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 Looking Back

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

Equine author Linell Smith and her family were profiled as they prepared their yearlings for the Eastern Fall Sale in Timonium. Smith and husband John, known in his insurance business as Marshall – “After all, how much insurance could a man named John Smith be expected to sell?” – plus their three daughters lived on 10-acre Belfast Farm in Sparks, Md., and leased another 50 acres nearby. 

Linell grew up in the city but had a close connection to the track through her father, famous writer Ogden Nash. “Daddy adores the races,” she said. The three yearlings being sold were a colt by Restless Native and fillies by Globemaster and Tim Tam, the latter purchased as a weanling from Maryland breeder Harry A. Love.

The Smiths sold the two fillies, with the Tim Tam bringing the higher price of $7,000, nearly double the sale’s average. Named Runcible Spoon, she was a winner, and later produced four-time stakes winner Tim Tamber.

  • E.P. Taylor announced the syndication of Northern Dancer for $2.4 million. The who’s who of syndicate members included Allaire duPont, Claiborne Farm, Paul Mellon, Newstead Farm, Spendthrift Farm, Tartan Farms and Alfred Vanderbilt. The 9-year-old stallion, sire of 3-year-old European superstar Nijinsky II, would continue to stand at Windfields Farm in Chesapeake City, Md. Soon after the Taylor announcement came news that Nijinsky II was syndicated for $5.44 million and would stand at Claiborne Farm.

  • New to stud in Maryland was the impeccably bred What Luck, a 3-year-old son of Bold Ruler—Irish Jay, by Double Jay, purchased by Milton Polinger and Dr. Raymond T. Murphy to stand at Polinger’s farm in Olney. Injury limited What Luck’s career to two wins in six starts, but he was a full brother to the top-class runners Queen Empress and King Emperor.

    What Luck went on to sire more than 40 stakes winners, including Eclipse Award champions Ambassador of Luck and What a Summer, the latter recently inducted into the Maryland Thoroughbred Hall of Fame (see page 14).

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