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 Looking Back

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

 “Those Long-Sought Stallions Are Arriving” wrote Snowden Carter in his editorial after announcements that Northern Dancer was moving from Windfields in Canada to the Chesapeake City farm, and Dancer’s Image was to stand his first season at Glade Valley Farms in Frederick. “One of Maryland’s new residents says in this issue that the State’s principal deficiency from a horse breeders’ standpoint is the shortage of quality stallions.

“Dr. [Robert] Leonard, president of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association, has said the same thing many times in recent years.

“No one will deny that this shortage does exist. But it is also equally apparent that the situation is being corrected.

“Maryland has attracted three of the last five winners of the Kentucky Derby (Northern Dancer, 1964; Kauai King, 1966; Dancer’s Image, 1968 [finished first but was subsequently disqualified].

“Add to this group the top class Nearctic. These four horses give Maryland a stallion group which even a Kentuckian would commend.”

 Allaire duPont’s homebred Politely set an all-time earnings record for a Maryland-bred race mare, surpassing the legendary Gallorette. With $478,937, Politely ranked sixth all-time nationally; Gallorette’s $445,353 dropped her to eighth. The man who knew Gallorette best, her former trainer Edward Christmas, was asked to compare the two race mares. “Money,” he replied, “means nothing.”

His definition of a great racemare? “One who can beat good colts, geldings or horses at sprint distances and classic distances and give weight or carry comparable weights. Unless a mare can do this, she is not great. In my opinion Gallorette was the only mare that filled these qualifications.”

 The promising young stallion Sunrise Flight fractured his shoulder in his paddock at Windfields Farm in Chesapeake City, and was put down at age 9. The oldest foals for the syndicated son of Double Jay—Misty Morn, by *Princequillo, were 2-year-olds.

From 73 foals, Sunrise Flight had 60 runners – 57 (95 percent) were winners, eight of them stakes winners. As a broodmare sire, from 29 producing daughters, he is the grandsire of champion, classic winner and top sire Pleasant Colony, major winner and producer Weber City Miss, and $841,388-earner Due North, to name a few.

 The biggest backstretch improvement project attempted in Maryland was nearing completion at Pimlico. Ten new barns made of brick and block were replacing the weathered wooden structures and would be able to house 400 horses and provide living quarters for 160 men. “Racing officials who have examined these modern buildings hail them as ‘models for the industry.’ ”

 

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