Looking Back

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

The 14th Breeders’ Cup at Hollywood Park saw a number of favorites scratch, but championship performances filled the card. Leading off was Maryland-sired Countess Diana in the Juvenile Fillies-G1, which she won by 8 1⁄2 lengths.

The Kentucky-bred filly launched her career at Pimlico for trainer Carlos Garcia before being sent to Patrick Byrne by owner Richard Kaster. She had deep Maryland roots – her sire Deerhound stood at Murmur Farm in Darlington (until sold that fall to Kentucky), her grandsire T. V. Commercial stood at Woodstock, then Windfields, in Chesapeake City. Maryland sires Northern Dancer, Dancing Count, Nearctic and Wise Exchange all appeared in her first three generations. And her first three dams were Maryland-breds. 

Skip Away, owned by Baltimore, Md., native Carolyn Hine and her husband/trainer Hubert (Sonny) Hine, was supplemented to the Classic (for $480,000) and destroyed the field – the winner’s share was $2,288,000. Dawson’s Legacy, a 2-year-old son of Roanoke (who recently moved to Reigle Heir Farms in Grantville, Pa.) finished second in the Juvenile-G1.
  • Highlights of the 1997 steeplechase season included the fourth Eclipse Award-winning campaign for Lonesome Glory, U.S. steeplechasing’s first millionaire; 19-year-old Jonathan Kiser tying Arch Kingsley Jr. for the jockey title; and Tom Voss getting his first trainer championship.

  • Colonial Downs, which hoped to have OTB sites in Fredericksburg, Martinsville, and Roanoke by 1999, was dealt a major setback when Virginia voters rejected all three in separate referendums on election day. The measures were defeated by 72 percent in Federicksburg, 56 percent in Martinsville and 57 percent in Roanoke.


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