To say 2001 was an eventful year in the United States and the rest of the world is a huge understatement. The events of September 11th and the subsequent war have left a mark on our society that will never go away and drastically changed the way people live and think about the world. This had an effect on racing as it did on most things but it wasn't the only major news event of the year for the industry.
Disease struck heavy blows on both sides of the Atlantic with foot and mouth disease wreaking havoc with European racing and Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome costing the breeding industry in Kentucky millions of dollars in lost foals and broodmares.
On a happier note, racing was brought to the attention of the general public in a nice way by the surprise success of Laura Hillenbrand's book "Seabiscuit: An American Legend" which reached number 1 and spent 26 weeks in the top ten of the New York Times best-seller list. This book has already won awards in the U.S. and Europe including the Eclipse Award for writing.
Several jockeys reached major milestones with Chris McCarron winning his 7000th race in April, Pat Day winning his 8000th in May, Russell Baze winning his 7500th in September, Brazillian Jorge Ricardo winning his 8000th in October (4th ever to do so), Tim Moccasin setting the North American record of 14 consecutive wins at Marquis Downs in Saskatchewan in September, and Jerry Bailey becoming first to reach $20 million in purse earnings in a year.
Of course there are always losses each year and here are a few of the gone but not forgotten names in racing:
- Heywood Hale Broun, 83, racing commentator
- Marjorie Cordero, 41, wife of jockey Angel Cordero in a hit and run accident
- Bonnie Heath, 85, Florida horseman owned Needles and raised Silver Charm and Holy Bull
- Horace A. "Jimmy" Jones, 94, Calumet Farm trainer of Citation and many others
- Jane duPont Lunger, 87, owner and breeder of Go For Wand and others
- Prince Fahd Salman, 46, owner and brother of Prince Ahmed bin Salman of Thoroughbred Corp.
- John Tammaro Jr., 75, champion Canadian trainer of Deputy Minister
- Daniel Wildenstein, 84, major European owner and breeder
Exogenous in the winner's circle after the Beldame. She died a few days after flipping in the post parade for the Breeders' Cup Distaff and hitting her head.
- Affirmed, 26, 1978 Triple Crown winner
- Big Jag, 8, injured in Dubai
- Chris Evert, 30, broodmare, Hall of Fame member, and 1974 champion filly
- Dahlia, 31, Grade 1 producing broodmare and English Horse of the Year in 1973 and 1974
- Dare and Go, 10, who ended Cigar's winning streak in the 1996 Pacific Classic
- Dubai Millennium, 5, 2000 Dubai World Cup winner
- Exogenous, 3, Grade 1 winner died after a freak accident at the Breeders' Cup
- Nureyev, 24, champion sire of 131 stakes winners
- Peteski, 11, 1993 Canadian Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year
- Unbridled, 14, 1990 Kentucky Derby winner and sire of 27 stakes winners including Derby winner Grindstone
- Weekend Surprise, 21, champion broodmare and dam of A.P. Indy and Summer Squall
Point Given in the winner's circle after the Preakness. Sadly he had to retire due to injury at the end of August and never got to face older horses on the track, but he dominated the 3-year-olds.
- Thoroughbred Times:
Stories paint the portrait of 2001
2001 Chronology, Obituaries, and Racing Hall of Fame inductees
Year in Review: Buffeted by the wind of events
Year in Review: The wonder of it all
Year in Review: Working to come together
- Auctions Year in Review - Bloodhorse
- 2001: A tale of two horses and then some - ESPN
- Quiz of the Year - a recap of European racing presented as a trivia quiz by Sporting Life
- Australian Racing Recap from The Age
The foot and mouth epidemic in England caused many meets to be cancelled and precautions, such as walking through disenfectant mats, were taken everywhere. Photo courtesy of Tom Sporney.
- Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome - caused huge losses in the breeding industry and was probably the biggest story of the year
- 2001 Hall of Fame Inductees from National Museum of Racing
- Foot and Mouth Disease
- World Trade Center Tragedy effects on racing and how racing is helping
- Sovereign Awards - Canada's year end championships
- 2000 Eclipse Award winners
- Seabiscuit: An American Legend - official site for the book
- Jockey's Guild in crisis - lots of changes and an uncertain future
- Pat Valenzuela back again - how many second chances does one man deserve?
Photos ©2001, Cindy Pierson Dulay, licenced to About except where noted.
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