Looking Back

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

Maryland was well prepared to return to racing after Fred M. Vinson, director of War Mobilization and Reconversion, gave the go-ahead to resume May 9. Seven days later the state’s spring season kicked off at Pimlico. The meet was shortened, “so as not to conflict with the regular dates of other courses in this vicinity,” most notably Delaware Park, which would hold a 30-day meet starting May 29.

“Maryland’s horsemen have always regarded nearby Delaware Park as almost a home state track and the majority of them race there year after year,” The Maryland Horse noted, adding that officials had been handicapped in the matter of Delaware’s stakes closing dates, not wanting to clash in any way with the Preakness date. Further complicating things was that Delaware Park’s racing secretary Eddie Brennan worked at Pimlico as well. Pimlico’s stakes day in June was chosen in order to “preserve the continuity of the running of the three races which comprise America’s famed Triple Crown series.” With the Preakness, Dixie, Pimlico Oaks, Pimlico Nursery and Jennings Handicap on one card, “Never before in Maryland has so much money been offered horsemen in one afternoon.”

  • Kenneth N. Gilpin, president of Fasig-Tipton Company, announced that approximately 145 yearlings had been entered for the annual sale Aug. 7-9 at the Meadow Brook Club in Westbury, N.Y., where it had been the previous two years.

  • Joseph F. Flanagan was named president of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association, after long-standing president Janon Fisher Jr. asked to be removed from the nominations. Flanagan farmed, hunted and bred horses – the most famous top steeplechaser Elkridge – in Harford Country for more than 20 years, was a steward at Delaware Park and Laurel, and “one of the foremost judges of bloodstock in the country.”

    At the MHBA’s annual meeting in Baltimore, guest speaker J.A. Estes remarked on the “need for a first-class public relations set-up to cover breeding and racing on a national scale.” Nine days later Flanagan appointed a committee, headed by Janon Fisher, chairman, Henry Parr and Goss Stryker, to look into the matter.

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