first undefeated male horse in an entire year of major competition since Spectacular Bid went 9-for-9 in 1980 and became the first thoroughbred to do so since the filly Personal Ensign won 13 in 1988.

      Eight of Cigar's victories came in Grade I events, including four at the classic distance of 1 1/4 mi (1 mi = 0.62 km). His 1995 earnings of $4,819,800 established a North American single-season earnings record, surpassing the previous standard of $4,578,454 earned by Sunday Silence in 1989.

      The powerful bay son of Palace Music captured the $3 million Breeders' Cup Classic in his final start of the year. In that race he sped to a stakes record of 1 min 59 sec over a muddy track to become the first horse since Secretariat to run 1 1/4 mi in less than two minutes. Secretariat won the 1973 Kentucky Derby in 1 min 59 sec.

      The Breeders' Cup Classic, Cigar's 12th consecutive victory during a streak that began in the autumn of 1994, clinched Eclipse Awards for the horse as 1995 Horse of the Year and as Champion Older Male. Unraced as a two-year-old and winner of only one of 11 starts on grass during the next two years, Cigar was switched to running on dirt only as a last resort. At the end of 1995 he was the 13th richest thoroughbred of all time, with career earnings of $5,089,813.

      Holy Bull, which had won the hearts and captured the imaginations of racing fans during his 1994 Horse of the Year campaign, dealt the sport a stunning blow on February 11 in the Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park when he broke down during the running of the race and was subsequently retired. Ironically, the winner of the Donn was Cigar, which was making only his second start of the year.

      Cigar's regular jockey, Jerry Bailey, may have clinched the Eclipse Award as the outstanding jockey of 1995. Bailey's victory with Cigar in the Breeders' Cup Classic was his third in a row in the prestigious event and his fourth in five years. Bailey was inducted into the National Racing Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in 1995. His earnings for the year totaled more than $15.2 million, tops among all riders in the U.S.

      Earlier in the year trainer D. Wayne Lukas (see BIOGRAPHIES (Lukas, D Wayne )) made racing history when he sent Thunder Gulch postward to victory in the 127th Belmont Stakes. The win was Lukas' fifth straight in the Triple Crown classics. The veteran trainer won the 1995 Kentucky Derby with Thunder Gulch and the 1995 Preakness Stakes with Timber Country. His string of five began in 1994 with Tabasco Cat's triumphs in the Preakness and Belmont.

      Thunder Gulch injured himself during the running of the Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes on October 7 at Belmont Park and was retired to stud with a career record of 9 wins in 16 starts and earnings of $2,915,086. His 1995 earnings of $2,644,080 made him the leading money-winning three-year-old colt in 1995 and a favourite to win an Eclipse Award.

      The outstanding three-year-old filly of 1995 was Serena's Song. Trained by Lukas, she was the first filly since Winning Colors in 1988 to compete against the colts in the Kentucky Derby. Unlike Winning Colors, which won the Derby, Serena's Song finished 16th in the field of 19. She then went on to a sensational season, however, winning 9 of 13 starts and earning more than $1.5 million with victories in such prestigious races for fillies as the Mother Goose and Beldame. She defeated colts in the Haskell Invitational and the Jim Beam and placed fifth against older fillies and mares in the Breeders' Cup Distaff.

      Inside Information, trained by Shug McGaughey, won the Breeders' Cup Distaff by 13 1/2 lengths, the largest victory margin in the 12-year history of the Breeders' Cup races. She was timed in 1 min 46 sec over the muddy track, a Breeders' Cup stakes record for 1 1/8 mi. She was retired after making the Breeders' Cup her 14th win in 17 career starts. With career earnings of $1,641,806, she won the Eclipse Award as the best older female of 1995.

      Earlier in the Breeders' Cup program, trainer McGaughey notched his first Cup victory with My Flag in the Juvenile Fillies. She charged from off the pace to a stakes record of 1 min 42.4 sec over 1 1/16 mi. Among the fillies she vanquished was third-place finisher Golden Attraction, the leader of the two-year-old-filly division going into the race.

      Ridgewood Pearl, a three-year-old bred in Great Britain, captured the Breeders' Cup Mile over soft turf in 1 min 43.6 sec. The filly, a prominent stakes winner in Europe with victories in the Irish One Thousand Guineas, Royal Ascot's Coronation Stakes, and the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp, was trained by John Oxx. (JOHN G. BROKOPP)

      Dubayy joined the world's leading racing nations in 1995 when it was announced that the first $4 million Dubayy World Cup, the world's richest race, would be run at the Nad ash-Sheba racetrack on March 27, 1996. The sport was introduced to the United Arab Emirates, of which Dubayy is one of seven members, in 1986, and the first race in Dubayy itself was not run until November 1991.

      Dubayy was also becoming an important winter training centre. The first experiment was with Dayflower, which finished fifth in the 1993 One Thousand Guineas a few days after her return to Britain. In 1995 Red Bishop, which had left Dubayy in December 1994 to win in Hong Kong, added another valuable prize there in April and later that month won the San Juan Capistrano at Santa Anita, Calif.

      When the Godolphin Racing team, organized in 1994 by Sheikh Muhammad al-Maktoum for the purpose of wintering horses in Dubayy, returned to Europe, Moonshell, Lammtarra, and Halling won Group One races in England, while Vettori scored at the top level in France and Flagbird in Italy. Lammtarra became only the second horse—his predecessor was Mill Reef in 1971—to have won the English Derby, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in the same season.

      Sheikh Muhammad rejected a Japanese offer for Lammtarra. However, though Lammtarra was retired to stud at Newmarket, the sheikh did sell his 1994 Arc de Triomphe winner, Carnegie, to Japan.

      Lammtarra, which raced in the name of the sheikh's nephew, Sa'id ibn Maktoum al-Maktoum, ran only four times. None of his victories was easy. He beat Tamure by one length in the Derby, Pentire by a neck in the King George, and Freedom Cry by three-quarters of a length in the Arc de Triomphe. In between the last two, Pentire, which won six of his seven races in 1995, beat Freedom Cry by half a length in the Guinness Champion Stakes at Leopardstown, Ireland, to confirm that Lammtarra was only slightly superior to his rivals. Lammtarra, however, was not named Cartier Horse of the Year, that honour going to Ridgewood Pearl, which gained Group One success in Britain, France, and Ireland and then won the Breeders' Cup Mile.

      Pennekamp, the champion two-year-old of 1994 in France, beat his British equivalent, Celtic Swing, by a head in the Two Thousand Guineas. But he suffered a fracture in his right foreleg when finishing 11th behind Lammtarra in the Derby and did not race again. Celtic Swing went on to win the Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby) but injured himself in the Irish Derby and also vanished from the scene.

      Andre Fabre was French champion trainer for the ninth consecutive year, and John Dunlop filled that position in Britain for the first time in a 30-year career. Earlier in the season Dunlop had trained his 2,000th winner in Britain. Henry Cecil was the only other active British trainer to have passed that mark.

      Thierry Jarnet and Lanfranco Dettori retained their jockeys championships in France and Britain, respectively, as did Peter Schiergen in Germany. Schiergen had ridden 256 winners by November 19 and was on course to set a new European record for winners in a season.

      British racing lost Lester Piggott, 11 times champion jockey between 1960 and 1982, who announced his retirement at the age of 59.

      Doriemus, a five-year-old bred in New Zealand, became the ninth horse in the 20th century to have won both the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup in the same year. He gave trainer Lee Freedman his third Melbourne Cup victory in seven years when he beat the Victoria Derby winner, Nothin' Leica Dane, by four lengths. Lando, only 12th in the Breeders' Cup Turf, returned to top form in the Japan Cup in Tokyo on November 26. The German five-year-old ended his career with a 1 1/2-length victory over Hishi Amazon in the richest race of 1995. (ROBERT W. CARTER)

Harness Racing.
      Helen Johansson of Sweden made Prix d'Amerique history in January at the Hippodrome de Vincennes near Paris, where she not only became the first woman to drive in the prestigious event for trotters but actually won it, guiding Ina Scot. At odds of 28 to 1, Ina Scot ran down the French favourite Vourasie (a half sister to the only four-time winner of the race, Orausie) in the final metres to beat her in a torrid finish. Ina Scot had become a star in Sweden, where she won 31 consecutive races from April 1992 through November 1993.

      At Stockholm's Solvalla track in May, defending Swedish champion Copiad won the $462,962 Elitlopp. Driven by Erik Berglof for owner Stall Succe, the six-year-old trotter won his elimination heat in 1 min 54.7 sec and the final in 1 min 54.4 sec, earning $290,000 to push his career bankroll past $1.7 million.

      David's Pass, driven by John Campbell, won the $1 million North American Cup at Toronto's Woodbine Raceway in June and then added the $1 million Meadowlands Pace at the Meadowlands in New Jersey in 1 min 50.8 sec. In August, also at the Meadowlands, David's Pass won the Adios Pace in 1 min 51.8 sec to boost his seasonal earnings to $1.4 million.

      Tagliabue, whose sire Super Bowl won the 1972 Hambletonian, scored an upset victory in the $1 million 1995 Hambletonian at the Meadowlands in August. The heavy favourite in the premier race for three-year-old trotters, world record holder CR Kay Suzie, broke stride when challenging in the first of the two $100,000 elimination heats and failed to qualify. Tagliabue won that heat and the final, both in 1 min 54.8 sec. CR Kay Suzie's 1995 wins included the $585,000 World Trotting Derby at Du Quoin, Ill., in September, beating Tagliabue in straight heats in 1 min 53.4 sec and 1 min 52.8 sec. The same month, the Royal Troubador filly overpowered seven of the best older mares in the $300,000 Breeders Crown at Delaware, Ohio.

      Nick's Fantasy, aided by a heady drive on the part of John Campbell, scored an upset win over favourite Village Connection in the final of the $512,830 50th running of the Little Brown Jug for three-year-old pacers at Delaware, Ohio, in September. Nick's Fantasy comfortably won his heat in 1 min 54.6 sec before easily taking the final in 1 min 51.4 sec—a world record for three-year-old geldings on a half-mile oval (1 mile=1.61 km).

      A Stud Named Sue, a two-year-old pacing colt, driven by little-known reinsman George Brennan, convincingly won the $585,500 Woodrow Wilson Pace at the Meadowlands in August in 1 min 52.8 sec. Ball And Chain, a five-year-old son of Alabatross, broke the 1-min 50-sec barrier for the first time in Canadian harness racing history, winning his elimination heat in the Canadian Pacing Derby on the 7/8-mi (7 furlongs) Woodbine Raceway in August in 1 min 49.8 sec. In the $278,250 final, however, Pacific Rocket beat Ball And Chain by a nose in 1 min 50.2 sec.

      His Majesty, one of the two Swedish horses that were the only European representatives in a nine-horse field for the $300,000 International Trot at Yonkers (N.Y.) Raceway in August, won easily. The $NZ 400,000 1995 Inter-Dominion Pacing Championship Grand Final at Addington, N.Z., in March was won handsomely by five-year-old Golden Reign. The $NZ 300,000 New Zealand Cup, run at Addington on November 7, was won by Il Vicolo. Only the fifth four-year-old to win the grueling test in 92 runnings, Il Vicolo paced the 3,200 m (3,500 yd) in a record-equaling 4 min 0.4 sec. (RONALD W. BISMAN)

      Trainer Kim Bailey and jockey Norman Williamson were responsible for both of the big jumping winners at Cheltenham-Master Oats in the Gold Cup and Alderbrook in the Champion Hurdle. Royal Athlete, at 40-1, gave Jenny Pitman her second training success in the Grand National. Algan, trained in France by Francis Doumen, won the King George VI Chase in England, while his stablemates, Ubu III and Val d'Alene, filled the first two places in the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris.

      British racing lost one of its heroes when Red Rum died at the age of 30 on October 18. He won the Grand National in 1973, 1974, and 1977 and finished second in the two intervening years.


Show Jumping and Dressage.
      Peter Charles and Lucy Thompson, two British riders now representing Ireland, won individual gold medals at, respectively, the European show jumping championships at St. Gallen, Switz., and the Open European Three-Day Event championships at Pratoni del Vivaro, Italy. Charles, who rode La Ina, switched countries to gain more international opportunities; Thompson, who won on Welton Romance, represented Ireland because her husband was Irish.

      Switzerland successfully defended the show jumping team championship it had won in 1993, and Britain gained a narrow victory over New Zealand in the three-day event. (ROBERT W. CARTER)

      The Argentine Open, the climax of the Argentine high-handicap season, from October to December 1995, was won again by Indios Chapaleufú. Consisting of the four Heguy brothers—Bautista, Gonzalo, Horacio, Jr., and Marcos—the new champions defeated La Mariana (Mike Azzaro, Sebastian and Juan Ignacio Merlos, and Milo Fernández Araujo) 14-10 in the final. Ellerstina, the 1994 Open champion, had earlier scored triumphs in the Los Indios Tortugas and Hurlingham Open, defeating La Martina and Indios Chapaleufú, respectively, in the finals. But Kerry Packer's team lost its chance to repeat as Open champion when it was beaten by Indios Chapaleufú in the semifinals.

      In July the International Polo Federation held the fourth world championship for teams with handicaps between 10 and 14 goals. The preliminary round was played in Düsseldorf, Germany, with six teams taking part: Switzerland (host nation), Argentina (defending champion), and qualifying zone winners England, Mexico, Brazil, and India. The teams then moved to Saint Moritz, Switz., for the final round. In the match for the championship, Brazil defeated favoured Argentina 11-10. Mexico beat England 11-10 in overtime in the consolation final.

      In England, Labegorce won the Queen's Cup, played in Windsor, beating Alcatel in the final. Meanwhile, Packer's Ellerston White outclassed Urs Schwarzenbach's Black Bears to obtain the Gold Cup. Both champions then clashed in the Silver Jubilee Cup, which Labegorce won 12-11 after two extra chukkers. Argentina won the Coronation Cup 14-8 over England.

      The U.S. Open in September featured as its two finalists Outback and White Birch. The winner was Outback, whose leader, Memo Gracida, had also been a member of the 1994 champion, Aspen. At Palm Beach, Fla., in January, the outstanding teams were Ellerston White, White Birch, and Calumet, which won the Challenge and World Cup, Gold Cup, and Sterling Cup, respectively. (JORGE ADRIÁN ANDRADES)

▪ 1995


Thoroughbred Racing

United States.
      Holy Bull locked up honours as horse of the year and champion three-year-old colt for 1994 on Breeders' Cup day (November 5) at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., without having to set foot outside of his stall. The Florida-bred colt, which was not nominated for the Breeders' Cup, earned his championship status with a record of 8 wins in 10 starts and earnings of $2,095,000. Holy Bull defeated older horses twice and won five Grade I stakes, including the Woodward in his final start of the year on September 17. He clinched his titles in absentia by virtue of Concern's upset victory in the $3 million Breeders' Cup Classic and Paradise Creek's loss in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf.

      Concern's triumph in the Classic, a race that had evolved into a thoroughbred "kingmaker" in its 11-year history, was only the fourth career win for the colt, which had finished second or third in 15 of his 20 previous starts, and was his first victory since April. Three-year-olds dominated the Classic by finishing first through fourth in the 1 1/4-mi test. Six horses from Europe competed in the race, no doubt lured to the U.S. by Arcangues' stunning upset victory in 1993.

      Concern, which defeated Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner Tabasco Cat by a neck, earned $1,560,000 for his Classic win to send his season's bankroll to $2,541,670. Because he was third to Holy Bull in the Haskell Invitational and second to him in the Travers, Concern was eliminated from staking a serious claim to the division title.

      Boasting a record of eight wins in nine starts, including the Arlington Million and the Washington, D.C., International, Paradise Creek had the credentials to be the horse of the year, but all hopes for the crown were shattered when he finished third in the Breeders' Cup Turf. Victory in the race belonged to three-year-old Tikkanen, a son of Cozzene, winner of the Breeders' Cup Mile in 1985. Cozzene became the first winner of a Breeders' Cup race to sire another winner. Bred in the United States but based in Europe, Tikkanen had finished fifth in the Irish Derby earlier in 1994. He won the Turf Classic in his first start on U.S. soil just prior to the Breeders' Cup Turf.

      Barathea made amends for his fifth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Mile in 1993 by scoring an impressive three-length victory in the 1994 race. The Irish-bred four-year-old, trained by Luca Cumani, had won the Irish Two Thousand Guineas as a three-year-old. Barathea was sold to Rathbarry Stud in Ireland after his Breeders' Cup Mile victory. The colt completed his racing career with 5 wins in 16 starts and earnings of $1,236,367.

      Lure, which won the Breeders' Cup Mile at Gulfstream Park, Fla., in 1992 and at Santa Anita, Calif., in 1993, was seeking to become the first horse ever to win three Breeders' Cup races. He finished ninth in the field of 14.

      Although she finished second by a neck in the Breeders' Cup Distaff, Heavenly Prize probably clinched the three-year-old-filly championship with her game performance. Honours in the race went to 47-1 shot One Dreamer, which used a front-running performance to upset sixth-place finisher Hollywood Wildcat, which had won the race in 1993, and ninth-place Sky Beauty, which was undefeated in five starts in 1994 going into the event.

      The six-furlong Breeders' Cup Sprint was captured by Cherokee Run, which prevailed by a head over the filly Soviet Problem, which had 9 wins and 3 seconds in 12 starts in 1994 going into the race. Cherokee Run, which improved his career record to 12 wins in 26 starts, was the 63rd stakes winner of the year for jockey Mike Smith, who broke the old record of 62 he set in 1993.

      Timber Country left no doubt as to which was the top two-year-old colt in the U.S. in 1994 with his two-length triumph in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. He was the 12th Breeders' Cup winner for trainer D. Wayne Lukas and the eighth Breeders' Cup winner for jockey Pat Day. Timber Country improved his record to four wins in seven starts and $927,025 in purse earnings.

      Flanders wrapped up the two-year-old-filly crown with a gallant triumph in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, but it may have been the final race of her undefeated five-start career. She pulled up lame after winning and was diagnosed with a fractured cannon bone and sesamoid bone in her right foreleg. Flanders won the race by a head over Serena's Song after the two fillies dueled the final 200 yd. Jockey Pat Day, who rode the winner, made the event his 100th career stakes victory over the Churchill Downs oval.

      Go For Gin won the 1994 Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May, a race in which Holy Bull finished 12th. It was Holy Bull's only appearance in the Triple Crown races; Go For Gin went on to finish second to Tabasco Cat in both the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes.

      In spite of his 11th place finish in the Breeders' Cup Classic, Devil His Due appeared destined to win the Eclipse Award for the best older male by virtue of his outstanding campaign until then, including a victory in the Grade I Suburban.

      In August Steve Cauthen, age 34, became the youngest person ever inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame. Cauthen, who left the U.S. for Europe in 1979, was the only jockey to win the Kentucky, English, Irish, French, and Italian derbys.

      Early in December Richard Duchossois, owner of the Arlington International Racecourse near Chicago, announced that he would not open the track for the 1995 season. He said that the track was losing money as a result of competition from riverboat casinos and that he could not survive financially unless he was also allowed to operate a casino. A week later a tentative plan was announced to have limited racing at the track in 1995.

      In Canada's richest race, the Rothman Ltd. International, the French horse Raintrap won by a length from Alywow. Basqueian won the 135th running of the Queen's Plate for three-year-olds by seven lengths. (JOHN G. BROKOPP)

      Erhaab swept past King's Theatre and Colonel Collins well inside the final furlong to take the English Derby. He became the third consecutive winner of that race to be bought by the Japanese in the year of his victory.

      The French-trained—but Japanese-owned and ridden—Ski Paradise was victorious in the newly opened Keio Hai Spring Cup at Tokyo Racecourse on April 23. She beat Zieten, from Dubayy, Sayyedati, from England, and another French horse, Dolphin Street. Horses that had raced outside Japan were allowed to compete in five events in 1994, up from three the previous year and two before that.

      Zieten's fine performance in Tokyo was one of the first examples of the potential of Godolphin Racing, a new organization founded by Sheikh Muhammad al-Maktoum with the intention of wintering horses in Dubayy in order to gain an advantage when they returned to competition in Europe. Balanchine, bought from Robert Sangster after winning her two races in 1993, provided the greatest successes for Godolphin. Beaten by a head by the Irish-trained Las Meninas in the English One Thousand Guineas just days after her return from Dubayy, she went on to win the English Oaks and the Irish Derby but suffered an attack of colic a few weeks later (in mid-July) and was lucky to survive.

      Her Irish Derby performance established Balanchine as the best in Europe. She beat King's Theatre and Colonel Collins, which finished second and third again, far more easily than Erhaab had in the English Derby. Four weeks later King's Theatre beat the best older horses, led by White Muzzle, Wagon Master, and Apple Tree, in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes.

      No colt could match Balanchine in midsummer, but one may have appeared in the autumn. He was Carnegie, the winner of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and a son of Sadler's Wells and the 1980 Arc heroine, Detroit. He beat the 1993 Prix du Jockey-Club winner, Hernando, by a neck, with Apple Tree and Ezzoud a close third and fourth.

      Carnegie, which was the first horse to imitate his dam by winning the Arc, belonged to Sheikh Muhammad. His owner's brother, Sheikh Hamdan al-Maktoum, won the English Derby with Erhaab and Australia's greatest race, the Melbourne Cup, with the British-bred Jeune, a horse that he had bought in England in late 1993. Twelve days before the Cup, Jeune had finished 13th of 14 behind the New Zealand-trained Solvit in the Cox Plate, the Southern Hemisphere's richest weight-for-age event. Vintage Crop, which had gained a second Irish St. Leger success at home in September, was favoured to repeat his 1993 triumph in the Melbourne Cup but finished seventh.

      Coolmore Stud, the home of Europe's leading stallion, Sadler's Wells, successfully exploited many of its sires on double duty in Ireland and Australia. One of them, Last Tycoon, was the leading sire overall in the 1993-94 season in Australia, and another, Danehill, topped the sires of two-year-olds there. Paris Lane, conqueror of Jeune in the Mackinnon Stakes and second to him in the Melbourne Cup, was by a third Coolmore sire, the late Persian Heights.

      One horse that covered mares in England and Australia in 1993 was Damister, which finished third in the English and Irish Derbys of 1985. Damister had sired many winners but none of great merit until the emergence of Celtic Swing. This colt was unbeaten in three races, the last a 12-length success in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy.

      The Fellow, whose previous attempts had resulted in two defeats by a head and then a fourth place, finally triumphed in a Cheltenham Gold Cup. The French-trained nine-year-old defeated the 1993 winner, Jodami, by 1 1/2 lengths. However, he could not follow up in the Grand National, falling at the 24th of the 30 fences. The race, which was won by Miinnehoma, was run on muddy ground, and only 6 of the 36 runners completed the course. Ucello II won the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris. Organizers were relieved when the National went off without a hitch after a disastrous double false start had forced them to void the race results in 1993. (ROBERT W. CARTER)

Harness Racing.
      Cam's Card Shark was retired in October 1994, heading for stud duty under syndication at Hanover Shoe Farms in Pennsylvania and regarded as a certainty as overall harness horse of the year. The son of Cam Fella, raced by Jeff Snyder and trained by Bill Robinson, numbered among his 1994 wins the $1 million North America Cup at Woodbine Raceway in Toronto in June and the Meadowlands Pace at the Meadowlands in New Jersey in July. By winning the James Dancer Memorial at Freehold, N.J., in September, Cam's Card Shark advanced his 1994 earnings to a single-season record of $2,264,714, surpassing the $2,222,168 won by Presidential Ball in 1993.

      Victory Dream, owned by the F.A. Stable and Victory Dream Stable, N.Y., won the $1 million Hambletonian, the world's premier race for three-year-old trotters, at the Meadowlands on August 6. Trained by Ron Gurfein and driven by Mike Lachance, both of whom were savouring their first success in the prestigious event, Victory Dream cruised home in 1 min 54.2 sec after taking his $100,000 heat easily in 1 min 53.8 sec. With this triumph he had gained 10 wins and 2 second places in 14 starts and was the Antonacci family's fifth Hambletonian winner, after Lindy's Pride (1969), Speedy Crown (1971), Probe (1989), and Harmonious (1990).

      Dontgetinmyway, a colt owned by the Guida Stables and Joan Goldsmith, powered to a 1-min 53.8-sec victory in the hands of John Campbell in the $774,750 Woodrow Wilson Pace for two-year-olds at the Meadowlands in August. At Woodbine in Toronto in July, the four-year-old Riyadh returned to the races after proving to be infertile and equaled the fastest mile in Canadian harness-racing history with a brilliant 1-min 50.8-sec win. The fastest trotting mile in history was recorded at the Meadowlands the same month when Beat The Wheel, a four-year-old daughter of Defiant Yankee, driven by Cat Manzi, upset world champion Pine Chip in 1 min 51.8 sec. Pine Chip, the four-year-old son of Arndon, lowered the world mark to 1 min 51 sec in a time trial in Lexington, Ky., in October. Soon afterward Pine Chip was retired to stud.

      Magical Mike, North America's outstanding three-year-old pacer of 1994, with wins in the Little Brown Jug and Breeders' Crown, was slated to retire in October with earnings of $1,683,085. Trained by Tom Haughton for his owner-breeder David McDuffee and co-owner Tom Walsh, Jr., the colt ran a heat of the Tattersalls Pace in 1 min 50.8 sec.

      U.S.-bred, German-owned Sea Cove, 1993 European Grand Circuit champion for Charles Grendel, avenged his 1993 Prix d'Amerique defeat by winning the 1994 edition at Vincennes, France, in February. But Sea Cove was no match for his Prix d'Amerique runner-up, Vourasie, in the Prix de France, also at Vincennes. A half-sister by Fakir du Vivier to former French champion Ourasie, Vourasie set a world-record mile rate of 1 min 56.3 sec for the 2,100-m race.

      At Solvalla in Sweden in May, the Swedish-bred Copiad, driven by Erik Berglof, won the $230,000 Elitlopp in 1 min 55.6 sec over a wet track after a two-horse war with Pine Chip, which broke stride 50 m (165 ft) from the finish and was disqualified from second place. The Oslo Grand Prix at Bjerke in Norway, which preceded the Elitlopp, also was won by Copiad. The Copenhagen Cup at Lunden in Denmark was taken by the Swedish horse Bolets Igor.

      The retirement to stud of Peace Corps, harness racing's richest horse of all time, was announced in May in Sweden. The eight-year-old mare, with lifetime earnings of more than $5.7 million, was purchased by Bjorn Petterssen of Sweden from U.S. owner Lou Guida for $1.6 million in 1989 after being named U.S. trotter of the year.

      At the 1994 Inter-Dominion Championships at Harold Park in Sydney, Australia, in March, local hope Weona Warrior, trained and driven by Brian Hancock, won the $250,000 Pacers' Grand Final from U.S. import Ultra Jet. New Zealand's Diamond Field, trained by Roy and Barry Purdon and driven by Tony Herlihy, won the Trotters' Final. The $150,000 New Zealand Trotting Cup at Addington on November 8 was taken by the five-year-old Bee Bee Cee in 4 min 1.5 sec for the 3,200 m. (RONALD W. BISMAN)

      In a rare year for the world's top-level polo competition, the Argentine Open, held in Palermo Stadium in Buenos Aires before a capacity crowd, Ellerstina won its first Open championship by defeating La Martina 19-15. The favourite and three-time defending champion, Indios Chapaleufu, was defeated before reaching the finals.

      For the first time in 41 years, the U.S. Open returned to the New York City area. Competing were 11 teams, more than in the previous 16 years of the tournament. The brother combination of Memo and Carlos Gracida playing with Doug Matthews and "Tiger" Kneece as the Aspen team narrowly squeaked past Peter Brant's White Birch team to win 8-7 in an overtime chukker; the winning goal was scored on a penalty conversion. This was the 12th Open win for Memo Gracida, more than any other player in the tournament's history.

      The U.S. Polo Association Rolex Gold Cup, at the Palm Beach (Fla.) Polo and Country Club in March, was a milestone for U.S. polo. The all-U.S. Team Michelob, led by Owen Rinehart, defeated Pegasus 10-7. Fort Lauderdale won the Royal Palm Polo Sports Club's International Gold Cup, upsetting JM Lexus 12-8. The highest level in U.S. competition, the World Cup, was also played at Palm Beach. Guy Wildenstein's Les Diables Bleus won the title for the first time by defeating Cellular One 12-8 in the final match.

      The English season was again fully subscribed, with the maximum number of teams competing for the season's high-goal tournaments. Urs Schwarzenbach's Black Bears defeated Kerry Packer's Ellerston White 12-11 to win the Queen's Cup. Cowdray Park won the Prince of Wales Trophy, edging the Maple Leafs 10-9.

      The British Open championship for the prestigious Gold Cup, played at Cowdray Park, was won for the first time by Jamie Packer's Ellerston Black from Australia in a 13-11 victory over Pegasus. England challenged South Africa's Springboks for the Coronation Cup at the Guards Polo Club in England. Unfortunately, it was not the most exciting game, with England winning by a lopsided 11-1 margin. (ALLAN D. SCHERER)

Show Jumping and Dressage.
      German riders dominated the World Equestrian Games, held at The Hague in late July and early August. They won 7 of the 14 gold medals, while no other country claimed more than one. Franke Sloothaak, a Dutch-born German citizen, won the individual gold on the blue-eyed mare San Patrignano Weihaiwej and led the Germans to victory over France, Switzerland, and Brazil in the 20-team Nations Cup. Isabell Werth, on Gigolo, beat teammate Nicole Uphoff-Becker in the Grand Prix Special Dressage to lead Germany to victory over The Netherlands in the team event. (ROBERT W. CARTER)

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

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