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Category: Racing Archives

2018 Maryland Thoroughbred Hall of Fame inductees selected

The Maryland Thoroughbred Hall of Fame’s newest inductees include European champion El Gran Senor and renowned filly Caesar’s Wish. The selections of these Maryland-breds were made by a committee of Maryland racing industry members, coordinated by the Maryland Horse Breeders Association and the Maryland Racing Media Association. El Gran Senor, a son of Northern Dancer, was foaled at his breeder E.P. Taylor’s Windfields Farm in Chesapeake City in April of 1981. One of the select few Northern Dancer sons to be kept by his breeder, El Gran Senor was named for his sire’s Hall of Fame trainer Horatio Luro. The colt was campaigned for Windfields Farm in partnership with Robert Sangster and was trained by Vincent O’Brien in Ireland. A champion at ages two and three in England and Ireland, El Gran Senor won seven of eight races in his career, earning $520,969. His victories included classic wins in the Irish Sweeps Derby G-1 and the English Two Thousand Guineas-G1. In 1984, he was selected as Maryland-bred Horse of the Year, champion 3-year-old and champion grass horse. Retired from racing during the fall of his 3-year-old season, El Gran Senor came back to Maryland to stand his first season at stud alongside Northern Dancer at Winfields Farm in 1985. The colt was moved to Ashford Stud in Kentucky the following year, where he remained until his death at age...

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Rosecroft Raceway’s Drivers Trot 4 Charity

by Gina Maybee (First appeared in the July 2018 issue of The Equiery) The weekend of May 18-20, nine drivers from Rosecroft Raceway in Prince George’s County joined the harness racing industry across North America in Trotting 4 Charity, an event in which participating drivers and trainers from harness tracks wear a customized jersey with the logo of a non-profit charity that they have chosen, during the live race card. The jerseys are later auctioned off, with proceeds benefitting the various charities. Russell Foster chose Freedom Hill Horse Rescue of Calvert County as his non-profit.  Freedom Hill Horse Rescue is...

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Veterinary Recommendations for the Safety & Welfare of the Thoroughbred Racehorse

The American Association of Equine Practitioners today issued guidelines for protecting the health of the Thoroughbred racehorse. The white paper, “Putting the Horse First: Veterinary Recommendations for the Safety and Welfare of the Thoroughbred Racehorse,” provides veterinary guidance on many issues challenging the racing industry and the care of the racehorse. Recommendations within the white paper are focused in four key areas: the racing business model, the veterinarian-owner-trainer relationship, medication, and the public perception of racing. Additionally, changes to the structure of claiming races and medication usage in horses intended for sale at public auction are addressed. “As an organization with the primary mission of protecting the health and welfare of the horse, the safety of the racehorse is one of our highest priorities,” said AAEP President Dr. Harry Werner. “This is a critical time for the racing industry, and we join the efforts of other groups who are determined to make improvements for the health of our equine athletes.” Key points in the white paper include: •    Continued identification and implementation of procedures and strategies that will significantly reduce the injury rate of horses. •    Standardization and enhancement of pre-race and post-race veterinary examinations with mandatory cross-jurisdictional sharing of information. Universal adoption in all racing jurisdictions of the Association of Racing Commissioners International model medication rules which state that no medication should be administered on race day except for...

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100 Years of Racing at Laurel Park

2011 Racing at Laurel Park debuted on October 2, 1911, making October 2011 the start of the Maryland Jockey Club’s celebration of this great milestone. Below you will find just a few fun facts about Laurel Park and the history that has unfolded there. When the park opened in 1911, it was part of the Laurel Four Corners Country Fair. The property was spread across Anne Arundel, Howard and Prince George’s counties and ideally set in between Baltimore City and Washington, DC. In 1914, James Butler, a grocery magnate from New York, bought Laurel Park and placed Col. Matt Winn as the general manager. A match race between Kentucky Derby winner Omar Khayyam and Belmont Stakes winner Hourless took place in 1917 to determine which was the better three-year-old. Hourless won the match race by a length. Triple Crown winner War Admiral won two races at Laurel Park in October of 1937 during his Horse of the Year season. In addition, Triple Crown winners Sir Barton, Whirlaway, Secretariat and Affirmed all won races at Laurel during their Hall of Fame careers. Seabiscuit prepped at Laurel Park for his famous match race against War Admiral in 1938. On October 15, 1938, he finished second in the Laurel Stakes, which is a race he won in 1937. In 1950, the track changed ownership when Baltimore industrialist Morris Schapiro purchased the track....

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Building Racing’s Future

(first appeared in The Equiery July 2011) By Regina Welsh It’s hard to believe that it has been ten years since Mason Lampton, George Strawbridge and George Sloan asked me to assist in starting an organization that would help amateurs learn to steeplechase race. Being the Executive Director of an organization was a reach from the Biochemistry Master’s degree I was working on at the time, but not so far of a reach from my commitment to the sport of steeplechasing as a trainer and fan. One thing led to another and this crazy “idea” of Lampton’s quickly turned into a full-fledged 501c3 nonprofit organization, which Lampton dubbed the North American Point-to-Point Association (NAPPA). The mission: to promote and perpetuate the sport of steeplechase racing, and foster its relationship with foxhunting. Joe Davies was one step ahead of NAPPA in his revitalization of the Maryland Junior Hunt Cup, which ran for its 11th consecutive year in 2011. Davies created the Field Master’s Chase where the “field” follows a “Field Master” at a solid hunting pace over a timber course suitable for the skill level of the entrants. Lampton heard about Davies’ idea and incorporated it into NAPPA. The Field Master’s Chase became the foundation from which many riders, young and old, have learned to race ride. It was after the first few years of NAPPA, that we realized the future of...

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America’s Top Thoroughbred

Maryland’s Connections at the 2015 RRP Thoroughbred Makeover & Symposium By Katherine O. Rizzo Let’s face it. Trainers like to show off their horses. Whether it is the fastest timber horse, the best-conditioned endurance horse, that dressage horse who scores a perfect 10 on its final halt or that foxhunter who stands perfectly quiet at every check. The horse becomes a trainer’s best form of self-promotion. And yet, at this year’s Retired Racehorse Program Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, well over 100 trainers from across the country, as well as Canada and the United Kingdom, came together with 165 retired racehorses to promote one thing: the Thoroughbred as America’s top sport horse. RRP’s Maryland Roots The Retired Racehorse Training Project (now RRP) was formed in 2010 by Steuart Pittman, Jr. of Dodon Farm (Davidsonville) along with a small group of friends. One year earlier, the group had hosted a symposium on retraining the racehorse; it met with such success that the nonprofit was formed to help trainers and owners transition racehorses into second careers. In 2011, RRP held a Trainer Challenge at the Maryland and Pennsylvania Horse World Expos. Then in 2012, the concept was expanded into the 100-Day Thoroughbred Challenge with horses provided by four top Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred farms. The first official RRP Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium was held at Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore in 2013 with...

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