11/15/2012 2:06PM

History challenge answers: Pre-Breeders' Cup era had different landscape

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Four-Footed Fotos
Pataky Kid wins the Arlington-Washington Futurity on Sept. 8, a race that at one time was the richest race in history.

See the questions HERE.

1. In August 1961, Arlington Park and Washington Park near Chicago voted to merge into a single corporation, under the leadership of Marjorie L. Everett, majority shareholder of both tracks. It was also announced that the Arlington Futurity and Washington Futurity would be combined. In 1961, the Arlington Futurity grossed $211,750 and the Washington Futurity grossed $213,750.

The inaugural running of the Arlington-Washington Futurity in 1962 attracted 572 early nominations in 1961. Supplementary nominations cost $25,000 each. There was only one, and as it turned out, he was the winner, Candy Spots, owned by Rex C. Ellsworth of Swaps fame. Candy Spots went on to win the 1963 Preakness Stakes, and Marje Everett – forced to give up her interests in Chicago racing because of a bribery scandal – later became majority owner and chief operating officer of Hollywood Park.

The Arlington-Washington Futurity is still run today but is a Grade 3 event. This year’s winner collected $87,300 from a total purse of $150,000.

2. During its short tenure, the Sysonby Mile (later Sysonby Stakes) attracted a Who’s Who of racing. The filly Gallorette, destined for the Hall of Fame, ran second in 1946. The following three runnings were won by Armed, Citation, and Capot. Coaltown was second to Capot, both winning Horse of the Year honors in separate polls in 1949.

In 1953, Belmont Park raised the Sysonby purse from $20,000 to $50,000 to entice the first meeting between Native Dancer and Tom Fool. Native Dancer scratched because of an injury. Tom Fool won.

Two years later, Belmont Park again raised the purse for the Sysonby from $50,000 to $100,000 and the distance from one mile to 1 1/8 miles in hopes of attracting another rematch between Nashua and Swaps. Swaps declined, and Nashua ran third to two-time champion High Gun.

With the Woodward Stakes joining the New York calendar in 1954, the New York Racing Association did not continue the Sysonby after 1959. Aqueduct revived the event for one year in 1969.

3. At 4:21 p.m. on Oct. 18, 1952, at Laurel Park, the field for what the Thoroughbred Record referred to as “the first really international race in history” was on its way. No starting gate was used because horses from overseas were unfamiliar with it.

The dream child of Laurel Park president John D. Schapiro, the Washington D.C. International carried a guaranteed purse of $50,000 and was by invitation only.

Wilwyn from England won the first running and in the ensuing years, with the race moved to Veterans’ Day, champions from all over the world came to compete, including the great Epsom Derby winner Sir Ivor, who won the International in 1968.

The immortal Kelso finished second three straight years before winning in 1964. Other American winners included champions T.V. Lark, Fort Marcy, Dahlia, Bowl Game, and All Along.

The International could not compete with the arrival of the Breeders’ Cup Mile and the Breeders’ Cup Turf, which began in 1984. Laurel ran the International for the final time in 1994.

4. John T. Landry of the Philip Morris Co. conceived the idea of the $250,000 Marlboro Cup as a match between Secretariat and Riva Ridge.

When the stewards ruled that it couldn’t be called a race but just a non-betting exhibition, a decision was made to invite the country’s top horses. The field was one of the greatest to ever be assembled. It included seven horses who had won a combined 63 stakes races. Secretariat won in world-record time for 1 1/8 miles (1:45.40), with Riva Ridge second.

In the following years, the Marlboro Cup featured Forego winning under a staggering 137 pounds, Seattle Slew beating Affirmed in the first meeting between two Triple Crown winners, and Spectacular Bid cruising home by five lengths.

With the Breeders’ Cup Classic starting in 1984, there was little room on the New York racing calendar for the Marlboro Cup. The race was abandoned four years later.

5. The Young America Stakes at the Meadowlands attracted Spectacular Bid in its second running in 1978. The grey colt won by a neck. Two years later, Lord Avie wrapped up his juvenile championship season, coming from far back to win the Young America. Champion and future Canadian Hall of Fame inductee Deputy Minister won the race in 1981.

Carrying Grade 1 status, the Young America also attracted Kentucky Derby winners Swale and Spend a Buck, Preakness winner Tanks Prospect, and Belmont Stakes winners Swale and Danzig Connection, among others. The soon-to-be great sire Storm Cat won the Young America and collected the $300,000 winner’s share in 1985.

The Young America could not fit in when the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile arrived and the race dropped to a Grade 2 in 1991 and a Grade 3 in 1993 before being abandoned in 1996.