Aug. 7, 1900: Trainer “Sunny Jim” Fitzsimmons had his first stakes winner, Agnes D., at Brighton Beach.
Aug. 7, 1988: Jockey Eddie Delahoussaye won his 4,000th race aboard a two-year-old filly named Fawn and Hahn in the fourth race at Del Mar.
Aug. 8, 1970: Jockey Bill Shoemaker won his 6,000th career victory, aboard Shining Count at Del Mar.
Aug. 8, 1987: Kent Desormeaux set the record for most stakes wins by an apprentice jockey, 13, aboard King’s Snow in the Primer Stakes at Pimlico. The previous record, 10, was held by Steve Cauthen.
Aug. 9, 1999: Trainer, D. Wayne Lukas; jockey Russell Baze, and horses Miesque, Exceller and Gun Bow were inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Aug. 10, 1868: “The Dinner Party Stakes,” devised by a group of seven influential Thoroughbred owners after a dinner at Saratoga a few days before, was advertised with a request for nominations. The stakes race, designed to showcase racing in Baltimore, was to be run two years hence, in 1870, at the yet-to-be-built Pimlico Racecourse.
Aug. 10, 1982: Mary Russ became the first female rider to surpass the $1 million mark in earnings when she finished third aboard Bammer in the fourth race at Saratoga Racecourse.
Aug. 10, 1996: Cigar was denied a 17th straight victory when longshot Dare and Go passed him in the stretch of the Pacific Classic at Del Mar.
Aug. 10, 2002: Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day became the leading money-winning rider in history with $264,580,968 in purse earnings after guiding With Anticipation to victory in the Grade I Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap at Saratoga. The previous mark was $264,351,679 set by Chris McCarron.
Aug. 11, 1972: In preparation for his stakes-racing debut, the Aug. 16 Sanford at Saratoga Racecourse, Secretariat worked five furlongs in :59.
Aug. 12, 1943: Representatives of Suffolk Downs donated $625,000 to the National War Fund, the single largest contribution by any sports venue in support of the war effort. Six weeks later, an additional $10,885 was contributed. The track had held an 18-day War Charity meet to fund the donation.
Aug. 12, 1938: In a $25,000 winner-take-all match race, Seabiscuit defeated Ligaroti by a nose at Del Mar. The race pitted father against son, with Charles S. Howard, owner of Seabiscuit, competing with his son Lin, who owned Ligaroti in partnership with crooner Bing Crosby. The race was so closely contested that the jockey for Ligaroti, Noel Richardson, kept rider George Woolf in a leg-lock for part of the stretch run.
Aug. 12, 2000: Hallowed Dreams, bidding to surpass the record of 16 consecutive wins she co-owned with Cigar and Citation, finished third in the Millennium Stakes at Evangeline Downs.
Aug. 13, 1919: Upset scored a win against Man o’ War in the Sanford Memorial Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse. The defeat was Big Red’s only loss in 21 starts.
Aug. 13, 1938: Mary Hirsch became the first woman to train a Travers Stakes winner when she sent Thanksgiving to victory for owner Anne Corning.
Aug. 13, 1951: At odds of 2-1, Greentree Stable’s Tom Fool won his maiden race by four lengths at Saratoga Racecourse.
Aug. 14, 1942: One of racing’s oddities occurred at Saratoga Racecourse when Rurales and Joe Burger finished in a dead-heat for first place, giving trainer W.O. Hicks, who saddled both horses, two winners in one race.
Aug. 15, 1972: The 15-race winning streak of England’s Brigadier Gerard was ended by John Galbreath’s American-bred Roberto, ridden to a three-length victory by Braulio Baeza in the Benson and Hedges Gold Cup at York Racecourse. Brigadier Gerard, who finished second in the Gold Cup, went on to post two more victories before retiring with a record of 18-17-1-0.
Aug. 15, 1987: Kent Desormeaux began his career as a journeyman jockey.
Aug. 15, 2000: Jockey Russell Baze rode three winners at Bay Meadows and surged past Angel Cordero into fifth place on the list of all-time winning riders with 7,059 victories.
Aug. 16, 1930: Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox was beaten by 100-1 shot Jim Dandy in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse.
Aug. 16, 1946: Rockingham Park began to film its races from the vantage of a helicopter, using the equipment as a “mechanical patrol judge.”
Aug. 16, 1954: Native Dancer concluded his 22-race career with a victory in the Oneonta Handicap, a non-betting exhibition race at Saratoga Racecourse that he won by nine lengths while carrying 137 pounds. Although he raced only three times in 1954, Native Dancer was subsequently voted Horse of the Year, partly because he had been denied that honor in the previous year, despite having won nine of 10 races, all of them stakes. Tom Fool, 1953 Horse of the Year, had had a perfect 10-for-10 record.
Aug. 16, 1965: John Longden rode his 6,000th winner, riding Prince Scorpion to victory while at Exhibition Park.
Aug. 16, 1972: Secretariat won his first stakes race, the Sanford Stakes, at Saratoga Racecourse. The time for the six-furlong race was 1:10, the fastest time for the distance at Saratoga that year.
Aug. 16, 1976: John Campo swept the top three spots in the Adirondack Stakes with his trainees Harvest Girl, Bonnie Empress and Drama Critic.
Aug. 17, 1918: Samuel D. Riddle purchased the yearling Man o’ War for $5,000 in a sale of August Belmont II’s bloodstock at Saratoga.
Aug. 17, 1977: Jockey Steve Cauthen rode Affirmed for the first time, winning the Sanford Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse by 2 3/4 lengths.
Aug. 17, 2000: Zippy Chippy, loser of all 86 of his lifetime races, was defeated again–this time by minor-league baseball player Jose Herrera in a 40-yard dash. The race, called the “2000 Red Wings Derby,” was held prior to a home game of the International League’s Rochester Red Wings.
Aug. 18, 1923: The Jockey Club announced that the owner of Papyrus, winner of the Epsom Derby, had accepted an invitation to compete in an international match race in the U.S., against an American horse. Zev, winner of the 1923 Kentucky Derby, was chosen to represent the U.S. against Papyrus in the race, scheduled for October.
Aug. 18, 1961: Trainer Dale Baird saddled his first winner, New York, at Ellis Park.
Aug. 18, 2002: Sunday Silence, the 1989 Horse of Year who later became a perennial leading sire in Japan, died after suffering a fatal heart attack today at the Shadai Stallion Station on the isle of Hokkaido in Japan.
Aug. 19, 1978: In the conclusion of their 10-race rivalry, Alydar scored his third “success” against Affirmed in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse, when his adversary was disqualified from first place.
Aug. 19, 1990: Jockey Earlie Fires became the eleventh rider in Thoroughbred racing history to register 5,000 victories when he guided Tex’s Zing to victory in the ninth race at Arlington International Racecourse. He joined history-making jockeys Bill Shoemaker, Laffit Pincay Jr., Angel Cordero Jr., John Longden, Jorge Velasquez, Larry Snyder, Sandy Hawley, Dave Gall, Carl Gambardella and Chris McCarron.
Aug. 20, 1966: Ogden Phipps’ Buckpasser, ridden by Braulio Baeza, became racing’s first three-year-old millionaire after he won the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse.
Aug. 20, 2000: Ron Ardoin became the 16th jockey in North America to win 5,000 races when he guided Heart of an Angel to a three-length victory in the seventh race at Louisiana Downs.