Looking Back

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

“Marylander’s $1,800 Filly Wins $100,000 C.C. A. Oaks” was the headline, and the dream of any sales buyer, when Our Cheri Amour won New York’s filly classic Coaching Club American Oaks for Helen and Andrew Vizzi. Not only did she win by daylight, the filly ran the 1 1⁄2 miles in a time faster than that year’s Belmont Stakes winner Pass Catcher.

Prior to her upset at Belmont Park, Our Cheri Amour won a division of Delaware Park’s Open Fire Stakes and Liberty Bell’s Militia Handicap. The Vizzis had owned a few horses before the Porterhouse filly was picked out of the 1969 Eastern Fall Yearling sale by their 22-year-old son and “horse expert” Tully, but she was their first winner. Her trainer was retired Washington, D.C., firefighter John C. Friedman. The filly’s career started at Shenandoah Downs in West Virginia, where she broke her maiden at 2, and included races at Charles Town and Timonium.

Wrote Maryland Horse editor Snowden Carter: “All of this leads us to the inescapable conclusion that no one can instill quality into a horse and very few people can recognize it until it is demonstrated on the track itself.”

  • Maryland-bred Jay Trump and Marylander D. Michael Smithwick were new inductees to the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame.

    Three-time Maryland Hunt Cup winner Jay Trump was the only American-bred horse owned by, and ridden by, an American to win the English Grand National. Smithwick, a six-time Hunt Cup-winning rider, had saddled the winners of more money over jumps than any trainer in history.

  • The adventures of Un Stable were chronicled. Made up of a group of Baltimore Sunpapers editors and reporters who bought a yearling the year before, the stable had sent the colt named Running Story to trainer J. William “Billy” Boniface, son of Baltimore Sun racing editor Bill Boniface, who prepared him for his first start at Delaware Park in June.

    “To insiders, the big joke was that Bill Hartack [who had no fondness for the press] was riding the newspaper horse.” Running Story finished eighth of 12 in his first start.

    Running Story made 16 of his career 97 starts at 2, won four times, and missed winning the Maryland Futurity that November by a nose.

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