Tim Capps, who had been working as vice president of communications at Laurel Park and Pimlico, was hired to succeed Richard W. Wilcke, who was leaving the Maryland Horse Breeders Association after 10 years. Wilcke had served as the executive vice president of the MHBA, executive director of Maryland Million Ltd. and editor of The Maryland Horse and Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred magazines.
Wilcke joined the faculty of the College of Business at the University of Louisville as the Executive in Residence, working with the college’s Equine Industry Program.
- Horsemen’s Bloodstock Services, the Hunt Valley, Md.-based auction firm founded two years prior, ceased operation in early June.
“It was a valiant attempt that unfortunately did not work,” stated Laddie Dance, who co-founded the firm with the late John M.S. Finney. “We overestimated the need for a second auction firm in the Mid-Atlantic states.”
- A daughter of freshman sire Polish Numbers out of the Lord Gaylord mare Dame Avie made quite the first impression at the 61st annual Maryland Horse Breeders Association’s Yearling Show as she was crowned grand champion among 85 entries. Judged by trainer Nick Zito, the filly was owned and bred by Roger and Jackie Schipke’s Colts Ltd.
The grand champion filly, named Earth to Jackie, raced for her breeders and was a three-time stakes winner of $234,523. Descending from the famed female line of Avie, she sold as a broodmare prospect for $350,000 at the 1999 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.
- August Belmont, a member and former chairman of The Jockey Club and descendant of one of Thoroughbred racing’s most famous families, died in July at his farm in Easton, Md. He was 86.
No moment was more special than the day Caveat, the Maryland-bred he co-owned with Jim Ryan and Robert Kirkham, captured the 1983 Belmont Stakes-G1, named for his great-grandfather.
- After foaling and raising two Eclipse Award winners, a classic winner and dozens of stakes winners, Jim Ryan’s Ryehill Farm could boast its first runner to win $1 million while carrying the stable’s colors. Awad achieved the milestone when winning the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap. The 5-year-old son of Caveat named for Ryan’s friend, peace activist Mubarak Awad, won by a nose in 1:58.57, four-fifths off the course record for the 11⁄4 miles. It was Awad’s ninth stakes win, six of them graded, and his second in a Grade 1, having also taken the Secretariat at Arlington Park in 1993.