Looking Back

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

The Edward P. Evans dispersal proved to be a tribute to the late Virginia breeder, as 220 horses from his Spring Hill Farm sold at Keeneland as yearlings in September and at the mixed sale in November for $62,347,000, far surpassing the record of nearly $47 million from the dispersal of another great Virginia operation, Newstead Farm.

Twelve of Evans’ November sales horses sold for at least $1 million, and 20 brought $600,000 or more. Quiet Dance was the dam of four of the seven-figure horses – 4-year-old graded stakes-winning daughter Quiet Giant sold for $3 million; weanling Medaglia d’Oro filly brought a North American record $2.6 million; 3-year-old A.P. Indy filly Dance Quietly, $2 million; and 6-year-old Tiznow mare Quiet Now, $1.85 million. The 18-year-old Quiet Dance sold not in foal for $800,000. The dispersal’s top price was $4.2 million for Grade 1 winner Christmas Kid.

Said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland’s director of sales: “He developed at least four prominent families that sold gangbusters . . . What Ned Evans was very good at was he developed live branches. These weren’t old tired families at all.”

The Quiet Dance family continues to prosper as Quiet Giant produced as her first foal Gun Runner; Quiet Now is the dam of millionaire Lull; and the weanling filly, named Miss Besilu, was graded stakes-placed and produced as her first foal Gun It, a son of Tapit who sold as a yearling for $2.6 million and is multiple graded stakes-placed. Quiet Dance delivered her final foal in 2015; her 2014 colt Funtastic won the United Nations-G1 in 2018.

  • Another star Virginia-bred was 3-year-old Her Smile, a Grade 1 winner bred by William Backer. Sold privately by her breeder to Bobby Flay earlier in the year, the Include filly was sent to the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November sale as a broodmare or racing prospect and brought $1 million.

    Her Smile started the next year but didn’t return to her 3-year-old form. Back in the Fasig-Tipton sale in 2013 she sold for $1,075,000. The next year at Keeneland November she brought $1.5 million while carrying graded stakes-winning Tapit filly Pink Sands, recently sold for $2.3 million.

  • Pennsylvania-based trainer Robert “Butch” Reid Jr. sent out his first Breeders’ Cup winner when Kasey K Racing Stable’s longshot Afleet Again rallied to take the Marathon-G2 at Churchill Downs. Reid had trained the 4-year-old gray colt his entire career. “I think I was the only one on his side from the beginning,” he said. “He’s a frustrating horse to train and a frustrating horse to own because he’s a big, powerful individual and he has the talent to do even more than he’s already done but his personality is so laid back. . .” A graded stakes winner at 3, Afleet Again lost 13 in a row until the Marathon score.

  • Tom Voss sent out his wife Mimi’s homebred Wanganui to win the Raymond G. Woolfe Memorial Hurdle Stakes at Camden on the final day of the steeplechase calendar and in the process secured his fifth trainer title, one win better than Jonathan Sheppard in the 2011 standings.

  • Pennsylvania got its first Grade 1 race when Parx’s Cotillion Stakes for 3-year-old fillies was upgraded by the American Graded Stakes Committee. The race’s three most recent winners were Plum Pretty, Havre de Grace and Careless Jewel.

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