Monday, February 18, 2008

Filly by Mineshaft, out of Finery. Robin Richards.

(Robin Richards Photo)

Filly by Langfur, out of Perfect Probe. Spring Hill Farm.

(Diana Baker Photos)

Colt by Rockport Harbor, out of Migrate. Spring Hill Farm.

Filly by Dehere, out of Forty Moves. Spring Hill Farm


By Frank Angst/

National Racing Hall of Fame trainer Sidney Watters Jr., who conditioned 1970 champion two-year-old male Hoist the Flag and 1983 champion three-year-old male Slew o’ Gold, died on February 14. He was 90.

The Steeplechase Committee of the Hall of Fame selected Watters for induction in 2005. Watters led or shared the lead in national steeplechase wins six times from 1948 through ’71, finishing as the leading trainer in earnings three times.

By the 1970s, Watters had established himself as a leading trainer in flat racing as well. Hoist the Flag won three of four starts in ‘70, including a victory in the Cowdin Stakes, to secure champion honors.

Slew o’ Gold finished second in the ’83 Belmont (G1) and Travers (G1) Stakes, but secured champion three-year-old male honors with wins in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1), Woodward Stakes (G1), and a division of the Wood Memorial Stakes (G1).

Watters campaigned Hoist the Flag for owners Mr. and Mrs. Stephen C. Clark Jr. of Middleburg, VA. For the Clarks, he also developed Love Sign, who won the Beldame Stakes (G1) in ‘80 and ’81, as well as steeplechase champions Amber Diver (‘63) and Shadow Brook (’71).

His flat horses also included ‘83 Meadowlands Cup (G1) winner Slewpy and Quick Call, who won the Forego Handicap (G2) in ‘88 and ‘89. Watters retired from training in ‘99.

(Photo courtesy of The Blood-Horse Library)

Monday, February 11, 2008


Filly by Royal Academy, out of Regallino foaled 02/05/08.

She is owned by Danny Atkins and was foaled at Paradigm Farm in Warrenton.
Virginia-bred filly by Royal Academy out of VA-bred In too Deep.

Born 1/27/08 at Paradigm Farm in Warrenton.

Breeder Susan Cooney.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


The VTA's primary fundraiser, the Mid-South 2008 Stallion Season Auction, will be held next week --February 12 & 13, 2008 - 9am to 8pm.Seasons to stallions standing in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Florida, Weat Virginia, New York and Kentucky are for sale.

Stallions include Kitten's Joy (pictured winning the Virginia Derby, Gr.2), Flower Alley, Eddington, Touch Gold, Limehouse, Giacomo, Toccett, Catienus and Skip Away and many more in Kentucky.

Gators N Bears, Lion Hearted, Fantasticat, Parker's Storm Cat, Rock Slide and many more in Maryland, as well as Albert The Great, Buddha, Lite The Fuse, Senor Swinger, Siphon (BRZ) and many more in Pennsylvania.

From Virginia: Just A Devil, King of Chicago, Mighty Forum, Noles, One Tuff Oop and Papua.

From West Virginia: Black Tie Affair, Country Only, Kokand, Little Thunder, Medford and Prospect Bay.

For a complete list click on the Stallion Auction Banner at register to bid call or email the VTA at 540-347-4313 or

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Runners and riders compete on the frozen lake at St. Moritz, Switzerland on the opening day of this year's White Turf international horse races, Sunday Feb. 3, 2008.

(AP Photo/PA, John Giles)

Monday, February 4, 2008


Virginia-owned Good Night Shirt, who won three out of five grade I starts last year, was honored Jan. 21 as the champion steeplechaser of 2007. The son of Concern, out of Hot Story (by Two Punch), defeated superstar McDynamo twice and set a single-season earnings record of $314,163 for owner Harold A. "Sonny" Via Jr. of Free Union, VA and trainer Jack Fisher.

Good Night Shirt first faced McDynamo, a three-time Eclipse champion, in the Iroquois Hurdle Stakes (NSA-I), which Good Night Shirt won by 5 1/4 lengths. McDynamo, 10, came back to even the score by taking the Breeders’ Cup Grand National (NSA-I) at Far Hills, NJ. The title came down to the season’s final grade I, the Colonial Cup at Camden, SC. Good Night Shirt proved the best again, winning the Colonial Cup by 2 1/4 lengths.

While Virginia-owned, Good Night Shirt’s roots are in Maryland. He is by Concern, the Maryland-bred winner of the 1994 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) who was by one of the finest Maryland-based horses ever, Broad Brush. His broodmare sire is Two Punch, a highly successful stallion at Northview Stallion Station in Chesapeake City, and Good Night Shirt was co-bred by Thomas Bowman, an owner of Northview.

Good Night Shirt did not run very well on the flat. He scored two victories on Pimlico Race Course’s turf in 2004, but it was clear he was unlikely to progress much further.

Sold to the Via’s, Good Night Shirt had solid racing seasons in 2005 and ‘06, including a victory in the ‘06 David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial Hurdle Stakes at Colonial Downs.

But, as 2007 began, Via and Fisher decided that the spring would determine whether Good Night Shirt continued over hurdles.

“The plan was to see what he could do,” Fisher said. “If he didn’t do well, then he would go over timber in the fall.”

Good Night Shirt performed very well to say the least. The chestnut gelding won three major hurdle races, established a single-season record for earnings over fences in the United States ($314,163), and collected the first Eclipse Award for Fisher, who was the jump sport’s leading trainer by wins for the third time in 2007.

(This story is combined from various sources. We apologize for the delay in publishing it. Photos by Tod Marks)