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 Looking Back

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

10 Years Ago: May 2010

Legendary trainer King T. Leatherbury was selected to receive the University of Louisville’s John W. Galbreath Award for Outstanding Entrepreneurship in the Equine Industry, given in recognition of approaches to management that are both innovative and successful, as well as for high character and industry leadership.

25 Years Ago: May 1995

In his first start since capturing the 1994 Breeders’ Cup Classic-G1, Concern won the New Orleans Handicap-G3 at Fair Grounds, employing his familiar late-running style to win by 3 lengths. The Maryland-bred was one of nine graded stakes winners in February and March bred in the region, the others being Maryland-breds Cigar (Donn-G1, Gulfstream Park-G1), Awad (Pan American-G2), Smart ’N Noble (Barbara Fritchie-G2, Snow Goose-G3), Square Cut (San Luis Obispo-G2), Who Wouldn’t (General George-G2) and Brushing Gloom (Fair Grounds Oaks-G3), Virginia-bred Honor the Hero (Phoenix Gold Cup-G3) and West Virginia-bred Afternoon Deelites. The latter ranked as the top 3-year-old on the National Thoroughbred Poll through April, having won the San Vicente Breeders’ Cup-G3 and San Felipe Stakes-G2 to remain undefeated in five starts, four in stakes.

50 Years Ago: May 1970

Only a field of four lined up for the Maryland Hunt Cup, minus defending champion Landing Party, who was scratched the morning of the race. The result was a shocker. The Hannum family’s hunter Morning Mac, who only the week before had run in his first National Steeplechase and Hunt Association sanctioned race (the secondary feature of the Grand National in Butler), leaped the final two fences strongly and galloped home a 21⁄2-length winner over *Knockbawn. Buzz Hannum was in the irons, wearing the blue and orange silks of his mother, Mrs. John B. “Nancy” Hannum of Unionville, Pa. 

75 Years Ago: May 1945

The Racing Scene, so as it was in the spring of 1945, as reported by Don Reed:

“At this time of year, when Maryland normally would be in the midst of its spring racing season, the best patrons of the turf can do is mull over recent developments and hope for the best in the near future.” Harry S. Truman, who became president following the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt that April, had remarked in his first press conference that the racing ban would continue.

10 Years Ago: April 2010

West Point Thoroughbreds, founded by Philadelphia native and U.S. Military Academy graduate Terry Finley and based in Mount Laurel, N.J., was the largest Thoroughbred racing partnership firm in the Mid-Atlantic and ranked among the nation’s major auction buyers. West Point had 90 horses in training, 440 clients and a dozen full-time employees staffing divisions in New York, Kentucky and California. “We are fully subscribed to the theory that people don’t need a racehorse in their portfolio,” said Finley. “So one is, we’ve got to offer them value. And two is, we’ve got to make sure they have as good an experience as possible.”

25 Years Ago: April 1995

The region lost one of its best racehorses and sires when Caveat died of an apparent heart attack at Northview Stallion Station in Chesapeake City, Md. He was 15.

50 Years Ago: April 1970

A 100-year history of Pimlico was compiled for The Maryland Horse by writer Dale Austin, who dug through archives and worked “with the written accounts of reporters long dead.” The result was nearly 60 pages of editorial, photographs, and congratulatory ads.

75 Years Ago: April 1945

On a trip to Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Humphrey Finney stopped by Glen Riddle Farm in Berlin and headed to the training barn, where the horses owned by Walter Jeffords and Sam Riddle were being kept in light training. Among those was Jeffords’ 2-year-old champion Pavot. Finney had high praise for the son of Case Ace: “Pavot is clean as a hound’s tooth, and as sound as a bell, to use too well worn similes. In conformation he is hard to fault . . . His action is faultless.”

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