Maryland jockey gets early Christmas present with win

At the races

At the races

December 29, 2003|by LARRY YANOS

Christmas came early for Maryland-based jockey Greg Hutton.

The veteran rider scored his 2,000th career win last Sunday afternoon at the Charles Town Races & Slots aboard Captain Chessie in the eighth race.

The 41-year-old jockey becomes the 264th rider to reach the milestone.

The Toronto native, who earned his first victory at Woodbine on June 6,1980 aboard Sir Knowles, guided Templar Hill to a fifth-place finish in the 1987 Kentucky Derby and was the regular rider for the veteran Maryland-based stakes campaigner Little Bold John.

Another career highlight was piloting Lightning Paces to victory in the Grade III Baltimore Breeders Cup in 2001.

Why the move from Canada to Maryland early in his career?

"Greener pastures, I guess," Hutton said. "I've ridden here practially my entire career. I'll go to Charles Town on occasion. I've won some nice stakes races and some Tri-State Futurities there. The pots are real nice now."


But Maryland is where he has enjoyed the most success. He has finished in the top 20 in the Maryland jockey standings for more than a decade.

Hutton resides in Edgewater, Md. and - when not race-riding - enjoys hunting and fishing.

HBPA emphasizes items

Dick Watson, president of the Charles Town Division/Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, attended the recent 30th annual University of Arizona Racetrack Industry Program where several items were emphasized.

-- The National HBPA is looking at the export simulcasting signals going around the world and the number of illegal wagering outlets in those countries.

"The HBPA is considering a hub where they can control the situatuion better and get the proper monies back to the proper racetracks."

-- The National Thoroughbred Racing Association is still concerned by the varied medication programs at member racetracks and would like some uniformity.

"A good example would be (owner) Mike Gill," Watson said. "He probably has 150 horses at his training center in Pennsylvania and runs horses here at Charles Town as well as Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. And probably every racetrack has a different medication ruling."

-- "The Racing Commissioners International and the North American Parimutuel Commission both regulate horse racing and will try not to overlap as many authoritative decisions.

"They have set another meeting to help simplify some rules and regulations." Watson said.

Pony Tales

-- The final three live thoroughbred racing cards of the 2003 season at the Penn National in Grantville, Pa. will be afternoon programs held today, Monday and Tuesday.

All three matinee programs will begin at 2:30 p.m.

Full-card simulcasting will continue at Penn National from noon until midnight daily.

The 2004 racing season will start on Friday at 7:25 p.m.

-- The Laurel Park winter meet opens Thursday afternoon. The featured attraction is the $60,000 Dancing Count Stakes for horses just turning three.

-- As a 23-year-old in 1978, David Scheuermann found himself at New York's Belmont Park, rooting for Affirmed as he became thoroughbred racing's 11th and most recent Visa Triple Crown winner. Scheuermann also placed a few win bets on Affirmed, who paid $3.20 for every $2.00 wagered on him to win.

Scheuermann cashed most of those tickets, but he stuck one in his wallet as a souvenir. Now, 25 years later, Scheuermann is hoping to return to the cashier's window.

He has put his remaining $2.00 win ticket on Affirmed up for auction on E-bay. Want to get involved? The starting bid is listed on the Internet auction site at $25,000.

-- Buoyed by the success of the inaugural Sunshine Millions last January, horsemen have responded enthusiastically for the second edition of the unique $3.6 million event, matching California-bred horses against Florida-breds at Santa Anita and Gulfstream Park on Jan. 24, 2004.

The Sunshine Millions debuted on Jan. 25, 2003. Composed of four stakes at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif., and four at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla., it is the richest day of state-bred racing in thoroughbred history.

Conceived by Magna Entertainment Chairman Frank Stronach, the Sunshine Millions will again be shown nationally by NBC from 4-6 p.m.

Larry Yanos is sports editor of The Daily Mail. He covers horse racing for The Herald- Mail. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2311 or by e-mail at:

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