Looking Back

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

Maryland Million Day 1997 could have been called “The Edgar Prado Invitational” as the Maryland-based leading rider in the nation won three races on the card for the second year in a row, including the Classic aboard owner/breeder Barbara Graham’s Algar, a son of Horatius (who with eight wins joined Deputed Testamony – with two winners on the card – as Maryland Million’s top sire). It was Prado’s 12th Million win, four ahead of any other rider.
  • A law enacted in the late 1980s prohibited Thoroughbred licensees from operating after 6:15 p.m. The intent was to leave the nights to the Standardbred tracks and the days to the Thoroughbreds. When simulcasting first came to Maryland in 1993, any simulcasting from 6:15 until post time of the first harness race would only be permissible if all parties – tracks, horsemen and breeders – agreed to the terms. This led to Thoroughbred tracks operating the pari-mutuel system during the day until 7:15 and the Standardbred tracks operating the system afterward. Harness tracks, fearing the impact that late Thoroughbred races would have on business, insisted that fans wagering after 7:15 could only use tellerless terminals. Editor Timothy Capps wrote, “Simulcasting is vital to the 1990s racing economy, and the industry’s stakeholders would do well not to put their hard won gains at risk. “In Maryland, this means abolishing the 6:15 law and establishing a revenue sharing system that recognizes market realities, not proprietary rights. All the ingredients are there to do so except vision and willingness to leave behind a past that bears little relation to the present.”

  • Stuart Janney III was elected chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. At the time, he saw television as a way to transport horses back into the minds of Americans as part of a comprehensive plan to revitalize racing.

  • Three of the region’s most accomplished 3-year-old fillies came within 3 lengths of each other at the finish of Philadelphia Park’s premier event for fillies, the Grade 2 Cotillion Handicap. Victory went to Bill Backer’s homebred Snit, three-quarters of a length ahead of Katharine Merryman’s Proud Run, with Salt It, heroine of the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes-G2, another 2 1⁄4 lengths back in third.


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