Jan. 17, 2000: The first ever NTRA “Moment of the Year” award went to the post-race scene after the 1999 Belmont Stakes, when jockey Chris Antley held Charismatic’s injured foreleg.
Jan. 19, 1955: Swaps won the San Vicente Stakes, the first race of his three-year-old campaign, by 3 1/2 lengths at Santa Anita Park. He went on to triumph over Nashua in the Kentucky Derby, but was in turn defeated by his rival in a $100,000 match race at Washington Park on Aug. 31, his only loss of that year.
Jan. 20, 1972: Secretariat was shipped from Virginia to Florida to be trained by Lucien Laurin.
Jan. 20, 1979: Odds-on favorite Affirmed, with Steve Cauthen aboard, finished second in the San Fernando Stakes at Santa Anita, beaten 2 3/4 lengths by Radar Ahead. It was their fourth consecutive defeat. Cauthen subsequently lost the mount on Affirmed to jockey Laffit Pincay Jr., who rode the horse for the remainder of its four-year-old season, winning seven victories in as many starts. Affirmed was later voted Horse of the Year for 1979. Cauthen had ridden Affirmed to a Triple Crown sweep the previous year and the pair recorded 11 wins in their 16 races together.
Jan. 23, 1994: Pat Day, 40, became the tenth rider in North American racing history to ride 6,000 winners, when he rode Miss Popsnorkle to victory in the first race at Oaklawn Park.
Jan. 24, 1974: Jockey Chris McCarron rode his first race, in which he finished last aboard Most Active, at Bowie Racecourse.
Jan. 25, 2000: According to The Jockey Club Fact Book for 2000, gross purses and total handle rose again in 1999 with North American purses topping $1 billion for the first time in history.
Jan. 26, 1950: Citation’s 16-race win streak came to an end in the La Sorpresa Handicap at Santa Anita. Despite giving 16 pounds to the winner, Miche, Citation, carrying 130 pounds, lost only by a neck.
Jan. 27, 1973: Penny Chenery accepted the Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year on behalf of Secretariat, who was also voted champion two-year-old of 1972.
Jan. 28, 1979: Bob Baffert won his first race as a Thoroughbred trainer, saddling Flipper Star to win the second race at Rillito Park in Tucson, Ariz. The winner’s share of the $600 purse was $330.
Jan. 28, 1999: The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association announces the creation of the “Claiming Crown,” a six-race event to be held at Canterbury Park.
Jan. 29, 1960: Future Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Carry Back finished tenth in his first start ever, a three-furlong race for two-year-old maiden runners at Hialeah. Sired by Saggy, the only horse to defeat Citation during his three-year-old season, out of an undistinguished mare named Joppy, Carry Back became a popular runner and was dubbed “the people’s horse.”
Jan. 29, 1969: Patti Barton, a 24-year-old exercise rider, applied for a jockey’s license in Las Cruces, N.M. The stewards declined to act on the application, which if approved would have made Barton the first female licensed jockey in Thoroughbred racing.
Jan. 29, 1973: Forego, eventual three-time Horse of the Year, 1974-76, broke his maiden by eight lengths in his second career start, at Hialeah Park.
Jan. 30, 1981: Jockey Julie Krone rode in her first race ever, finishing second by three lengths in a six-furlong sprint for $3,500 maiden claimers at Tampa Bay Downs. Her mount, a 22-1 shot trained by Jerry L. Pace, was named Tiny Star.
Jan. 30, 1992: For the second time in one month, jockey Mike Smith won six races in one day at Aqueduct Racetrack. His first six-winner day at Aqueduct occurred Jan. 13.
Jan. 30, 2001: Tiznow was named 2001 Horse of the Year at the Eclipse Awards in New Orleans.