Looking Back

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

A 100-year history of Pimlico was compiled for The Maryland Horse by writer Dale Austin, who dug through archives and worked “with the written accounts of reporters long dead.” The result was nearly 60 pages of editorial, photographs, and congratulatory ads.

“No greater sporting spectacle had ever hit Baltimore when on October 25, 1870, many of the finest Thoroughbreds in the nation arrived for the inaugural meeting of Pimlico,” wrote Austin.

  • “Purses Raised, Days Increased, Maryland Fund Hiked by Legislation Enacted in Annapolis” was the headline after Gov. Marvin Mandel, Racing Commission chairman Newton Brewer Jr., Sen. Jim Clark and others pushed through a major racing bill (Senate Bill 37) that included increasing mile-track seasons from 156 days to 180 days; and a pari-mutuel take increase from 13 to 15 percent from each dollar bet to be divided among the purses, Maryland Fund, mile tracks and State of Maryland. Editor Snowden Carter wrote: “Its importance is incalculable. It is the difference between the big leagues and the minors, the first class and the shoddy.”

  • Dr. John R.S. Fisher was prepping two favorites for the Maryland Hunt Cup – his own defending winner, Landing Party, and George Weymouth’s Island Stream. Fisher and his wife Dolly, both from horse-oriented Maryland families, trained on their 95-acre Glenderro Farm in Coatesville, Pa. A non-practicing veterinarian, Fisher noted “I was never a good rider. But I’ve got two things going for me: Experience and confidence in myself. These things come with age.”

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