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.
March 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.
March 29, 1917: Man o’ War, who would go on to win 20 of his 21 career starts, was foaled at Nursery Stud, Lexington, Ky.
March 29, 1938: In observance of Man o’ War’s 21st birthday, the celebration was broadcast nationally via radio from Faraway Farm, where he stood at stud.
March 29, 1969: Diane Crump became the first female jockey to win a stakes race when she took the Spring Fiesta Cup at the Fair Grounds aboard Easy Lime.
March 29, 1988: Jockey Pat Day won his 4,000th victory, aboard Ann’s Bid, in the ninth race at Oaklawn Park.
March 29, 1997: The $4 million Dubai World Cup was rescheduled for April 3 after torrential rainstorms hit Nad Al Sheba racecourse.
March 30, 1952: New York Governor Thomas Dewey signed a statute transferring licensing authority from The Jockey Club to the New York Racing Commission.
March 30, 1970: Secretariat was foaled at The Meadow, Doswell, Va.
March 30, 1985: Laffit Pincay Jr. became the second jockey in history to surpass John Longden’s record of 6,032 victories, riding Sovereignty to victory in the sixth race at Santa Anita Park.
April 1, 1940: New York legalized parimutuel wagering and outlawed book-makers at the state’s racetracks.
April 1, 1998: The National Thoroughbred Racing Association officially launched operations with the opening of its office in Lexington, Ky.
April 2, 1938: Future Triple Crown winner Whirlaway was foaled at Calumet Farm, Lexington, Ky.