• 1 McDynamo
  • 2 Loose Horse: Ben’s Cat gone too soon
  • 3 Don’t fumble racing’s future
  • 4 The Big Hurt-Horses do their parts to ease pain after injury to champion jockey Paddy Young
  • 5 Sundown 
at Pimlico
  • 6 Fickle Fate
  • 7 Long lost link to Preakness winner’s family
  • 8 Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred honored at AHP
  • 9 Preakness & Belmont winner Hansel passes away at 29
  • 10 IRISH WAR CRY LEADS TOP MIDLANTIC-BRED POLL ON BELMONT EVE
  • McDynamo

    Goodie, Frisky and Mickey D. One is a now-white Welsh Cob type “somewhere between 30 and 40 years old.” That’s Goodie. Frisky, the smallest one, is a sleek black Lear jet who regularly devastates fields on the local pony racing circuit. And the third, a tall bay, is a living legend. Mickey D, you see, is McDynamo. And all three are irreplaceable family members at trainer Sanna Neilson’s 25-acre homestead in Cochranville, Pa. “He likes everything the same,” groom and caretaker Karen Andress said of the three-time Eclipse Award-winning steeplechaser. “He likes his routine. In the mornings all I have to do is whistle and he’ll come running around. I don’t have to go out here and holler and carry on.”
    Read More
  • Loose Horse: Ben’s Cat gone too soon

    Turned loose. All those times Ben’s Cat had risen like a ravenous black wave, gathering, menacing, consuming what hindered his path. His late-rushing gusto turned witnesses breathless and exhilarated, the outcomes confirming him a natural phenomenon. Turned loose. In the surreal shadows of stall 28, King Leatherbury’s Laurel Park barn, Fern Augusti made one last round on a warm June Wednesday turned stifling by its consequence. She ducked under the webbing, as she’d done a thousand times across nine years as his groom, prettied Ben’s Cat’s forelock and embraced him. It was time to let go.
    Read More
  • Don’t fumble racing’s future

    Shortly after the 2016 presidential election, I read a column about a foreigner’s view of American government. In short, the outsider compared our democracy to a football – as in we kick it back and forth from Republican to Democrat, liberal to conservative, world-view diplomat to hard-core nationalist and so on every four years. The conclusion was that maybe the country would be better off if democracy was treated like a Faberge egg – don’t kick it, cradle it like the fragile, delicate, valuable thing it is.
    Read More
  • The Big Hurt-Horses do their parts to ease pain after injury to champion jockey Paddy Young

    Sometimes, the horses just know. They must. Paddy Young, a five-time champion jockey closing in on his 200th American win (a figure reached by just nine people) and the dean of the colony, went down with a head injury at the Radnor Hunt Races May 20 – shocking his wife and children, fellow jockeys, racegoers and the sport. 
    Read More
  • Sundown 
at Pimlico

    We found ourselves in the gloaming, the twilight often summoned by Bill Nack in his racing stories to represent the awareness of time passing that doesn’t seem like a real thing until you find yourself in it. After the Woodlawn Vase had been presented for the 142nd Preakness Stakes, we hung around for the 14th race that followed because why hurry off from something you don’t want to see end?
    Read More
  • Fickle Fate

    Her name is Fickle Fate. It suits her, especially considering that the pensioned broodmare leads the life she does today because trainer Ann Merryman got her wires crossed 22 years ago when she went to the Keeneland September sale in 1995 to purchase a broodmare prospect for a client.  “I used my own discretion, but it turned out he didn’t want her,” she said. 
    Read More
  • Long lost link to Preakness winner’s family

    Hot, Delaware Park in August hot. Shedrow raked up, horses resting behind fans powered by more extension cords than aisle 12 at The Home Depot. The work was over for the day, but I had to wait for an owner to come look at the new horse.
    Read More
  • Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred honored at AHP

    Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred, the monthly magazine published by the Maryland Horse Breeders Association covering Thoroughbred racing and breeding in the region, was recognized with 11 awards for material published in 2016 from the American Horse Publications on the evening of Saturday, June 17, in Scottsdale, Ariz. 
    Read More
  • Preakness & Belmont winner Hansel passes away at 29

    Lazy Lane Farm’s Hansel, winner of the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, and subsequently Eclipse Award winner as champion 3-year-old colt of 1991, was euthanized June 13 at his owner’s farm in Upperville, Va. due to the infirmities of old age. He had been pensioned from stud duties in 2012.
    Read More
  • IRISH WAR CRY LEADS TOP MIDLANTIC-BRED POLL ON BELMONT EVE

    Despite a busy May with plenty of top-level racing action, there was virtually no change from last month in the monthly Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred/The Racing Biz Top Midlantic-bred Poll. Stellar Wind was the unanimous choice to the top spot among older horses. The Virginia-bred daughter of Curlin narrowly bested Vale Dori to take the Grade 1 Beholder Mile last Saturday at Santa Anita Park. That gave her two wins, both in Grade 1 company, from two starts so far in 2017.
    Read More

2016MidAtlanticAuctionArt

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  • 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.
  • PEEK-A-BOO

    PEEK-A-BOO

    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.
  • Worm’s eye view

    Worm’s eye view

    Under a striking autumn sky, Spartianos and Luis Garcia battle for position late in the Maryland Million Turf at Laurel Park Oct. 22. They finished second to Phlash Phelps in the $125,000 race. Scott Serio/EclipseSportswire
  • Red Sky at Night

    Red Sky at Night

    Ghost Hunter looks all right before loading in the gate for the Presque Isle Mile at Presque Isle Downs Sept. 18. He ran his winning streak to five in the $200,000 stakes. Coady Photography.
  • The shadow

    The shadow

    Convey, a mare at the Safely Home division of Dark Hollow Farm in Upperco, Md., stops the camera of Lucas Richardson during a summer visit. Richardson, who turns 9 on Oct. 11, won a blue ribbon in the Maryland State Fair photo contest for the image – judged the best in the Animals (black and white) division for photographers under age 16.
  • Big Sky Country

    Big Sky Country

    Laurel Park does its best Montana impression as a runner heads back to the barn in August. Jim McCue photo.
  • Pony Ride

    Pony Ride

    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
  • 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

  • 3yos

    Irish War Cry (NJ) Unique Bella (PA) Fast and Accurate (PA) Bonus Points (MD) Moonlit Song (WV)
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Earnings through 07/25/2017

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.

 

 

Say It Again

  • "Hey, that's Tom Matte's horse."
    Yearling show spectator-and vintage Baltimore Colt's fan As number 41 walked past in Class III
  • "The difference between a good horse and a great horse is the mind. I would consider him a great horse, not a good horse. He was the best turf sprinter in the country for two years. And he's just cool, cool, cool. I can't believe it. I pinch myself a hundred times a day."
    Chris Welker About Ben's Cat
  • "This is what I like to do, just look at horses."
    Dale Romans While judging the Maryland Horse Breeders Association yearling show
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Popular Stories

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Connections

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