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 Looking Back

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

Bill Boniface-trained Maryland-bred Oliver’s Twist just missed taking one of the fastest Preaknesses on record as the 25-1 shot finished a half-length behind juvenile champion Timber Country and a neck in front of Kentucky Derby winner Thunder Gulch.

Within a span of five months the Bonita Farm-bred Horatius colt owned by Charlie Oliver had gone from winning for a $20,000 tag in his debut to capturing the $150,000 Federico Tesio-G3, with victories in the Rollicking and the Maryland Juvenile Championship in between. Boniface won the Preakness in 1983 with another Bonita-bred, Deputed Testamony.

  • The National Steeplechase Association’s centennial year of 1995 saw spring purses exceed $1.8 million, healthy attendance marks, and strong performances on the race courses throughout the region.

    As Kay Jeffords’ two-time Eclipse Award winner Lonesome Glory carried on the superhorse legacy with a hard-earned victory in the Iroquois Steeplechase, Ann Stern’s Saluter registered his second consecutive victory in the Virginia Gold Cup in course record time. The 1994 NSA timber champion was bred in Virginia by Rose Estes, who sold him privately as a yearling but continued to follow his accomplishments.

  • Northview Stallion Station more than filled the void left by the closing of Windfields Farms in 1988. The Chesapeake City, Md., farm was the top breeding operation in the Mid-Atlantic with moderately priced stallions powered by leading sires Waquoit and Two Punch, Grade 1 sire Private Terms, freshman sensation Polish Numbers, millionaire Opening Verse and well-established Smarten and Baederwood.

    “A lot of Windfields’ horses were priced out of reach of regional breeders,” said co-owner Richard Golden. “Whereas, we make every effort to keep ours in line with what the local market can bear.”

  • Maryland-bred juvenile filly champion Urbane’s career was riddled by near-misses in Grade 1 company in California – in three previous attempts she was second or third, each time closely behind Serena’s Song. Shipped to Keeneland, she dominated the Grade 1 Ashland. Sent off as favorite next out in the Kentucky Oaks-G1, she was second again after a rough trip behind freewheeling longshot pacesetter Gal in a Ruckus.

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