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 Looking Back

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

10 Years Ago: January 2010

Zenyatta’s victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic-G1 over Santa Anita’s synthetic track was in a league by itself as she soared past the boys to remain undefeated in 14 starts. A descendant from the famed Virginia nursery Newstead Farm’s foundation mare Mrs. Peterkin, California-based Zenyatta faced the toughest test of her career, rallied from far back and drove home to win by a length over Gio Ponti and 10 others, including that year’s Kentucky Derby-G1 winner Mine That Bird and Belmont Stakes-G1 winner Summer Bird. One horse the 5-year-old mare didn’t face was Edward P. Evan’s Quality Road, who was scratched after a harrowing display at the gate which included nearly getting loose while blindfolded.

25 Years Ago: January 1995

The “Mid-Atlantic region’s best Breeders’ Cup ever,” saw the day’s two biggest races – the $3 million Breeders’ Cup Classic-G1 and $2 million Breeders’ Cup Turf-G1 – go to Maryland-bred Concern and Pennsylvania-bred Tikkanen.

50 Years Ago: January 1970

Stuart S. Janney Jr.’s Promise was named Maryland-bred Horse of the Year after winning five of eight starts in 1969, including the Carter and Equipoise Mile Handicaps. Trained his 4-year-old season by Frank Y. Whiteley Jr., the son of The Irishman was the second foal out of Vowed, a Dedicate mare bred by Janney’s mother-in-law Mrs. Henry Carnegie Phipps. 

75 Years Ago: January 1945

James F. Byrnes, director of War Mobilization, called for racing to cease across the country Jan. 3. Reporting from Florida, Don Reed wrote: “To say that this was a shock to the hundreds of horsemen in this area is putting it mildly. Apparently, there had been no warning to the leaders of the sport, for everyone down here was caught flatfooted when the news came over the press wires.”

10 Years Ago: December 2009

Offspring of Not For Love dominated the 24th Maryland Million Day at Laurel Park, with four victories on the 12-race program, increasing his Maryland Million wins to 20, two shy of longtime leader Allen’s Prospect.

25 Years Ago: December 1994

The 43rd running of the Washington, D.C., International-G1 was the centerpiece of Laurel’s Turf Festival, and the winner added luster to the race’s great history. Paradise Creek, sent off at 1-5 – the lowest odds in the race’s history – drew off to win by 51⁄2 lengths in 1:593⁄5 for 11⁄4 miles. Trained by Bill Mott, the 5-year-old Virginia-bred carried the colors of Japanese real estate executive Masayuki Nishiyama, who earlier in the year purchased Paradise Creek from breeders Bert and Diana Firestone. A surprise second in the International was C. Oliver Goldsmith’s homebred Redcall, by home stallion Acallade and foaled at his breeder’s Longwood Farm in Glenwood, Md. “The little old country horse” set the early pace and held on for second, a nose over England’s Beneficial (GB).

50 Years Ago: December 1969

British pundits and fans, including 168 members of the British Race-Goers Club who paid $450 each to fly to Laurel and bet on the horse, touted *Karabas as the one to beat in the 17th Washington, D.C., International. And Lord Iveagh’s runner delivered under a confident ride by Lester Piggott to defeat *Hawaii and *Czar Alexander. It was the first year no American-bred runners competed.

75 Years Ago: December 1944

Twilight Tear’s victory in the Pimlico Special, and for the first time in Maryland’s history an average daily handle of more than $1 million, were among the highlights of the 22-day Pimlico fall meet.

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