Looking Back

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


Nancy Boyce profiled 24-year-old Katy Merryman Voss and marveled at her accomplishments.

An “A” rated Pony Clubber with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, Voss trained Twixt, an eight-time stakes winner in 1973. Bred by Voss’ parents, John and Kitty Merryman, who owned the 4-year-old Restless Native filly in partnership by Mrs. John Franklin, Twixt was on her way to becoming one of the richest Maryland-bred mares in history. 

  • Nostrum, the highest-priced yearling sold at the Eastern Fall Sales in Timonium, won his first two starts at Aqueduct. Consigned by breeder E.P. Taylor, the 2-year-old Maryland-bred son of Dr. Fager, and a half-brother to Northern Dancer, was bought by John A. Bell for $155,000.
    Nostrum twice placed in stakes at 3, retired to stud with earnings of $52,226, and became the sire or broodmare sire of multiple stakes winners, but just a fraction in number compared to his illustrious brother. 

  • Alfred Patrick Smithwick, one of the greatest steeplechase riders produced in Maryland, died at age 46 after a long battle with cancer. Smithwick was the nation’s leading steeplechase rider five times during the 20 years that he rode and inducted into racing’s Hall of Fame in 1973. He was credited with 398 victories in steeplechase races (still second all-time to the 440 won by another Marylander, Joe Aitcheson) and another 63 wins on the flat. Smithwick was the regular rider of national champions Neji and Bon Nouvel.

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