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2000s | Horse Racing Timeline

2000 - Hallowed Dreams A Perfect 16 for 16

April 22, 2000, Tiznow finished a nondescript sixth at 13.80-1 odds in his career debut at Santa Anita.


April 24, 2000, the Keeneland Foundation would be officially restructured as a non-profit organization.  The new (501)c 3 status now allows Keeneland to accept contributions and give donors tax breaks.  


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, CA.  Baze became the sixth jockey to join the 7,000-win club.


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 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 30, 2000, five mares competed in the Go Wand Stakes (G1) at Aqueduct for three-years-old and up.  Four of the five entered were graduates of the Keeneland sales ring.


September 8, 2000, Churchill Downs Incorporated completed a merger with Chicago’s Arlington International Racecourse (now Arlington Park), which involved an exchange of stock with Arlington owner Richard Duchossois.


November 4, 2000, the first Breeders’ Cup of the 21st Century started off with two huge upsets.  Spain won the Distaff at odds of 56-1, which was followed by Caressing, winning the Juvenile Fillies at 47-1.  Defending champion Cat Thief returned for the Classic. 

2008 - The Whitney Stakes

July 26, 2008, Commentator scored a dominant, front-running victory in the $750,000 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga Race Course.  Sent to the lead heading into the first turn, Commentator, ridden by John Velazquez, set a moderate pace and was never threatened while running 1 1/8M in 1:50.23.  The 7-year-old gelding widened the advantage to 4¾ lengths over Student Council at the wire in front of 27,297.  “This is a good illustration to anyone — don’t ever give up,” said Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito, who also won the race with Commentator in 2005.  Commentator joined five-time Horse of the Year Kelso and Discovery, both three-time winners, as the only repeat winners of the Whitney.


August 18, 2008, Linda Rice trained the first four finishers in the Mechanicville Stakes at Saratoga Race Course, a result dubbed the “Rice Superfecta.”


October 24 & 25, 2008, changes continued for the Breeders’ Cup as it celebrated its 25th year under the San Gabriel Mountains in California.  For the first time, the main track was a synthetic surface.  The series, now worth $25.5 million in purses, was also expanded to 14 races with the addition of the Turf Sprint, the Juvenile Fillies Turf and the Marathon.  The name of the Distaff changed to the Ladies’ Classic.  The new name was christened with a new star, the four-year-old filly Zenyatta, who came from last to first to win under jockey Mike Smith.  The next day, another female force emerged when the three-year-old Goldikova defeated male rivals in the Mile.

2009 - Rachel Alexandra Campaign

February 15, 2009, Rachel Alexandra begins her three-year-old campaign with a easy mile victory at Oaklawn’s 9th race, the Martha Washington.  

March 14, 2009, Rachel Alexandra, wins her first graded stakes of the year, Fairgrounds Oaks (GII) in the slop, effortlessly.

April 5, 2009, Rachel Alexandra with Calvin Borel up wins the Oaklawn Park’s GII $250,00 Fantasy Stakes by eight lengths.  

May 1, 2009, Rachel Alexandra won the Kentucky Oaks (GI) in 2009 by 20​1⁄4-lengths, by far the largest in the race’s history. 

May 16, 2009, Rachel Alexandra became the first filly to win the Preakness in 85 years and the first to win from the outside position.

June 27, 2009, Rachel Alexandra, won her third Grade I of the year, the Mother Goose.  She set the record for fastest time and margin of victory, topping the legend Ruffian’s record. 

August 2, 2009, Rachel Alexandra takes on the boys again in the Haskell (GI) winning in the slop by six, just missing the track record. 

September 5, 2009, Rachel Alexandra ends her three-year-old season, 8 for 8, undefeated, by winning the Woodford (I).  For the first time all year a few of the boys came close, but she put them away to be the first female of any age to win the historic Woodford Stakes.


November 7, 2009, Zenyatta became the first female to win the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Classic run at Santa Anita Park.  She carried 124 lbs and won by 1 length over Gio Ponti.  She earned $2,700,000 of the $5,000,000 purse.  Later she became the first horse to win two different Breeders’ Cup races, improving her winning record to 14 of 14.  Zenyatte won 19 consecutive races in a 20-race career

2013 - Shug McGaughey Wins Kentucky Derby

March 14, 2013, case #7, shortly after case #7 died suddenly at Hollywood Park, the equine medical director advised executive director Kirk Breed that even though the ongoing medical review had not revealed nor suggested any improper activity, the CHRB should conduct an official investigation.  The executive director ordered chief investigator Bill Westerman to precede with an investigation into the Baffert sudden deaths.


May 4, 2013, Kentucky native Shug McGaughey finally get his elusive Kentucky Derby win with Orb.


November 2, 2013, Mucho Macho Man wins the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic by a nose for jockey Gary Stevens, trainer Kathy Ritvo and owners Reeves Thoroughbred Racing. 


November 2, 2013, Wise Dan wins the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Mile for the second straight year. 

2016 - Santa Anita Park Breeders' Cup Classic

May 7, 2016, Nyquist, jockeyed by Mario Gutierrez and trained by Doug O’Neill, took the victory over Exaggerator and Gun Runner to win the 142nd Kentucky Derby. The race carried a guaranteed minimum gross pay of $2 million for the entrants. With an entry fee of $25,000 and a starting fee of $25,000.   Nyquist receive $1.24 million.


May 21, 2016, Exaggerator finally got his win over Nyquist in his fifth try. The colt won the 2016 Preakness by 3 1/2 lengths, downing the unbeaten Nyquist, who had defeated him in four previous races in which both ran. Nyquist finished third behind Cherry Wine, who went off at 17-to-1.


June 11, 2016, WinStar Farm and Bobby Flay’s Creator nosed out Destin to win the 148th running of the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes, covering the 12 furlongs in 2:28.51 over Belmont Park’s fast main track. Just after the son of Tapit crossed the wire, rains began to fall over the Belmont oval, drenching the connections in the winner’s circle and leaving a rainbow over the emotional scene. It was the first Belmont Stakes victory for jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. and for trainer Steve Asmussen.

November 5, 2016, Breeders’ Cup World Championships ended on Saturday with nine races all with year-end championship implications.  72,811 fans packed Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, a new record for Saturday since the event expanded to two days.  Dubai World Cup (G1) winner California Chrome was sent off as the 9-10 favorite in the field of nine over 8-5 Arrogate and 8-1 Frosted.

2019 - Bad Streak / Derby Disqualification

March 31, 2019, 5-year-old gelding Arms Runner fell during a race and had to be euthanized after sustaining a catastrophic injury to his right front leg.  It was the 23rd horse death at Santa Anita since December 26.


May 4, 2019, Derby fans weathered a steady late-afternoon rain and a disqualification of Maximum Security, as Country House captured the 145th Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve over a sloppy track.  Wagering from all-sources was the highest all-time on both the Kentucky Derby Day program and on the Kentucky Derby race.  Country House paid $132.40 for a $2.00 bet. 


May 18, 2019, War of Will, ridden by jockey Tyler Gaffalione and trained by Mark Casse wins the 144th Preakness Stakes. The race started with a bit of chaos when jockey John Velazquez fell off Bodexpress as the horses ran out of the gate. Bodexpress proceeded to run the race without a jockey.


June 8, 2019, Sir Winston wins the 151st running of the Belmont Stakes and the 108th time the event took place at Belmont Park.  For the second time in its history, the 2019 Belmont Stakes offered separate pool wagering in Japan. The total for this non-commingled pool, which is not included in the all-sources number, was $4,362,972. Paid attendance on Belmont Stakes Day was 56,217.

July 18, 2019, a freak accident occurred on the second day of racing at Delmar.  Charge A Bunch, trained by Carla Gaines, threw his rider and ran head first into Carson Valley, trained by Baffert.  Both horses died instantly from broken necks.


July 29, 2019, a third thoroughbred race horse died during training at the Del Mar summer, which opened two weeks prior.  Bowl Of Soul, a three-year-old filly trained by Bob Baffert, injured her right hind fetlock, which is similar to an ankle. 


November 1-2, 2019, the 36th Breeders’ Cup took place at Santa Anita Park. One of the highlights was Bricks and Mortar, attempting a mile and a half for the first time in the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf. He passed the stiff test with a courageous head victory against longshot United to cap a 6-for-6 campaign and stamp himself as the leading candidate for Horse of the Year. “The horse showed up, and he showed up in every race he’s run his whole career,” said trainer Chad Brown. 


2021 - Navarro Sobs In Court As Judge Sentences Him To Five Years In Prison For PEDs Case: