• 1 Irish Majesty
  • 2 Murphy's Masterpieces
  • 3 On Track Education
  • 4 Preakness path goes through Maryland racing for Desormeauxs
  • 5 Squeeze Play: ‘Dummy’ foals respond to new treatment from California veterinarian
  • 6 Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred shines in AHP contest
  • 7 Here Comes Exterminator!
  • 8 Cathryn the Great
  • Irish Majesty

    War horse. It’s a hot button term in the racing industry, meant to denote a Thoroughbred with a lengthy–and most often blue-collar?–history on the track. Statistics can frequently list starts in triple digits, and bankrolls of a few hundred thousand dollars are not uncommon.

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  • Murphy's Masterpieces

    Nobody had a spring season like Cyril Murphy. The Irish-born, Maryland-based trainer won 12 races from just 24 starts, including the Iroquois Steeplechase and Temple Gwathmey with Rawnaq (Ire), the My Lady’s Manor and Virginia Gold Cup with Ebanour (Ire), the David Semmes Hurdle Stakes with Charminster (Ire) and the

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  • On Track Education

    During Preakness Stakes week this year, 2,500 people took a backstretch tour at Old Hilltop. More than a hundred of those were from Arlington Middle Elementary School, a Baltimore City public school located within walking distance of Pimlico Race Course.

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  • Preakness path goes through Maryland racing for Desormeauxs

    Charlie Hadry, who would have a major role in any production calling for a Maryland Thoroughbred trainer, was dying. He’d gone to the barn one last time, checked his last leg, talked to his last jockey, made his last set list, hired his last hotwalker. Hopefully, he thought about Private

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  • Squeeze Play: ‘Dummy’ foals respond to new treatment from California veterinarian

    Twenty-eight days. That’s how early Willi’s Sweet Girl went into labor. The delivery was quick but complicated, and into the world came a filly by Showing Up. She was tiny, nearly bald, weak, cold and at risk.

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  • Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred shines in AHP contest

    Called “professional and elegant,” by the judges, Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred magazine won a General Excellence Award in the 2015 American Horse Publications Equine Media Awards presented in Orlando, Fla. June 18.

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  • Here Comes Exterminator!

    New book revives the magic of a racing hero from the 1920s - here's an exclusive excerpt!

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  • Cathryn the Great

    The young fillies at Chanceland Farm ripped and raced and ran, bolting from one end of the field to the other in a never-ending game of Who’s the Fastest? They ducked and dodged and dived, stopping to nibble some grass, sip some water, grab a nap in the sun or

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legacies

Thoroughbred Legacies

Featured

Past, present, and future pillars of our region.

Read On

pensioners

Pensioners on Parade

By Maggie Kimmitt

Regional thoroughbreds star in second careers.

Read On

Post Time

  • Family Portrait

    Family Portrait

    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

    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.
  • Senior Moment

    Senior Moment

    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
  • 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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Top Midlantic-bred Poll with The Racing Biz

  • Older Horses

    Older Horses

    Page McKenney continues to dominate the older horse division.
    Page McKenney (PA)

    (43)
    Illuminant
    PA
    (39)
    Valid
    VA
    (30)
    Spelling Again
    PA
    (16)
    Finest City
    PA
    (10)
  • Three-year-olds

    Three-year-olds

    Cathryn Sophia, pictured as a yearling in 2014, tops the three-year-old division for Midlantic-breds.
    Cathryn Sophia (MD)

    (55)
    Tom's Ready
    PA
    (38)
    Mor Spirit
    PA
    (26)
    Giant Run
    MD
    (26)
    Sweet Victory
    VA
    (13)
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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

  • “It would probably cost you more to repair it than it’s worth.”

    Jockey Mark Beecher, who didn’t worry about anyone stealing his tack while getting his picture taken at the Grand National
  • “Don’t worry, I do nice things for him all the time and he tries to bite me.”

    Win Lewis, as Raven’s Choice tried to snap the pen 
out of Joe Clancy’s hand after the Grand National
  • “Who do you boss around when I’m not here?”

    PennVet surgeon Dr. Dean Richardson, to staff communications specialist 
Louisa Shepard (who reminded him about an appointment with a reporter)
  • “I’ve never met you, but I hear you’re OK.”

    Maryland Horse Industry Board chairman Jay Griswold, about to make a point to National Steeplechase Association president Guy Torsilieri
  • “If you need a jockey, you can always marry one.”

    Steeplechase trainer Kate Dalton, who gets first call from her husband Bernie, while answering a question at an owners’ seminar
  • “Obviously quite poorly.”

    Breeder Stuart Grant, who sold potential Kentucky Derby starter Mor Spirit 
for $85,000 as a yearling, on how he decides which young horses to keep and which to sell
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