WEEK IN HORSE RACING HISTORY
Five-year-old Citation returned to racing at Santa Anita Park, having
been sidelined by injury since December 1948. Sent off at odds of 3-20,
he won easily over a sloppy surface to log his sixteenth consecutive
victory. His winning margins for those races totaled 59 lengths.
Affirmed, the 1978 Triple Crown winner, was euthanized at age 26 due to
chronic musculo-skeletal problems.
Seattle Slew, in training for his four-year-old seasonal debut at
Hialeah, first displayed symptoms of the deadly virus Colitis X. The
colt was sidelined until May 14, when he won an allowance race at
Aqueduct Racetrack as the 1-10 favorite.
Jockey Brian Peck was injured when his horse, Top Booking, collided
with a deer in the fourth race at Turfway Park. The deer jumped onto
the track from the infield, where it had gone to drink from a man-made
lake. Top Booking was unharmed, but Peck suffered a broken arm.
The National Steeplechase Association became the first horse racing
organization in the U.S. to require jockeys to wear certified safety
helmets, beginning with the 1997 NSA season.
Judy Wagner, a grandmother from New Orleans, captured the second annual
$212,000 Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship,
held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Wagner received a check for
$100,000 and was presented with the NTRA Handicapper of the Year award
on Jan. 30 during the Eclipse Award ceremonies.
Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye announced his retirement.
Delahoussaye won 6,384 races and his horses earned $195,881,170.
Jockey Eddie Arcaro rode his first career winner at Agua Caliente.
Pimlico's Preakness Stakes, originally slated for May 16, was switched
to May 23, allowing it to run three weeks after the Kentucky Derby for
the first time.
Jockey Patricia Cooksey became the second female rider to win 2,000
races when she guided Noble Annie to a five-length victory in the
second race at Turfway Park.
Citing the devastating effects of mare reproductive loss syndrome
(MRLS), Keeneland announced that it would not conduct its July selected
yearling sale. It was the first time the auction had been canceled
since its inception in 1943.
Australian champion Phar Lap arrived in San Francisco. He was shipped
by steamship to the U.S., en route to Agua Caliente in Mexico, where he
was to make his North American racing debut in the March 20 Agua
Caliente Handicap, the continent's then-richest race.
Barbara Jo Rubin was named to ride in a race at Tropical Park. Thirteen
male riders subsequently boycotted the race rather than compete against
a female, and were fined $100 each.
Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze won his ninth consecutive Isaac Murphy
Award, given to the rider with the year's highest winning percentage.