Looking Back

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

New for 1969: A television camera ringside recorded the Fasig-Tipton sale to give a record of bidding and ring activity to help end disputes.

  • Kathy Kusner rode Pre-Ordained to victory in a race at Pocono Downs (Sept. 7, 1969) in Pennsylvania, achieving a goal the Olympic medalist had been pursuing for years. The second mount of the 29-year-old rider’s career, Pre-Ordained was trained by William G. Christmas and owned by his wife Louise. Kusner broke the ban on women jockeys when awarded the first license the previous October by the Maryland Racing Commission, but her race riding was put on hold after taking a bad spill at a horse show a few weeks later. In the interim, Diane Crump became the first woman to ride in a pari-mutuel race in the U.S., Feb. 7, 1969, and Barbara Jo Rubin became the first female rider to win a race against men at a nationally recognized racetrack at Charles Town, Feb. 22, 1969.

  • Stuart S. Janney’s five-time stakes winner Promise, one of the nation’s best sprinters and recent winner of the Carter Handicap under top weight, was to stand his first season at Glade Valley Farm. Earlier in the year he won Arlington Park’s Equipoise Mile by daylight, as well as Garden State’s Cherry Hill Handicap. Foaled at the Janneys’ Locust Hill Farm in Glyndon, Md., the son of the *Nasrullah stallion The Irishman was out of Vowed, by Dedicate; his fourth dam was *La Troienne. His book would be limited to 25 mares.

    Also set to enter stud the next season in Maryland was the stakes-placed Bold Ruler son Bold Ambition, going to Fendall Clagett’s Larking Hill Farm. He was out of the *Ambiorix mare Be Ambitious, a half-sister to Kentucky Oaks winner Lalun, dam of Never Bend. Promise only sired 12 foals, of which eight won, and was eventually gelded. Bold Ambition had a better, and longer, stud career and sired five stakes winners, but is more notably known as the broodmare sire of millionaire Little Bold John.

  • More than 100 Virginia-owned horses were scheduled to be sold at a one-night auction that October held by Fasig-Tipton Company in Timonium. Fasig-Tipton president John M.S. Finney remarked that the quality of horses was the best offered in Maryland since the dispersal of the late William duPont’s holdings in 1966.

    Consignors included Hickory Tree Farm, Newstead Farm, Rokeby Stable and Foxcatcher Farms. The bulk of the auction would be broodmares, but weanlings, yearlings and horses of racing age were also offered.

  • On hand during the Eastern Fall Yearling Sale at Timonium was Dr. Robert Lawrence from the University of Maryland. He was about to take on a survey project on Maryland’s racing and breeding industry, at the instigation of the Maryland Racing Commission.

  • Ellis Shindledecker accepted the first mount of his career at Hagerstown at age 46. Coached by veteran rider Fred Kratz, he was believed to be the oldest man to make his debut as a jockey.

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