Looking Back

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

“Evans dispersal marks an epic chance to bid, and to bid farewell” was the headline as more than 200 horses from one of the nation’s most iconic farms prepared to go through the Keeneland September and November sales. The Edward P. Evans dispersal was one of the largest for a major breeder in history, and a rare opportunity to acquire members of numerous prominent families –descendants of generations of Evans’ selective practices.

Chris Baker, farm manager of Evans’ Spring Hill Farm in Casanova, Va., for more than a decade, spent an afternoon giving a tour of the farm and pointing out the blue-bloods in residence to writer Cindy Deubler and photographer Lydia Williams. All would be sold, with no reserves, as part of the Lane’s End consignment. All proceeds would go to the Edward P. Evans Foundation, which provides grants for medical research, education and the arts.

The Evans dispersal brought more than $62 million.

  • “That was unbelievable!” said trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, racing’s newest Hall of Fame member, after the stretch run by his champion filly Blind Luck, who held off Fox Hill Farm’s Havre de Grace in the Delaware Handicap-G2 to win by a nose.

    It was the sixth meeting between the fillies going back to the Delaware Oaks-G2 the year before, with Blind Luck outfinishing Havre de Grace four times. California-based Blind Luck, champion 3-year-old filly of 2010, criss-crossed the country on a regular basis and was never off the board in 21 starts, winning 12, and earning nearly $3.3 million.

    In their six starts, the two were separated by a neck or less four times. Blind Luck outfinished Havre de Grace by a nose (Delaware Oaks-G2), neck (Alabama-G1), 1 length (Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic-G1 when the duo finished second and third) and a nose. Havre de Grace won the Fitz Dixon Cotillion Stakes-G2 by a neck; the largest winning margin was in Havre de Grace’s first start that winter at Oaklawn Park in the Azeri Stakes, 3 1/4 lengths over Blind Luck.

  • Celebrity chef Bobby Flay got his first Grade 1 winner when the Virginia-bred filly Her Smile charged to victory in Belmont Park’s Prioress Stakes. Flay had purchased the 3-year-old daughter of Include privately from breeder Bill Backer less than three months earlier.

    That November, two days after finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint-G1, Her Smile sold for $1 million as a racing or broodmare prospect at the Fasig-Tipton November sale. The next September at Keeneland, Flay purchased a Pennsylvania-bred yearling filly for $390,000. Dame Dorothy in 2015 would become his second Grade 1 winner. At this year’s Saratoga sale, Flay sold her Uncle Mo yearling colt for $1.6 million.

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