Looking Back

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

Six veteran buyers of 2-year-olds – active trainers Tim Hills, Rodney Jenkins, Robert “Butch” Reid and Rick Violette; retired trainer and bloodstock advisor Greg Gilchrist; and bloodstock agent Joe Brocklebank – each with major success stories from the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale, shared their thoughts about juvenile sales when asked such questions as their priorities in selection, how important are the works, and do they rely on the repository.

Said Parx-based Reid: “When I go to watch the breeze show, I don’t even look at the catalog, because I don’t want that to influence how I’m watching the horses train.”

Longtime leading New York trainer Violette, who purchased sales-topping Read the Footnotes after the colt posted what was believed to be the fastest 3-furlong workout ever at a Fasig-Tipton 2-year-old sale (:33.20), noted: “Times matter to a point in that they don’t have to be the fastest in the sale, but they have to show some ability.“

And California-based trainer Gilchrist reflected: “Usually your first inclination is your best one. Sometimes you study and you study and you talk yourself out of something that maybe you shouldn’t.”

  • Two Laurel runners were making their first of many headlines.

    Sylvia Heft’s Maryland-bred Eightto­fast­to­catch, trained by Tim Keefe, got his first stakes win in the Harrison E. Johnson Memorial on closing day of the winter meet.

    And Robert Cole’s Rapid Redux, a $6,250 claim at Penn National the previous October, was 9-for-10 after the stable move. Since December he had eight consecutive wins, two of them just five days apart.

    Eightto­fast­to­catch added 11 more stakes wins while racing through age 8, including four runnings of the Jennings Handicap, and earned $1,072,970. Rapid Redux made history when winning every single one of his next 14 starts.

  • Mark McDermott, the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association’s executive secretary for 35 years, was retiring June 1.

    “Mark has been here almost since the inception of the program and has seen the organization through many dramatic changes,” said PHBA president Brian Sanfratello. McDermott’s tenure was the longest of any executive in a Thoroughbred breeders’ organization in the U.S.

    Former PHBA president Russell B. Jones Jr., in office at the time of McDermott’s hiring, saluted his protégé: “I am truly proud that our selection 35 years ago has born such wonderful fruit. Mark has seen us through the institution of full-card simulcasting, telephone wagering, Internet wagering, the advent of slot machines and most recently, table games. In each instance his leadership has been invaluable.”

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