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 Looking Back

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

Timber racing returned after a four-year hiatus (forced by the war), and Stuart Janney Jr.’s Winton picked up where he left off: sweeping Maryland’s big three – the My Lady’s Manor, Grand National and Maryland Hunt Cup – for the second time.

The Grand National win was the third for the 12-year-old Maryland-bred. The “Jubilee” Maryland Hunt Cup, run over a slightly different course due to having to detour some ploughland (all the courses had to be rebuilt after other uses during the war) was a tour de force. An estimated 18,000 spectators were in attendance, despite the chilly weather.

  • Monmouth Park’s inaugural summer meet, from June 10 to July 20, offered a dozen stakes, the richest at $25,000 added being the Monmouth Handicap and Choice, each at 11⁄4 miles. Juveniles had three opportunities as the Colleen for fillies would run June 19, the New Jersey Futurity for state-breds the following Wednesday, and the Sapling two weeks after that.

  • Flat racing on a pre-war schedule had returned to Maryland, with wagering records falling at Bowie and Havre de Grace (five handles over $1 million were recorded at Bowie, a first in the history of the Southern Maryland Agricultural Association). Gustave Ring, a Washington, D.C., sportsman, was the leading owner at Bowie. The most impressive horse at Havre de Grace was Calumet Farm’s Armed, who won the Philadelphia Handicap in 1:43 1⁄5 while carrying 129 pounds, breaking the 11⁄16-mile track record set 12 years earlier by Cavalcade.

    It was the eighth start, and sixth win, of a championship campaign for Armed, who raced through September, winning 11 of 18 starts – his only off the board finish was in Pimlico’s Jennings Handicap next out after the Havre de Grace race when fourth, beaten three-quarters of a length while toting 132 pounds. The following year he was the nation’s Horse of the Year.

  • With the opening of the racing season at Bowie came the debut of the Maryland Racing Commission’s mobile laboratory, stationed on the grounds of each track. As soon as saliva samples were taken from horses, the saliva was injected into white mice; reactions of the mice determined whether substances were present.

    Special exhibitions of the workings of the laboratory were given to visiting track and commission representatives from other states.

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