In his first season of commercial operation, Tarry Bratton put Ghost Ridge Farms on the map, lining up seven stallions to stand at his York, Pa.-area farm, five new to the state. Topping the list were Jump Start and Honour and Glory, who assumed the one-two spots on the state’s leading sires list by progeny earnings in 2009.
A key to the fledgling operation was the hiring of Carl McEntee as general manager in March 2009. A 30-year-old Irishman and Kentucky transplant, McEntee had worked at a number of prominent facilities in the U.S. and England.
In addition to Jump Start and Honour and Glory, the latter the nation’s leading 2-year-old sire with his first crop in 2000, Ghost Ridge was also standing new to the region Greatness, Smooth Jazz and Irish Road, as well as Alex’s Pal and Dixie’s Prodigy.
After two breeding seasons, Jump Start, along with 2011 Ghost Ridge roster additions E Dubai and Smarty Jones, moved to Northview PA in Peach Bottom, with McEntee becoming director of bloodstock services.
Charles Town Races and Slots, one of the few Thoroughbred facilities in the nation to show progress in 2009, had become one of the most innovative and prosperous racing venues in the nation. Many of the recent innovations, including the creation of the $1 million Charles Town Classic in 2009, were spearheaded by 33-year-old Erich Zimny, a Georgetown University graduate with a law degree, a master’s in business administration from Rutgers University, a graduate from of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program and was Charles Town’s director of racing operations.
“The noise when [Charles Town-based] Researcher took the lead at the top of the stretch [of the inaugural Charles Town Classic] – one of our stewards, Bobby Lotts, told me it was like somebody scored a touchdown in an NFL game. It’s the kind of thing that makes the other days worthwhile, when you see stuff like that happening on track,” Zimny said.
- Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment opened its new Parx Casino at Philadelphia Park in December. Constructed at a cost of $250 million and occupying 260,000 square feet, Parx offered 3,100 slot machines, plus dining venues, a sports bar and a stage for live entertainment.