Looking Back

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

Bowie Training Center-based Dance to Bristol won Saratoga’s Grade 1 Ballerina – her seventh consecutive win for Maryland owner Susan Wantz and fifth in a stakes, three graded.
Trained by Ollie Figgins III, the 4-year-old Speightstown filly was purchased by Susan’s husband David for $42,000 at the 2011 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale and made her debut that September at Charles Town. In 18 starts, she was first or second 17 times and had raced once a month in 2013. 
  • Branching out briefly to Pennsylvania to take advantage of the state’s lucrative breeders fund program, Eclipse Award-winning owners/breeders Ken and Sarah Ramsey watched one of their first foals born in the Keystone State, 4-year-old Real Solution, take the Grade 1 Arlington Million after a stewards’ ruling awarded him the victory. Real Solution was from the third crop of the couple’s champion turf horse and sire Kitten’s Joy.

  • Jonathan Sheppard won the New York Turf Writers Cup-G1 with Italian Wedding, the trainer’s 14th win in the race. Sheppard’s list started in 1979 with Leaping Frog and included Eclipse Award winners Flatterer and Mixed Up. 
    Sheppard added one more victory in 2019 with Winston C (Ire). Sheppard retired in 2020 and the next year the race was renamed for him. Sheppard died Aug. 27 at 82. His obituary appears on page 69.

  • In memory of renowned bloodstock agent Baden P. “Buzz” Chace, who died at 72 that August, the magazine shared a few of his thoughts accumulated over the years. One was titled “Time” – “Benny [Perkins Sr.] said to me last night, ‘Buzz, I’m 71 years old.’ Now, I can remember Benny, seemed like just yesterday. We were sharing a room here at the Hilton and he said, ‘Buzz, next year I’m going to be the big 6-0.’ It’s funny how fast things go.” 
    Longtime New Jersey trainer Ben Perkins Sr. was 89 when he died on Aug. 30. 

  • Joe Clancy remembered E. Allen Murray Jr. following his death that August at age 80. With his wife Audrey, the lifelong horse lover created Murmur Farm in the early 1960s. The couple stood at their Maryland farm such stallions as Norquestor, Deerhound and Our Emblem, the latter making headlines in 2002 as the sire of that year’s Kentucky Derby/Preakness winner War Emblem. Josh Pons remembered Murray at the memorial as: “a born horseman, not by family, but by temperament, by circumstance.”

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