William M. "Bill" Backer, who after teaching the world that sharing a Coke could bring people together imparted his passion for Thoroughbreds, died Friday, May 13, in Warrenton, Va.
The 26th Jim McKay Maryland Million attracted 111 entrants to the 11-race program which will be held Oct. 1 at Laurel Park. The total purses are worth more than $1 million.
Payton d'Oro, who won last year's Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) at Pimlico as part of a four-race win streak, will be gunning for her second straight win when she faces nine disaffers in the May 15 Gallorette Handicap.
5-year-old Richard's Kid was named Maryland-bred horse of the year for 2009. Other winners include three runners sired by leading Maryland sire Not For Love.
In the span of two months, Waratah Thoroughbreds' Miss World has gone from a maiden to a grade I winner. On Oct. 17, the daughter of Bernstein will try to climb her highest hurdle yet, as she faces a short but strong group of 3-year-old fillies in the prestigious $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes (gr. IT) at Keeneland.
William Backer's homebred filly Blind Date came from off the pace to take a short advantage in mid-stretch, then narrowly outdueled Shared Account to win the $150,000 Virginia Oaks (gr. IIIT) by a head July 18 at Colonial Downs.
Dell Ridge Farm's Bluegrass Princess, third in her two graded stakes starts this season, may be in prime position to pick up her first black-type victory when facing seven rivals in the $150,000 Boiling Springs Stakes (gr. IIIT) June 27 on the Monmouth Park turf.
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