Looking Back

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

The first 223 video lottery terminals were put into operation at Charles Town. In the first three weeks, the VLTs handled nearly $2 million, reported the West Virginia Lottery. Said Roger Ramey, the track’s vice-president of public affairs: “Without VLTs, we’d be gone. That’s a given. If they carry racing, then that’s the way it has to be.”
  • The Eastern Fall yearling sale had Timonium bursting at the seams with a record 638 yearlings catalogued. A total of 456 sold for $7,702,800, with the sale topper bringing a record $220,000. The Pennsylvania-bred Waquoit colt named Buck Trout was consigned by his breeder Joy Valentine of Unionville, Pa., and purchased by Dr. Mikel C. Harrington. Of the top 10 sires by gross, nine were Maryland sires.

    Buck Trout won the Norfolk Stakes-G2 at Santa Anita at 2, finished seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile-G1 and earned $207,880 in 10 starts for owner Heinz J. Steinmann and trainer Mike Harrington.
  • James W. Casey and his wife Eleanor, along with sons James M. Casey and John A. Casey, established a virtual dynasty in the marquee event on West Virginia Breeders Classic night at Charles Town. Take Aim gave the family its sixth win in the featured $150,000 Classic. In 11 runnings of the race, the Casey family also scored with Taylor Mountain (1989 and ’90), Nice Ainit (1991) and Coin Collector (1992 and ’93). And the Caseys were the breeders of the previous year’s winner Ardent Arab – he and Take Aim were sons of the Caseys’ stallion Weshaam.

  • The 1997 MATCH series concluded with Arthur Appleton’s homebred American Champ the top point-earner, rewarding his owner $120,000 in bonuses and trainer Bob Camac $40,000. American Champ competed in six of the seven stakes for 3-year-old sprinters, won three, and never was worse than third. Two points behind in second was Cat Be Nimble, owned by Candy Stable (Herb Moelis) and trained by Tim Ritchey. Appearing in all seven events for older sprinters, Cat Be Nimble won two and was never worse than fourth. His connections received $60,000 and $20,000, respectively.

  • Weather Vane got her seventh stakes win of 1997 – and first graded of her career – when she scored by 3 lengths in the Safely Kept Stakes-G3 at Colonial Downs. Trained by Richard Delp, the daughter of the Roanoke Island stallion Willard Scott, who stood in Maryland for $750, pushed her earnings to $337,199 for the Par Four Racing Stable, a partnership of her trainer’s son Bill (also her breeder), Bill’s wife Sherri, brother Gary Delp and father-in-law Pete Dillon.

    Weather Vane would add Laurel’s Stefanita Stakes in November, which tied her for second-most stakes wins in a year for a Mid-Atlantic-bred. Of her 17 wins from 36 starts, 14 were stakes while amassing $724,532.
  • The colt and filly sales-toppers at Keeneland’s September yearling sale had strong Mid-Atlantic ties. Commanding a sales-record $2.3 million was a Mr. Prospector colt out of New Jersey-bred Horse of the Year Missy’s Mirage. Betty Moran’s Brushwood Stable, of Malvem, Pa., bred and sold a filly for $950,000. Foaled in Kentucky, she was a daughter of Pennsylvania-bred Danzig.




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