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 Looking Back

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

West Point Thoroughbreds, founded by Philadelphia native and U.S. Military Academy graduate Terry Finley and based in Mount Laurel, N.J., was the largest Thoroughbred racing partnership firm in the Mid-Atlantic and ranked among the nation’s major auction buyers. West Point had 90 horses in training, 440 clients and a dozen full-time employees staffing divisions in New York, Kentucky and California. “We are fully subscribed to the theory that people don’t need a racehorse in their portfolio,” said Finley. “So one is, we’ve got to offer them value. And two is, we’ve got to make sure they have as good an experience as possible.”

  • Monmouth Park sliced its live racing days in half for 2010, with purses for the 50-day schedule averaging $1 million a day – by far the highest daily purses in the country. Thoroughbred racing at Meadowlands was canceled for the year.

  • William Harris’ homebred Sweet Goodbye captured her first graded stakes in the Barbara Fritchie Handicap-G2 at Laurel Park, winning the 7-furlong test by a head in 1:21.81. The daughter of Louis Quatorze and the final foal from outstanding producer Thirty Eight Steps was the 2008 champion 3-year-old Maryland-bred filly. Her trainer Chris Grove, also saddled Greenspring, who dominated the General George Handicap-G2 on the same card.

  • The region lost two prominent breeders in Hermen Greenberg and Dr. Philip Torsney. Greenberg, 89, proprietor of Rutledge Farm near Middleburg, Va., bred 1993 Belmont Stakes-G1 winner and millionaire Colonial Affair, top steeplechaser Sur La Tete, and millionaire Researcher.

    Torsney, 77, a Red Bank, N.J., physician, campaigned top handicap horse Horatius, whom he’d purchased unseen as a yearling from an advertisement in The BloodHorse. Horatius became a major sire in the region, making his mark as the sire of Hall of Famer Safely Kept. Torsney also campaigned top sprinter My Frenchman and homebred stakes-winning half-siblings Gotaghostofachance, New Jersey-bred champion I’mtoogoodtobetrue and Anofficerandalady.

  • Russell Road was named 2009 West Virginia-bred Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male, following a whirlwind season of seven stakes wins, highlighted by the $500,000 West Virginia Breeders Classic. Bred by Robert Lloyd, the son of Wheaton owned by Mark Russell and trained by James W. Casey won seven of nine starts, was third once and earned $476,295.

  • The top Mid-Atlantic-bred sold in 2009 was a yearling colt by Bernardini out of the Storm Cat mare Storm Beauty, purchased for $1.2 million by John Ferguson. The colt was bred in Pennsylvania by Brushwood Stable.

    Later named Buffum, he won the Bold Ruler Handicap-G3 at 4 and entered stud at Northview Stallion Station in Chesapeake City, Md., where he stood from 2014-19. He sired stakes winners Clever Mind and Buff’s Eye View in his first crop.

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