Buck Jakes, the Maryland Hunt Cup course record setter (8:30 3/5) in 1995, and a faller the next year, returned to win for a second time in 1997 with regular rider Anne Moran, a 38-year-old mother of three, aboard. The duo teamed up the week before to win the Grand National over Welter Weight – the Hunt Cup was a near repeat of that performance as Buck Jakes beat Welter Weight by 4 lengths.
- Goucher College established a memorial award in honor of Neena Ewing, longtime Maryland Horse photographer who died unexpectedly the previous August. The award was made possible by many generous individual donations and recognized the most outstanding student in Goucher’s equestrian program. Ewing was a 1972 graduate of Goucher.
- “A job not yet a job, steeplechase riding is a profession for the few, thanks to the up and down job description that makes a yo-yo look stable. On weekends, jockeys stare down danger while guiding 1,000-pound animals over 4-foot obstacles at 30-40 mph. A few days earlier, those same professional athletes might be playing golf, teaching future pilots, mucking stalls, hosing down a burning building, eating Chinese food with a 1-year-old, writing newspaper headlines, getting a cast removed,” wrote Joe Clancy in his story, “Jump riders contend with daily hurdles.”
- Snowden Carter, a colleague of Oliver Goldsmith in numerous endeavors from the hunt field to the State House, remembered the life of his longtime friend.
“Big, bossy, and brilliant, he never indicated self-doubt about anything. What a character. What a man. Ever so many admirable traits were, at times, overwhelmed by pomposity. But he wasn’t all boast and brag. He had accomplishments which, if permitted, would have spoken for themselves.”
- The 1997 session of the Maryland General Assembly ended with a passage of a much debated income tax cut. Altogether, 24 bills were offered on behalf of the racing industry, including legislation to:
• use a portion of the existing pari-mutuel tax for purses
• provide revenues from unwashed Thoroughbred pari-mutuel tickets to Maryland Million Ltd. for promotion and purses
• eliminate the supplemental pari-mutuel tax based on handle of the state’s off-track sites
• transfer the expenses of state employees at the mile Thoroughbred tracks from the licensee to the state
• reduce the number of live racing dates required of the licensee operating at Ocean Downs from 65 to 40
• allow more overall racing dates at Thoroughbred and Standardbred tracks, to provide greater flexibility in simulcasting
- Multimillionaire Waquoit’s most accomplished runner, Halo America, joined the millionaire ranks when scoring impressively by 4 lengths in the Oaklawn Breeders’ Cup Handicap-G3. The gray mare followed that with the biggest win of her career, Oaklawn Park’s Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap.
Halo America made her final start a month later, winning the Louisville Breeders’ Cup Handicap-G2, and retired with 15 wins in 40 starts and final career earnings of $1,460,992. A stakes producer, she is the granddam of 2017 Preakness winner Cloud Computing.