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 Looking Back

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

10 Years Ago: February 2010

In his first season of commercial operation, Tarry Bratton put Ghost Ridge Farms on the map, lining up seven stallions to stand at his York, Pa.-area farm, five new to the state. Topping the list were Jump Start and Honour and Glory, who assumed the one-two spots on the state’s leading sires list by progeny earnings in 2009.

25 Years Ago: February 1995

Robert E. Meyerhoff was the fourth-leading owner in the nation by earnings in 1994, boosted by homebred Concern’s victory in the 1994 Breeders’ Cup Classic-G1. The $1.56 million winner’s share of the Breeders’ Cup purse was the biggest payday ever for a Maryland-bred, and Concern’s 3-year-old earnings of $2,541,670 gave him the title of leading money-earner on North American soil (Virginia-bred Paradise Creek earned $2,634,774, but that included earnings in Japan).

50 Years Ago: February 1970

Legendary horseman Hirsch Jacobs died at age 65 in Florida. The owner, trainer and breeder from New York had purchased the farm in Monkton, Md., he named Stymie Manor in 1946, where all his young horses received their early education (among them Preakness Stakes-winning Horse of the Year Personality and his champion dam Affectionately).

75 Years Ago: February 1945

Marine Corps officer Stuart Janney Jr. was back in Maryland on furlough after spending two years on duty in the Pacific. A director of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association, owner/trainer/rider of Maryland Hunt Cup winner Winton and a “first class man to hounds” and “as cool and heady a rider as one would encounter on a day’s march,” Janney was joint-master of Green Spring Hounds and was one of many members of Maryland hunts in service. The Maryland Horse checked up on the whereabouts of a few, including the Stewart brothers, Latimer (a lieutenant in the Marines stationed at Mariana Island in the Pacific) and Redmond (a captain of artillery at Fort Sill, Okla.), and Daniel Baugh Brewster, a Marine lieutenant in the Pacific. Those in Europe included Ned Murray, Cuthbert Fenwick and H. Robertson Fenwick. Louis Merryman was a paratrooper who had receieved a Purple Heart, his brother Johnny was in the air branch of the Marines.

10 Years Ago: January 2010

Zenyatta’s victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic-G1 over Santa Anita’s synthetic track was in a league by itself as she soared past the boys to remain undefeated in 14 starts. A descendant from the famed Virginia nursery Newstead Farm’s foundation mare Mrs. Peterkin, California-based Zenyatta faced the toughest test of her career, rallied from far back and drove home to win by a length over Gio Ponti and 10 others, including that year’s Kentucky Derby-G1 winner Mine That Bird and Belmont Stakes-G1 winner Summer Bird. One horse the 5-year-old mare didn’t face was Edward P. Evan’s Quality Road, who was scratched after a harrowing display at the gate which included nearly getting loose while blindfolded.

25 Years Ago: January 1995

The “Mid-Atlantic region’s best Breeders’ Cup ever,” saw the day’s two biggest races – the $3 million Breeders’ Cup Classic-G1 and $2 million Breeders’ Cup Turf-G1 – go to Maryland-bred Concern and Pennsylvania-bred Tikkanen.

50 Years Ago: January 1970

Stuart S. Janney Jr.’s Promise was named Maryland-bred Horse of the Year after winning five of eight starts in 1969, including the Carter and Equipoise Mile Handicaps. Trained his 4-year-old season by Frank Y. Whiteley Jr., the son of The Irishman was the second foal out of Vowed, a Dedicate mare bred by Janney’s mother-in-law Mrs. Henry Carnegie Phipps. 

75 Years Ago: January 1945

James F. Byrnes, director of War Mobilization, called for racing to cease across the country Jan. 3. Reporting from Florida, Don Reed wrote: “To say that this was a shock to the hundreds of horsemen in this area is putting it mildly. Apparently, there had been no warning to the leaders of the sport, for everyone down here was caught flatfooted when the news came over the press wires.”

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