Eighttofasttocatch – one of four Maryland Million Day winners sired by Northview Stallion Station’s Not For Love on the card – gave trainer Tim Keefe his first Classic score, and provided owners Sylvia and Arnold Heft their first Maryland Million victory. On a cold, rainy day, the event drew 20,907 spectators.
Not For Love swept the Classic as his sons Cactus Charlie and Not Abroad finished second and third. The state’s leading sire also had wins with Love That Dance (Distaff), Love’s Blush (Ladies) and Brushed By Love (Oaks). It was the second time in three years that he tied the single-day record on the program, first set by Rollicking in 1988 and matched by Allen’s Prospect in 2000. The 21-year-old son of Mr. Propector shot to the top of the Maryland Million leaderboard with 25 wins, three more than Allen’s Prospect.
- The West Virginia Breeders Classics celebrated its 25th renewal, and Mark Russell’s 5-year-old gelding Russell Road put an exclamation point on the event as he thundered to victory for the second time in three years in the featured $500,000 West Virginia Breeders Classic. The son of former Pennsylvania sire Wheaton also became racing’s newest millionaire.
Silver Heart repeated her year-older full-sister Aspenglow’s triumph in the $250,000 West Virginia Jefferson Security Bank Cavada Breeders Classic for fillies and mares. Owner and co-breeder Nancy Terhune had faith in her filly. “Silver Heart deserves her turn. Now she’s had it. Nobody deserves attention more than this horse, believe me.”
Silver Heart out-earned her sister, $596,824 to $465,698, and is the dam of stakes winner Embolden. Aspenglow produced multiple stakes winner Shimmering Aspen.
Pennsylvania-bred Plum Pretty, based in California with trainer Bob Baffert, returned to her home state and cruised to victory in Parx Racing’s $750,000 Cotillion Stakes-G2, pushing her earnings to $1,296,700 in nine starts. The win was her first since the Kentucky Oaks-G1 in May.
Foaled at Mark Reid’s Walnut Green in West Grove, Pa., the Medaglia d’Oro filly was bred by Silent Indy Stables LLC and raced for John Fort’s Peachtree Stable.
- Delaware Gov. Jack Markell declared Oct. 15 “Havre de Grace Day” in honor of the nation’s top-ranked Thoroughbred. A product of the Delaware Certified Program (she spent the required 90 days at Herb and Ellen Moelis’ CandyLand Farm in Middletown), Rick Porter’s 4-year-old filly was stabled for most of the year at Delaware Park with trainer Larry Jones. She won the track’s Obeah Stakes-G3 in June, was beaten a nose by Blind Luck in the Delaware Handicap-G2 in July, and rebounded to defeat males in the Woodward-G1 at Saratoga, then tacked on a win in Belmont’s Grade 1 Beldame.
- A trimmed-down catalogue at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern Fall Yearling sale saw the average rise, buybacks drop and the median jump 73 percent over the previous year. Eight yearlings sold for six figures, led by a Hard Spun colt from Paramount Sales for $200,000, purchased by Bradley Thoroughbreds as a pinhook prospect.
The sales topper was a pinhooking home run after he sold for $870,000 the next March at the Fasig-Tipton Florida sale and was sent to England.
- The National Sporting Library’s inaugural art exhibition in its new sporting art museum opened in October, and Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred contributor Sean Clancy took it in on a lazy Sunday afternoon. His review? “Put away your phone. Take an afternoon. Slow down. Go.”