Looking Back

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

75 years ago: February 1943

Three Maryland owned Derby/Preakness eligibles were being watched with interest. 

Gay Bit, owned by Bruce Livie’s Bobanet Stable, a winner of seven straight before getting a break, was the favorite going into the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds. Mrs. H.J. Mohr’s Royal Prince, one of Maryland’s top juveniles, was back in training. And Director J. E., owned by Ella K. Bryson, was also a multiple stakes winner at 2. An offer of $75,000 had recently been rejected for the colt at Hialeah Park. 

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50 years ago: February 1968

Attempts by federal lawmakers to amend existing income tax laws in a manner which would threaten the existence of the horse breeding industry brought about the creation of a national organization of horse breeders. Named the American Horse Council, the organization was created after a meeting of more than 60 horsemen from 18 states who met in Miami, Fla., that January. All light breeds of horses were to be represented by AHC, with items such as a complete horse census, medical research as it applies to horses and encouragement of horse production high on the agenda. Noted editor Snowden Carter: “This could be the most progressive step taken by American horse breeders since founding the stud book.”

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25 years ago: February 1993

One day before the Jan. 21 deadline, Joe De Francis announced he would buy out the stock owned by his estranged partners Bob and Tom Manfuso, thereby maintaining ownership control of Laurel and Pimlico.

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10 years ago: February 2008

 “Life Lived Large: The Tale of Dickie Small” was writer Vinnie Perrone’s chronicle of the life and career of one of Maryland’s most iconic horsemen. 

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75 years ago: January 1943

  Henry A. “Harry” Parr III (right) was elected president of the Thoroughbred Racing Associations two years after the creation of the organization by racing leaders in 1942. While not as high profile as Matt Winn, Carleton Burke or Alfred Vanderbilt, also members of the TRA, Parr was from a family immersed in Maryland racing for decades. He took over as president of the Maryland Jockey Club in 1942 when his good friend, former MJC president Vanderbilt, enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Parr had also been elected a member of The Jockey Club. 

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10 years ago: January 2008

  American Horse Council President Jay Hickey sat down with Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred editor Lucy Acton to discuss issues related to the Thoroughbred industry. The AHC represented the entire horse industry before the U.S. Congress and federal regulatory agencies in Washington, D.C., for more than 40 years. Among the topics discussed were tax law changes, internet gaming, and immigration reform. “We’re hopeful that at some point comprehensive immigration reform can be passed,” said Hickey. 

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50 years ago: January 1968

 The arrival of Dancer’s Image at Glade Valley Farms in Frederick, Md., marked the third Kentucky Derby winner in the five years to stand in the state, joining Windfields Farm’s 1964 winner, Northern Dancer, who would stand his first season outside Canada in 1969, and 1966 winner Kauai King, standing at Sagamore Farm since his retirement in 1967. 

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25 years ago: January 1993

 Breeders’ Cup Steeplechase heroes Blythe Miller and Lonesome Glory appeared on the cover. Miller was the first woman to take title to a Breeders’ Cup event. Lonesome Glory was trained by the rider’s father, F. Bruce Miller, in Cochranville, Pa., for owner Kay Jeffords. The duo soared to an 81⁄2-length victory at Belmont Park three weeks before the 10th annual Breeders’ Cup day at Santa Anita.

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