Looking Back

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

Thoroughbred racing in Maryland was looking up with bigger purses, increased breed incentives and a 10-year cooperative agreement between horsemen and the Maryland Jockey Club.

Tom Chuckas, president and chief operating officer of the Maryland Jockey Club which owns Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, responded: “With the positive relationships that are going on, the ball is truly in [racing’s] court. There’s a plan in place that will allow all of us to prosper, as long as we collectively do the right thing. It’s pretty simple; I don’t want to say it’s easy. What we do might be difficult, but it can be done.”

  • Jockey Tony Black capped a long and successful career with his 5,200th win in March at age 61. The Haddon Township, N.J., native won his first race aboard longshot Stand by Me at Liberty Bell Park in 1970 – his final ride was on Smart Tori for trainer Richard Vega and owner Anthony Nicholas Black (the jockey’s son). 
    The all-time leading rider at Parx (formerly Philadelphia Park and Keystone), Black had purse earnings of more than $63.1 million, was the regular rider of Eclipse Award winner My Juliet and rode in the Kentucky Derby twice. The day after his “retirement” he was back in the saddle exercising horses at Parx on a rainy, misty morning.
    “The reality finally set in,” he said. “It’s a good thing it was raining because the rain camouflaged the tears that came down my face.”
    The retirement was short-lived as Black returned in September and won with his first mount. With a small number of rides over the next few years, he won 11 more times before hanging up the tack in October 2019, a little over a month after his 68th birthday.

  • Fair Hill-based Animal Kingdom, sent by trainer Graham Motion halfway around the globe, captured the world’s richest race, the $10 million Dubai World Cup-G1 at Meydan Racecourse, padding a resume that included a Kentucky Derby-G1 win.

  • Sagamore Farm’s homebred filly Walkwithapurpose improved to 5-for-5 at Laurel, and recorded her third stakes win in a row, with a runaway score in the Caesar’s Wish. “At this point she’s a multiple stakes winner and I don’t think she really owes us anything anymore,” said Sagamore general manager Tom Mullikin. “Going forward, hopefully, she’ll put the icing on the cake.”
    The daughter of Candy Ride (Arg) would make one more start a month later, finishing third in Aqueduct’s Gazelle-G2 behind Close Hatches and Princess of Sylmar, before sidelined by injury which resulted in her retirement. She was named Maryland-bred champion 3-year-old filly, recorded five wins and two thirds in seven career starts, and became a stakes producer for Sagamore.

Archives | Looking Back

Click here to view our online Looking Back archives.

The Mill Leaders