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 Looking Back

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

10 Years Ago: June 2012

In one of the most dazzling displays for a 3-year-old early in the 2012 season – if not the most dazzling – Virginia-bred Bodemeister powered home to take the 76th running of the Arkansas Derby-G1 at Oaklawn Park by a widening 91⁄2 lengths. The final time of 1:48.71 for the 11⁄8 miles earned Bodemeister a 108 Beyer speed figure, as well as morning-line favoritism in the Kentucky Derby field.

25 Years Ago: June 1997

Buck Jakes, the Maryland Hunt Cup course record setter (8:30 3/5) in 1995, and a faller the next year, returned to win for a second time in 1997 with regular rider Anne Moran, a 38-year-old mother of three, aboard. The duo teamed up the week before to win the Grand National over Welter Weight – the Hunt Cup was a near repeat of that performance as Buck Jakes beat Welter Weight by 4 lengths.

50 Years Ago: June 1972

C. Oliver Goldsmith’s homebred Leematt invaded Aqueduct and Belmont, coming away with victories in the $25,000 Toboggan Handicap and $50,000 Carter Handicap, defeating Canonero II in both. Earning $34,200 in the Carter, the 4-year-old Maryland-bred increased his lifetime earnings to $114,686.

75 Years Ago: June 1947

The first running of the Pimlico Breeders’ Stakes, a 4 1/2-furlong dash for 2-year-old fillies foaled in Maryland, hosted a field of 11. Mrs. E. duPont Weir saw her colors run one-two in the stakes, as trainer James E. Ryan sent out Christmastide to win over Eireann by a little more than a length.

10 Years Ago: May 2012

Cindy Deubler recounted the historic win and controversy of the 1962 Preakness, where Virginia-bred Greek Money survived a stretch slugfest with division leader, Ridan, to win by a nose. Ridan’s jockey Manuel Ycaza lodged an objection as winning owner/breeder Donald Ross (of Delaware), trainer Virgil W. “Buddy” Raines and jockey John Rotz awaited the photo finish announcement. After extensive review, the stewards allowed the results to stand and ultimately suspended Ycaza for elbowing Rotz in the final yards. A now-famous photo by the Baltimore Sun’s Joseph A. DiPaola showed the proof.

25 Years Ago: May 1997

Live pari-mutuel racing would become a reality for Virginia in September with the long-awaited opening of Colonial Downs racetrack in New Kent County. The Virginia Racing Commission approved an amended dates request, which called for the track’s inaugural Thoroughbred meeting to run from Sept. 1 to Oct. 12.

50 Years Ago: May 1972

Off a championship juvenile campaign in 1971, Meadow Stable’s Riva Ridge headed to the Kentucky Derby after winning the Blue Grass at Keeneland. Trained by Lucien Laurin, the homebred son of First Landing won the Derby by 31⁄4 lengths in 2:014⁄5 in front of 130,564 racegoers.

75 Years Ago: May 1947

Stuart S. Janney Jr. was named chairman of the Maryland Racing Commission, succeeding George P. Mahoney. Maryland Gov. William Lane made the announcement while Mahoney was in Lexington, Ky., attending an annual meeting of the National Association of State Racing Commissioners.

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