• 1 2016 Maryland Thoroughbred Hall of Fame inductees selected
  • 2 Line of Duty
  • 3 Fleet Valid
  • 4 The Washington D. C. International: A Comeback Story?
  • 5 Next Steps in West Virginia
  • 6 Win or lose, they’ve got game
  • 7 Running the political race for industry
  • 8 Midlantic-bred Poll topped by Cathryn Sophia, Page McKenney
  • 2016 Maryland Thoroughbred Hall of Fame inductees selected

    Timonium, MD (4/22/16) - The Maryland-bred Thoroughbred Hall of Fame’s newest inductees are millionaire Dave’s Friend and Kentucky Derby/Preakness winner Kauai King, the only Maryland-bred to win the Kentucky Derby.

    The new inductees were selected by a committee of Maryland racing industry members coordinated by the Maryland Horse Breeders Association (MHBA)

    Read More
  • Line of Duty

    Joe Miller is a big, strapping man. He measures 6 feet tall and weighs approximately 265 pounds. People who don’t know him look at him and think he is perfect for his job?–that of horse ambulance driver.

    Read More
  • Fleet Valid

     

    Ten years ago, trainer Mike Trombetta was riding a wave. He and owner Joseph Balsamo were heading to Churchill Downs with Sweetnorthernsaint, one of the early favorites for Kentucky Derby 132.

    Read More
  • The Washington D. C. International: A Comeback Story?

    No one event solidified Laurel Park’s place in racing history more than the Wash­­ington, D.C., International. Now, a bill that would help resurrect the Washington D.C. International has sailed through the House 137-0 after passing the Senate 46-0 last month.

    The bill, which only needs the signature of Maryland Governor

    Read More
  • Next Steps in West Virginia

    Measured opinion might suggest racing in West Virginia is at a crossroads. For those who have watched legislative cuts blast the state’s racetrack purses in recent years, it’s perhaps more of a dead end that’s in sight.

    Read More
  • Win or lose, they’ve got game

    On February 21, Maryland lost horsewoman Gretchen Mobberly at age 84. She and her family made a big impact on Maryland racing. In our August 2009 issue, as our cover feature, writer Vinnie Perrone crafted a wonderful story about the Mobberly women.

    Gretchen Mobberley and her daughter, Bird, carry on

    Read More
  • Running the political race for industry

    All politics is local. That’s the way Associated Press editor and columnist Byron Price put it in 1932. Former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill said the same thing when he first ran for office in 1935, and used it frequently in a long career in Washington, D.C.

    Read More
  • Midlantic-bred Poll topped by Cathryn Sophia, Page McKenney

    Nothing voters in the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred/The Racing Biz Top Midlantic-bred Poll saw in March swayed their impressions of who the best horses bred in the region are.

    Read More
legacies

Thoroughbred Legacies

Featured

Past, present, and future pillars of our region.

Read On

pensioners

Pensioners on Parade

By Maggie Kimmitt

Thoroughbreds in second careers.

Read On

Post Time

  • Final Salute

    Final Salute

    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.
  • Snow Angel

    Snow Angel

    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.
  • Dawn Patrol

    Dawn Patrol

    Training starts with the sun at Fair Hill Training Center, and all around the region. Kathee Rengert photo
  • The Last Gallop

    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
  • Where's Waldo

    Where's Waldo

    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
  • Sky Riders

    Sky Riders

    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.
  • Flying solo.

    Flying solo.

    Millionaire Eighttofasttocatch, a 12-time stakes winner who retired from the track in December 2014 at age 8, shows off his new skill as an event horse, with a hot-air balloon as a backdrop, at the Maryland State Fair for rider Rumsey Keefe. ©Anne Litz Photo.
  • Fit for a King

    Fit for a King

    Monmouth Park went all out – including a custom-wrapped van – to welcome American Pharoah to the Haskell.
  • Smooth Sailing

    Smooth Sailing

    Madeline Murphy and Bonnie take a dip during the Green Spring Valley Hounds summer pony camp. Carol Fenwick photo.
  • Triple Vision

    Triple Vision

    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.
  • Sidesaddle

    Sidesaddle

    Sean McDermott hangs on to Choral Society at the Queens Cup in North Carolina. Tod Marks.
  • The Feet

    The Feet

    Hooves flash and fly on the turn at Laurel Park. Lydia A. Williams
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Thoroughbred Makeover Spotlight: Jessica Bortner-Harris

RRTP TBMakeoverNatSymp2013smThe Retired Racehorse Training Project has run successful challenge and makeover projects since 2009, pushing for more Thoroughbred competitions beyond racing and shining a light on the need for more efforts to help horses find careers beyond the racetrack.

It all moves another step forward next month with the first Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium at Pimlico Race Course Oct. 5-6. The event will provide the public appearance of the latest crop of Thoroughbreds to dive into the RRTP, 26 horses chosen by 26 trainers to teach, convert and showcase in a variety of disciplines from polo to eventing to steer roping. We will be highlighting the Makeover's Mid-Atlantic connections (bothhuman and equine) in the weeks leading up to October 5 and 6.

07-ZF-6641-18288-1-001Makeover Trainer: Jessica Bortner-Harris of Thurmond, NC

Jessica Bortner-Harris, a native of York, PA, rescued her first event horse off the track in 199, a 7 year old named Mr. Lincoln. Her love of Thoroughbreds, though, began as a teen when she visited the great Seattle Slew at Three Chimneys Farm. "It was like meeting your favorite sports player.  I was in awe." From then on, Jessica knew Thoroughrbeds would play a central role in her life as a rider. In 2005, Jessica bought Win the War from Charles Town Racetrack. She has retrained him, and he is currently successfully competing at recognized events at the Advanced/CIC*** level with hopes of going CCI*** this fall.

"Almost all of my own horses have been OTTBs."  Jessica retrains and Events from her base at Rocky Start Stables in North Carolina, and is also a popular writer for the blog Eventing Nation, where she discusses the dominant role of Thoroughbreds in the eventing world. "I love how quickly most of them catch on to their new jobs and give it their all.  They have huge hearts and are such try-ers.  Because of this, they make excellent candidates for Eventing.  Speed, endurance, scope, and heart are some very important things needed in Eventing." 

ReadJessica Bortner-Harris' Thoroughbred Makeover Blog

Thoroughbred in Training: PrettyHippHopHotty ("Hotty")

Breeding:
2007, CH , M, Bowman's Band-She's Pretty Too, by Housebuster
Bred in Pennsylvania by Toni M. Kirwan & Edward Hipps

Racing Career: 
Starts: 17 
Wins: 2 
Place: 0 
Show: 3 
Earnings: $45,938
Last Raced: Penn National, 6/6/2012

Jessica began the Thoroughbred Makeover with a West-Virginia bred mare named Horizontal Love, but "Sexy's" hooves were not holding up to training right off the track. Despite doing everything she could for Sexy, Jessica finally realized that her new off-the-track Thoroughbred just needed a little extra time off her feet. "I just don't want to take shortcuts and push her if she isn't ready." Wtih 34 days until the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, Jessica chose PrettyHippHopHotty from her own stable with Steuart Pittman's blessing, a big chestnut mare that has only been in serious training for 10 months. "She has come a long way, and is currently eventing at the Novice level with the hopes of moving up to Training by the end of this season." With "Hotty", Jessica hopes to showcase what an ex-racehorse with a bit more training can do at Pimlico in October. 

Watch: Jessica and PrettyHippHopHotty school at home

 

More information on the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium.

Buy tickets to the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium and receive free general admission to Jim McKay Maryland Million Day, October 19, 2013 at Laurel Park!

Follow the Retired Racehorse Training Project on Facebook and on Twitter.

 

 

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Say It Again

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    Maryland breeder Doug Brown describing finding another Maryland Fund 
breeder bonus in the mail just in time to cover an unplanned expense
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    Longtime New Jersey Thoroughbred leader Dennis Drazin, on the state of the game
  • “They stay in the track for about half an hour and then they decide they’ve had enough of that and they go right into the deep stuff.”

    Audley Farm’s Jamie McDiarmid, about making tracks in the snow for horses to get turned out in their usual paddocks
  • “You try to be smart. Don’t give them any grain, give them lots of hay and just get through it.”

    Owner/trainer Susan Cooney, on dealing with racehorses in the snow
  • “Once she found out she could do it, she did it all day.”

    Sales consignor Becky Davis, about her 8-year-old daughter Allison’s snow day spent walking fence rails
  • “Don’t forget to say what a good job Mike did on the microphone. I like the baseball stories.”

    Spendthrift Farm’s Des Dempsey, about the vocal quality of Pons during a stallion show
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