Tag Archive | "Hugh McMahon"

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Horse Racing Returns to (Timonium) Maryland on Friday as State Fair Opens

Posted on 20 August 2013 by Gary Quill

The Maryland State Fair, the only remaining state fair east of the Mississippi to continue to present thoroughbred horse racing, kicks off its ten (10) day meeting on Friday at the Timonium Fairgrounds. Nine races are on the program. Friday marks the first day of live racing in Maryland since the end of the Pimlico spring meet on June 8th.

Racing will be conducted Friday August 23 through through Monday September 2nd, except for Tuesday, August 27th will be a dark day. First race Post Time during the entire meet will be 1:05pm EDT. Admission to the track is included in admission to the fair.

The fair will have a series of concerts as follows…

Grammy nominated pop star Carly Rae Jepsen, will perform live on the race track infield on Sunday, August 25th. The “Call Me Maybe” girl will be joined by UK’s new boy band sensation The Wanted whose song “Glad You Came” brought them international acclaim.

On Sunday, September 1st the multi-platinum-selling and award-winning recording artist Three Days Grace will perform live on the race track infield. The band has been touring non-stop since the release of their #1 chart-debuting album “Transit of Venus.”

Concerts start at 7:30 p.m.

As far as horse racing at the fair, the Maryland Racing Commission approved to increase the number of racing days from 7 to 10. On the surface, this is great news for die-hard racing fans but made Maryland Racing Secretary Georganne Hale’s job more difficult. She must fill races for these 10 days. In the past, with only racing on two weekends, some horses could run twice during the meet. Now she has to find horsemen willing to run and ship into Timonium during the week. Let’s hope she can work her usual magic and produce races having quality (7-8 horse) fields.

This year horsing racing fans who find themselves at Timonium playing the ponies will certainly see runners from the top local conditioners like Hugh McMahon who shared the 2012 trainer title at “The Big T” with Jamie Ness. This year you may want to keep an eye out for horses saddled by Scott Lake who last year had 3 winners and a runner-up with just 4 starters, and relatively unknown to Maryland racing fans Corby Caiazzo had 2 winners and a third from 4 starters.

The leading jockey for the 2012 7-day Maryland State Fair meet was Travis Dunkelberger with 10 winners. He took the riding title by 3 victories over fellow journeyman Jonathan Joyce while longtime local jockey Alberto Delgado had 6 trips to the Winners Circle. Not sure we’ll see the ageless, 1982 Eclipse award-winning Delgado this year, as he’s been recently seen at Del Mar riding for west coast based trainer Art Sherman.

Dunkelberger, a mainstay atop the Charlestown jockey standings, will certainly make his presence known at the 2013 Maryland State Fair meet. Some new faces who may challenge him for the riding title in 2013 are apprentice Victor Carrasco who has been winning on 24% of his mounts this year, Chelsey Keiser who was leading apprentice at the Colonial Downs meet and 18-year-old Puerto Rican native apprentice Jevian Toledo. You heard it here first!

For each of the ten (10) live racing days a blog will be posted with selections for every race, including a BEST BET, Longshot and SHOW Parlay Play of the Day. Full-card simulcasting will be offered at Timonium only on live racing days. Admission to the racetrack is included with admission to the Fair. For more information, visit the Maryland State Fair.

End your Summer of 2013 on a high note and enjoy at least one of the ten greatest days of the Summer watching 9 exciting chase scenes at the Timonium Fairgrounds along with the Maryland State Fair. Good Luck

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EHM Stables: Hard Work and Sacrifices, For The Love of Thoroughbreds; Thursday Opinions at Pimlico

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EHM Stables: Hard Work and Sacrifices, For The Love of Thoroughbreds; Thursday Opinions at Pimlico

Posted on 24 April 2013 by Gary Quill

As a result of the overwhelming success of 2012′s Mid-Atlantic Horse Rescue TB Show, the Totally Thoroughbred Show at Pimlico Race Course and the Fair Hill Furlongs to Fences TB Show organizers formed the Thoroughbred Alliance Show Series. The series consist of several TB only horse shows in the Mid-Atlantic region including a year-end awards banquet to be held at Laurel Park.

Fran Burns, the Alliance Coordinator recently encouraged me to attend one of these shows and speak with the gals from one such TB Rescue Group, EHM Stables, which I did this past Sunday at St. Timothy’s School in Stevenson.

Betty McCue, a 2nd grade school teacher for the past 35 years in the Baltimore County School system, started EHM Stables for retired thoroughbreds (aka TBs) circa 1998. Betty, her sister Evelyn Martin and three (3) of the most energetic, young ladies I have met in quite some time work tirelessly to care for numerous retired TBs in order to transition them after racing to new careers as show jumpers, fox hunters or recreational trail horses. They also have a handful of ponies which they race and show.


From Left: Evelyn Martin, Meredith Miller, Sydney Parker, “Giant Talent” with Anastasia Vialov in the irons, Betty McCue

All three (3) young ladies, Sydney Parker, Meredith Miller and Anastasia Vialov are freshmen at Baltimore County High Schools when not spending time at EHM Stables, located on a farm in Whitehall, MD. When talking about the horses on the farm, their faces light up like proud mothers boasting about their “babies” accomplishments and cute mannerisms, which make each unique. I was AMAZED at their racing and breeding knowledge of each of the horses they are retraining.

Sydney shows Saratoga Jet (out of Pierpont Account by A.P. Jet) and points out, “He won over $100,000 in his career… now he loves to jump over water, from a small puddle to a wide stream, he’ll take a huge leap over it. I also ride and work with Caymen Condo who is a beautiful bay who is coming along.” Beaming from under her pink EHM Stables cap, is a child-like excitement seldom seen on a teenagers face as she proclaimed, “I LOVE TBs! So rewarding… all they want to do is please.”

Meredith rides Big Deal (out of Song of Dixie, by Petitionville). She has a soft spot in her heart for this 5-year-old who, “… never raced and just stood idle in a field for more than half of his life. We broke him (i.e. teach a horse how to allow humans near/on them) 2 years ago and just started showing him.”

Both Sydney and Meredith started helping McCue four (4) years ago. Under Mrs. Betty’s tutelage, they learned to ride in return for performing the daily tasks required on a horse farm… feeding, bathing, mucking out stalls, walking and riding. All which must begin at the ungodly hour of 4:00am. That’s right, 4:00am!!! How many teenagers do you know are willing to get out of bed at 3:00am in order to start their day at 4:00am?

Anastasia rides Prideland (out of Tequila Sheila, by Lion Hearted) pointing out, “He’s a MD-bred from Dark Hollow Farm who earned over $150,000 and was stakes placed during his racing career.” She added, “I also ride Giant Talent (out of Lady of Talent, by Giant’s Causeway). He was given to us by the Gaudet’s (Edmond and Linda). We love picking up horses straight from the track and turning them into our show horses. I started riding with Mrs. Betty while in 7th grade and fell in love with what she does with racehorses.”

On Sunday, April 7th at Pimlico, the Maryland Jockey Club presented the second annual Chasin’ for Children Pony Races between the thoroughbred races. Forty-eight runners took part in the six races. Anastasia “Nastya” Vialov guided EHM Stables’ Count Chocula to victory in the Mikey Smithwick Memorial Dash Medium Pony Flat Race.


Nicely done Nastya! Look out Rosie Napravnik. Bytheway, Count Chocula competed in a show 24 hours prior to winning this race. Pretty impressive little guy!

Mrs. Betty has a close working relationship with top Maryland-based trainers Hugh McMahon and Linda Gaudet. Hugh and his wife Demelza McMahon have been great friends of McCue. In addition to TB retirees, she takes his “lay-ups” (active racers who need some time off from training) and babies to break.

McCue finds new homes for her equine retirees simply by word of mouth, which has no geographical limits, as she shared one story. “I discovered through a friend, there was a young girl in Massachusetts who lost her father. She always wanted a horse, and her mom thought if she could have one now, it would help with her healing process. We had one available and she got a horse. It was truly amazing.”

Other trainers should consider EHM Stables for their “lay-ups” because McCue’s crew obviously does a great job with them. For example, a 5-year-old mare named Too Clever by Half who spent time at EHM Stables made her first start in 9 months last Sunday at Pimlico for trainer Hugh McMahon. The result was a convincing victory at odds of 15-1 to return $32.80 to WIN, $10.60 to PLACE and $7.40 SHOW.

What better endorsement could you ask for when talking about top-notch care for a thoroughbred? If you have a horse, looking for a horse or interested in riding lessons, I encourage you to contact (text) Betty McCue at (410) 404-0857 or via email (bettymccue@comcast.net).

For those who frequent facebook, check out the EHM Stables group page.

Frankie Lovato’s JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day #115, “Fractional Times

Selections for the Day 13 Pimlico Thursday, April 25th card are on Page 2.

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Laurel Park opens Wednesday with FREE Admission and Live Racing Program

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Laurel Park opens Wednesday with FREE Admission and Live Racing Program

Posted on 04 September 2012 by Gary Quill

Remnants of Hurricane Isaac streaked across the Timonium Fair Grounds just before call to the post for the final race of the meeting Monday afternoon, necessitating officials to cancel the race and end the program.

The 2012 meeting ended with a tie for training honors between Jamie Ness and Hugh McMahon. Both saddled five winners over the seven days of the stand. McMahon won a trainer’s bonus of $4,000 with points based on 1-2-3 finishers and number of starters. Ness ($3,000) finished second in the chase for the trainer’s bonus, while Charles Frock ($2,000) took third and Dale Capuano ($1,000) was fourth.

Travis Dunkelberger led the jockey standings with ten (10) winners, three more than Jonathan Joyce.

The 17-week (69 racing days) Laurel Park fall meeting begins Wednesday afternoon with a nine-race card, headlined by the $100,000 Jameela Stakes for Maryland-bred fillies and mares. The 6-furlong test, scheduled for the turf, drew a full field of 11 plus an also-eligible runner. First post is 1:10 p.m.

Opening day features free admission, a complimentary live program and $2 draft beers. Laurel will make extensive use of its turf course during the fall and plans to revive its 50-cent Jackpot Pick 5, which did well during a trial run this spring at Pimlico. Thanks to an influx of revenue from slot machines in Maryland, Laurel’s overnight purses will now average $240,000, up from $185,000 last year.

Recapping Closing Day (Monday 3rd) selections at the Maryland State Fair (Timonium) Meet had 7 winners (5 Top Selections; payoffs in BOLD) having $2 WIN pay-offs being $21.20 (1st race), $4.00 (2nd), $4.00 (3rd), $5.00 (4th), $11.60 (6th), $5.00 (7th) and $5.20 (8th).

The Best Bet was sent off the 3-2 2nd betting choice, quickly sprinted out to a clear lead and then coasted home to a 4 length victory returning $5.00 to WIN, $2.40 to PLACE and $2.20 to SHOW.
Best Bet pick scorecard from 6 Timonium selections: 3 WIN – 1 PLACE – 1 SHOW.

The Longshot Pick went off 6-1 and was never able to get involved with the early leaders, and simply chased his rivals in the 4 furlong dash to finish 4th.
Longshot pick scorecard from 6 Timonium selections: 1 WIN – 1 PLACE – 1 SHOW

SHOW Parlay Play of the Day #4 – Grandanna who also happened to be the BEST BET of the day won with authority but unfortunately a couple scratches cut the field down to 6, and with the 1-1 favorite running 2nd, the SHOW price payout was short ($2.20). So having $74 invested in the SHOW Parlay wager, the 10% ROI netted $7.40, increasing the final bankroll to $82.30 from the initial $40 investment over 6 days of racing (as one card was cancelled after the 3rd race).

Throughout the Laurel Park Fall Meet, I’ll post full card selections only for Saturday race days. But one cannot resist capping an Opening Day card… even though the weather forecast may cause havoc with those races scheduled to be run on the turf. Selections for the Opening Day at Laurel Park, Wednesday, Sept. 5th posted below and on e-ponies.com are AFTER SCRATCHES were announced.

1st race – $8,000 Maiden Claiming for 3 y.o. and up – 6 furlongs
#4 – Black Seal (5-2)
#7 – Yield At The Bull (8-1)
#6 – Joribe (8-5)

2nd race – $5,000 Claiming for 3 y.o. and up – 1 1/16 miles
#1 – Poni Colada (7-5)
#4 – Blue Code (3-1)
#7 – Lusterdust (8-1)

3rd race – $5,000 Starter Allowance for 3 y.o. and up – 1 1/16 miles on TURF
#13 (AE) – Sacred Soul **** SCRATCHED *****
#5 – Pick Four (3-1)
#8– Unbridled Music (15-1)

4th race – $15,000 Claiming NW2L for 3 y.o. and up – 1 mile
#8 – Straight Talk (2-1)
#4 – Black Bullet (7-2)
#2 – Furman Bisher (15-1)

5th race – $40,000 Allowance N1X for 3 y.o. and up – 1 1/16 miles on TURF
#8 – Change Of Command (9-5)
#3 – Saintly Love (6-1)
#7 – Colonel Bill (3-1)

6th race – $7,500 Claiming NW3L for 3 y.o. and up – 5½ furlongs
#6 – Threeanddonedan (12-1) $$$ LONGSHOT PLAY $$$
#2 – Mr. Time To Go (4-1)
#5 – Billy Chapel (7-2)

7th race – $38,000 Maidens for 3 y.o. and up – 1 1/16 miles on TURF
#10 – Warrant (2-1) $$$ BEST BET $$$
#2 – Backdoor Strike (12-1)
#3 – No Delay (15-1)

8th race – $100,000 Jameela Stakes for MD bred fillies and mares 3 y.o. and up – 6f
#1 – Jazzy Idea (2-1)
#4 – Carol’s Love (8-1)
#11 – Bold Affair (5-2)

9th race – $25,000 Maiden Claiming for fillies and mares 3 y.o. and up – 5½ furlongs
#1 – Be Bop a Lula (5-2)
#9 – Rockfast (10-1)
#6 – Turnagain Bay (15-1)

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Welcome Olympic Games, Goodbye Virginia Horse Racing… Until Next Year

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Welcome Olympic Games, Goodbye Virginia Horse Racing… Until Next Year

Posted on 27 July 2012 by Gary Quill

The Summer Games of the XXX Olympiad opened in London less than 24 hours ago. Within the next 24 ago the 16th Summer meeting at Colonial Downs will come to a close with twelve (12) exciting chase scenes.

For the most part, Mother Nature cooperated with the track in New Kent, VA as only two (2) racing days days were lost due to the extreme heat. Otherwise, officials have to be pleased with their racing cards where over 90% of the races were contested on the turf. Sheldon Russell has clinched the jockey title with 51 wins, 21 more than his nearest competitor, Horatio Karamanos. Hugh McMahon captured the training title as he led 22 into the Winners Circle, 6 more than A. Ferris Allen III.

Live horse racing in Maryland returns when the State Fair opens on Friday, August 23rd at Timonium Fair Grounds for a 10 day meet, ending on Labor Day (Monday, September 3rd). Laurel Park’s Fall meeting will run through the end of 2012. Opening day will be on Wednesday, September 5th.

Recapping my selections from Friday, July 27th had 6 winners (1 Top Selection; payoffs in BOLD) having $2 WIN pay-offs being $10.40 (2nd race), $2.80 (3rd), $3.80 (4th), $9.40 (8th), $6.20 (9th), and $7.20 (10th). The BEST BET of the Day (23 6-4-1) broke slowest among the field of 11, navigated through traffic from the ¼ pole to mid-stretch but was no match for the winner, settling for second, returning $3.60 to PLACE and $3.00 to SHOW. The LONGSHOT PICK (23 2-3-4) went off a healthy 9-1, battled for the lead throughout the early stages of the race, weakened late but held on for 3rd returning $4.80 to SHOW.

Selections for Saturday evening, July 28th at Colonial Downs are posted below. Selections posted were handicapped based on making multi-race wagers such as DOUBLE’s, Pick-3’s and Pick-4’s using all three (3) listed for each race in each leg.

Please note: 1st race post is 6:00pm EDT.

1st race – $28,750 Maiden for VA-bred 3 y.o. & up – 5½ furlongs on Turf
#4 – Mr. Sneakers (5-2)
#8 – Available (3-1)
#7 – Kincaid (5-1)

2nd race – $7,500 Maiden Claiming for 3 y.o. & up – 5½ furlongs on Turf
#2 – Narrow Back (5-1)
#6 – Celtic Heir (4-1)
#4 – Makelovenotwar (15-1)

3rd race –$7,500 Claiming NW2L for 3 y.o. & up – 5½ furlongs on Turf
#14 – Dr. Thomas (20-1)
#3 – Frogtown (9-2)
#1 – Cool Heart (4-1)

4th race – $5,000 Claiming NW2Y for F&M 3 y.o. & up – 5 furlongs on Turf
#10 – April’s Dixie Bell (2-1)
#5 – Grand Lee (3-1)
#6 – Messalina (20-1)

5th race – $25,000 Maiden Claiming for F&M 3 y.o. & up – 5½ furlongs on Turf
#9 – Morada Choice (5-2)
#3 – Be Widgett (9-2)
#6 – Hay Mr Jones (6-1)

6th race – $5,000 Maiden Claiming for F&M 3 y.o. & up – 1 mile on Turf
#11 – Pepper Joann (10-1) $$$ LONGSHOT PICK $$$
#1– Native Tru N Tru (4-1)
#14 – Dynakrall (8-1)

7th race – $5,000 Claiming NW3L for F&M 3 y.o. & up – 1 mile on Turf
#9 – Senor Habanero (7-2) *** BEST BET ***
#7 – Kendall’s Bear (9-2)
#3 – Jake’s Lil Man (10-1)

8th race – $16,000 Claiming NW3L for 3 y.o. & up – 1 mile on Turf
#3 – Baton On Fire (5-2)
#7 – Ala Dan (10-1)
#6 – Werbee (5-2)

9th race – $25,000 Maiden Claiming for 3 y.o. & up –1 mile on Turf
#10 – Backdoor Strike (5-2)
#11 – Rock The Red (5-1)
#12 – Dark Humorista (6-1)

10th race – $20,000 Optional Claiming N1X for F&M 3 y.o. & up – 5½ f on Turf
#1A – Thisdanseistaken (7-2)
#5 – Holiday Candy (12-1)
#10 – Diner Gal (12-1)

11th race – $5,000 Claiming N1Y for 3 y.o. & up – 1 mile on Turf
#4 – Plum Creek (9-2)
#8 – We Hope (15-1)
#2 – Adari (9-5)

12th race – $5,000 Maiden Claiming for 3 y.o. & up – 1 mile on Turf
#8 – Run Jac Run (10-1)
#9 – Resign If Elected (5-1)
#1 – Farma Way John (3-1)

GOOD LUCK!

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