Looking Back

This month in mid-atlantic thoroughbred history! For Looking Back archives click here.

10 Years Ago: November 2011

For the second straight year, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association named Edward P. (Ned) Evans its National Breeder of the Year. Evans, who owned and operated Spring Hill Farm in Casanova, Va., died Dec. 31, 2010, at age 68. Also voted 2010 Virginia Breeder of the Year, Evans bred nine stakes winners in 2010. Eight carried his yellow and black silks, including four to graded success: Quality Road, winner of the Donn Handicap, Metropolitan Handicap and Woodward Stakes, all Grade 1s; Grade 1 winner Malibu Prayer; and A Little Warm and Dixie City, each a Grade 2 winner.

The first phase of his dispersal was conducted at the Keeneland September yearling sale in Lexington, Ky., grossing $6,527,000 for 50 yearlings sold. The Spring Hill Farm Virginia-breds averaged $130,540, nearly double the average of the overall sale, with the top price a $650,000 full brother (Elusive Quality—Kobla, by Strawberry Road-Aus) to multimillionaire Quality Road.

  • Rapid Redux recorded his 17th straight victory in a starter allowance at Charles Town Sept. 16, needing two more to tie the sport’s longest modern winning streak of 19 held by Zenyatta and Peppers Pride. The magazine profiled racing’s newest sensation and his connections – trainer David Wells and owner Robert Cole Jr. “I thought around eight or nine wins, we have something really special here,” Wells said. “At 12, it really started to hit us. The phone has really started ringing – HRTV, TVG, The Washington Post, The New York Times. I’ve never really been in this position before.” An editor’s note was added to the story, explaining that the article presented a milepost in an extraordinary journey and, by the time the magazine came out, the streak likely will have changed as Rapid Redux ran every two weeks or so.

    Rapid Redux equaled the record at Laurel Oct. 27, and broke it at Mountaineer Nov. 21. He added two more wins at Laurel Park, the last Jan. 4, 2012, and was retired to Old Friends. All but two of his 19 wins in 2011 were starter allowances. n Sahpresa achieved an unprecedented third straight victory in the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket in England. Born at Pennsylvania’s Derry Meeting Farm, bred by international “gentleman” Douglas McIntyre, trained in France by Rod Collet and owned by mighty Japanese breeder Teruya Yoshida, Sahpresa won for the eighth time in her career. McIntyre campaigned Sahpresa through her first two wins in the 1-mile Sun Chariot before selling her to Yoshida. The breeder died at age 92 just days before her third win.

    The earner of over $2 million while racing in England, France, Hong Kong and Japan, Sahpresa was retired at the end of the year and delivered five foals through 2019. Her son Satono Impresa (by Deep Impact) was a Group 3 winner in Japan last year at age 3.

  • Ben’s Cat notched his first graded win in dramatic fashion, launching a last-to-first move with jockey Jeremy Rose in Parx Racing’s Turf Monster Handicap-G3, a Win and You’re In Breeders’ Cup Challenge race. Chamberlain Bridge, winner of the 2010 Turf Monster and Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint-G2, finished third. Owner/trainer/breeder King Leather­bury stated afterwards that he did not have the money to supplement Ben’s Cat to the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint and would work a deal with anyone willing to pay the fee.

  • Ask the Moon won her second Grade 1 of the Saratoga meet by taking the Personal Ensign Invitational Stakes a little over a month after running away in the Ruffian Invitational Handicap-G1. The latter was a Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic-G1 a Win and You’re In race. Owner Farnsworth Stables and trainer Marty Wolfson claimed the 6-year-old Maryland-bred daughter of Malibu Moon for $75,000 at Belmont Park that June. She became the first Grade 1 winner for Charles and Cynthia McGinnes, who co-bred her with Country Life Farm.

    Ask the Moon started in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic-G1 and finished sixth, 6 1/2 lengths behind winner Royal Delta. Shortly after she was sold at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November sale as a broodmare prospect for $800,000. She sold a second time, in foal to War Front, at the 2013 Keeneland November sale for $1.8 million. The foal she was carrying was stakes winner Belgrano.

  • Racing for the first time outside Florida in her 31st start, Musical Romance held on to win the Grade 2 Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes for trainer Bill Kaplan, who co-owned the 4-year-old filly with Pin­nacle Racing Stable. The night before, Morton Fink’s homebred Wise Dan, making his 11th start and first outside of Kentucky, rallied to take the Presque Isle Mile.

    The only Presque Isle starts for either in their careers, the two went on to become Breeders’ Cup stars. Two starts after winning the Masters, Musical Romance paid $42.40 for the win in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint-G1 at Churchill Downs. Wise Dan became a legend – he earned back-to-back Eclipse Awards as Horse of the Year, champion grass horse and champion older horse in 2012 and 2013, the years he won the Breeders’ Cup Mile-G1, and was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 2020.

25 Years Ago: November 1996

“Charles Town Saved” was the headline after residents of Jefferson County, W.Va., voted 7,880 to 4,463 to allow slot machines at Charles Town racetrack. Had the referendum failed, the 63-year-old facility almost certainly would have vanished from the landscape.

50 Years Ago: November 1971

Everything from mosquitoes in Texas (a fear of Venezuelan Equine Encephalomyelitis which kept away many of the European horses), to prolonged rain, fog and a lackluster field of nine horses, combined to make the 20th running of the $150,000 Washington, D.C., International a study in adversity.

75 Years Ago: November 1946

For the fifth time the great Glade Valley Farm stallion *Challenger II sired the winner of the Maryland Futurity. Nathaniel, owned by Mrs. W.S. Farish’s Lazy F Ranch, was bred and raised by Maryland Horse Breeders Association president Joseph F. Flanagan, who presented the trophy to the winning connections at Laurel.

10 Years Ago: October 2011

The 100-year-old history of Laurel Park was celebrated. The track held its first race meet Oct. 2, 1911. “Born during a dark period in racing annuals, Laurel Park has experienced youthful exuberance, footloose and exciting matches, classic international elegance and graceful maturity – a journey through time to rival any literary epic.”

25 Years Ago: October 1996

Maryland-bred Smoke Glacken, based at Monmouth Park with trainer Henry L. Carroll, ranked as the top 2-year-old in the country after a four-race win streak that included Monmouth’s Tyro and Grade 2 Sapling Stakes before shipping to Saratoga, where he romped by 9 lengths in the Grade 1 Hopeful. Flying through opening fractions of :21.74, :44.23 and 1:09.73, he came home in 1:23.63 for the 7 furlongs. Unfortunately sore shins stopped him after an off-the-board finish in Belmont’s Grade 1 Futurity and he was put away for the year. Sold as a weanling by his breeder Perry Rosebrock for $14,700 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic December mixed sale, the Two Punch colt went through the ring as a yearling for $34,000 in Kentucky before Carroll purchased him for $65,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May 2-year-old sale. Carroll then brought in partners Robert P. Levy, William Roberts and Alex Karkenny. The gray/roan colt earned $284,500 his juvenile season.

50 Years ago: October 1971

John Jacobs, 37-year-old son of the late Hirsch Jacobs, revealed that the family would retain and expand Stymie Manor Farm in Monkton, Md., with construction of a six-stall stallion barn the first priority.

75 Years Ago: October 1946

On a vote held in September, the directors of the Maryland Horsemen’s Protective Association announced the membership vote was unanimous for a complete merger with the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association. The addition of over 500 members of the MHPA to the national organization “would further strengthen horsemen’s activities and just requests” including establishing a benevolent fund to care for needy and deserving horsemen and their employees; offering services of well-known and qualified attorneys; and having the prestige and power of a national organization numbering over 6,000 members.


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