Year in review: June’s top stories and photos
Starting December 25, we’ll be conducting our own “12 days of mid-Atlantic racing.” Each day we’ll revisit our most popular stories from a given month of the year, and we’ll highlight some of our favorite photographs.
Be sure to check in each day to review what 2017 brought us!
A maiden no more, Lion of Mine gets his retirement
It took Lion of Mine 47 starts — 47! — to break his maiden, which the then-six-year-old did at Charles Town in June. Once he did, owner-trainer Chris Keller already had his next spot picked out: retirement to the farm.
Ted Black shared the story of a slow racehorse who nevertheless became a barn favorite.
Preposterous Parx Oaks fiasco reaches absurd conclusion
It was an ending only a lawyer could love. The outcome of the 2016 Parx Oaks was finally resolved in June after threats of legal action and lengthy negotiations.
Frank Vespe opined on a race in which one horse won for wagering purposes, a different horse won for purse money purposes — and both horses were declared co-winners in the record books.
Maryland’s horse, Ben’s Cat, retired this past June (and died unexpectedly shortly thereafter). The Mister Diz Stakes that same month, covered by Frank Vespe, turned out to be the final race of his great career. Ben’s Cat finished with 32 wins and $2,643,782 in purse earnings in his career.
Ted Black shares the tale of the Figgins family operation: trainer Ollie, his Charles Town assistant Jason, also his younger brother; and Laurel Park assistant Kelsie, Ollie’s daughter. In 2017, the Figgins barn won 71 races and had $1,543,051 in purse earnings.
Doug McCoy profiled trainer Darien Rodriguez, an up-and-comer who had a solid meet at Delaware Park. Rodriguez — about as hands-on as a trainer can be — won with nine of 25 starters at Delaware en route to tying his career single-season high with 19 victories overall, from just 70 starts. His $395,207 in purse earnings established a new personal best.