Looking Back

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

It seemed that change was on the horizon for Maryland racing as House Bill 1380, legislation aimed to provide coin-operated slot machines at the state’s mile Thoroughbred tracks (Laurel and Pimlico) and the Standardbred track Rosecroft Raceway, was introduced into the Maryland legislature in late February.

A revision of the original bill, the newly proposed legislation would allow up to 3,000 machines at each track, with the flexibility to move them on demand, and a total of 6,500 slot machines at three off-track locations which would serve as simulcast wagering outlets as well.

It was just one of many early attempts to get slots in the state. It wasn’t until September 2010 that the first casino opened in Perryville.

  • After 10 seasons on the track, Maryland-based Doctor Ichabod – “The People’s Champ” – was retired, with the occasion celebrated in Laurel Park’s winner’s circle. Owned by Fred Greene Jr., the 11-year-old nearly white gelding was to go to the Virginia farm of Ray Burnette to join Burnette’s granddaughter Stacy Jones’ string of show horses. Doctor Ichabod had a record of 22-26-16 and earnings of $272,838, with all but one of his 115 starts at Laurel or Pimlico.

  • The Mid-Atlantic produced 198 stakes winners in 1995, with Maryland leading the way with 99, followed by Pennsylvania (32), Virginia (27), New Jersey (24), West Virginia (13), North Carolina (2) and South Carolina (1). Thirty-six were graded winners. Two runners amassed more than $1 million during the year – Maryland-breds Cigar and Awad.

  • Burt Bacharach’s West Virginia-bred Afternoon Deelites made the ultimate comeback after suffering a tendon injury in the 1995 Kentucky Derby-G1, returning to win the Malibu Stakes that December at Santa Anita, the second Grade 1 of his career.

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