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 Looking Back

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

In his first couple months as a trainer, Charles T. Jones had seven wins from 15 starts, two of them stakes with the 4-year-old filly Daring Step. The daughter of Prince Dare won five straight, including Liberty Bell’s Tuscarora and Bowie’s Conniver handicaps.

Formerly in the show horse world, Jones took over training duties of the filly when her regular trainer, Eddie McMullen, had been seriously injured breaking yearlings. Jones’ father-in-law Morris Stoltzfus, who raced as Greystone Manor Stable, purchased Maryland-bred Daring Step as an unraced 2-year-old for $12,000.

“I know she’s not the greatest horse in the world,” said Jones. “But to me she’s the greatest.”

Daring Step was remarkable in other ways as she is also the granddam of champion Eliza and Grade 1 winner Dinard. Her descendants include Grade 1 winner and top sire Dialed In.

  • Edgar Lucas expanded his Thoroughbred operation by bringing in two stallions from Virginia, Irish Sweeps Derby winner Tambourine and stakes winner Laugh Aloud, to stand at his Helmore Farm in Woodbine, Md. Asked why after more than a dozen years as a small breeder and owner he decided to go commercial, Lucas answered: “Because the fun of it is raising horses. And I believe that a well-run operation can be profitable.”

    Lucas also owned the Brooklandville, Md., farm by the same name, his home since the mid-1930s. His breeding stock were stabled at the Woodbine farm while the home farm was used for weanlings and yearlings. John Williams was his farm manager.

  • Maryland-based Northern Dancer led the world’s sire rankings as his progeny earnings surpassed Hail to Reason and Bold Ruler, ranked one-two by North American earnings. Northern Dancer’s European-based son Nijinsky II boosted the total and was one of two 1970 Horses of the Year for the Windfields Farm stallion. The other was the filly Fanfreluche in Canada.

  • Writer and photographer Peter Winants profiled two fascinating subjects – artist Franklin B. Voss and famed Maryland steeplechaser Billy Barton.

    “No American artist has ever matched the remarkable ability of the late Frankin B. Voss in painting foxhunting scenes. And, in all probability, there has never been an American painter who gave more of his life and time to the sport.” Voss died at age 72 while hunting with Elkridge-Harford in 1953, falling to the ground for no apparent reason and dying before anyone could assist.

    Owned by Howard Bruce, MFH of the Elkridge Hounds, Billy Barton was a timber champion, contested the Aintree Grand National, appeared on the cover of Time magazine, and lived to 32. A challenge trophy named in his honor was being offered for the first time by the Bruce family to the best performer at the Howard County and Elkridge-Harford point-to-points.

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