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Late legend Ben’s Cat wins 2017 Secretariat Vox Populi Award

(From Secretariat.com press release)

The late Ben’s Cat, four-time Maryland-breed Horse of the Year and beloved equine hero, has been awarded the 2017 Secretariat Vox Populi Award, or “Voice of the People,” with record-breaking voter participation. The award, created by Secretariat’s owner Penny Chenery, annually recognizes the horse whose popularity and racing excellence best resounded with the American public and gained recognition for Thoroughbred racing.

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Upswing at Fasig-Tipton Midlantic December Mixed sale

Returning to its customary December slot on the calendar for the first time since 2014, the Midlantic December Mixed Sale posted gains in gross, average, and median over its contemporary, the Midlantic Winter Mixed Sale held this past January.

Multiple stakes-placed 3-year-old Carradine (Hip 256) topped the sale at $105,000, puchased by his trainer Linda Rice, as agent. From the consignment of Crane Thoroughbreds, agent for the dispersal of Harry Weisleder/DASL Stable, the New York-bred Carradine was a winner at 2 and 3. The son of Grasshopper recorded a third in last year’s Damon Runyon Stakes and a second in the Gander Stakes earlier this year.

The highest-priced weanling and second most expensive horse of the sale was a weanling daughter of the late City Zip, sold for $80,000. Douglas Arnold, agent, purchased the chestnut filly from the consignment of Gracie Bloodstock, agent for Joe-Dan Farm. The filly is the second foal out of multiple stakes winner Geeky Gorgeous (Devil His Due), who also sold in the consignment. In foal to Joe-Dan Farm’s top New Jersey stallion Hey Chub, Geeky Gorgeous was purchased for $39,000 by Aaron Sones.

Seventy-nine Maryland-breds were sold, with two weanling fillies sharing top price of $37,000.

First through the ring (Hip 135) was a Dialed In daughter from the consignment of Bill Reightler, agent for Country Life Farm and Will Do LLC. The first foal out of the Roman Ruler mare Will Do, from the family of Kentucky Derby-G1 winner Orb, Wood Memorial-G1 winner Private Terms and Black-Eyed Susan Stakes-G2 winner Mesabi Maiden, the dark bay February foal sold to Arnold, who was the sale’s leading buyer with five purchased for $189,500.

Dark Hollow Farm was agent for Hip 151, a Congrats filly sold by her breeders Finale Farm and Lone Pond Farm. The second foal for Coldfeetwarmheart, by Afleet Alex, a winning half-sister to graded winner Globetrotter and stakes winner Slew’s Exchange, the March 31 Congrats filly descends from multiple stakes winner Icy Warning, a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Ops Smile. Red Devil Bloodstock made the purchase.

The highest price for a Maryland-sired offering was from the Horses of Racing Age portion of the sale for Easy River, a 4-year-old son of the late Not For Love sold to Richard Ciavardone for $29,000. The bay gelding, from the Crane Thoroughbreds consignment, is out of graded winner Potomac Bend and is a stakes-placed three-quarter-brother to stakes winner Bluegrass Atatude and stakes-placed X Marks the Spot from the family of Grade 1 winners Hookedonthefeelin, Pussycat Doll, Midnight Lucky and Jimmy Creed.

The most expensive weanling by a Maryland sire was a colt by Super Ninety Nine. Purchased by Mary Sue Stable for $24,000 from the Bill Reightler consignment, the Maryland-bred colt foaled on Valentine’s Day and named Super Valentine was bred by Susan H. Wantz out of the stakes-placed Kela mare Easter Fashion and is from the family of multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire Showing Up and six-time stakes winner and $531,090-earner Gimmeawink. Super Ninety Nine, whose old foals are yearlings, stands at Country Life Farm in Bel Air.

A total of 221 horses sold for a total of $2,448,200 up 170 percent from $906,400 in January. The average rose 73 percent to $11,078 from $6,428 earlier this year, and the median increased 43 percent to $5,000 from $3,500. The RNA rate was 21 percent. Click here to see all the results.

Classic-placed Divining Rod to Country Life Farm

Country Life Farm, Antony Beck’s Gainesway Farm, and Roy and Gretchen Jackson’s Lael Stables have formed a partnership to stand the Jacksons’ homebred Divining Rod at the Bel Air, Md., farm in 2018. The 5-year-old dark bay son of Tapit will stand for $5,000. Gainesway Farm, where the legendary Tapit stands, will be sending 10 mares to Divining Rod for each of the stallion’s first four years at stud. Country Life is breeding a dozen mares, and the Jacksons have pledged their support both in the stud and in the sales ring for his offspring.

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Editorial to stand at Roland Farm

Climax Stallions will stand Editorial, a winning half-brother to champion Uncle Mo, the nation’s top young sire the past three years, at Roland Farm in Warwick, Md., in 2018. A stud fee of $3,500 has been set for the son of world-renowned sire War Front.

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Bonita Farm to stand Kobe’s Back

(from Bonita Farm press release)

Kobe’s Back, a multiple graded stakes-winning millionaire sprinter and first son of Flatter to stand in the Mid-Atlantic region, has arrived at Bonita Farm in Darlington, Md., to stand at stud for the 2018 season. The 6-year-old gray will command a $3,000 stand and nurse fee, property of CRK Stable LLC.

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A brief history of the Maryland-bred champions

For more than half of the first part of the 20th century, the best runners to come out of Maryland were glorified, eagerly followed and granted a lot of press. But they were never officially honored. That changed with the runners of 1962 when the editorial staff of The Maryland Horse selected the “best” of the year and published a “poll” in the January 1963 issue. Led by writer and magazine researcher Joe Hickey, with assistance of editor Snowden Carter and the magazine’s business manager Louise Pascal, six divisional winners (2-year-old male and female, 3-year-old male and female, older male and steeplechaser) and Horse of the Year honors were bestowed.

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First Blofeld foal arrives at Murmur Farm

The first foal for Murmur Farm stallion Blofeld was born on March 1 at the farm in Darlington, Md., when David Baxter’s mare Stormin Casey delivered a chestnut filly. The other nine foals out of the In Case mare are all winners.

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Holy Boss has first U.S. foals on the ground

The first U.S. foal for Grade 2 stakes-winning sprinter Holy Boss was born Jan. 28 at Anchor & Hope Farm in Port Deposit, Md. The bay filly out of the Kipling mare Kip Berries was bred by Lady Olivia At North Cliff.

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