In the mist of early morning, Lazy Lane Farms lies gentle on Virginia’s rolling green hills. Just outside of historic Upperville, along Route 50, the colonial, pale yellow manor house sits stately on a hill at the end of the long drive lined with inviting Bradford Pear trees and looks almost translucent in the filtered light.
It’s an oft-repeated scene. A caring, responsible breeder/owner walks into a field and points out a cherished, pensioned broodmare. She tells of how much the horse has meant to her family and her entire operation. These are the good stories; the happy endings.
The million was for us anyway, not him. We wanted him to join McDynamo, Good Night Shirt and Lonesome Glory as the only American-based steeplechasers to reach $1 million in earnings. He really didn’t care.
A small procession of cars filed up the manicured lane at Renee Townsley’s Greystone Farm in Monkton, Md. Jack and Sheila Fisher emerged from their car. Sheila’s parents, Rufus and Sheila Williams, parked theirs a few feet away. Loaded with carrots, the group walked into Townsley’s so-clean-you-could-eat-off-the-floors barn.
Two years ago, Ramon Dominguez stood on a red carpet between Hall of Famers Chris McCarron and Manny Ycaza as part of Saratoga Race Course’s first Jockey Legends Day. Later, the two-time Saratoga riding champion posed for a photo among the greats. Laffit Pincay Jr. sat to Dominguez’s left. Angel Cordero Jr. was there. So were Jorge Velasquez, Ron Turcotte and other greats.
It took more than a year for the race to come together, but when it did, at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore in October 1877, the nation was riveted. Five-year-old superstars Ten Broeck, the sensation from the West, and Tom Ochiltree, representing the famed East Coast stable of George Lorillard, were finally to meet, and joining them was the equally talented Pennsylvania-bred 4-year-old Parole.
Editor’s Note: The National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame adds former editor of the Maryland Horse (precursor to Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred) Raleigh Burroughs to the Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor this year, along with writer Steve Haskin. Former Maryland Horse Breeders Association executive director Rich Wilcke remembers Burroughs and his tales.
When it comes to medication reform in Thoroughbred racing, the goals are fairly simple and pretty much the same across all segments of the industry.
A safe environment for horses.
A level playing field for all participants, be they breeders, owners, trainers, jockeys, bettors or fans.
Uniformity in all racing jurisdictions.
Testing procedures that can be trusted.
Fair penalties that mean something.
Laurel Park does its best Montana impression as a runner heads back to the barn in August. Jim McCue photo.
The day after her 600th win, Maryland-based jockey Forest Boyce (right, aboard July 2015 Pensioner on Parade My Lord) leads out some Green Spring Valley Hounds pony camp riders June 20. Boyce was joined at the head of the group by Maryland Hunt Cup winner Liz McKnight.
Carol Fenwick photo
Ben’s Cat heads to the Pimlico paddock accompanied by his half-brothers Pair (left, Doug Leatherman aboard) and Hound (Kerry Hohlbein).Lydia A. Williams photo.
Hey, It's a Maryland-bred
Sister Keys showed off her day-old baby Purple Rain (in honor of Prince, of course) at Seven Dots Farm in Butler, Maryland. Anne Litz photo.
Hansel, who won the Preakness Stakes 25 years ago, enjoys a regal retirement at Lazy Lane Farms in Virginia. At 28, the Virginia-bred is the oldest North American classic winner. Champion 3-year-old of 1991, he won the Preakness and Belmont Stakes and earned more than $2.9 million for Lazy Lane and trainer Frankie Brothers. Douglas Lees photos
The New Castle County (Del.) Police Department's mounted patrol unit stands at attention at the funeral of Harford County Sheriff's Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey in February in Maryland.
Retired champion Declan's Moon enjoys a roll in the snow from the blizzard of 2016 at Maryland's Country Life Farm. Ellen B. Pons photo.
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.