August Horse History

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

 2 -  1864: America's oldest Thoroughbred racetrack, Saratoga Racecourse, opened its inaugural meet with four days of racing. Since then it has been the site of some of racing's most famous upsets. Man o' War suffered his only loss in 21 starts while racing at Saratoga, and Triple Crown champion Gallant Fox was defeated by a 100-1 shot named Jim Dandy in Saratoga's 1930 Travers, prompting the track to be called "the graveyard of favorites."

1969: Jockey Robyn Smith, one of the first female jockeys in the U.S., won her first career race, at Ferndale.

3 -  1971: The yearling Secretariat was shod on his front feet for the first time and transferred to the Meadow training center for breaking.

1989: Jockey Jorge Velasquez notched his 6,000th career victory aboard three-year-old filly Maddie Bumpo in the third race at Arlington International Racecourse.

 2000: Fred. W. Hooper, who won the 1945 Kentucky Derby with the first horse he ever owned and went on to develop one of Florida's leading racing and breeding operations, died in his sleep in Miami, at the age of 102

 4 -  1973: In his first race against older horses, 1-10 favorite Secretariat was defeated in the Whitney Stakes at Saratoga by Allen Jerkens' four-year-old trainee Onion, who beat him by a length. Secretariat was subsequently found to be suffering from a virus.

 5 1988: Trainer Dale Baird won his 5,000th career race with Stuffed Johnnie at Mountaineer Park, becoming the second trainer in history, behind Jack Van Berg, to reach that mark.

 6 1951: The National Museum of Racing opened in Congress Park at Saratoga Springs, N.Y. More than 2,000 people attended the opening ceremonies presided over by C.V. Whitney.

2001: Jockey Earlie Fires; trainers Richard Mandella and Tom Smith; horse of yesteryear, Maskette; contemporary female horse, Paseana; and contemporary male horse, Holy Bull were inducted into Thoroughbred racing's Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. 7 1900 - 'Sunny' Jim Fitzsimmons had his first horse race victory as Agnes D won at Brighton Beach Race Track in New York. By the end of his illustrious 50-year career, Fitzsimmons logged more than 2,000 winners.

1988: Jockey Eddie Delahoussaye won his 4,000th race aboard a two-year-old filly named Fawn and Hahn in the fourth race at Del Mar.

 8 1970: Jockey Bill Shoemaker won his 6,000th career victory, aboard Shining Count at Del Mar.

1987: Kent Desormeaux set the record for most stakes wins by an apprentice jockey, 13, aboard King's Snow in the Primer Stakes at Pimlico. The previous record, 10, was held by Steve Cauthen.

 9 1999: Trainer, D. Wayne Lukas; jockey Russell Baze, and horses Miesque, Exceller and Gun Bow were inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

 10 1954 - Sir Gordon Richards announced his retirement as a racing jockey to become a trainer. Sir Gordon rode 4,870 winners into the winner's circle in his 34-year racing career.

1868: "The Dinner Party Stakes," devised by a group of seven influential Thoroughbred owners after a dinner at Saratoga a few days before, was advertised with a request for nominations. The stakes race, designed to showcase racing in Baltimore, was to be run two years hence, in 1870, at the yet-to-be-built Pimlico Racecourse.

1982: Mary Russ became the first female rider to surpass the $1 million mark in earnings when she finished third aboard Bammer in the fourth race at Saratoga Racecourse.

1996: Cigar was denied a 17th straight victory when longshot Dare and Go passed him in the stretch of the Pacific Classic at Del Mar.

2002: Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day became the leading money-winning rider in history with $264,580,968 in purse earnings after guiding With Anticipation to victory in the Grade I Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap at Saratoga. The previous mark was $264,351,679 set by Chris McCarron.

 11 1943 - Benjamin F. White became the first four-time winner of the Hambletonian. White rode Solo Song to the win in a field of 11 racehorses.

 1972: In preparation for his stakes-racing debut, the Aug. 16 Sanford at Saratoga Racecourse, Secretariat worked five furlongs in :59.

 12 1943: Representatives of Suffolk Downs donated $625,000 to the National War Fund, the single largest contribution by any sports venue in support of the war effort. Six weeks later, an additional $10,885 was contributed. The track had held an 18-day War Charity meet to fund the donation.

1938: In a $25,000 winner-take-all match race, Seabiscuit defeated Ligaroti by a nose at Del Mar. The race pitted father against son, with Charles S. Howard, owner of Seabiscuit, competing with his son Lin, who owned Ligaroti in partnership with crooner Bing Crosby. The race was so closely contested that the jockey for Ligaroti, Noel Richardson, kept rider George Woolf in a leg-lock for part of the stretch run.

 2000: Hallowed Dreams, bidding to surpass the record of 16 consecutive wins she co-owned with Cigar and Citation, finished third in the Millennium Stakes at Evangeline Downs.

 13 1919 - The previously undefeated racehorse, Man o' War, was upset -- by Upset -- at Saratoga, NY. This turn of events so upset Man o' War that the horse never lost a race again. Man o' War proved to be quite the stud, as well. After wining 1,300 races, he sired 379 foals. The stud fee for Man o' War was $5,000.

1938: Mary Hirsch became the first woman to train a Travers Stakes winner when she sent Thanksgiving to victory for owner Anne Corning.

1951: At odds of 2-1, Greentree Stable's Tom Fool won his maiden race by four lengths at Saratoga Racecourse.

 14 1942: One of racing's oddities occurred at Saratoga Racecourse when Rurales and Joe Burger finished in a dead-heat for first place, giving trainer W.O. Hicks, who saddled both horses, two winners in one race.

 15 1972: The 15-race winning streak of England's Brigadier Gerard was ended by John Galbreath's American-bred Roberto, ridden to a three-length victory by Braulio Baeza in the Benson and Hedges Gold Cup at York Racecourse. Brigadier Gerard, who finished second in the Gold Cup, went on to post two more victories before retiring with a record of 18-17-1-0.

1987: Kent Desormeaux began his career as a journeyman jockey

2000: Jockey Russell Baze rode three winners at Bay Meadows and surged past Angel Cordero into fifth place on the list of all-time winning riders with 7,059 victories

 16 -  1930: Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox was beaten by 100-1 shot Jim Dandy in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse.

1946: Rockingham Park began to film its races from the vantage of a helicopter, using the equipment as a "mechanical patrol judge."

1954: Native Dancer concluded his 22-race career with a victory in the Oneonta Handicap, a non-betting exhibition race at Saratoga Racecourse that he won by nine lengths while carrying 137 pounds. Although he raced only three times in 1954, Native Dancer was subsequently voted Horse of the Year, partly because he had been denied that honor in the previous year, despite having won nine of 10 races, all of them stakes. Tom Fool, 1953 Horse of the Year, had had a perfect 10-for-10 record.

1965: John Longden rode his 6,000th winner, riding Prince Scorpion to victory while at Exhibition Park.

1972: Secretariat won his first stakes race, the Sanford Stakes, at Saratoga Racecourse. The time for the six-furlong race was 1:10, the fastest time for the distance at Saratoga that year.

1976: John Campo swept the top three spots in the Adirondack Stakes with his trainees Harvest Girl, Bonnie Empress and Drama Critic.

 17 -  1918 - The famous race horse, Man o' War, was sold at auction for $5,000. Samuel Riddle became the thoroughbred's new owner.

1918: Samuel D. Riddle purchased the yearling Man o' War for $5,000 in a sale of August Belmont II's bloodstock at Saratoga.

1977: Jockey Steve Cauthen rode Affirmed for the first time, winning the Sanford Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse by 2 3/4 lengths.

 2000: Zippy Chippy, loser of all 86 of his lifetime races, was defeated again--this time by minor-league baseball player Jose Herrera in a 40-yard dash. The race, called the "2000 Red Wings Derby," was held prior to a home game of the International League's Rochester Red Wings 18 1923: The Jockey Club announced that the owner of Papyrus, winner of the Epsom Derby, had accepted an invitation to compete in an international match race in the U.S., against an American horse. Zev, winner of the 1923 Kentucky Derby, was chosen to represent the U.S. against Papyrus in the race, scheduled for October.

1961: Trainer Dale Baird saddled his first winner, New York, at Ellis Park.

2002: Sunday Silence, the 1989 Horse of Year who later became a perennial leading sire in Japan, died after suffering a fatal heart attack today at the Shadai Stallion Station on the isle of Hokkaido in Japan. 19 1978: In the conclusion of their 10-race rivalry, Alydar scored his third "success" against Affirmed in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse, when his adversary was disqualified from first place.

1990: Jockey Earlie Fires became the eleventh rider in Thoroughbred racing history to register 5,000 victories when he guided Tex's Zing to victory in the ninth race at Arlington International Racecourse. He joined history-making jockeys Bill Shoemaker, Laffit Pincay Jr., Angel Cordero Jr., John Longden, Jorge Velasquez, Larry Snyder, Sandy Hawley, Dave Gall, Carl Gambardella and Chris McCarron.

 20 1966: Ogden Phipps' Buckpasser, ridden by Braulio Baeza, became racing's first three-year-old millionaire after he won the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse.

2000: Ron Ardoin became the 16th jockey in North America to win 5,000 races when he guided Heart of an Angel to a three-length victory in the seventh race at Louisiana Downs.

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 22 1954 - Native Dancer, with career earnings of $785,240, was retired from horse racing. A foot ailment put the famous horse -- fourth on the all-time thoroughbred winner's list -- out to pasture.

1972: In preparation for his next start, the Aug. 26 Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse, Secretariat worked a half-mile in :46 2/5.

1998: Hall of Fame trainer Woodford Cefis "Woody" Stephens died in Miami Lakes, Fla. He was 84. 23 1956: Carl Gambardella had his first career winner, aboard Rollin Warm, at Hagerstown.

1974: Frank Whiteley-trained Ruffian won the Spinaway Stakes by 13 lengths at Saratoga Racecourse, ending her two-year-old season with a 5-for-5 record. Ruffian was subsequently voted champion juvenile filly of 1974.

 24 1968: Carrying 134 pounds, Dr. Fager set the then-world record for a mile in the Washington Park Handicap at Arlington Park. The time for his 10-length victory was 1:32 1/5. The previous record was 1:32 3/5, set by three-year-old Buckpasser on June 25, 1966 at Arlington Park.

1989: Jockey Larry Snyder won his 6,000th career race, aboard a filly named Speedski, in the first race at Louisiana Downs. Snyder was the sixth rider in history to accomplish that feat.

 25 1987: Julie Krone gained her 1,000th career victory, aboard Tiger Higgins in the second race at Monmouth Park.

1997: Jockey Pat Day gained his 7,000th career victory aboard Bay Harbor in the second race at Saratoga Racecourse. Day became the fifth rider to reach the 7,000-win plateau.

2001: A record Travers Stakes day attendance of 60,486 watched Point Given win the race dubbed the "Midsmummer Derby." The day's total betting handle of $34,529.273 was also a Saratoga record.

 26 1984 - John Henry, a nine-year-old gelding, came from behind to win the $600,000 Arlington Million race in suburban Chicago, IL. The lifetime earnings of the famous horse reached $5,482,797.

1953: A syndicate headed by Howard E. Booker of San Francisco, unveiled a proposal for an off-track betting system in New York. Booker's group, planning to use Western Union to compile off-track bets, sought to establish 139 betting offices, to be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

1972: Secretariat won the Hopeful Stakes by five lengths at Saratoga Racecourse, for his second stakes win in as many tries

 27 1953: The Thoroughbred Racing Associations denounced a plan for off-track betting in New York. John A. Morris, the TRA president, declared: "Although it could mean increased profits for the race tracks, off-course betting would inevitably subordinate racing and bring on an adverse public reaction which would kill a traditionally great sport and an economically significant industry."

 28 - 1988: A winning ride aboard Precisionist in the Cabrillo Handicap at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club made Chris McCarron the fifth jockey to surpass $100 million in career earnings.

2001: A study commissioned by Churchill Downs showed that this year's renewal of the Kentucky Derby had a $218-million impact on the regional economy.

 29 1987: Charlie Whittingham became the first trainer to surpass 500 stakes wins when he sent Ferdinand to victory in the Cabrillo Handicap at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

1993: Laffit Pincay Jr., 46, became the second rider in North American racing history to ride 8,000 winners when he rode El Toreo to victory in the seventh race at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. Bill Shoemaker was the first to hit 8,000, a feat he accomplished in 1981 at age 49.

 30 1981: Bill Shoemaker became the first jockey to win a $1 million race when he rode John Henry to a nose victory over The Bart in the inaugural Arlington Million at Arlington Park.

 31 1955 - Nashua defeated Swaps in a match-up of the thoroughbred horses at Arlington Park in Chicago, IL.

1955: In an East versus West showdown, Nashua, ridden by Eddie Arcaro, went wire-to-wire to defeat Swaps, ridden by Bill Shoemaker in a match race at Washington Park. Nashua's victory avenged his second-place finish, behind Swaps, in the 1955 Kentucky Derby.

1985: Angel Cordero Jr., 42, became the third rider in history_behind Bill Shoemaker and Laffit Pincay Jr._to have his mounts earn $100 million, while riding at Belmont Park.