Looking Back

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

Mister Diz entered his 6-year-old season with an impressive track record to follow: best Maryland 2-year old in 1968, best 3-year-old the following season, best 4-year-old and up and best turf horse in 1970 and the best turf horse for a second time in 1971. Nathan Cohen’s bay son of Panacean had won eight stakes and 11 other races in 66 starts, with earnings in excess of $272,000.

“I had another 2-year-old that I was pretty high on. Funny thing, I can’t even remember that colt’s name now. Anyway, I wanted this good colt to work three-quarters of a mile, and I needed something to go with him. So Mister Diz was the one I settled on just because it was time for him to get an extended work, too. Well, Mister Diz ran away from the other colt. He went in 1:11,” recalled trainer Doug Small. “After that move, I knew I had to re-evaluate my 2-year-olds.”

Mister Diz retired in 1975, after 90 starts over eight seasons, with 23 wins, 17 seconds and 14 thirds, highlighted by a third in the 1974 Dixie Handicap-G2. He earned $327,015.

  • Humphrey S. Finney, founder of The Maryland Horse and the Maryland Horse Breeders Association’s first employee, delivered a speech to the Horse Health Seminar in Pomona, Cal., titled, “How to Buy a Horse.” As chairman of the Fasig-Tipton Company’s board of directors, with more than 40 years of experience at the sales, he had a lot to say:

    “I find we are breeding a much higher percentage of unsound animals than we ever used to.

    “The main things you need to look for in a horse of any breed are good conformation, constitution and disposition, as well as family and pedigree. All of these factors are now emphasized by a lot of sellers, but nowhere near enough by most breeders.
    “And remember, buying a horse is just like buying a marriage license. The purchase price has no bearing whatever on the ultimate cost of the operation. Be sure before you go to buy a horse that you are able to properly take care of him and give him all that is due in the way of correct management.”
  • Herbert Allen’s Explodent, a Maryland-bred son of the Maryland stallion Nearctic, won Aqueduct’s $25,000-added Swift Stakes. The colt, bred by Allaire duPont, outran Cool Concept as the 5-2 favorite in the 6-furlong race.

    Retiring a multiple stakes winner in 1973, Explodent became a highly successful sire, among his 63 stakes winners, five won Grade 1s including Mi Selecto, Exchange and Exbourne.

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