Looking Back

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

Off to a fast start in 1973 was Bonita Farm’s Bold Monarch, who ranked as Maryland’s leading stallion and was booked full, thanks to the 1973 stakes victories by 3-year-olds Marian Bender and Bold Victor.

 “It’s amazing to realize that we’ve got the state’s leading stallion,” said farm patriarch Bill Boniface, 56-year-old racing editor of the Baltimore Sunpapers. “When you think of Northern Dancer and Nearctic and realize that our horse is on top – well, who would ever have believed it?”

The syndicated son of Bold Ruler was originally purchased by Boniface and J. Fred Colwill and Snowden Carter for the “terrifying sum [to Boniface and Carter]” of $100,000 in 1967. Through his 1972 season he covered 157 mares of which 106 conceived (after a few tense weeks at the start of his stud career in which he was described as a “blushing violet.”) At the time of the article, Bold Monarch was represented by 22 starters, of which 21 were winners, two in stakes.

  • Within a 14-month span, Maryland-bred full-sisters Noble Splash and Tsip were sold privately by their breeders, Mr. and Mrs. L.E. Thomas, for approximately $200,000 after winning stakes in Florida. First to go was Tsip in 1972, sold to Arnold Winick after scoring the Miss Tropical Handicap at Tropical Park in her first start at 5. The Thomases parted with Noble Splash the next February, selling her to F. Eugene Dixon Jr. after the just-turned 5-year-old won her stakes debut in Hialeah’s Poinsettia Handicap. 
    The seventh stakes winner for Maryland sire Noble Jay, out of the Hoop Jr. mare Splasher, Noble Splash was unraced at 2 and 3 – her breeders made it a policy to not race their 2-year-olds, and she suffered a stifle injury while training at 3. Noble Jay stood at Marshall Glass’s The Gambit in Warwick, where his daughters were foaled.
  • Five Maryland breeders purchased shares in the most expensive horse in history, 1972 Horse of the Year Secretariat. Inheritance taxes following the death of breeder Christopher T. Chenery compelled his heirs to syndicate the Virginia-bred Bold Ruler colt into 32 equal shares. Chenery’s heirs retained four, while the other shares were sold for $190,000 apiece – valuing the Kentucky Derby favorite at $6,080,000. Maryland breeders Mr. and Mrs. David L. Brooks, Mr. and Mrs. Milton (Laddie) Dance, William S. Farish III, Mrs. Richard C. duPont and E.P. Taylor purchased shares.

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