Racing History Highlights - Mar. 14-27

What happened in Thoroughbred racing the past 80 years? The NTRA compiles a sample of historic events that took place from March 14-March 27.
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What happened in Thoroughbred racing the past 80 years? The NTRA compiles a sample of historic events that took place from March 14-March 27.

March 14, 1941: Merrick died at age 38, establishing the longevity record for a Thoroughbred.

March 14, 1973: In his final preparation for the March 17 Bay Shore Stakes, the first race of his three-year-old season, Secretariat worked three furlongs in a blistering :32 3/5.

March 14, 1976: Bill Shoemaker won his 7,000th career victory, aboard Charlie Whittingham-trained Royal Derby II, in the fifth race at Santa Anita Park.

March 14, 1987: Jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. became the first rider in the history of Santa Anita Park to win seven races in a single afternoon. In his only loss of the day, Pincay finished third aboard Bob Back in the eighth race.

March 17, 1973: In his three-year-old debut, Secretariat won the Bay Shore Stakes at Aqueduct by 4 ?? lengths.

March 17, 2000: Trainer Hubert "Sonny" Hine, trainer of 1998 Horse of the Year Skip Away, passed away after a long illness at age 69.

March 18, 2001: Zippy Chippy beat a Standardbred horse named Paddy's Lady at Freehold Raceway. Because the race was an exhibition, Zippy Chippy officially maintained his record of 89 starts without a victory.

March 19, 1942: The Thoroughbred Racing Associations of the United States was formed, with John C. Clark as president.

March 19, 1949: Jockey Bill Shoemaker rode his first career race, at Golden Gate Fields. He finished fifth, aboard Waxahachie, in an eight-horse field.

March 20, 1932: Phar Lap, legendary champion racehorse of Australia, won his only start in North America, the Agua Caliente Handicap at Agua Caliente Racecourse in Mexico. His time for the 1 ??-mile race was 2:02 4/5, a track record. The six-year-old Phar Lap died one month later and the cause of his death remains a mystery. During his four years of racing in Australia, Phar Lap won 36 of 50 starts.

March 20, 1969: Less than two months after she became the first woman to ride in a parimutuel race in America, Diane Crump rode her first winner at Gulfstream Park.

March 23, 1927: Future Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox was foaled at Claiborne Farm, Paris, Ky.

March 24, 1851: California's first organized race for Thoroughbreds took place at the Pioneer Course in San Francisco. The city's residents added a purse of $250 to the sweepstakes, which was set at $15 each for the three competitors. T. K. Battelle's colt Boston won.

March 24, 1932: Omaha, the only Triple Crown winner to be sired by another Triple Crown winner (Gallant Fox), was foaled at Claiborne Farm, Paris, Ky.

March 24, 1940: Future Triple Crown winner Count Fleet was foaled at Stoner Creek Stud, Paris, Ky.

March 24, 1941: Upset, the only horse ever to defeat Man o' War, died at age 24.

March 24, 1953: A program for nationwide televising of 10 of the richest races being run in New York and Delaware, was announced. NBC and ABC provided network coverage for the Saturday broadcasts, which were scheduled for April 18-June 20.

Mar. 24, 1997: Assicurazioni Generali, the lead underwriter on the congenital infertility insurance on Horse of the Year Cigar, agreed to pay the $25 million claim filed by owners Allen Paulson and Coolmore Stud. Coolmore received $18.75 million and Paulson got $6.25 million, representing the parties' respective 75% and 25% ownership interests.

March 26, 1943: Future Triple Crown winner Assault was foaled at King Ranch, Kingsville, Texas.

March 26, 1966: Jockey Eddie Maple won his first career race, at Ascot Park in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

March 26, 1992: Henryk de Kwiatkowski purchased Calumet Farm for $17 million at auction. He paid an additional $210,000 for the Calumet name.

March 27, 1953: The ABC radio network announced it would broadcast a series of major East Coast races, beginning April 4 and continuing through Nov. 14.

March 27, 1997: A group of Thoroughbred organizations, including The Jockey Club, Breeders' Cup Ltd., Keeneland Association and Oak Tree Racing Association, announced it would undertake a joint planning process to create a national coordination and marketing structure for Thoroughbred racing.