July 26, 1962: Jockey Angel Cordero Jr. rode his first winner in the U.S., Counterate, at Aqueduct Racetrack.
July 26, 1973: The New York Racing Association and the Philip Morris Corporation announced the inaugural Marlboro Cup, a race to feature Secretariat and his stablemate, Riva Ridge, that would be run Sept. 15 at Belmont Park.
July 27, 1973: In preparation for the Aug. 4 Whitney Stakes, Secretariat worked a mile at Saratoga Racecourse in 1:34 over a muddy track. His workout time was 4/5 of a second lower than the 55-year-old track record for the distance. He galloped out another eighth of a mile for a final time of 1:47 4/5, which was 2/5 of a second lower than the track record.
July 28, 1951: Citation, then the world’s leading money-winning Thoroughbred, was paraded before a crowd of 28,000 at Arlington Park in his last public appearance at a track before being retired to stud.
July 28, 1987: Jockey Angel Cordero Jr. won his 6,000th victory in the Colleen Stakes at Monmouth Park aboard Lost Kitty. He was the fourth rider in racing history to accomplish that feat.
July 29, 1953: Jockey Walter Blum rode his first career winner at Saratoga Racecourse.
July 29, 1972: In preparation for a July 31 race at Saratoga, Secretariat went three furlongs in :35.
July 29, 1973: Jockey Pat Day rode his first career winner, Forblunged, in a $2,000 claiming race at Prescott Downs, Prescott, Ariz. His mount earned $347–the winner’s share of the $631 purse.
July 29, 1995: Jockey Russell Baze won his 5,000th career victory, aboard Cyrus Says, in the sixth race at Sonoma County Fair. He was the 15th rider to reach that plateau.
July 30, 1870: Monmouth Park opened with a five day race meet.
July 31, 1972: Secretariat, ridden for the first time by Ron Turcotte, won his second victory in three starts, on opening day at Saratoga Racecourse. The pair were sent off at odds of 2-5.
Aug. 1, 1945: Open racing resumed in place of the war-time restricted, or zoned, system in England.
Aug. 2, 1864: America’s oldest Thoroughbred racetrack, Saratoga Racecourse, opened its inaugural meet with four days of racing. Since then it has been the site of some of racing’s most famous upsets. Man o’ War suffered his only loss in 21 starts while racing at Saratoga, and Triple Crown champion Gallant Fox was defeated by a 100-1 shot named Jim Dandy in Saratoga’s 1930 Travers, prompting the track to be called “the graveyard of favorites.”
Aug. 2, 1969: Jockey Robyn Smith, one of the first female jockeys in the U.S., won her first career race, at Ferndale.
Aug. 3, 1971: The yearling Secretariat was shod on his front feet for the first time and transferred to the Meadow training center for breaking.
Aug. 3, 1989: Jockey Jorge Velasquez notched his 6,000th career victory aboard three-year-old filly Maddie Bumpo in the third race at Arlington International Racecourse.
Aug. 3, 2000: Fred. W. Hooper, who won the 1945 Kentucky Derby with the first horse he ever owned and went on to develop one of Florida’s leading racing and breeding operations, died in his sleep in Miami, at the age of 102.
Aug. 4, 1973: In his first race against older horses, 1-10 favorite Secretariat was defeated in the Whitney Stakes at Saratoga by Allen Jerkens’ four-year-old trainee Onion, who beat him by a length. Secretariat was subsequently found to be suffering from a virus.
Aug. 5, 1988: Trainer Dale Baird won his 5,000th career race with Stuffed Johnnie at Mountaineer Park, becoming the second trainer in history, behind Jack Van Berg, to reach that mark.
Aug. 6, 1951: The National Museum of Racing opened in Congress Park at Saratoga Springs, N.Y. More than 2,000 people attended the opening ceremonies presided over by C.V. Whitney.
Aug. 6, 2001: Jockey Earlie Fires; trainers Richard Mandella and Tom Smith; horse of yesteryear, Maskette; contemporary female horse, Paseana; and contemporary male horse, Holy Bull were inducted into Thoroughbred racing’s Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.