logo1

His strong second-half form earned It’s the Journey another shot at stakes competition, and R. Larry Johnson’s Maryland homebred didn’t disappoint in earning a fourth consecutive victory and first in stakes company in the $75,000 Challedon at Laurel Park on Saturday, Sept. 9.


The second choice at 8-5 in a field of six older sprinters, It’s the Journey completed the distance in 1:22.86 over a fast main track. Maryland-bred Rockinn On Bye was second, his 17th runner-up finish from 48 career starts.
It’s the Journey is the latest of a long line of stakes winners, which include Strike the Moon and Street Magician, bred by Johnson descending from the remarkable Ran’s Chick, a Maryland-bred filly by the stallion The Big Boss he paid $2,400 for as a 2-year-old in 1978 at Timonium. Although she never raced, Ran’s Chick produced 13 foals for Johnson – all were starters – 11 of them winners. The first of her three stakes performers was Turn to T. J., a daughter of Turn to Reason who recorded wins the New Castle and Mill Race Handicaps. Turn to T. J. is It’s the Journey’s third dam.
Turn to T. J. produced just two foals before her untimely death in 1992 – both were stakes winners. Her son Star Trace (by Star de Naskra), a graded stakes-placed earner of $201,764, was eventually retired by Johnson to stud in the Virginia. The mare’s first foal, T. J.’s Turn (by Meadowlake), joined the broodmare band after winning five races, including the Toes Knows Stakes at Laurel, and produced five winners from eight foals, including stakes winner T. J.’s Posse. Her winning daughter Traceable (by Forest Wildcat) is the dam of It’s the Journey.
The final of four foals (all winners) for Traceable, It’s the Journey was third in the 2015 Maryland Juvenile Futurity in his only other stakes attempt. He now has six wins, three seconds and two thirds from 15 career starts, for $216,393 in earnings.
“Mike’s done a great job with him. He was good as a 2-year-old and we thought he was a [distance] horse and we were really wrong about that,” Johnson said. “He did this kind of easily today, and he beat a nice horse.”
Read more about the running of the Challedon here 

More News

Maryland-breds at Keeneland January Sale

Avla “Poppet” Pitts’ chestnut filly, a yearling half-sister to 2018 multiple stakes-winning Maryland-bred juvenile Alwaysmining, topped the Maryland-bred offerings at the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale held Jan. 7-10 in Lexington, Ky.

The Maryland-bred filly, by Medaglia d’Oro’s son Fast Anna, whose oldest foals are just-turned 2-year-olds, was consigned by Hunter Valley Farm, agent for $100,000. She was purchased by Caroline and Grey Bentley, who campaign Alwaysmining, winner of the Maryland Juvenile Futurity and Heft Stakes in December, under the name of their Runnymede Racing.

Read more ...

MHBA celebrates 90 years

“The formation of an organization, in whole or in part of persons, firms
and/or corporations, who have been or are at the present, or who likely will be interested in the breeding and improvement of horses; the fostering and preserving of traditions pertaining to the horse everywhere and particularly the fine traditions of the horse in Maryland. . .”
—From the Articles of Incorporation, Jan. 12, 1929

Read more ...

No Never No More to stand first season in Maryland

No Never No More, a 3-year-old son of the highly-successful Scat Daddy from a family of sires, including Europe’s 2018 leading first-crop sire, No Nay Never, will stand his first season at Faith and Brad Leatherman’s Winding Creek Farm in Union Bridge. He is offered free to approved mares, with a $350 booking fee payable in advance.

Read more ...