Looking Back

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

“Charles Town Saved” was the headline after residents of Jefferson County, W.Va., voted 7,880 to 4,463 to allow slot machines at Charles Town racetrack. Had the referendum failed, the 63-year-old facility almost certainly would have vanished from the landscape.

Through its joint venture with Bryant Development Company, Penn National was set to exercise its option to buy Charles Town for approximately $16.5 million, according to a press release issued by the Wyomissing, Pa., firm. After the transaction, to take place in early December, “Penn National will own 80 percent of the facility and will manage its operations and a $16 million refurbishment.”

  • Front-running 9-year-old Frugal Doc recorded his first Maryland Million victory in his sixth try, taking the Classic in near track record time. The New Jersey-bred son of Baederwood upset favored Oliver’s Twist (by Horatius) by a head to reward his backers $72.20 for the win.

  • By most measures the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic’s Eastern fall sale was the most successful yearling auction ever held in the region. A total of 369 yearlings sold for a gross of $5,151,700, the overall average was $13,961, and median was $7,500. In the select portion of the sale, 142 head sold for $3,598,600, an average of $25,342 and median of $18,000. For the first time in Timonium auction history, 17 horses – all in the select section – sold for $50,000 or more.

  • Key to the Mint, one of the all-time great Virginia-breds, was euthanized due to infirmities of old age at Gainesway Farm in Kentucky. He was 27.

    Bred and raced by Paul Mellon’s famed Rokeby Stable, Key to the Mint (Graustark—Key Bridge by *Princequillo)was the nation’s champion 3-year-old in 1972, following a sweep of the Brooklyn Handicap, Whitney, Travers, Woodward, Withers and Derby Trial Stakes. His wins at 4 included the Suburban Handicap-G1 and he retired with a record of 14 wins from 29 starts while earning $576,015. At stud he sired 44 stakes winners and ranked among the leading broodmare sires in the country.

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