By Joe Clancy and Tom Law
The first foal of a moderate winner. . . by a sire yet to break through. . . loads of female family behind her?. . . born on a farm with plenty of past, but not much future. . . visited by an animal communicator who saw potential but warned of trouble.
Trainer Mark Shuman and his wife, Anissa Butler, pulled their trailer up to Shuman’s barn at Fair Hill Training Center one day last September and instantly wondered whether they’d just made a massive mistake. As soon as Shuman shifted into park, the screaming and snorting began. The trailer shook. And every time they tried to get a shank on the monstrous gray inside, he batted and struck at them.
Vinnie Perrone was recognized for “Hall of Fame Ride: Maryland Trainer Leatherbury takes place among Thoroughbred Racing Legend,” a profile of King T. Leatherbury, which appeared in August 2015. Perrone is a previous Eclipse Award winner, having won for his 2008 story on the late Clem Florio which appeared in the magazine.
By Maggie Kimmitt
John Hughes can speak volumes about Effervescent. After nearly 40 years with trainer Jonathan Sheppard, Hughes knows the daughter of Citidancer–and her whole family. “We foaled her here. She was born, raised and broken here,” Hughes said.
Happy New Year. Not necessarily by definition, but by the nature of this magazine and this job, this column carries an optimistic tone. It can look forward, keep up with news other areas of the magazine cannot and comment on developments.
And it can also point out areas that need work.
By Maggie Kimmitt
“He’s never done anything famous. We didn’t show him. But he’s a solid citizen and a good-huntin’ horse.”
At first asking, Jimmy Paxson’s assessment of Valay Pass seems rather perfunctory. But get him talking about Duncan Patterson’s 21-year-old son of Carnivalay and the Assault Landing mare Winged Passage, and the yarns begin to spin.
People kept asking me if I’d been to Laurel Park lately. They told me I wouldn’t recognize the place. I laughed. I go way back with Laurel–back to free Thanksgiving dinner in the track kitchen with Lonnie Fuller and Crazy Sam; back to the Lasix Barn and the new Receiving Barn; back to trying to saddle a horse when Barclay Tagg forgot he was supposed to help; back to talking my way past the guard at the top of the stretch; back to finishing fifth in the 1982 Maryland Juvenile Cham-pionship behind Dixieland Band, Deputed Testamony and Caveat and not…
Training starts with the sun at Fair Hill Training Center, and all around the region. Kathee Rengert photo
The Last Gallop
The Last Gallop. Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year American Pharoah enjoys his morning work at Keeneland before the Breeders’ Cup. Lydia A. Williams photo
Trainer Shug McGaughey’s exercise riders at Fair Hill Training Center are dressed for Halloween, but could pass for Santa’s elves too. The horses don’t seem to care. Kathee Rengert photo
Paris Vegas (right) and Gnostic head back to be unsaddled after a flat race at the Shawan Downs steeplechase meet Sept. 26. Trained by Elizabeth Voss, the Maryland-based stablemates finished first and third, respectively, for jockeys Jack Doyle and Gus Dahl. Lydia A. Williams photo.
Monmouth Park went all out – including a custom-wrapped van – to welcome American Pharoah to the Haskell.
Madeline Murphy and Bonnie take a dip during the Green Spring Valley Hounds summer pony camp. Carol Fenwick photo.
American Pharoah sees all while getting a bath at Churchill Downs. Six days later, he became racing's 12th Triple Crown winner and first since 1978. Mary M. Meek/Eclipse Sportswire.
Sean McDermott hangs on to Choral Society at the Queens Cup in North Carolina. Tod Marks.
Hooves flash and fly on the turn at Laurel Park. Lydia A. Williams
Say It Again
“From the first day she started training she was better than what we expected. She just went out on the track and looked like an athlete, different than the other horses in our barn. Right away we knew we had a star in his hands.”
Owner Kosta Hronis, about Stellar Wind
“There was no negotiating. He paid us and it was fair.”
Barbara Houck, who sold top filly Stellar Wind after two starts in Maryland
“Some horses come by you and it’s ‘whoosh what was that?’
It’s kind of the swagger. Watching a horse move along. First steps, turning. Good ones have a little swagger to them, they do to me anyway.”
South Carolina horseman Goree Smith, trying to explain what he sees in young horses
“I don’t give him instructions. Why would I do that?”
Trainer Jack Fisher, on what he told Paddy Young before guiding Ivy Mills to a win at Camden
“He’s only 5, I was going to retire…but now I’ll have to ride another five years.”
Jump jockey Ross Geraghty, about Dawalan, winner of the Grand National and Colonial Cup
“He’s like my pony. I got a palomino pony and all he wants to do is lick your hand and eat apples.”
Racing fan Larry Quill, on watching American Pharoah interact with people
“I have a month to talk about Almarmooq.”
Trainer Kathy Neilson, asked if she had a minute to talk about her Pennsylvania Hunt Cup winner