When we launched the new NTRA.com in early March, we promised that additional elements would be phased in over the coming months. We soon added NTRALive! webcasts featuring broadcast quality productions of some the best races leading to the Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup. In June, we debuted a virtual horse race game, including a weekly feature offering virtual simulations of key upcoming weekend stakes races.
The latest addition to the new Website was unveiled this week with the launch of a memorabilia and collectibles micro-site. Click here to go there now. If you’re a fan of Thoroughbred history like I am, the new pages are a treasure trove of memorable moments in modern Thoroughbred racing history.
The site is divided into two sections: photos and memorabilia. The photo section features famous horses, including stars from the 1970s all the way through to the current era of Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, Super Saver and Lookin At Lucky. There is also a page that focuses on the Breeders’ Cup, and others devoted to signed photos, scenic shots and portraits.
The memorabilia site features signed goggles, programs from famous races, collector glasses (check out the ones signed by Johnny Longden and Ron Turcotte) and other collectables.
Each item comes with a certificate of authenticity, and the photos can be purchased framed or unframed and in various sizes. We’re currently offering a 20% introductory discount on all merchandise.
Do you care to guess what was the first item purchased? A picture of Secretariat’s Belmont? One of Affirmed and Alydar’s epic battles? Rachel or Zenyatta? All incorrect. The first purchase was a photo of Seattle Slew’s 1977 Belmont autographed by trainer Billy Turner. That’s the kind of stuff you can find on the site. As a former president of Churchill Downs, I have a weak spot for anything relating to the Derby or Triple Crown. The Fusaichi Pegasus Fan, autographed by winning rider Kent Desormeaux and for sale in the collectables section, reminds me of the 2000 Derby won by “FuPeg.” I recall especially the stir that was caused by the Geisha who accompanied owner, Fusao Sekiguichi. I also recall how many were challenged by the winner’s name. Even the Governor of Kentucky at that time had a hard time pronouncing the Japanese “Fusaichi.” I actually saw FuPeg the other day. He now stands at stud in Kentucky at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud near Versailles. What an impressive looking stallion!
Even if you’re not in a shopping mood, I think you’ll enjoy perusing the pages of this new section of NTRA.com. Take a look. And be sure to tell me what your favorite items are.