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 Features

Featured stories from our publication.  For archived features, click here.

Locals Only: West Virginia-bred Runnin'toluvya nabs big score on home track

Despite eight consecutive victories and 11 overall, all at his home track, the West Virginia-bred gelding Runnin’toluyva had something to prove in the most lucrative race of the year at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.
A little more than six months after a smooth front-running score in the $300,000 West Virginia Breeders Classic for state-bred runners, Runnin’toluvya was asked to take on the challenge of the $1 million Charles Town Classic, a Grade 2 event that has attracted its share of big-name invaders with previous wins at the top level of United States racing.

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Catalog Surfing: Two-year-olds of 2019 bring power to Timonium

Four years of million-dollar horses and gross sales of more than $20 million . . . Names, big names, on the roster of buyers and sellers . . . Seventy-nine horses selling for at least $100,000 in 2018 . . . Graduates such as Call Paul, Army Mule, Concrete Rose and Fourstar Crook.
Fasig-Tipton Midlantic’s May 2-year-old sale in Timonium, Md., used to be an overachiever, the little guy in the equation alongside bigger names in Florida and Kentucky. Consignors used to take horses to early-season sales, and save Timonium as the back-up plan. Miss some training? Have a bad work? Failed to attract the right attention? You could always go to Timonium.
No more.

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Strong Fabric

West Virginia sire Fiber Sonde continues to climb

At Keeneland November in 2007, the sales catalog listed 31 horses as stallion prospects. You don’t know 30 of them. Eleven didn’t sell. One brought $130,000. Another just $1,000.
The one you do know, West Virginia phenom Fiber Sonde, sold for $8,000. Looking to expand the stallion roster at their Beau Ridge Farm near Charles Town, John McKee and Cyndy O’Bannon made the successful bid – and unknowingly changed their lives.

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King Him

Region's leading sire Jump Start still popular at 20

In the last few weeks of his life, 100-year-old Thoroughbred breeder Ed Stone talked with his son and made one point abundantly clear.
“Stick with Jump Start.”
Ed Stone died Jan. 29, but his mare Elena Says Hello will go to Jump Start – for the fifth time.

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Dream Job: For Northview’s Torres, the horses rule

Francisco Torres. The name might not ring an immediate bell, but anyone who has visited Northview Stallion Station will recognize the face. Torres, stallion manager at Northview’s flagship Chesapeake City, Md., location, is usually the man on the end of the shank when the stallions are paraded for inspection.  

It’s what he doesn’t do that makes him memorable. 

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Team Players: With boost from stable pony, Runnin’toluvya wins Classic for Grams

As the winner’s circle filled up with well-wishers after Grams Racing Stable’s Runnin’toluvya captured the $300,000 West Virginia Breeders Classic for state-bred 3-year-olds and up in front-running style, it appeared as though trainer Tim Grams wasn’t going to join the celebration, but he ended up taking the long way back.

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Big Job: Lillis steps in, stands up for backstretch community

Bobby Lillis may be physically small, as he measures just 60 inches. But he stands tall and, like Secretariat, he has an outsized heart.

Most days, he sits at his aging desk in a cramped office inside the building that houses the backstretch cafeteria at Laurel Park. He has two titles – executive director of the Maryland Horsemen’s Assistance Foundation (MHAF) and director of benefits for the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (MTHA) – and his door is always open.

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