• 1 Remembering Ronnie Franklin
  • 2 Afternoon Deelites
  • 3 Evans legacy extends further with new stars
  • 4 Christopher Knight
  • 5 Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred/ The Racing Biz: 2018 Top Mid-Atlantic-bred Poll
  • 6 Den Mother: Holden makes it work at Country Life
  • 7 Patience rules in racing’s longest game
  • 8 Ineluctability
  • 9 Hard decisions at San Luis Rey
  • 10 Oscar and Ozzie
  • Remembering Ronnie Franklin

    Ronnie Franklin died in March. At 58. Obituaries listed the cause of death as lung cancer, but substance abuse played a role. Franklin lived hard, and fast. At Delaware Park in 1978, he was just getting started, as part of a colony that included other young hot shots Tommy Kupfer (who won everything) and Chris Baker, plus veterans Bill Passmore, Vince Bracciale Jr. and Herbie Hinojosa. Franklin rode for powerful trainer Buddy Delp and they were fairly unstoppable. Delp’s barn, perpendicular to the wide horse path that divided that part of the stable area, seemed bigger than others, taller, more important. Delp and Franklin seemed to win every day.
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  • Afternoon Deelites

    Burt Bacharach. Universally recognizable, it’s a name that brings to mind timeless titles and lyrics penned by one of the most prolific and successful songwriters of the 20th century. Millions can readily answer that Bacharach wrote “What The World Needs Now Is Love,” “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head,” “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again,” to name a few.
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  • Evans legacy extends further with new stars

    His yellow and black silks no longer show up in winner’s circles around the country, but Virginia owner/breeder Edward P. “Ned” Evans continues to make a major impact on Thoroughbred racing. And, though Evans died in 2010, he added plenty to 2017.
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  • Christopher Knight

    Ten minutes southeast of downtown Richmond in Varina, Va., a wooly-coated dark bay horse stands snoozing and sunning himself in a paddock. The sign hanging on a wooden post at the head of the driveway of the 12-acre farmette reads “Warwick Stable.” Thanks to urban sprawl, the neighborhood is now largely residential. But little else has changed since the property’s owner, avid breeder and owner Albert “Bert” Allen Jr., passed away in January 2011. His daughter, Hillis Allen, still lives in the house across the street. His son, trainer Ferris Allen, still ranks as a fixture on the Mid-Atlantic racing circuit. Both grew up on the homestead their father built. And the dark bay horse, Christopher Knight, still thrives there at the remarkable age of 35.
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  • Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred/ The Racing Biz: 2018 Top Mid-Atlantic-bred Poll

    March 9, 2018-  For the first time ever, all five 3-year-olds in the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred/The Racing Biz Top Midlantic-bred Poll hail from one state.  The poll, the first of 2018, was released Friday, March 9. The Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred/The Racing Biz Top Midlantic-bred Poll is comprised of nearly 30 media members and other participants in mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred racing. Until later in the year, it is divided up between three-year-olds and older horses. 
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  • Den Mother: Holden makes it work at Country Life

    The first assignment Christy Holden was given when she showedup to work at Country Life Farm as a 15-year-old may have sealed her future. “Josh Pons handed me a piece of paper, a pen and a thermometer and told me to go out in the field and take the temperatures of the foals,” Holden, now 48 and general manager of Country Life and Merryland farms in Maryland, remembers on a cold, snowy morning early in 2018.
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  • Patience rules in racing’s longest game

    Where are the mares? Last month, the magazine featured an article on the region’s stallions – pointing to at least nine new names – and the excitement of the various farms about the possibilities.
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  • Ineluctability

    Ineluctability. Now that’s a word you don’t hear every day. It means inevitability; something not to be avoided or resisted. It’s also the official Jockey Club name of the now 31-year-old gelding adopted by Fran Burns 16 years ago. She calls him Ben, but the literal meaning of his registered name couldn’t have been more prophetic.
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  • Hard decisions at San Luis Rey

    Fourmatt would have outrun the flames, and been at least a half-mile away in 44 seconds. Owhata Chief would have smelled the smoke a week ahead of time and simply walked out of the barn, by himself, and built a new life. No Way Tom would have walked circles in his stall – that’s all he ever did –  and probably created some sort of protective vortex. Rollicking Run would have waited in her stall – calm, polite, patient to a fault. Her neighbor Lovely Duckling would have run through the back wall of her stall and cow-kicked the first person she encountered. Odd Man would have tunneled out of the barn, then run back in to try to rescue the feed cart. The fire at San Luis Rey Downs training center in California last month struck with such speed, force and danger that trainers and grooms turned horses loose as a last resort. Like plenty of other people in racing, I saw harrowing video of herds of panicked horses galloping through the stable area, read accounts of missing horses and heard tales of heroic efforts to save horses.
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  • Oscar and Ozzie

    My husband passed away seven years ago, so it’s just me now. But I keep referring to ‘we.’ This is our farm; we bought it when we first got married.” It would be nearly impossible for Robin Townsend to relay any account of her life with Thoroughbreds without referring to Donald Townsend. And the story of two special homebreds has the late Maryland trainer written all over it.
    Read More

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Post Time

  • 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.
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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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Say It Again

  • "I'm trying to think like I'm not cold."
    Mike Trombetta In the paddock at Laurel Feb. 17th
  • "Oh, that's because Nick Zito and I like to talk like we're from the Godfather when we talk horses, you know, 'Barzini...Tattaglia...it's just business."
    De Julio on why Locust Point was purchased under the name Barzini Syndicate.
  • "I could go back and watch it three times and still not know what happened."
    Trainer John Servis On trying to watch Ms Locust Point's Barbara Fritchie win through the snow. (live and/or on television)
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Popular Stories

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Connections

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