CAPTAIN STEVE'S `STRETCH RUN'.Byline: Kevin Modesti Staff Writer
INGLEWOOD - A midseason look at the American Horse of the Year The American Award for Horse of the Year is the highest honor given in American thoroughbred horse racing. It has been awarded since 1887 to the horse, irrespective of age, whose performance during the racing year is deemed the most outstanding. campaign has to begin with Point Given, Bob Baffert's Preakness and Belmont stakes Belmont Stakes
Oldest of the three U.S. horse races that constitute the Triple Crown. The Belmont originated in 1867 and is named after August Belmont (see Belmont family). The stakes is held in early June at Belmont Park, near Garden City, Long Island; the course is 1.5 mi (2,400 m). winner. If the real Point Given had shown up in the Kentucky Derby Kentucky Derby
One of the classic U.S. Thoroughbred horse races. It was established in 1875 and run annually on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs track in Louisville, Ky. With the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes, it makes up U.S. racing's coveted Triple Crown. , the 3-year-old would be champion by acclamation.
But it's a 12-month contest, as proved in 2000 by Tiznow, who hadn't even tried a stakes by June 30 yet went on to earn the Horse of the Year title.
The second six months begin Sunday with several elder Horse of the Year contenders in action, among them Baffert's Captain Steve Captain Steve (foaled 1997 in Kentucky) is an American Thoroughbred racehorse. He was bred by Roger Laubach, owned by Michael E. Pegram, and trained by Bob Baffert. A bay foal by Fly So Free out of Sparkling Delite (by Vice Regent), he started 25 times, and earned the exceptional , the Hollywood Gold Cup The Hollywood Gold Cup is a Grade I stakes race for thoroughbred horses inaugurated in 1938 at Hollywood Park Racetrack in Inglewood, California. It was run as a handicap race until 1997 when it was switched to weight-for-age conditions. favorite.
Captain Steve is second to Point Given in the NTRA NTRA National Thoroughbred Racing Association
NTRA National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (Egypt)
NTRA National Training Reform Agenda
NTRA Nano Technology Research Association (Korea) media poll, a very rough approximation of championship voters' thinking, and first in earnings, his $4,066,200 coming mostly from winning the $6 million Dubai World Cup The Dubai World Cup is a Thoroughbred horse race held annually since 1996 at the Nad Al Sheba Racecourse in the city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The race is operated through the Emirates Horse Racing Authority (EHRA) whose Chairman is Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, after the $500,000 Donn Handicap.
Capturing the $750,000 Gold Cup over Aptitude, Skimming, Futural and Power Wing would give 4-year-old Captain Steve a chance to become the sixth Gold Cup winner to be Horse of the Year since the Eclipse Awards' advent in 1971. He'll be ridden by Gary Stevens.
Also Sunday, the $500,000 Suburban Handicap at New York's Belmont Park will be a rematch of Include and Albert the Great, fourth and fifth in the NTRA poll.
The Gold Cup and Suburban will be among four stakes televised on KCBS-Channel 2 starting at 1:30 p.m.
The most interesting Horse of the Year hopefuls at halftime:
Point Given: The nation's only three-time Grade I winner is scheduled to race next in the Aug. 5 Haskell at Monmouth (N.J.) Park.
Captain Steve: Has to improve on third in 2000 Breeders' Cup Classic The Breeders' Cup Classic is a Grade 1 Weight for Age thoroughbred horse race for 3 years old and older run at a distance of 1¼ miles (2012 m) on dirt. It is held annually at a different racetrack in the United States or Canada as part of the Breeders' Cup. .
Tiznow: Defending champ must overcome back problems that have sidelined him since Santa Anita Handicap The Santa Anita Handicap is an American Thoroughbred horse race held annually in the late winter at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. It is a Grade I race for horses three years old and up, and is considered the most important race for older horses in North America during victory.
Include, Albert the Great: Include's Pimlico Special win, when he got seven pounds from Albert, gave his 5-for-5 season credibility.
Congaree: Another from Baffert's barn, Kentucky Derby's third finisher will be favored in Hollywood Park's July 15 Swaps.
Caller One, Kona Gold: Top sprinters' Del Mar match race is off. Former is entered but might skip Sunday's Triple Bend at Hollywood Park.
Bienamado: Paco Gonzalez's turf leader aims for Aug. 18 Arlington Million.
Flute: Bobby Frankel says the Kentucky Oaks winner is the best female - of any age - in the country.
Astra: Turf mare is a brilliant 2 for 2 after Beverly Hills win. But the peripheral divisions can't produce Horses of the Year unless the 3-year-old males and handicap divisions fall apart.
--Today: Victor Espinoza, who won the 2000 Gold Cup aboard long shot Early Pioneer, doesn't have a mount this year but can make it a productive weekend by winning the $250,000 Vanity Handicap aboard Lazy Slusan.
Lazy Slusan, a 6-year-old mare claimed for $62,500 by trainer John Dolan at Del Mar, is going for her third Grade I victory of the season and recognition as the nation's leading older female. Gourmet Girl, with Gary Stevens, is the major rival in the 1 1/8-mile race that, like the Gold Cup, drew only five entrants.
HOLLYWOOD GOLD CUP
When: Sunday, 2:40 p.m.
Where: Hollywood Park, Inglewood
TV: Ch. 2 (coverage begins at 1:30 p.m.)
HOLLYWOOD GOLD CUP (see text)