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2002 in Review

Volponi scored a huge upset in the Breeders' Cup Classic and in the process exposed a pick six fix.

Major Races in 2002

  Florida Derby, Swale, Gotham, Tampa Bay Derby, and San Felipe
  Dubai World Cup
  Kentucky Oaks
  Kentucky Derby
  Preakness Stakes
  Belmont Stales
  North America Cup
  Queen's Plate
  Prince of Wales Stakes
  Diana Handicap, Test Stakes, and Go For Wand Handicap
  Whitney Handicap and Haskell Invitational
  Breeders' Stakes
  Arlington Million
  The Travers Stakes
  Pacific Classic
  Metro Pace and Canadian Pacing Derby
  All American Futurity
  Atto Mile
  Canadian International
  Breeders' Crown
  Breeders' Cup
  Melbourne Cup
  Japan Cup
  Hong Kong Cup

Dateline: 12/26/02

Although many things happened in 2002, it will always be remembered as the year of the Pick Six Scandal. The illegal changing of a Breeders' Cup pick six ticket by now-former Autote employee Chris Harn in collusion with his buddies shook the faith of fans in the tote system and brought about some long overdue changes in tote technology and practices. Hopefully the system will be secure in the future and steps will be taken to keep better track of employees' activities online.

We were again tantalized with a possibility of a Triple Crown winner when War Emblem swept the Derby and Preakness, only to be disappointed by his fall to his knees at the start of the Belmont. It was especially disappointing since we lost the last living Triple Crown winner, Seattle Slew, in May. War Emblem's year continued to be hot and cold, winning the Haskell then disappointing in the Pacific Classic and Breeders' Cup, his last start prior to leaving for Japan to take up stud duty.

Several records were set this year by racing's human participants. Pat Day became the all-time leading money-winning jockey with $264,580,968 total on Aug. 10th when he won the Sword Dancer Handicap on With Anticipation. Jerry Bailey broke his own record for single-season earnings by a jockey with over $22 million so far plus he has a chance to beat out Mike Smith's record for most stakes wins in a year. Apprentice jockey John McKee broke Steve Cauthen's record for most wins in a season with 114 victories at River Downs, 5 more than Cauthen had in his first year riding. Trainer Bobby Frankel came very close to beating D. Wayne Lukas' record for earnings by a trainer, taking it down to the last day of the year only to miss by less than $100,000.

Long time jockey Chris McCarron retired from racing in mid-year while top female jockey Julie Krone came out of retirement late in the year. So far her comeback has been successful and she just became the first female jockey to win a Grade 1 race in California, capturing the Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita aboard Debonair Joe.

Of course there are always losses each year and here are a few of the gone but not forgotten names in racing:


Recaps:

Photos ©2002, Cindy Pierson Dulay, licenced to About except where noted.

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