June 19, 1867: The inaugural Belmont Stakes was run at Jerome Park in the Bronx and was won by a filly, Ruthless, who defeated colts to earn $1,850 for her victory. Ruthless was one of a group of fillies known as the “Barbarous Battalion,” daughters of the mare Barbarity, owned by Francis Morris of New York. The other “battalion” members — all full sisters — were Remorseless, Relentless, Regardless and Merciless.
June 19, 1880: Sheepshead Bay racecourse opened for a six-day meet. The track was the original site of the Suburban, Futurity and Realization Stakes, which eventually were transferred to Belmont Park.
June 19, 1942: Count Fleet won his first race, at Aqueduct Racetrack.
June 19, 1973: Officials of Arlington Park invited Secretariat to compete in a specially created race, the $125,000 Arlington Invitational Stakes.
June 19, 1992: Charlie Whittingham became the second trainer in history, behind D. Wayne Lukas, to top $100 million in purse earnings when he sent Little by Little to a second-place finish in the sixth race at Hollywood Park.
June 19, 1998: The NTRA All-Star Jockey Championship from Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Tex., was nationally televised for the first time on ESPN2. Shane Sellers won the 12-jockey competition.
June 20, 1908: With his final victory in the Tidal Stakes at Sheepshead Bay, Colin retired undefeated after 15 starts. No major American racehorse approached this record until 1988, when Personal Ensign retired with a perfect 13-for-13 career.
June 21, 1924: Exterminator, winner of the 1918 Kentucky Derby, concluded his seven-year racing career. Exterminator raced until he was nine, winning 50 of his 100 starts. He seldom carried less than 130 pounds in handicap races. Like other geldings Kelso, Forego, and John Henry, Exterminator improved with age, enjoying his greatest success when he was seven.
June 21, 1947: Assault won the Brooklyn Handicap and dethroned Whirlaway as the then money-winning champion of the world. The victory boosted his earnings to $576,670.
June 21, 1975: S. Kaye Bell became the first woman to train the winner of a $100,000 stakes race when she sent Mr. Lucky Phoenix to win the Michigan Mile and One-Eighth Handicap at Detroit Racecourse.
June 22, 1935: Seabiscuit won his first race, at Narragansett Park.
June 23, 1985: With a victory aboard Greinton in the Hollywood Gold Cup, Laffit Pincay Jr. became the second jockey in history to surpass $100 million in purse earnings.
June 23, 2002: Hall of Fame Jockey Chris McCarron ended his 28-year riding caring after piloting Came Home to an easy win in the Grade III Affirmed Handicap at Hollywood Park. McCarron finished his career with 7,141 victories and his horses earned purses of $264,351,579.
June 24, 1893: The field for the American Derby at Washington Park was held at the post for an hour and 40 minutes, the longest pre-race delay in history. Boundless, with “Snapper” Garrison aboard, won the $49,500 race, which was witnessed by a crowd of 48,000. Garrison and three other riders were each fined $250 for bad conduct at the start.
June 24, 1952: Jockey Eddie Arcaro rode his 3,000th career winner at Arlington Park. He was the first American-born rider to reach that mark.
June 24, 1972: In the fastest workout of the day for six furlongs, Secretariat went the distance in 1:12 4/5 at Belmont over a sloppy track. He would make his debut 10 days later, in a July 4 race for maiden runners at Aqueduct.
June 24, 1973: Charlie Whittingham swept the top three spots in the Hollywood Gold Cup Invitational Handicap when his trainees Kennedy Road, Quack and Cougar II finished first, second and third, respectively.
June 24, 1977: Alydar, at odds of 2.10-1, broke his maiden by 6 3/4 lengths at Belmont Park.
June 24, 1979: Affirmed, ridden by Laffit Pincay Jr., became the first horse to top $2 million in earnings after he won the Hollywood Gold Cup.
June 24, 1990: Criminal Type became the first horse to win consecutive $1 million races after capturing the Hollywood Gold Cup. He had previously won the $1 million Pimlico Special on May 12.
June 25, 1999: Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay, Jr. was the winner of the NTRA All-Star Jockey Challenge at Lone Star Park.
June 25, 2000: Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus was syndicated by Coolmore Stud for a reported $70 million.
June 26, 1938: Nearco ended his career a perfect 14-for-14 by winning the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp.
June 26, 1986: Jockey Sandy Hawley won his 5,000th career race, aboard Mighty Massa, at Canterbury Downs.
June 26, 1992: Jockey Dave Gall became the eighth rider in history to ride 6,000 winners when he rode Nana’s Nice Boy to victory at Fairmount Park.
June 26, 1994: Jockey Chris McCarron rode his 6,000th career winner, Andestine, in the Milady Handicap at Hollywood Park. He was the 11th rider to reach 6,000 and the third-youngest, behind Bill Shoemaker and Laffit Pincay Jr.
June 26, 2000: Hall of Fame trainer Lucien Laurin, conditioner of 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat, died at the age of 88.
June 26, 2001: The NTRA and Breeders’ Cup announced that the Breeders’ Cup would now be known as the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. It was also announced that Bessemer Trust Company had signed on as title sponsor of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
June 27, 1860: The Queen’s Plate, the oldest continuously run stakes race in North America, was first run. Don Juan was the winner, after winning two of the three heats that comprised the event.
June 27, 1932: Calumet Farm recorded its first victory in a Thoroughbred race with two-year-old Warren Jr., who won by a nose at Arlington Park to earn $850.
June 27, 1986: Jockey Kent Desormeaux rode in his first race ever, finishing third aboard a $2,500 claimer named Ducknest Coal Mine, at odds of 35-1, in the second race at Evangeline Downs.
June 28, 1977: Steve Cauthen, on his first day as a journeyman jockey, won with his first three mounts at Belmont Park.
June 28, 1989: Arlington International Racecourse opened in Arlington Heights, Ill. It had been rebuilt after a fire destroyed the old facility, July 31, 1985.
June 29, 1968: Jockey Eddie Delahoussaye won his first race, at Evangeline Downs, aboard Brown Shill.
June 29, 1968: Gamely, Princessnesian and Desert Law?-all owned by William Haggin Perry and trained by Jim Maloney?-finished 1, 1A and 1B, respectively, in the Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park.
June 29, 1969: Jockey Ray Sibille won his first career race, at Evangeline Downs.
June 29, 1983: Jockey Angel Cordero Jr. won his 5,000th career race, aboard Another Rodger, in the ninth race at Belmont Park. He was the fourth rider in history, behind John Longden, Bill Shoemaker and Laffit Pincay Jr., to hit that mark.
June 30, 1973: Three weeks after he won the Triple Crown, Secretariat scored another victory, a nine-length win in the Arlington Invitational Stakes at Arlington Park, where he was sent off at the shortest odds in his career, 1-20. With no place or show wagering on the four-horse race, which was run with a three-horse field against Secretariat, the track had a minus win pool of $17,941. More than 40,000 spectators turned out for the event.
June 30, 1978: Spectacular Bid won his first race, at Pimlico, by 3 1/4 lengths.
June 30, 1990: Retired jockey Bill Shoemaker won his first race as a trainer, sending two-year-old filly Tempest Cloud to her maiden victory at Hollywood Park.
June 30, 1991: One year after his first victory as a trainer, Bill Shoemaker recorded his first Grade I win, with Alcando in the Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood Park.
July 1, 1966: Jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. won with his first mount in the United States, at Arlington Park, aboard two-year-old filly Teacher’s Art, owned and bred by Fred W. Hooper.
July 1, 1998: Hall of Fame jockey Sandy Hawley retired from race riding after competing in the Dominion Day Handicap at Woodbine Racecourse.
July 1, 2000: Jockey Mark Guidry became the 36th jockey in history to win 4,000 races when he rode Manitowish to victory in the fifth race at Arlington International Racecourse.
July 1, 2001: Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel won two Grade I races on opposite coasts, on different surfaces, both via disqualification. First, Senure was elevated to the top spot in the United Nations Handicap, a turf race at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J., following the disqualification of With Anticipation for a bumping incident in midstretch. Then, just 30 minutes later and on the same CBS telecast, Aptitude was placed first after Futural was disqualified for a similar infraction in the Hollywood Gold Cup, a top dirt race at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif.
July 2, 1989: Jockey Steve Cauthen became the first rider in history to sweep the world’s four major derbies after winning the Irish Derby with Old Vic. He had previously won the Kentucky Derby with Affirmed (1978), the Epsom Derby with Slip Anchor (1985) and Reference Point (1987) and the French Derby with Old Vic (1989).