The Week In History

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 16, 2008 in General Discussion, News | No Comments >>

I am a fan of everything history. I enjoy learning about where we have come from, and what took place when. I came across some milestones in racing. These are dates that some may remember, and for those new to the game, they can be another lesson.  Take a look at what has happened through the years.

Dec. 15, 1973: Sandy Hawley became the first jockey in history to win 500 races in a single year when he rode Charlie Jr. to victory in the third race at Laurel.

Dec. 15, 2000: Congress passed a package of appropriations bills that included a clarification to the Interstate Horseracing Act (IHA). The amendment to IHA confirms that interstate simulcasting, commingling of pools and account wagering are, indeed, permitted under the IHA in all states that authorize these activities.

Dec. 17, 1936: Crooner Bing Crosby announced plans to construct a new racetrack, to be called the Del Mar Turf Club.

Dec. 17, 1993: Fire destroyed the grandstand of Fair Grounds, the nation’s third-oldest racetrack.

Dec. 18, 1983: Hollywood Park held the first $1 million race for two-year-old Thoroughbreds, the Hollywood Futurity, which was won by Fali Time, ridden by Sandy Hawley.

Dec. 20, 1987: D. Wayne Lukas-trained Tejano became the first juvenile millionaire when he won the Hollywood Futurity with Laffit Pincay Jr. aboard.

Dec. 22, 1991: Jockey Kent Desormeaux, at age 21, won his 2,000th race aboard Saron Lake, trained by Gary Jones, at Hollywood Park. He was the youngest jockey to reach that mark and did so faster than any other rider.

Dec. 22, 2007: Jerry Hollendorfer became just the fourth trainer ever to win 5,000 races when he sent out Political High to win the 11th race at Hollywood Park. Hollendorfer joined Dale Baird (9,445 winners), Jack Van Berg (6,378) and King Leatherbury (6,227) on the 5,000+ win list.

Dec. 23, 1944: James F. Byrnes, Director of War Mobilization and Reconversion, urged that all racing in the United States cease by Jan. 3rd as a means of furthering the war effort.

Dec. 23, 2007: Thoroughbred racing’s winningest trainer, Dale Baird, died in an automobile accident in Indiana at age 72. He had 9,445 career victories.

Dec. 24, 2004: Azeri, North America’s all-time leading female money earner, was retired from racing with a career bankroll of $4,079,820.