April 10, 1969: I Double Dareya was ridden to victory by jockey Gilbert
Hernandez at Golden Gate Fields. Hernandez also happened to be the horse?’s
owner and trainer, giving him a triple win.
April 11, 1945: Future Triple Crown champion Citation was foaled at Calumet
Farm, Lexington, Ky.
April 12, 1948: After winning seven consecutive races, Citation lost the
Chesapeake Trial Stakes by a length to Saggy, but rebounded to post 16
consecutive victories, including the Triple Crown.
April 12, 1969: Jockey Sandra Schleiffers, one of the first female riders
in America and a former member of the Sisters of St. Francis convent in
Clinton, Iowa, won her first career race at Turf Paradise. Schleiffers
subsequently became the first woman to be admitted to the Jockeys?’ Guild.
April 13, 1872: The Louisiana Jockey Club held its inaugural meet at Fair
Grounds. The first race, a two-mile hurdle, was won by Templo.
April 14, 1936: The first Maryland race result ever decided by a photo-
finish camera took place at Havre de Grace in the second race, in which a 7-
1 shot, Alit, was declared the winner.
April 15, 1940: With the start of the racing season at Jamaica, New York
became the last major racing state to adopt electronic parimutuel wagering,
thus eliminating on-track bookmaking.
April 15, 1941: In preparation for the May 3 Kentucky Derby, Whirlaway
worked 1 1/8 miles in 1:52 at Keeneland.
April 15, 1943: With many of the country?’s young men joining in the war
effort, women exercise riders were first employed at Pimlico Racecourse.
April 16, 1995: At age 25, Kent Desormeaux became the youngest jockey to
reach the 3,000-wins mark when he rode Maisonaire to victory at Santa Anita
April 17, 1972: Future champion filly Ruffian was foaled at Claiborne Farm,
April 18, 1970: The New York State Legislature passed a bill enabling off-
April 19, 1952: Native Dancer won his first race, at Jamaica racetrack.
April 19, 1969: Bill Veeck, promoter and president of Suffolk Downs, staged
a $10,000 race featuring all female jockeys, then a novelty in racing.
Called the Lady Godiva Stakes, the event attracted such riders as Diane
Crump, Tuesdee Testa and Robyn Smith. It was Penny Ann Early, however, who
won the race?-her first career victory. The previous year, Early had
attempted to ride at Churchill Downs, but the male jockeys boycotted and
the race was canceled.
April 19, 2000: Jockey Pat Day guided first time starter Unbridled Time to
victory in the second race at Keeneland, giving the 46-year-old a record
717 victories at the Lexington, Ky. track.
April 20, 1949: Jockey Bill Shoemaker won his first race, aboard Shafter V,
at Golden Gate Fields, Albany, Calif.
April 20, 1999: Trainer Charlie Whittingham died in Pasadena, Calif., of
complications from leukemia. He was 86.
April 21, 1923: Eight-year-old Exterminator won his 34th stakes victory,
the Philadelphia Handicap at Havre de Grace, setting an American record.
April 21, 1973: In a surprising defeat, Secretariat finished third to
stablemate Angle Light and runner-up Sham in the Wood Memorial Stakes at
Aqueduct, his last start before sweeping the Triple Crown. The following
day, Secretariat was found to have had an abscess in his mouth, which may
have caused him discomfort while racing.
April 21, 1998: Tim Smith was named Commissioner and Chief Executive
Officer of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.
April 22, 1947: Citation won his first race by ??-length, at Havre de Grace.
April 22, 1970: Governor Nelson Rockefeller signed into law a bill allowing
off-track betting in New York.
April 22, 1976: After winning the Florida Derby at odds of 1-20, Honest
Pleasure ran in the Blue Grass Stakes as the 1-10 favorite. Only win
wagering was allowed on the seven-horse field. Honest Pleasure won,
creating a minus win pool of $41,876.20.
April 22, 2002: Ogden Phipps, philanthropist and Thoroughbred owner
and breeder, died at age 93 after a short illness. Winner of an Eclipse
Award as outstanding owner and breeder in 1988 and again as outstanding
owner in 1989, Phipps won nearly every major stakes race on the East Coast
as an owner or breeder.
April 23, 1943: Judy Johnson was granted a license to ride in steeplechase
races in Maryland, making her one of the earliest female jockeys.
April 23, 1973: Secretariat and his stablemate Angle Light were flown to
Louisville, Ky., to prepare for the Kentucky Derby.
April 23, 1977: Seattle Slew won the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Racetrack,
his sixth consecutive win and his third win of the season. The race was his
final prep for the May 7 Kentucky Derby.