Looking Back

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

10 Years Ago: October 2010

Bert and Diana Firestone, who owned and/or bred more than 175 major stakes winners in the U.S., Ireland, England, France and Japan over the decades, were back in the spotlight as homebred Winchester, a son of homebred turf champion Theatrical (Ire), carried their colors to victory in the Manhattan Handicap-G1. Residing on Newstead Farm in Upperville, Va., the Firestones had campaigned seven Eclipse Award champions, headlined by the iconic filly Genuine Risk. Other champions included Honest Pleasure, What a Summer and homebreds General Assembly, Paradise Creek, Theatrical (Ire) and April Run (Ire).

25 Years Ago: October 1995

Maryland-bred Awad added to his laurels by winning the Arlington Million Stakes-G1 in a course record 1:58.69 for the 11⁄4 miles. One of the leading turf runners in the nation, Awad had already made 12 starts in 1995, won the Manhattan Stakes-G1 two months earlier, and had seasonal earnings of $1,040,810 for breeder/owner Jim Ryan. Thanks in large part to Awad’s achievements, the late Maryland stallion Caveat ranked as the leading turf sire in the nation. 

50 Years Ago: October 1970

Renowned horseman Frank A. “Downey” Bonsal, former trainer of powerhouse stables Calumet Farm, Cain Hoy Stable and Marion duPont Scott, was hired as general manager of Sagamore Farm. 

75 Years Ago: October 1945

New Moon, a son of Sagamore Farm’s legendary stallion Discovery, appeared on the cover. Bred and owned by Henry L. Straus and trained by Frank A. Bonsal Jr., New Moon was the recent winner of the Aqueduct and Capital Handicaps.

10 Years Ago: September 2010

 Lookin At Lucky solidified his position at the top of the division in the $1 million Haskell Invitational Handicap-G1, sweeping home by an effortless 4 lengths and securing California-based Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s record fourth win in Monmouth Park’s signature race. Unfazed by the inside post, the 2-year-old champion and Preakness-winning colt recorded his fifth Grade 1 victory.

25 Years Ago: September 1995

The resilient Atlantic City Race Course in Mays Landing, N.J., was celebrating 50 years, and writer Bill Mooney explored the track’s history, glory days and evolution.

50 Years Ago: September 1970

Equine author Linell Smith and her family were profiled as they prepared their yearlings for the Eastern Fall Sale in Timonium. Smith and husband John, known in his insurance business as Marshall – “After all, how much insurance could a man named John Smith be expected to sell?” – plus their three daughters lived on 10-acre Belfast Farm in Sparks, Md., and leased another 50 acres nearby. 

75 Years Ago: September 1945

The conclusion of World War II after the surrender of Japan led to rejoicing and plans to return to normal. That included the racing world, but it was decided that the combined fall meets of Bowie, Havre de Grace, Laurel and Pimlico would be adhered to on the same cooperative basis as in recent years.


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