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 Looking Back

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

25 years ago

• The only two foals bred by Bob Quinichett from his small broodmare band in 1985 finished first and second in the Moccasin Stakes at Pimlico in March 1988. He still owned the winner, Willa On the Move, and had sold second-place finisher Empress Tigere as a 2-year-old in training. That filly raced for Eugene Ford.

When Quinichett retired from the business world in 1983 after selling his computer company, he shifted the focus on his racing hobby. He had first taken an interest a few years earlier, and among his first investments was a yearling filly he named Singing Susan. Purchased in 1981, she became a multiple stakes winner at 2 and was sold for a reported $900,000 that fall. Quinichett and his wife, Lorraine, also campaigned stakes winners Avenging Storm and Willamae early on, the latter one of their few broodmares. The first foal for Willamae, a daughter of Tentam, was Willa On the Move.

“We try to keep the horses in perspective,” said Quini­chett. “We don’t consider ourselves large breeders; five or six mares is our limit. Usually we keep about half of what they produce, and sell half.”

Quinichett had sold Willamae at the 1985 Keeneland November the year she produced Willa On the Move. Warner L. Jones paid $210,000, but the mare returned to the auction ring in the Jones dispersal two years later, with Quinichett buying her back for $105,000, plus purchasing her weanling Dixieland Band colt for $62,000. He planned to sell the colt at the summer select sales.

Although listed as sold for $145,000 at Saratoga, the colt, Citidancer, made his first start for the Quinichetts at Laurel in February 1989, winning by 12 lengths. Barry Irwin and Jeff Siegel’s Clover Racing Stable purchased the chestnut for $400,000 immediately following the race.

• The final foal by the world’s greatest stallion, Northern Dancer, was born on March 25 at Walmac International in Kentucky. Out of Gleaming Smile, an unraced half-sister to champion Our Mims and leading sire Alydar, the bay colt was bred by Executive Bloodstock and R.D. Hubbard.

Named Il Corsaro, the colt sold for $700,000 at the Keeneland July yearling sale. Never raced, he retired to stud in Argentina and sired two group winners.

• A breeder’s nightmare–a van carrying three mares from Allaire duPont’s Woodstock Farm in Maryland to Kentucky was involved in a traffic accident. The young mare Cantam (by Tentam), who had foaled that year by Deputy Minister, was euthanized because of her injuries. The other two mares, half-sisters Fair Rosalind and Thirty Flags, escaped unharmed.

Woodstock’s standard practice of leaving the foals at the farm with nurse mares kept the foals safe. Fair Rosalind had a Storm Bird colt that spring, Thirty Flags an Alydar filly.

Thirty Flags, whose oldest foal was 2 at the time, and whose yearling was future stakes winner Manlove, would go on to produce eight more foals, including stakes winners Byars and Dixie Flag, the latter a three-time graded stakes winner of $556,384. Fair Rosalind was already a stakes producer, her daughter Betty Lobelia having won the Grade 3 Miss Grillo Stakes for 2-year-old fillies the year before. The mare’s yearling filly in 1988 was future Maryland-bred champion, graded stakes winner and graded stakes producer Crowned.

• John E. Owens III’s Little Bold John became the newest millionaire from the region when he captured the Jennings Handicap on April 1. He was the fourth Maryland-bred to reach the milestone, joining Broad Brush, Dave’s Friend and Jameela. A winner of 15 stakes, the 6-year-old had total earnings of $1,029,042, and was still going strong. “It took him five seasons to get his first million, but I won’t be surprised if he earns his second million this year,” said jockey Donnie Miller Jr. “He’s that good right now.”

Little Bold John came close to a second million by the time he retired in 1992. Racing through age 10, he banked $1,956,406.

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