July 3, 1937: The Del Mar Turf Club, with crooner Bing Crosby as president and actor Pat O’Brien as one of the club officers, opened for racing.
July 3, 1977: Seattle Slew’s nine-race winning streak came to an end in the Swaps Stakes at Hollywood Park, when he finished fourth, beaten 16 lengths by J.O. Tobin.
July 3, 1982: D. Wayne Lukas-trained Landaluce, ridden by Laffit Pincay Jr., won the first of her five consecutive victories at Hollywood Park. The daughter of Seattle Slew, owned by Barry Beal and Lloyd French, died of a viral infection in November of that year but was posthumously voted champion two-year-old filly of 1982.
July 4, 1954: Two-year-old Ribot won his first race, the Premio Tramuschio. He concluded his career in 1956, with 16 wins in as many starts.
July 4, 1972: Two-year-old Secretariat, ridden by Paul Feliciano, ran fourth to winner Herbull in his racing debut, blocked badly throughout the race, at Aqueduct. It was the poorest placing of Secretariat’s career.
July 4, 1976: Charlie Whittingham swept the top three spots in the American Handicap at Hollywood Park with his trainees King Pellinore, Riot in Paris and Caucasus. On July 26, he repeated the feat in the Sunset Handicap, with Caucasus first, King Pellinore second and Riot in Paris third.
July 4, 1978: Trainer D. Wayne Lukas won his first $100,000 stakes race–over the turf–taking the American Handicap with Effervescing, ridden by Laffit Pincay Jr., at Hollywood Park.
July 4, 1998: Elusive Quality ran the fastest mile in history in the Poker Handicap at Belmont Park. The five-year-old horse was timed at 1:31 3/5 over a firm turf course.
July 4, 2000: Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze scored his 7,000 career victory aboard This Is the Moment at the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton, Calif. Baze became the sixth jockey to join the 7,000-win club.
July 5, 1991: Jockey Ray Sibille won his 3,000th career race, aboard Sporting Surf at Pleasanton.
July 6, 1975: Locust Hill Farm’s undefeated filly Ruffian engaged Kentucky Derby winner Foolish Pleasure in a match race at Belmont Park. Racing on the lead, Ruffian sustained a severe leg injury and was pulled up by jockey Jacinto Vasquez. The filly was euthanized the following day when efforts to save her proved futile.
July 6, 1977: In the second of their 10 meetings, Alydar defeated Affirmed to win the Great American Stakes at Belmont Park. This was the first of Alydar’s three victories over Affirmed.
July 7, 1934: Mary Hirsch became the first female to be licensed as a Thoroughbred trainer, in Illinois. Hirsch subsequently was licensed in Michigan that year and two years later, on April 9, she was licensed by The Jockey Club to train in New York.
July 8, 2000: General Express set a world record when he went five furlongs on the turf in :54.60 in the Decathlon Stakes at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J. General Express eclipsed the mark of :54.97 set by Klassy Briefcase in a Monmouth allowance race on June 8, 1991.
July 10, 1982: Landaluce, a two-year-old daughter of Seattle Slew, won the Hollywood Lassie Stakes by 21 lengths under the guidance of Laffit Pincay Jr. She ran the six furlong race in 1:08, just 3/5 of a second off the track record at Hollywood Park.
July 10, 2000: The National Thoroughbred Racing Association unveiled the “NTRA Two-Year-Old Challenge,” a televised racing series and promotional program for two-year-old Thoroughbred colts and geldings carrying a potential bonus of $1.3 million.
July 11, 1997: Breeders’ Cup Ltd. announced that supplemental entry fees would be added to the purses of Breeders’ Cup Championship Day events.
July 12, 1971: Bold Ruler, sire of 82 stakes winners, including Secretariat, died at Claiborne Farm.
July 13, 1986: Jockey Kent Desormeaux rode his first winner, a three-year-old filly named Miss Tavern, in the fifth race at Evangeline Downs.
July 13, 1996: Cigar tied Citation’s record of 16 consecutive victories, winning the Citation Challenge at Arlington International Racecourse.
July 14, 1951: In his last race, Calumet Farm’s six-year-old Citation won the Hollywood Gold Cup by four lengths, and became racing’s first millionaire horse.
July 14, 1999: Television Games Network (TVG) made its official debut with horse racing programming available to 1.1 million C-band satellite homes though Superstar/Netlink Group, the nation’s largest satellite programming provider.
July 15, 1966: Dr. Fager won his first race by seven lengths at Aqueduct racetrack. He was sent off at odds of 10-1.
July 15, 1972: After finishing fourth in his racing debut on July 4, Secretariat won his first race, under jockey Paul Feliciano. The six-length victory occurred at Aqueduct.
July 15, 1987: Jack Van Berg became the first trainer to win 5,000 races when he sent Art’s Chandelle, a $10,000 claimer, to victory at Arlington Park.
July 15, 1999: The NTRA confirmed that it had completed its purchase of the horseracing assets of Winner Communications via its newly formed subsidiary, NTRA Investments LLC.
July 15, 2000: Three-year-old filly Hallowed Dreams kept her record perfect and tied Cigar’s and Citation’s record of 16 consecutive wins by taking the Dixie Miss Stakes at Louisiana Downs.
July 16, 1998: Breeders’ Cup Limited announced that a new $1 million turf race for fillies and mares would be added to Breeders’ Cup Championship Day beginning in 1999. The race would be called the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf and would be run at 1 1-4 miles.