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.
  • SPRING COLORS

    SPRING COLORS

    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.
  • HORSES IN THE MIST

    HORSES IN THE MIST

    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.
  • GHOSTS IN THE MIST

    GHOSTS IN THE MIST

    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.
  • 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.
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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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Pennsylvania's Walnut Green Thoroughbred operation needed a little help, so office manager Grace Meagher launched the Foal Futzers program. Photos by Anne Litz.

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While light-hearted in name and nature, the idea is to make sure foals born on the farm are handled, checked on and otherwise associating with humans. With the farm staff tackling sales prep and other yearling work, a squad of volunteers took up the job. The team includes Jen Eccleston, a pre-vet student at the University of Delaware; Corinne Militana, an animal science major at Delaware Valley College; and high school students Melanie Anderson and Haley Sweet. Each became a devoted caretaker with a new connection to the Thoroughbred industry.

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Grace Meagher is the ringleader. She grew up eventing in Massachusetts before graduating from the University of Delaware in 2008 with a degree in Animal Science. While at UD, she interned with Dr. Thomas Bowman, who introduced her to the Reids. Since being hired in October 2008, Grace has been involved in all facets of the farm from foaling and attending sales, to scheduling veterinary appointments and record keeping. Now, she has moved into the office full time and has taken over all office operations.

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Mark Reid, owner of Walnut Green, lends his expertise and skills to the students as well, teaching them how to take a temperature, how to handle a foal on the ground, how to respect the atheletes they will become. Working with the foals throughout the summer taught these students more than anyone ever could in a classroom. Experience is everything, and to Jen Eccleston, who had no interest in the Thoroughbred industry previously, it changed her entire perspective. According to Jen, she "Just fell in love with it (Thoroughbred world)" this summer.

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Jen, who is alread having separation anxiety as foal futzing season comes to an end, says she learned patience while working with the foals. "You cannot just go up to every foal and touch and handle them as you would like. You have to be patient. Sometimes I would have to sit in the field for 20 minutes and wait for that stubborn foal to come up to me. But when they did, it was very rewarding." Jen will graduate with a pre-vet degree from the University of Delaware this spring.

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Melanie Anderson is a student at Technical College High School, Brandywine Campus, aiming for a Veterinary Science degree. This is her first experience with both Thoroughbreds and foals, but she's caught the bug.

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A field trip with Future Farmers of America brought Corinne Militana to Walnut Green initially, and from there she made the connection to Grace. While she's ridden horses throughout her life, this was her first exposure to Thoroughbreds. On her experience, Corinne said, "Babies have good and bad days and none are the same, each has its own thing going on." She learned  to pay attention to cues from the foals on what kind of day they were having. 

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Haley Sweet, 17, is a senior at Avon Grove High School who rides dressage and owns her own off-the-track Thoroughbred. Her focus in the future will be a degree in Animal Science, maybe with a minor in foal whispering.

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It just takes a few minutes with a foal, or a racehorse, or a track pony, or a broodmare, or an off-the-track Thoroughbred, to feel like you're part of this industry. These students had an entire summer, and all plan to keep tabs on their foals throughout their careers. What if there were more programs like this, exposing young students with the interest and the intelligence to provide some basic care and in return, we gain a lifetime Thoroughbred fan? We know, it's scary to let new people onto your farm, your pride and joy, your livelihood. Just maybe though, it's worth it.

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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