Looking Back

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

Rash Prince led all sires 2-year-olds in Maryland thanks to stakes winners Queen’s Mark and Protest and stakes-placed Swift Courier. The son of Prince John stood at Country Life Farm in Bel Air.

“We’ve had some top Maryland stallions in the past,” said 56-year-old John P. Pons, “but it’s been a few years. Saggy [retired at age 28] was our last champion. Before him there were Occupy (a foal of 1941) and Lochinvar (a foal of 1939).”

John and younger brother Joe owned and operated the 100-acre establishment founded in 1933 by their late father, Adolphe Pons. 

  • A.J. Somerville’s Crack Ruler wrapped up his 8-year-old season with a seventh career stakes victory in Laurel’s $20,000 Monumental Handicap in his 109th start. Unraced at 2, Crack Ruler didn’t win his first stakes until age 6. Bred by Mrs. J.P. Jones, he was foaled at Country Life Farm, where his sire Dark Ruler stood. With earnings of nearly $300,000, Crack Ruler moved to 11th on the list Maryland-breds.
    Crack Ruler made 14 starts in 1972, a dozen before June, ran twice in December, and was fourth or better in six stakes. Winless in 12 starts at age 9, he retired with 22 firsts in 121 starts and $308,901 in earnings. 
  • The Maryland Horse debuted a Stallion and Statistical Issue, with 1972 Maryland-bred Horse of the Year Bee Bee Bee on the cover. It was the first time the magazine printed two January issues. In addition to pedigree pages on stallions standing in Maryland and nearby states, the new volume provided year-end statistics on the racing records of Maryland-breds, maps showing the locations of Maryland’s 200-plus horse farms, and profiles of the leading Maryland-breds of 1972.

  • Charles Fenwick Jr., president of the Amateur Riders Association, announced the National Steeplechase and Hunt Association was adopting ARA’s proposal for a reclassification of riders at hunt meets. Riders were to be placed into one of three categories, effective Jan. 1, 1973: Amateur Riders, Registered Amateur Riders, and Professional Riders and/or Jockeys. 


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