Looking Back

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

The Racing Scene, so as it was in the spring of 1945, as reported by Don Reed:

“At this time of year, when Maryland normally would be in the midst of its spring racing season, the best patrons of the turf can do is mull over recent developments and hope for the best in the near future.” Harry S. Truman, who became president following the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt that April, had remarked in his first press conference that the racing ban would continue.

  • After turning to raising beef cattle and purebred Hampshire hogs during the war at his Winnaford Farm in Hyde, Md., Chester F. Hockley was down to three Thoroughbred mares, owned in partnership with Lt. Commander H.F. Guggenheim of Cain Hoy Stable. Hockley didn’t expect to add any more until after the war.

    All three mares were to be bred to Virginia stallions that year: Lady Beware, by *Bull Dog, was going to Preakness winner Head Play (standing at North Wales in Warrenton); *Etching was to be one of the first mares bred to *Princequillo (standing at Arthur B. Hancock’s Ellerslie Stud); and *Dursa was visiting Abram S. Hewitt’s highly successful Pilate.

    The next year Lady Beware foaled the filly Danger Ahead at Winnaford. Stakes-placed at 2, she raced for Guggenheim until claimed in May of her 4-year-old season by H.W. Fincher for $6,000 at Garden State. Three months later she won Monmouth Park’s Molly Pitcher Handicap. Danger Ahead became a broodmare, and although she only produced six foals, one was Stop On Red, the granddam of Spectacular Bid.

  • C.W. Anderson – “artist and author of Thoroughbreds, Big Red, Deep Through the Heart and a number of other well-appreci­ated books” – met with Humphrey Finney and together they visited McDonogh School (in Baltimore County, Maryland). The artist generously promised to demon­strate to the boys how to draw a horse, and did sketches to show confor­mation points, bone structure and riding positions.

  • The annual list of names submitted by Lt. Alfred G. Vanderbilt for his 2-year-olds included such gems as fillies Geisha (Discovery—Miyako), Stark Ravin (*Bahram—Mad Beth) and Stellar Role (Bimelech—Astralobe) and colts Kitchen Police (Discovery—Galley Slave) and Thwarted (Discovery—Outdone). Five years later the fillies Geisha and Stellar Role produced colts Vanderbilt famously named Native Dancer (by Polynesian) and Find (by Discovery).

  • One of Maryland’s outstanding cross-country riders, Lt. Hugh J. O’Donovan, was based in Germany, and sent a letter to the editor:

    “Dear Mr. Finney: “Just a short note to say hello and thank you for sending the Maryland Horse to me so promptly. It is really a wonderful treat to receive your magazine up front and can assure you that it is being read from cover to cover. One loses much contact with the things he loves over here and it is indeed a welcome relief to receive the Maryland Horse and be able to keep up somewhat with the news. I do trust the ban on racing is lifted so that I can read about racing as usual in ’45. . .”

  • J.H. “Jerry” Louchheim, owner of Three Cousins Farm in Hyde, Md., died at his Philadelphia residence at age 71. Louchheim had raced in Maryland for years before forming a partnership with his cousins Harry F. Louchheim and Henry S. Horkheimer to operate the farm. The best horse to carry his colors was ill-fated Pompoon, winner of the 1936 Futurity at Belmont and winter-book favorite for the Kentucky Derby. He finished second to War Admiral in the Derby and Preakness, and before he could enter stud died from illness.

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