Looking Back

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

The accolades of Mid-Atlantic-breds were plentiful, as Virginia-bred Paradise Creek won champion grass horse at the 1994 Eclipse Awards and 1994 champion older male in Globeform, the international formbook that listed the top horses in England, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy and North America. Eclipse Awards runners-up from the region included Pennsylvania-bred Tikannen (Globeform’s champion middle-distance runner, for turf); Afternoon Deelites (West Virginia) for 2-year-old male; Concern (Maryland) for 3-year-old male; and Colonial Affair (Virginia) for older male.

  • Bowie race track, serving as a training track for the nearly 600 Thoroughbreds year-round, remained hidden amid a pine forest as a slowly decaying relic of another era, noted writer Bill Mooney as he made a visit and recalled its history. Bowie hadn’t conducted a race card since July 13, 1985, when the track’s finale drew a crowd of 12,012 that wagered $1,715,598, all on-site. Bowie had operated for 72 years as a racetrack, and was most known for its winter race meets. “Only the inordinately possessed fan of racing,” wrote Haywood Hale Broun, “would venture out to Bowie on a winter afternoon.”

  • Afternoon Deelites was the standout among a strong group of rising 3-year-olds representing the Mid-Atlantic. The finale of his 2-year-old campaign was a victory in the Hollywood Futurity-G1, leaving him undefeated in three starts, two of which were graded stakes.

  • Win Man embodied the spirit of his name for owners Ray and Betsy Gambone as he won 11 times in 16 tries as a 9-year-old, establishing himself as the leading Mid-Atlantic-bred by wins in 1994. In his final race of the season, a 11⁄2-mile starter handicap in the slop at Philadelphia Park, Win Man won by 18 lengths as he carried 127 pounds – 20 more than the 3-year-old runner-up. It was his 161st career start. Win Man retired in December 1995 with 48 wins, 38 seconds and 23 thirds from 178 starts and earnings of $416,316.

  • The Mid-Atlantic Statistical Review for 1994 included each state’s top earner of the year – Virginia (Paradise Creek, $2,611,547); Maryland (Concern, $2,541,670); Pennsylvania (Tikkanen, $1,504,226); West Virginia (Soul of the Matter, $823,768) and New Jersey (Classy Mirage, $298,307).

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