• 1 Breezing Along: Virginia-bred filly Stellar Wind flies to top of region’s best in 2015
  • 2 Xchanger
  • 3 Brain Teasers
  • 4 A few more questions for the new year
  • 5 Hall of Fame Ride
  • 6 Effervescent
  • 7 New year stirs up mix of optimism, trepidation
  • 8 Valay Pass
  • 9 Laurel Park impresses with upgrades
  • 10 Photo Finish
  • Breezing Along: Virginia-bred filly Stellar Wind flies to top of region’s best in 2015

    By Joe Clancy and Tom Law The first foal of a moderate winner. . . by a sire yet to break through. . . loads of female family behind her?. . . born on a farm with plenty of past, but not much future. . . visited by an animal communicator who saw potential but warned of trouble.
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  • Xchanger

    Trainer Mark Shuman and his wife, Anissa Butler, pulled their trailer up to Shuman’s barn at Fair Hill Training Center one day last September and instantly wondered whether they’d just made a massive mistake. As soon as Shuman shifted into park, the screaming and snorting began. The trailer shook. And every time they tried to get a shank on the monstrous gray inside, he batted and struck at them.
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  • Brain Teasers

    How well do you know your Mid-Atlantic Stallions? While away your snow days with these fun brain "teasers". See what we did there?
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  • A few more questions for the new year

    It’s February. It’s cold. It will be dark soon. It might snow. Ready for some more racing questions? These were on the list last month, but didn’t make the cut.
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  • Hall of Fame Ride

    Vinnie Perrone was recognized for “Hall of Fame Ride: Maryland Trainer Leatherbury takes place among Thoroughbred Racing Legend,” a profile of King T. Leatherbury, which appeared in August 2015. Perrone is a previous Eclipse Award winner, having won for his 2008 story on the late Clem Florio which appeared in the magazine.
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  • Effervescent

    By Maggie Kimmitt John Hughes can speak volumes about Effervescent. After nearly 40 years with trainer Jonathan Sheppard, Hughes knows the daughter of Citidancer–and her whole family. “We foaled her here. She was born, raised and broken here,” Hughes said.
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  • New year stirs up mix of optimism, trepidation

    Happy New Year. Not necessarily by definition, but by the nature of this magazine and this job, this column carries an optimistic tone. It can look forward, keep up with news other areas of the magazine cannot and comment on developments. And it can also point out areas that need work.
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  • Valay Pass

    By Maggie Kimmitt “He’s never done anything famous. We didn’t show him. But he’s a solid citizen and a good-huntin’ horse.” At first asking, Jimmy Paxson’s assessment of Valay Pass seems rather perfunctory. But get him talking about Duncan Patterson’s 21-year-old son of Carnivalay and the Assault Landing mare Winged Passage, and the yarns begin to spin.
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  • Laurel Park impresses with upgrades

    People kept asking me if I’d been to Laurel Park lately. They told me I wouldn’t recognize the place. I laughed. I go way back with Laurel–back to free Thanksgiving dinner in the track kitchen with Lonnie Fuller and Crazy Sam; back to the Lasix Barn and the new Receiving Barn; back to trying to saddle a horse when Barclay Tagg forgot he was supposed to help; back to talking my way past the guard at the top of the stretch; back to finishing fifth in the 1982 Maryland Juvenile Cham-pionship behind Dixieland Band, Deputed Testamony and Caveat and not
    Read More
  • Photo Finish

    Can you spot the differences between these two photos?
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Racing News

Post Time

  • 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. 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

    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

    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.

    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

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

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

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

    Hooves flash and fly on the turn at Laurel Park. Lydia A. Williams
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Say It Again

  • “From the first day she started training she was better than what we expected. She just went out on the track and looked like an athlete, different than the other horses in our barn. Right away we knew we had a star in his hands.”

    Owner Kosta Hronis, about Stellar Wind
  • “There was no negotiating. He paid us and it was fair.”

    Barbara Houck, who sold top filly Stellar Wind after two starts in Maryland
  • “Some horses come by you and it’s ‘whoosh what was that?’ It’s kind of the swagger. Watching a horse move along. First steps, turning. Good ones have a little swagger to them, they do to me anyway.”

    South Carolina horseman Goree Smith, trying to explain what he sees in young horses
  • “I don’t give him instructions. Why would I do that?”

    Trainer Jack Fisher, on what he told Paddy Young before guiding Ivy Mills to a win at Camden
  • “He’s only 5, I was going to retire…but now I’ll have to ride another five years.”

    Jump jockey Ross Geraghty, about Dawalan, winner of the Grand National and Colonial Cup
  • “He’s like my pony. I got a palomino pony and all he wants to do is lick your hand and eat apples.”

    Racing fan Larry Quill, on watching American Pharoah interact with people
  • “I have a month to talk about Almarmooq.”

    Trainer Kathy Neilson, asked if she had a minute to talk about her Pennsylvania Hunt Cup winner
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Looking Back-Maryland Hunt Cup

This Saturday is the 116th running of the Maryland Hunt Cup, the toughest timber race in the world. Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred / Maryland Horse remembers. . .

Young Dubliner jumps 13th10 Years Ago, Young Dubliner (Ire)?–?owned by Delawareans Bill and Renee Lickle, ridden by Irishman Brian Moran and trained in South Carolina by Pennsylvanian Kathy Neilson–captured the Maryland Hunt Cup in course record time of 8:25 3/5, which still holds.
Neilson won her Hunt Cup debut, but followed a family tradition. Her great-grandfather Redmond Stewart Sr. won the race in 1904; her grandfather, Redmond Stewart Jr., owned winners *Ben Nevis II and Haffaday. Her father, Paddy, rode in the Hunt Cup 21 times, winning three. Her aunt, Ann Stewart, trained winners Ivory Poacher and Swayo. And her sister, Sanna Neilson, rode to victory in 1991 and 1993.

25 years Ago, in one of the closest finishes in the race’s 91-year history, the Maryland Hunt Cup was decided by the length of Sugar Bee’s neck, after a stride-for-stride battle with Our Climber from the 17th fence to the finish of the 4-mile timber test. Only three of the nine starters completed the race.
Owned by Arthur (Nick) Arundel, Sugar Bee was trained and ridden by Charles C. Fenwick Jr., making his 14th Hunt Cup appearance as a jockey and winning it for the fifth time. Sugar Bee, a 9-year-old Virginia-bred gelding, started his career on the flat and set a 6 1/2-furlong track record at Charles Town at 3. A winner over hurdles midway through his career, the chestnut was switched to compete over timber and earned Timber Horse of the Year honors in 1985.
Sugar Bee and Our Clilmber over the lastSugar Bee’s Hunt Cup win came in his first attempt over the course. “He’d never jumped fences this size before and he didn’t like the ground,” said Fenwick. “But he handled the going well and he’s a good jumper.”

50 years Ago, Mountain Dew captured his first of three Maryland Hunt Cups for owner/breeder/trainer Janon Fisher Jr.The 7-year-old gelding  won with Janon Fisher III riding. It was the first time in the 66-year history of the race that the blue and gray colors of the Fisher family had triumphed in Maryland’s famous timber race. Fisher had trained, but didn’t own, three-time winner Blockade.
Mountain Dew, by *Hunters Moon IV, bowed a tendon in his only start on the flat as a 3-year-old. “I didn’t breed him to be a jumper,” said Fisher. “I bred him for a flat horse, and he had extreme speed.”
Describing the win, Fisher said, “This was the most exciting race I’ve ever watched. I bred the horse, and I bred the jockey. And I also bred the dam and granddam of the winner.”

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