Post Time

  • Blast Off

    Blast Off

    With a push from Mike Smith, Justify (right) leaps from the starting gate – and into Triple Crown history – at the start of the Belmont Stakes. Tod Marks photo
  • Ass Kicker.

    Ass Kicker.

    Pennsylvania-bred and Maryland-sired Army Mule rolls away from the field (and past the parking garage) to win the Grade 1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct April 7.


    April means steeplechase season in the Carolinas (like Aiken here) and beyond.
  • Iron horses

    Iron horses

    Actually, they’re bronze. The first editions of Maryland’s Renaissance Awards await their patina at the foundry.
  • Dashing Through The Snow

    Dashing Through The Snow

    While not quite as fast as the 1970s Pennsylvania-bred legend, this red fox kept pace just fine during a December snowstorm at Parx Racing.
  • Hunting Party

    Hunting Party

    Maryland’s Green Spring Valley Hounds head out for their 125th Opening Day in November.


    The equine life at Shamrock Farm in Woodbine, MD., took on an ethereal look on a September Morning. Photo by Christie Steele
  • See Horses

    See Horses

    A mare and foal find their reflections while getting a drink at Maryland’s Country Life Farm.


    Announcer Dave Rodman must have had fun with this one. Thoroughbreds charge through the gloaming during a rainstorm at Laurel Park in July.
  • Galloping Ghost

    Galloping Ghost

    Retired MD-bred turf star Better Talk Now, who died of colic in June at age 18, puts in some work on a frosty turf course at Churchill Downs.
  • Taste Of Maryland

    Taste Of Maryland

    Lead pony rider Alena Marchant gets some refreshment on Black-Eyed Susan Day at Pimlico.
  • Joys Of Spring

    Joys Of Spring

    A Malibu Moon colt out of Safe Journey – a half-brother to stakes winners Joy and O Dionysus – got caught up in the moment at Maryland’s Dark Hollow Farm while Mom enjoyed some spring grass.
  • Open Door Policy

    Open Door Policy

    The Mares (and Foals) at Country Life Farm were in view on a nighttime visit.


    A Bonita Farm foal peeks around its mother Bay of Bengal during a late-winter visit. Photo by Anne L. Frederick
  • Fog Warning

    Fog Warning

    South Carolina’s Aiken Training Center was shrouded in mist during a winter training session.
  • Protect this fence

    Protect this fence

    Newly turned yearlings at Sagamore Farm line up for the camera (well, one clearly is distracted) during a short-lived January snow. Jocelyn Brooks photo.
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  • 1 All About Bob-Justify sets stage for Triple Crown bid as Baffert ties record with seventh Preakness victory
  • 2 Azulyekit
  • 3 Save Pimlico, because we can
  • 4 Doubling Up-Senior Senator collects a second Maryland Hunt Cup
  • 5 2017 AHP Winning Editorial Photograph
  • 6 Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred honored at 2018 AHP Conference
  • 7 Timber stars make most of 2nd chances
  • 8 Fencible
  • 9 One of a kind, Timonium ready for another sale
  • 10 Art Student
  • All About Bob-Justify sets stage for Triple Crown bid as Baffert ties record with seventh Preakness victory

    Long after training hours the day before the 143rd Preakness Stakes-G1, Bob Baffert kicked around Pimlico Race Course. His horses ate hay or dozed in the stakes barn, his staffers attended to their duties, he’d done his interviews and was – for a Hall of Fame trainer who has made the
    Read More
  • Azulyekit

    The barter system. Most horsemen, at some point, have put it to use. And it came into play 15 years ago when transplanted Irishmen Robbie and Joe Walsh – no relation – shook hands over a foal who ran until age 11 and earned nearly a quarter-million dollars. Jump jockeys by profession,
    Read More
  • Save Pimlico, because we can

    This month’s column could pretty much be just two words – Save Pimlico – but I’ll finish the sentence because the old girl deserves a proper explanation. 
    Read More
  • Doubling Up-Senior Senator collects a second Maryland Hunt Cup

    Twenty-two times Senior Senator sized up a timber fence at the Maryland Hunt Cup. His eyes saw it first, then his ears – instantly flicked forward. The signals went to his feet, his knees, shoulders, those long muscles across his back, his stifles, gaskins, hocks and he was up and over
    Read More
  • 2017 AHP Winning Editorial Photograph

    Joys of Spring JoAnn Hayden, Photographer From our June 2017 issue
    Read More
  • Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred honored at 2018 AHP Conference

    Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred, the monthly magazine published by the Maryland Horse Breeders Association covering Thoroughbred racing and breeding in the region, was recognized with nine awards for material published in 2017 from the American Horse Publications on the evening of Saturday, June 16, in Hunt Valley, Md. Two first-place awards were
    Read More
  • Timber stars make most of 2nd chances

    Match races, an attempt on England, trophy retirements, historic comparisons . . . they were all in play this spring with the emergence of three major timber horses on the National Steeplechase Association circuit.
    Read More
  • Fencible

    The year was 1972. Decades before the advent of the internet, 13-year old Stephanie Sires diligently scoured every available publication covering Thoroughbred racing for information about her favorite racehorse. Given that she grew up riding Quarter Horses on a farm just south of Akron, Ohio, all knowledge obtained came through
    Read More
  • One of a kind, Timonium ready for another sale

    The snack-bar at the Timonium sales pavilion would make good material for a comedian, or some sort of social experiment. Where else would a guy buy a $10 lunch on a plastic plate minutes after spending $1.5 million on a horse? 
    Read More
  • Art Student

    Smitten. In simplest terms, the word means to impress favorably; to emotionally affect with a strong or sudden feeling. And in classic stream-of-consciousness rhetoric, it’s a word forever linked to 24-year-old retired broodmare Art Student.
    Read More

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2018 Top Midlantic-bred Poll with The Racing Biz

  • Still Having Fun (MD) Blamed (MD) Enchanted Ghost (MD) Limited View (MD) Global Citizen (MD)
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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")

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.



Say It Again

  • "I never thought I'd stop to go shopping for a fishing rod on the way to the Maryland Hunt Cup."
    Steeplechase fan Nancy Miller, who did indeed get some new tackle for her grandson Teddy Davies (who's father Joe trains Senior Senator) en route to the timber classic
  • "That's the difference between a chef and a cook. A chef doesn't do dishes."
    Horseman Larry Smith Whose responsibility for Senior Senator ends once the Timber star goes to the start.
  • "He's happy and fat."
    Trainer Doug Fout On the retired life of 2004 Steeplechase Champion Hirapour, (IRE) 22, on the farm in Virginia
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