Looking Back

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

Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred editor and racing historian Timothy Capps provided a retrospective of the 50th and 25th Triple Crowns anniversaries of Citation (1948) and Secretariat (1973).

Included were comparisons of the two greats by Hall of Fame trainer MacKenzie Miller; former general manager of Pimlico, Chick Lang; former editor of The Blood Horse, Kent Hollingsworth; and Daily Racing Form columnist Joe Hirsch. Capps summed it up with what still reigns true – Citation and Secretariat, like Man o’ War before them, defined the standard of greatness for every generation of Thoroughbreds to follow.

  • The Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association was ready to host its 19th annual Iroquois Awards Banquet honoring the state’s leading breeders of 1997, as well as celebrate its 50th anniversary. 
     “We want to make the evening special,” said Dr. William J. Solomon, whose second one-year term as PHBA president was drawing to a close. “Breeding horses is not for the faint-hearted and, as a result, the huge turnover of participants over the years has led to almost an entirely new cast of characters now than were involved 20 to 25 years ago.”

  • The first Virginia Derby, run at 1 1⁄4 miles on the turf, was to be the centerpiece of the Colonial Downs’ 1998 meet. To be held the first weekend of October, with the exact date depending on television scheduling, the purse value – between $200,000 and $500,000 – was to be determined by the amount of sponsor partnerships, as well as discussions with the Virginia Thoroughbred Association and Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association.

  • Two prominent Maryland horsemen, John A. “Jack” Boniface and Edgar Allen Murray, were remembered after their deaths in March. Boniface was the former secretary of the Maryland/Delaware/West Virginia division of the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association. Murray was a lifelong horseman and patriarch of a family active in all facets of Maryland Thoroughbred racing.

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