Steady Warrior continued his family’s Maryland Million Day success with a 7 1⁄4-length romp in the 25th running of the Maryland Million Nursery, duplicating the feat of his sire Cherokee’s Boy eight years earlier.
Steady Warrior was the first stakes winner from the debut crop of Cherokee’s Boy, who stood at Murmur Farm in Darlington, Md. Both were bred and owned by Foard Wilgis and Dave Picarello (ZWP Stable) and trained by Gary Capuano. ZWP co-owned Steady Warrior with Capuano’s Non Stop Stable.
Cherokee’s Boy became the second Maryland Million winner to sire a Maryland Million winner – Awad (1993 Turf) sired 2008 Starter Handicap winner Let Me Be Frank.
- King T. Leatherbury’s rising star Ben’s Cat pushed his win streak to six as he scored with authority in the Maryland Million Turf Sprint. Notching the eighth Maryland Million victory for his trainer, Ben’s Cat secured his second stakes victory in a row, following the Mister Diz (his stakes debut) in August.
Ben’s Cat established himself as a staple of Maryland Million Day as he ran for seven consecutive years. He won the Turf Sprint three times (2010-12) before that race was discontinued, finished second in the Turf twice (2013-14) and Sprint once (2015).
Figures generally took an upward turn at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic fall yearling sale, as 392 yearlings sold for $6,273,800, with 10 horses selling for $100,000 or more. Samantha and Mace Siegel (Jay Em Ess Stable) bought four yearlings, including the top-priced colt, a son of After Market for $250,000, and the top-priced filly, a Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Exchange Rate for $170,000. The father-daughter pair led all buyers by gross, spending $572,000.
- All-sources wagering reached an all-time high for the 24th edition of the West Virginia Breeders Classics at Charles Town, as fans wagered $1,526,418. Also reaching an all-time high was the winning payoff in the $500,000 West Virginia Breeders Classic, when Sea Rescue won by a head over Colonel J W at 57-1. Owner/breeder Nancy Terhune’s stakes-winning sisters Aspenglow and Silver Heart all but dominated the richest distaff event of the night, finishing first and third, respectively, in the $250,000 Cavada for trainer Gary Capuano. The daughters of Lion Hearted and Holy Princess combined to earn $137,250.
The multiple stakes winners also became stakes producers – Aspenglow is the dam of three-time stakes winner Shimmering Aspen and Silver Heart the dam of stakes winner Embolden.
Fox Hill Farm’s 3-year-old filly Havre de Grace notched her first stakes victory as she edged rival Blind Luck in the Fitz Dixon Cotillion Stakes-G2 by a neck at Philadelphia Park (now Parx). The win came after consecutive seconds to Blind Luck in the Delaware Oaks-G2 (by a nose) and Alabama Stakes-G1 (a neck).
Blind Luck was that year’s champion 3-year-old filly. The next year Havre de Grace was Horse of the Year and champion older mare after winning three Grade 1s, including the Woodward over males.
- Smarty Jones, the Pennsylvania-bred colt who became a national sensation during his 2004 Triple Crown run, returned home to stand at stud in 2011 at Tarry Bratton’s Ghost Ridge Farms in Felton, Pa., after spending six years in Kentucky.