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 Looking Back

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

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.”

10 Years Ago: March 2010

Pennsylvania-bred Mixed Up earned the Eclipse Award as the nation’s top steeplechaser, becoming Maryland sire Carnivalay’s first champion. In his 10-year-old season, Mixed Up won two Grade 1 stakes, the A.P. Smithwick Memorial and Colonial Cup, and led all jumpers in earnings. Co-bred by his owner William L. Pape and trainer Jonathan E. Sheppard, Mixed Up could alternately “delight and madden” his connections with his antics. It was the 11th steeplechase Eclipse Award for a Sheppard-trained runner.

25 Years Ago: March 1995

The accolades of Mid-Atlantic-breds were plentiful, as Virginia-bred Paradise Creek won champion grass horse at the 1994 Eclipse Awards and 1994 champion older male in Globeform, the international formbook that listed the top horses in England, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy and North America. Eclipse Awards runners-up from the region included Pennsylvania-bred Tikannen (Globeform’s champion middle-distance runner, for turf); Afternoon Deelites (West Virginia) for 2-year-old male; Concern (Maryland) for 3-year-old male; and Colonial Affair (Virginia) for older male.

50 Years Ago: March 1970

Cassie Red, a Maryland-bred colt claimed for $8,000 in January, won Gulfstream Park’s Hutcheson Stakes less than two months later to throw his name into the ring as a possible classic contender. He was foaled at Kennersley Stud in Church Hill (near Chestertown), where his sire Outgiving, a son of Better Self, had stood. Dave Seaman, co-owner of Kennersley Stud, thought he had sold the colt’s dam Cassie Blue at the Maryland Fall Sale while carrying Cassie Red, but buyer Mrs. T.A. Randolph found out the mare was a cribber and asked the farm to take her back. Seaman offered her to New York businessmen and first-time mare owners Benjamin Kalkstein, Murray Pergament and William Keisler and they bred Cassie Red in the name of their Kings Point Stable.

75 Years Ago: March 1945

Havre de Grace was undergoing changes and improvements “which should make the layout much more attractive to its patrons when the sport is resumed.” Improvements to the track, idle the past two years, “eliminates all doubts concerning the future of the track,” wrote Don Reed. “There had been many who, believing that Havre de Grace faced very stern opposition in New Jersey after the war, were fearful that the famed course might never operate again.” The track built by Edward Burke opened in 1912.

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