Monthly Archives: February 2015

Secretariat’s Jockey Ron Turcotte Headlines Birthday Celebration March 27-29

DOSWELL, VA—Hall of Fame jockey Ron Turcotte, who piloted Secretariat to his historic Triple Crown victory in 1973, will headline the annual Secretariat Birthday Celebration at The Meadow March 27-29. Joining Turcotte at Secretariat’s birthplace will be Charlie Davis, who galloped “Big Red” as his exercise rider; acclaimed author Bill Nack, whose book Secretariat – The Making of a Champion served as inspiration for Disney’s major motion film Secretariat; and Kate Chenery Tweedy, daughter of Penny Chenery and co-author of Secretariat’s Meadow – The Land, The Family, The Legend.

“I am always happy to come back to The Meadow,” said Turcotte. “I’m really looking forward to seeing all the Virginia fans.”

Fans will have many opportunities to meet the Secretariat team throughout the three-day event, which is part of the new Virginia Horse Festival. There will be autograph sessions at the Secretariat booth in the exhibit hall, along with Secretariat merchandise and memorabilia.

“New this year are VIP tram tours of the farm, which offer the unique experience of hearing stories from Secretariat team members while seeing the historic barns and grounds,” said Leeanne Meadows Ladin, Secretariat tourism manager. VIP tram tour tickets are $25 and will be available on site each day at the Narrated Tour Station. Basic tram tours are also available for $5.

On Saturday, March 28, Turcotte, Davis, Nack and Tweedy will be the guests of honor at the VIP Reception and Secretariat Storytelling Program from 5-7:30 p.m. in Meadow Hall. After the reception, Nack will share an intimate perspective on Secretariat, providing his favorite stories and personal recollections. His compelling presentation features video footage from Secretariat’s Triple Crown races, to be followed by a question-and-answer session with him, Turcotte, Davis and Tweedy. Tickets to this event are $100 and must be purchased by March 22 on the Virginia Horse Festival website. Seating is limited. The price also includes one-day admission to the Virginia Horse Festival.

On Sunday, March 29, at 11 a.m., team members will go to the show ring for the Meadow Descendants Gathering to greet Thoroughbreds who have Secretariat or other Meadow Stable champions in their lineage. This “family reunion” will showcase not only the famous bloodlines, but also retired racehorses that have found new homes and new careers off the track. For more details on this event and all the Secretariat birthday festivities, visit

The Virginia Horse Festival will celebrate horses and riding disciplines of all types. It will feature clinics and demonstrations with noted experts; a parade of breeds; an exhibit hall full of equine industry vendors; special events and much more. Advance tickets are $10 online and may be purchased at Tickets at the gate are $15.

The Virginia Horse Festival and of Louisville, Ky., are co-hosting the Secretariat Birthday Celebration at The Meadow. oversees the development and management of all official Secretariat-related merchandise and events.

Secretariat was born at The Meadow on March 30, 1970. He was raised and first trained there as a young colt. In 1973, he made history as the only Triple Crown champion to break all three track records, all of which still stand. Today, The Meadow offers narrated “Hoofprints of History” tours of Secretariat’s birthplace year-round by appointment.

VA-bred Nabs Second Graded Stakes Score

Long On Value, bred by Snow Lantern Thoroughbreds, continues to hit the winner’s circle for current connections Bill Mott, Wachtel Stable and George Kerr. The 4-year-old son of Value Plus won the Grade III Canadian Turf Stakes on Saturday at Gulfstream by the better part of 2 lengths–despite being bumped at the 3/8ths pole. Long On Value was following up on his October victory in the Grade II Twilight Derby at Santa Anita.

Long On Value winning the Canadian Turf at Gulfstream. Photo courtesy Adam Coglianese.

Long On Value winning the Canadian Turf at Gulfstream. Photo courtesy Adam Coglianese.

The Canadian Turf Stakes is Long On Value’s second graded stakes score and his fifth stakes victory over all. The colt made his debut with a three-win streak in 2012 that included the Jamestown Stakes at Colonial Downs and the Strike Your Colors Stakes at Delaware Park.

Virginia-breds also had a big day at Penn on February 18, with no fewer than three taking home the win. Hickory Tree-bred Blazeaway ran away with a mile claimer by 6 lengths for current owner-trainer Fernando Ferreira. The 6-year-old is by Proud Citizen out of the Cozzene mare Long N Lanky. Anne Tucker’s homebred Maid to Run, trained by Flint Stites, won a 6-furlong claimer by 1 1/4 lengths in her 2015 debut. The Felix Neusch homebred Congarazi broke his maiden by 3/4 lengths over 6 furlongs. The 3-year-old, by Congaree out of the Fred Astaire mare Dance In Space, was a mere 1/2 length short in his previous airing here.

Bill Backer’s Rose Brier–now owned by Panic Stable–won a Gulfstream allowance on February 16, putting away the competition by over 2 lengths. Rose Brier won the Bert Allen last year, a race in which the now-6-year-old completed a hat trick, won his first stakes race and beat graded stakes winner Hard Enough. Trained by Jane Cibelli, Rose Brier won two back-to-back allowance races at Monmouth and Delaware last summer before dominating by over 3 lengths in that contest. The son of Mizzen Mast has been knocking at the door since, including a fourth-placed finish in the Grade III Tampa Bay Stakes most recently.

Rose Brier winning an allowance at Gulfstream on February 16. Photo courtesy Leslie Martin.

Rose Brier winning an allowance at Gulfstream on February 16. Photo courtesy Leslie Martin.

Also on the 16th, the Hart Farm-bred Lockport won a Parx allowance by 8 1/2 lengths for current John Benson and Diane Day. The mile contest was the 3-year-old’s second lifetime win. By Temple City, the bay colt is out of the Carson City mare Tico Breeze.

EHM Confirmed in an Additional Virginia Horse

On Thursday, February 12, 2015, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) was notified of a horse in Loudoun County that tested positive for Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM), a neurological disease of horses caused by Equine Herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1).

On February 5 that horse exhibited a fever and was not eating or drinking. Even though it never showed neurological signs, the owner took the horse to the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center (EMC) in Leesburg. There they tested for and quickly diagnosed EHV-1. The horse is under quarantine there and is recovering. A second horse from the same farm exhibited a fever but no other signs. As a precaution, it is also under quarantine at the EMC and VDACS is running tests at its Regional Animal Health Laboratory in Warrenton.

Dr. Richard Wilkes, State Veterinarian with VDACS, stressed that the horses were admitted directly into the isolation area at Marion duPont Scott. At no time were these horses in the general hospital area. The EMC is confident that their bio-security protocols will contain the virus to the isolation area.

Thirty-three other horses from the same farm are under quarantine on the farm premises in Loudoun County. None of them have shown any signs of EHV-1, but will be monitored at least through February 26. No horses from this farm have been at events during the incubation period for the virus.

VDACS began an epidemiological investigation on February 13 and will continue to monitor the situation. The Department will provide regular updates on its website – – and on Facebook and Twitter at and

On February 6, VDACS announced that a horse in western Albemarle County had tested positive for EHV-1. That horse has been under quarantine for a week and continues to improve. There is no known connection between the Loudoun and Albemarle horses.

More information on EHV-1 is available at

Huge Day at Gulfstream for Virginia-breds

Virginia-breds had a huge day at Gulfstream on Saturday, headlined by the 5-year-old Valid, who added his second graded stakes score in the Grade III Fred Hooper. A $500,000 Keeneland yearling from the next to last crop of Ned Evan’s homebreds, Valid was purchased by Carolyn Vogel’s Crossed Sabres Farm for $115,000 at the October Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Fall sale. Valid continues to pay dividends for Vogel with his win Saturday. Since his purchase Valid has won the Grade II Monmouth Cup Stakes and placed in three other graded stakes, including last year’s Fred Hooper Handicap, the Salvator Mile stakes and the Philip H. Iselin stakes (all Grade 3 events). In October, he won the Eight Mile West Stakes over a mile.

The son of Medaglia d’Oro is out of the Grand Slam mare Grand Prayer.

Ned Evans-bred Valid (Medaglia door) winning the Grade III Fred Hooper Stakes on February 7. Photo courtesy Adam Coglianese.

Ned Evans-bred Valid (Medaglia door) winning the Grade III Fred Hooper Stakes on February 7. Photo courtesy Adam Coglianese.

Ned Evans-bred Valid (Medaglia door) winning the Grade III Fred Hooper Stakes on February 7. Photo courtesy Adam Coglianese.

Ned Evans-bred Valid (Medaglia door) winning the Grade III Fred Hooper Stakes on February 7. Photo courtesy Adam Coglianese.

Bill Backer lodged a two-fer as a breeder, beginning when 3-year-old Rare Art won his debut by 1 1/2 lengths for current connections Lane’s End Racing. The gray son of Speightstown was a $325,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga purchase in 2013 and justified that price tag in this 6-furlong airing. Trained by Chad Brown, Rare Art is out of the Out of Place mare Art Show. Art Show, a
homebred stakes winner for William Backer, last year produced a filly by Harlan’s Holiday and was bred back to Bodemeister, according to the TDN.

Bill Backer Rare Art won first out in a MSW at Gulfstream on Feb. 7.

Bill Backer Rare Art won first out in a MSW at Gulfstream on Feb. 7.

Mr. Backer’s homebred Moon River, already a stakes winner, ran a solid second in his third start in the Texas Glitter Stakes. The 3-year-old was bumped at the start of the 5-furlong turf contest, but still managed to make a solid bid at the eighth pole to place behind the chalk Souper Colossal. Trained by Jonathan Sheppard, Moon River was third in an allowance in his second airing at Penn National in October, following his debut win in the Jamestown Stakes at Laurel.

The Bill Backer-bred Jamestown S. winner Moon River ran a good second in the Texas Glitter Stakes in her third start. Photo courtesy Adam Coglianese.

The Bill Backer-bred Jamestown S. winner Moon River ran a good second in the Texas Glitter Stakes in her third start. Photo courtesy Adam Coglianese.

Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center is presenting a “Tuesday Talk”

On February 10, 2015, the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center is presenting a Tuesday Talk” entitled “Perinatal Foal Care”.  The presentation will be held in the library at the Equine Medical Center and is open to the general public.  Please register to attend.


February 10th 2015            “Perinatal Foal Care”   

Presented by:                     Dr. Martin Furr


Presentation Summary:

The presentation will focus on a discussion of the conditions and management of pregnant mares in the in the final stages of pregnancy. The medical tools and techniques available to evaluate the mare and foal, and to provide treatment that will lead to a positive outcome for both will be discussed.  From this presentation it is hoped that the attendees learn to recognize the potential significance of some clinical conditions, and develop knowledge that will aid in effective reproductive management.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Furr is the Professor and Adelaide C. Riggs Chair in Equine Medicine at Virginia Tech’s Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center. He received a doctor of veterinary medicine in 1986 from Oklahoma State University and a doctor of philosophy from the University of Maryland (College Park) in 2000. Dr. Furr conducted a residency in large animal internal medicine at the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center from 1987 to 1989. He worked as an associate veterinarian at the Niles Animal Clinic in Konawa, Oklahoma, from 1986 to 1987 and as an assistant professor at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine from 1989 to 1991. Dr. Furr served as an assistant professor of medicine at the Equine Medical Center from 1991 to 1995 and as an associate professor of medicine from 1995 to 2007. He was promoted to full professor in June 2007. In 2002, Dr. Furr was named acting chief of medicine at the center, and, in 2004, he was selected as the Adelaide Riggs Chair of Internal Medicine. Dr. Furr achieved Diplomate status through the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 1991. His research interests include equine neurology, immunology and neonatology. He is a member of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, the American Society of Veterinary Perinatology, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis Society.


Seminar will begin at 7:00 pm in the library at the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, Leesburg, Virginia.


 Please contact Sharon Peart at 703-771-6842 or for reservations or information. 



On Thursday, February 5, 2015, VDACS was notified of a positive result for Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) on a horse displaying neurologic signs in western Albemarle County, Northwest of Charlottesville. The affected horse is located at a boarding stable with 14 other horses at the facility. VDACS contacted the stable manager and placed the facility under quarantine – no horses are allowed to exit or enter the premises until the quarantine is released.

The affected horse is a 14-year-old gelding that showed symptoms on Saturday, January 31, became recumbent on Sunday, February 1, but is now stable. Samples were taken by a private veterinarian and the result was reported to VDACS February 5. An epidemiologic investigation is underway; initial findings indicate that only one exposed horse from the facility has left the premises within the last 14 days, and that horse went out of state. VDACS will continue to monitor the situation and provide regular updates on our website – – and on Facebook and Twitter at and

More information on EHV-1 is available at