Nearly 300 horses showed up to the first Totally Thoroughbred Horse Show, held at the infield of Pimlico in July. The question was posed in the Maryland Jockey Club offices: How does racing make people more aware that Thoroughbreds can have other occupations after the track? MJC racing secretary, Georganne Hale, and manager of Adena Springs Retirement program in Canada, Stacie Clark-Rogers, stepped up and answered that question with unbridled success. What started as seven basic classes grew to 16, and the original $4,000 in prize money plus ribbons, nearly tripled to cover the additional divisions.
- Royal Delta, the champion 3-year-old filly of 2011, had to work for the win in the 75th Delaware Handicap-G2, getting home a neck in front of longshot Tiz Miz Sue. The victory added to her stellar record that included Grade 1 scores in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic and Alabama.
Bred by Saudi Prince Saud bin Khaled’s Palides Investments N.V. Inc., she raced for her breeder through her 3-year-old campaign, then was sold at the 2011 Keeneland November sale to Besilu Stables for $8.5 million. Left with trainer Bill Mott, Royal Delta completed her 4-year-old season with another win in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic.
In a year of close finishes in the 3-year-old ranks, Paynter produced one of the more dominating performances in Monmouth Park’s $1 million Haskell Invitational-G1. He gained notice in his previous start, the Belmont Stakes-G1, leading throughout only to lose in the closing yards to Union Rags. The Haskell was targeted by Kentucky Derby favorite Bodemeister and Union Rags, but both dropped out, leaving Bob Baffert’s barn to send in Paynter as the replacement for Bodemeister.
Siblings Katy Voss, Ann Merryman, Lizzie Merryman and Edwin Merryman each won a race as an owner/trainer/breeder July 12. While there were no records to prove it, the achievement must have been a family first. Two of the wins (Katy and Ann) were at Delaware Park; Lizzie and Edwin’s came at Penn National.
New Jersey favorite Joey P. hung up his racing shoes and retired to Hill Haven Farm in Millstone Township, part of the New Jersey chapter of the non-profit Thoroughbred rehabilitation and adoption program ReRun. Bred and owned by John Petrini, the 17-plus-hand nearly black gelding amassed $1,081,167, with 18 wins and 11 placings in 48 starts, and won at least one race in each of his eight seasons.
Virginia-bred Redeemed, owned by Jay Em Ess Stable, earned a “Win and You’re In” trip to the Breeders’ Cup Marathon-G2 after taking Parx Racing’s Greenwood Cup Stakes-G3, covering 11⁄2 miles in 2:28.01, nearly two seconds faster than Evening Attire’s mark set in 2008.