Anne Thorington always put the horses first, which was reflected in the success of her small but select breeding program on her Maple Leaf Farm in Unionville, Pa. The 78-year-old breeder was represented that year by multiple graded stakes winner Sweet August Moon – other breeding highlights over the years included Group 2 winner and Irish classic-placed Patricia, stakes winner All the Moves, and graded stakes winner and sire Top Hit.
- Maryland’s first slots facility, Hollywood Casino Perryville, opened in late September. Owned and operated by Penn National Gaming, the 34,000-square-foot casino had 1,500 slot machines. A second slots site at Ocean Downs racetrack in Berlin, Md., was expected to begin operation by the end of the year.
- The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association honored Virginia’s Edward P. Evans as the National Breeder of the Year for 2009. Represented that year by the earners of $4 million, including Grade 1 winners Quality Road and Cat Move, Edwards had ranked among the top 10 breeders in the nation every season for the past decade. The breeder of more than 100 stakes winners ran his breeding operation out of his 3,000-acre Spring Hill Farm in Casanova, Va.
- As Hudson River Farm’s Arcadius captured his first Grade 1 victory in the $100,000 Helen Haskell Sampson Stakes at Monmouth Park, he secured Pennsylvania horseman Jonathan Sheppard his 1,000th American jump race win. Sheppard then sent out a second winner to push his combined flat and jump total to 2,415 in a 44-year career.
The milestone was another for the Hall of Fame trainer whose career was highlighted by nine champions (seven steeplechase, two flat), along with 23 National Steeplechase Association championships by races-won and 25 by earnings.
As of mid-October, Sheppard runners had won 3,416 races and more than $88 million.
- John Werner Kluge, owner of the top-class Morven Stud in Charlottesville, Va., throughout the 1990s, died at age 95. Morven campaigned nine stakes winners, including Grade/Group 1 stars Buy the Firm, Lady in Silver and Unaccounted For. Dispersing his Thoroughbred stock in 2000, Kluge later donated Morven Stud and additional acreage to the University of Virginia.
- Real Quiet, winner of the 1998 Kentucky Derby-G1 and Preakness Stakes-G1, died from injuries suffered in a paddock accident at Penn Ridge Farms in Harrisburg, Pa. He was 15.
The five-time Grade 1 winner, who retired with $3,271,802 in career earnings from 20 starts, entered stud in Kentucky in 2000 and shuttled to Australia and Uruguay before moving to Pennsylvania to stand at Regal Heir Farms, Pin Oak Lane and finally Penn Ridge. In his five years in Pennsylvania his books averaged approximately 70 mares.
With eight crops to race, Real Quiet’s standout progeny included Grade 1 winners Midnight Lute, Pussycat Doll and Wonder Lady Anne L.