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 Looking Back

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

Allen Paulson’s Maryland-bred Cigar, trained by Bill Mott, closed out a perfect 10-for-10 season and extended his win streak to 12 with a victory in the 1995 Breeders’ Cup Classic-G1. A winning streak of that length was rare in the industry; for a horse over the age of 4 it was nearly unheard of in major competition.

“Where Cigar differs vastly from other great horses is that he is a 5-year-old,” wrote Bob Leggett. “The last 5-year-old who had as good a year as Cigar ran 157 years ago. His name was Boston, and he went 11-11 running mostly 4-mile heats.”

  • The history of Havre de Grace race track, known as “The Graw,” was recalled by Bill Mooney. For 39 glorious years, from 1912-50, the Havre de Grace, Md., track was a major center of Thoroughbred racing – Triple Crown winners Sir Barton, War Admiral and Citation had won there, and Citation lost there. Year after year a Hall of Fame “who’s who” graced the oval, including Exterminator, Discovery, Seabiscuit and Man o’War.

    The Graw became a casualty as tracks on the East Coast brought direct competition starting in the late 1930s, in addition to a movement to consolidate Maryland’s major tracks. In January 1951, stockholders agreed to sell 7,700 shares of Havre de Grace stock to the Maryland Jockey Club, which received the track’s 25 racing dates. The property was eventually sold to the Maryland National Guard. When the track closed, a few of the barns were sold, taken down, relocated and reassembled at farms around Maryland. Said famed horseman Sidney Watters: “I didn’t do it, and I’ve regretted it ever since.”

    Among others, the barns are still in use at Duck and Glennie Martin’s Worthington Farms (home of the Maryland Hunt Cup) and Tim Clark’s Glengar Farm.

  • Israel “Izzy” Cohen, one of Maryland’s biggest investors in the Thoroughbred business, died at age 83. Based out of a private barn on the backstretch at Laurel Park, Cohen and longtime trainer Dean Gaudet campaigned such stakes winners as Mixed Appeal (1994 Barbara Fritchie-G2) and her sire Mighty Appealing (1984 Remsen Stakes-G1, Laurel Futurity-G1, etc.), as well as Montbrook, winner of the 1993 Frank J. De Francis Dash-G3.

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