Looking Back

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

Leading up to the 1998 Maryland Hunt Cup, the popular gray Florida Law had an unparalleled record of near misses – five starts with no falls, three seconds and a third. He caught Welter Weight in the final yards to win the 4-mile race and give fellow “near-missers” Tom Voss and jockey Joe Gillet their first tastes of Hunt Cup glory.
  • Editor Timothy T. Capps pondered the impact of fewer racing days in the region in a “quality over quantity” question: “Is less horse racing better horse racing?” The thought behind the theory was fewer races would produce larger fields and more competitive wagering. Capps’ conclusion was, “Ultimately, the decision as to whether or not less racing is better is likely to be made by politicians and regulators, not the marketplace, and that is perilous.”

  • The 7-length victory of Robert E. Meyerhoff’s Hot Brush in the John B. Campbell Handicap-G3 marked the third time trainer Richard W. Small had sent out the winner of the race. “When I was growing up, the Campbell Handicap was almost as big as the Preakness,” said Small. “You look at the horses who won some of the earlier runnings: Vertex (1959), Kelso (1963), Mongo (1964), In Reality (1968). . . I get all excited just thinking about horses such as those.” Small’s previous winners were Festive Mood (1976) and Hot Brush’s sire Broad Brush (1987).

  • Writer Bill Mooney profiled jockey Jeffrey Lloyd after his 4,000th win in April. A native of Wisconsin, Lloyd made his career in the region, recording his first win at Water­­ford Park (now Mountaineer) in September 1975. His milestone came aboard Jaded Light at Philadelphia Park.

  • Regional cable station Comcast Sportsnet was airing a new weekly show, Philadelphia Park’s Let’s Go Racing, which debuted in March. Co-hosted by Bruce Casella and Dick Jerardi, the show covered national racing as well as local features. 
    The weekly show still airs, with co-hosts Jerardi and Dani Gibson.

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