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 Looking Back

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

A month prior to Fasig-Tipton’s Meadow Brook yearling sale in August, Humphrey Finney made the rounds at regional farms, inspecting yearlings and making reports.

While at Sagamore, he noted: “These are the biggest, best-grown and most promising group to be sent to the sales in a good many years.” Among the 14 offered were five Discovery fillies – including those out of stakes winners Outdone and The Schemer. The comments for the Outdone (May 16) filly were: “A very nice filly, tall, rangy, a good walker with straight hind leg. Had a kick in the flank in front of the point of the hip which is healing well and does not affect the filly’s soundness.” As for The Schemer’s daughter, born April 26: “A tremendously large, plain filly, but quick as a cat for a big ‘un. Has tons of bone and substance.”

Among the farms Finney visited in Virginia was Abram S. Hewitt’s Montana Hall, where he saw a chestnut colt by Pilate out of the John P. Grier mare Feathers. “. . . this is a well grown, lengthy colt of great scope and having a good set of legs and feet.”

Hewitt wrote a column “The Art of Buying Yearlings” describing the vagaries of the endeavor, that was printed in the magazine. He offered a few rules about purchasing yearlings, but summed up that the suggestions “are offered as nothing more than that, in line with the belief that nobody really knows much about judging yearlings.”

Sagamore’s Outdone filly, sold for $2,100, was stakes winner Miss Disco, dam of champion and legendary sire Bold Ruler; The Schemer filly – champion and multiple stakes producer Conniver – went for $2,500. Hewitt sold his colt, champion sprinter and 14-time stakes winner Royal Governor, for $9,200.

  • In mid-July, the Office of Defense Transportation in Washington banned the shipment of horses for racing or showing by express, railroad freight or in hired vans. Yearlings or other horses for sale were allowed to be transported by railroad freight service or by hired vans.
    When the ban was issued, the majority of Maryland’s owners and trainers were at two tracks – the larger outfits with higher class runners at Garden State Park in New Jersey, the others at Hagerstown, Md., for the half-mile track’s 10-day meeting.

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