October Horse History

 1 -  On this day in 1957, race horse trainer Brad MacDonald was born.

In 1938, horse trainer J. Bert Sonnier was born.

1956: Johnny Heckman rode 7 winners at the Chicago Hawthorne Horse Track

 2 -  1981: At age 17, Behavin Jerry, the oldest Thoroughbred in racing competition, set the record for most career starts by a Thoroughbred, 307. Behavin Jerry began his career as a two-year-old in 1966 and raced every year thereafter through 1978. He took two years off, 1979-80, and returned to racing at age 17 in 1981.

1995: Jockey Mike Smith won his 3,000th career race, aboard Old Chapel, in the seventh race at Belmont Park.

 3 -  1942: With a victory in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Whirlaway, ridden by George Woolf, became the first Thoroughbred to amass more than $500,000 in lifetime earnings.

 4 -  Secretariat, famous racehorse legend, died on this day at the Claiborne Pairs Farm in Kentucky.

1762: Nineteen members of England's Jockey Club announced an agreement at Newmarket to register their racing colors for purposes of distinguishing runners among a field of horses. The Duke of Devonshire chose "straw," and the color, still registered for the family, is the oldest continuously used color in racing.

1970: Nijinsky II's 11-race winning streak came to an end when he ran second to Sassafras in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

1972: Secretariat worked a mile in 1:37 in preparation for the Oct. 14 Champagne Stakes.

1980: Less than an hour before post time, Spectacular Bid was scratched from the Jockey Club Gold Cup, the race that was to have been his last. Trainer Bud Delp claimed that "Bid" had a slight leg injury, but refused to allow a veterinarian to examine the horse and insisted he be retired. Despite this ignoble end to his career, Spectacular Bid's 1980 racing season was perfect: he won each of his nine starts, all of them stakes, and was subsequently voted Horse of the Year.

1989: Secretariat, 1973 Triple Crown champion, was euthanized at Claiborne Farm, Paris, Ky., after suffering a severe case of laminitis. He was 19.

 5 1933: Jockey Gordon Richards concluded a 12-race winning streak that had begun on Oct. 3 when he won the last race at Nottingham, followed by a six-for-six day at Chepstow on Oct. 4 and five wins at Chepstow on Oct. 5.

1953: Twenty-one years after he retired from riding, 54-year-old Earl Sande, 'the Handy Guy,' returned to the saddle, finishing third on Honest Bread at Belmont Park.

1973: In his final workout for his first grass race, the Man o' War Stakes, Secretariat went five furlongs on the turf in :56 4/5 at Belmont Park.

1983: Jockey Jorge Velasquez won his 5,000th career race, riding Banquet Scene to victory in the fourth race at Belmont Park.

2001: The U. S. House of Representatives passed the 2001 Farm Bill, which included two provisions that will offer economic relief to owners and breeders who have suffered substantial losses among their breeding stock due to Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome.

 6 1949: Col. Matt J. Winn, credited with making the Kentucky Derby the greatest horse race in America, died at the age of 88. He witnessed all of the first 75 Derbies.

1979: In their only race together, champions Affirmed and Spectacular Bid met in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Odds-on favorite Affirmed, ridden by Laffit Pincay Jr., won by 3-4 of a length and became the first horse ever to earn more than $1 million in a single racing season. Affirmed was later voted Horse of the Year off this convincing victory over Spectacular Bid, who was named champion three-year-old.

1989: Parimutuel racing returned to Texas with a meet held at G. Rollie White Downs. Racing had been banned in the state since 1937.

 7 1956: In his final start of his career, four-year-old Ribot won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe for the second consecutive year and retired a perfect 16-for-16.

2001: Jockey Jerry Bailey became the first jockey in history to surpass $20 million in purses in a single year, eclipsing his own single-season record of $19,465,376 set back in 1996.

 8 1973: Secretariat made his grass-racing debut in the Man o' War Stakes at Belmont Park, winning the 1 1-2-mile race by five lengths in a time of 2:24 4-5. He overran the finish line by another furlong, running 1 5-8 miles in a world-record-equaling time of 2:37 4-5.

 9

 10 - 1974: With female riders still a novelty, Lincoln Downs staged a $5,000 match race between jockeys Denise Boudrot and Mike Lapensee. The race, dubbed the 'contest of the sexes,' was won by Boudrot. In a rematch one week later, in which the riders switched their mounts from their previous encounter, Boudrot again prevailed.

 11 1924: A crowd of 60,000 assembled at Latonia to watch the third and final International race, for which a French colt, Epinard, was the headliner. Epinard, who had finished second in his two previous Internationals, did so again, losing as the even-money favorite to Sarazen.

 12 1920 - The leading race horse money winner of the day ran for the last time. Man o' War beat Sir Barton in Canada's Kenilworth Park. Man o' War's career earnings totaled nearly $250,000.

1920: In the final race of his career, three-year-old Man o' War defeated 1919 Triple Crown winner Sir Barton in a match race, the Kenilworth Park Gold Cup, at Kenilworth Park. Sent off at odds of 1-20, Man o' War won by seven lengths in his 14th consecutive victory.

1966: Damascus, owned by Edith W. Bancroft, broke his maiden at Aqueduct Racetrack, winning by eight lengths.

2000: A new ESPN Sports Poll measuring fan interest in major sports during the first half of 2000 showed an interest growth in horseracing of 8.5 percent when measured against the same period in 1999. 13 1927: Arlington Park opened. The track, built by H. D. Brown, had a steeplechase course and a polo field and was adjacent to tennis courts, a golf course and a one-mile training track.

1956: At age four, 1955 Horse of the Year Nashua won his last race, the Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes at Belmont Park.

1984: At age nine, odds-on favorite John Henry won his last race, the Ballantine's Scotch Classic at The Meadowlands, to earn the richest purse of his career, $740,000, which included a $500,000 bonus for winning both the Turf Classic, run at Belmont Park on Sept. 22, and the Meadowlands' race. John Henry retired as America's then-richest horse with earnings of $6,597,947. 14 1952: Jockey Bill Hartack rode his first career winner, at Waterford Park.

1953: After a 21-year hiatus as a professional jockey, Earl Sande, 54, won his first race in a comeback, with Miss Weesie, at Jamaica. Sande's comeback began on Oct. 5 and ended with his win at Jamaica, where he received an ovation from a crowd of 18,184.

1972: After finishing first in the Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park, Secretariat was disqualified and placed second, after bearing in on Stop the Music, who was declared the official winner.

 15 1977: In the fifth of their 10 meetings, Alydar won his second victory over Affirmed in the Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park.

 16 - 

 17 -  1970: Nijinsky II ended his career finishing second in the Champion Stakes at Newmarket. In 13 races he won 11 times and finished second twice.

1986: Kent Desormeaux made his Maryland debut, in the fourth race, at Laurel Racecourse, Laurel, Md., aboard Shonda's Shickels. He finished second, but was disqualified for interference and placed fourth.

1991: Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero Jr. rode his 7,000th victory aboard Dont Cross the Law at Belmont Park.

 18 1956: Nashua, ridden by Eddie Arcaro, was paraded at Keeneland in his last appearance at a racetrack.

1973: The owners of Secretariat announced that his last race would be the Canadian International Championship Stakes at Woodbine Racecourse.

1976: MacK Miller swept the top three spots in the Long Island Handicap with his trainees Javamine, Nijana and Fun Forever.

1978: Jockey Dave Gall became the first rider to win eight races during a single program. He rode 10 consecutive races for the day at Cahokia Downs, finishing second and fifth in his two losing efforts.

2001: Unbridled, the 1990 Kentucky Derby and Breeders' Cup Classic winner, was euthanized after developing colic

 19

 20 1954: Bill Shoemaker rode his 2,000th winner, Florence House, at Tanforan.

 21 1961: Eddie Arcaro won the Jockey Club Gold Cup for a record tenth time. His mount, Kelso, won the Gold Cup five straight years, 1960-64, setting the mark for most consecutive victories in a stakes race.

 22 1945: El Lobo and Featherfoot became the first Thoroughbreds to be transported by airplane. They were flown from Los Angeles to San Mateo in a twin-engine Budd transport plane piloted by Maj. William Hoelle of the Flying Tiger Line, who landed the plane in the parking area at Bay Meadows. On Oct. 27, El Lobo won the Burlingame Handicap at Bay Meadows, proving that horses could fly (and win).

1955: A rare triple dead-heat for first took place at Mexico's Caliente in the eighth race. Stormsorno, Chance Speed and Beaufair were the three winners.

1964: Jockey Bill Shoemaker won the 5,000th victory of his career aboard Slapstick at Aqueduct Race Track.

1973: Secretariat was flown to Woodbine Racecourse, where he would compete in his final career race, the Canadian International Championship Stakes.

 23

 24 - 1877: Congress adjourned to see a race between Parole, Ten Broek and Tom Ochiltree, which was held at Pimlico.

 25 1870: Pimlico, the nation's second-oldest Thoroughbred racetrack, began its inaugural meet.

 26 1949: Bill Shoemaker rode to his first stakes victory, the George Marshall Claiming Handicap at Bay Meadows, aboard a five-year-old horse named Al.

1990: Jockey Julie Krone rode her 2,000th career winner, aboard John Forbes-trained Rainbow Quartz, at The Meadowlands.

1996: The Breeders' Cup was held outside the U.S. for the first time, at Woodbine Racecourse in Toronto, Canada. At Woodbine, Jenine Sahadi became the first female trainer to saddle a Breeders' Cup winner when she sent Lit de Justice to victory in the Breeders' Cup Sprint.

 27 October 27, 1870--Preakness won the Dinner Stakes at the newly opened Pimlico Race Course. In 1873, the first Preakness Stakes, a race was named in his honor, was held at Pimlico.October 27, 1990--Bayakoa (Arg) became the second horse to win two consecutive Breeders' Cup Championship races. Both of her victories came in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1).

October 27, 2001--Tiznow, 2000 Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) champion and Horse of the Year, won the $4-million Breeders' Cup Classic for a second straight year, outdueling European sensation Sakhee in the stretch at the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont Park. Total wagering on the 10-race program was $104,145,186, the second highest Breeders' Cup total in history, just behind the 2000 total of $108,603,040.

October 27, 2001--Participants in the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships donated more than $2.7 million from their purse earnings to the NTRA Charities-New York Heroes Fund, established to benefit the children and spouses of the firefighters, police officers, emergency workers and other victims who perished in the September 11 terrorist attacks. Sheikh Mohammed's Dubai-based Godolphin stable, which pledged 100 percent of its Breeders' Cup earnings to the Heroes Fund, donated approximately $2.5 million on the day, thanks in part to wins by two of his horses, Fantastic Light and Tempera.

October 27, 2001--Racing Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel saw his 0-for-38 streak in Breeders' Cup races come to an end when Squirtle Squirt won the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1).

1973 - Riva Ridge, the racehorse that won 17 of 30 starts and earned a total of $1,111,497, came in dead last in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park in New York -- and was immediately retired.

 28 1972: Secretariat won the Laurel Futurity by eight lengths, sent off at odds of 1-10, at Laurel.

1973: With jockey Eddie Maple substituting for Ron Turcotte, who was sidelined by a suspension, Secretariat concluded his racing career with a 6 1-2-length victory in the Canadian International Championship Stakes at Woodbine Racecourse. It was his second victory in as many tries on the turf.

1983: Jacinto Vasquez had his 4,000th career winner, aboard Sunshine O'My Life, at Aqueduct.

 2000: Laffit Pincay Jr., the world's winningest rider, gained his 9,000th career victory aboard Chichim in the $150,000 California Cup Distaff at Santa Anita Park.

 29 1948: Calumet Farm's three-year-old Citation entered the Pimlico Invitational Special Stakes unopposed and won in a walkover, earning $10,000 for galloping the 1 3-16 mile course in 1:59 4-5. Another great Calumet runner, Whirlaway, also won the Special in a walkover in 1942.

1955: Charlie Whittingham and Bill Shoemaker scored their first stakes victory as a trainer-rider team with Mister Gus in the William P. Kyne Handicap at Bay Meadows.

1998: Triple Crown winner and 1970s icon Secretariat was selected as one of 15 subjects to be honored with a commemorative postal stamp in 1999.

 30 1937: Sir Barton, the first American Triple Crown winner, died at age 21. After an undistinguished career as a sire, Sir Barton was sent to the U.S. Army's Remount Division in Nebraska, and then to a ranch in Wyoming, where he remained until his death.

 31 1944: The saddle cloth numbers of the first five race winners at Jamaica corresponded to the number of the race in which each horse started.

1964: Seven-year-old Kelso won his fifth consecutive Jockey Club Gold Cup, a record. In each of those races, Kelso was the odds-on favorite.

1987: Jockey Chris Antley became the first rider to win nine races in a single day. He rode four winners from six mounts at Aqueduct and five winners from eight tries during The Meadowlands' evening program.

2002: Hall of Fame jockey Julie Krone returned to race riding after a two-year absence. She finished fifth aboard both of her mounts on the day at Santa Anita Park.