Monthly Archives: January 2016



   Dominating the division in Southern California and a tough-as-nails defeat against the older Stopchargingmaria in the Breeders’ Cup was enough for Hronis Racing’s Stellar Wind to be named the Eclipse Award-winning 3-year-old filly of 2015.

The daughter of Curlin   earned the title over I’m a Chatterbox and Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner Found.

The champion was bred in Virginia by Peggy Augustus’ Keswick Stables and Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings. She is out of theMalibu Moon   mare Evening Star. A $40,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling purchase by Vernan Lee Stables in 2013, Stellar Wind was pinhooked to the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-old sale by Marshall Silverman, agent. There she was a $86,000 buy by Barbara Houck. Stellar Wind made two starts for Houck at 2 and then was sold to Kosta Hronis’ Hronis Racing.

“To our surprise, when we got her out to Southern California, she was better than advertised,” Hronis said. “She ‘wowed’ us right off the bat.”

With trainer John Sadler she advanced quickly, winning the Feb. 28 Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) and the April 4 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I). Sent off at 3-1 in the Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, she toiled near the back of the back before rallying to finish fourth behindLovely Maria, Shook Up, and I’m a Chatterbox.

A little more than a month later she surfaced in Santa Anita‘s Summertime Oaks (gr. II), prevailing by a nose. She prepped for the Breeders’ Cup in Del Mar‘s one-mile Torrey Pines Stakes (gr. III) in which she was an easy winner.

She fared much better in her second foray to Kentucky for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I) and she fought hard in the lane but came up a neck shy of collaring the 4-year-old Stopchargingmaria.

Four graded stakes wins and a photo loss in the Breeders’ Cup put her over the top to win the Eclipse, which more often than not has been awarded to a filly based on the East Coast. Stellar Wind joinsBeholder (2013) and Blind Luck (2010) as West Coast-based fillies to bring home the hardware in recent years.

Kosta Hronis accepting the award… It’s an honor and a privilege for the Hronis family to accept this award on behalf of Stellar Wind. We thank all of the voters who had a difficult task in this very competitive division. And because I think very well, I’d like to thank my wife Stephanie for allowing me to live my lifetime dream. … Special thanks to my brother Pete, he couldn’t be here tonight, but I could not, I would not, be able to do this without him. Thanks to David Ingordo who brought us Stellar Wind and brought her to California. Special thanks to Larry Benavidez, John’s assistant trainer. Back in 2010, we decided to get in the horse racing business and we were blessed to get introduced to John Sadler. He does a brilliant job and has a brilliant vision. He not only trains, but he also purchases, he does everything for us.

John Sadler…This means the world to me. I want to thank my family for putting up with my bizarre hours, my staff for working hard every day and I’d especially like to thank Hronis Racing, Pete and Kosta, these are really terrific owners. These are the kind of owners that, when you are down, they lift you up.

Voting in the 3-year-old filly division: Stellar Wind, 108; I’m a Chatterbox, 47; Found 46; Lady Eli, 34; Lovely Maria, 12; Curalina, 11;Include Betty, 2; voter abstentions, 1


Stellar Wind won the Grade III, $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes February 28 at Santa Anita Park

Stellar Wind won the Grade III, $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes February 28 at Santa Anita Park                              Benoit Photo


Our thoughts go out to the family of longtime VTA member Tony Smith who sadly passed away last Sunday. Over the years, Smith who raced under the name of Concepts Unlimited, was a familiar face at Colonial Downs. He could be found in Nellie Mae Cox’s box enjoying the races and cheering on  his horses along with partners and friends Nellie Mae Cox, Anne and John Tucker, and Bob and Beverly Bouse.  All Giving was the most accomplished horse he owned. The Allen’s Prospect mare was a multiple stakes winner and earned almost $600,000.  All Giving’s first foal Little Cherie just won an allowance race at Turfway Park on January 1st after running unplaced in the Darley Alcibiades Stakes (gr.I). Below is the obituary printed by the Richmond Times Dispatch.

SMITH, Charles Anthony “Tony” Jr., 69, of Midlothian, died Sunday, January 10, 2016. He was preceded in death by his wife, Susan S. Smith; and sister, Marie S. Beil. He is survived by his children, Charles Anthony Smith III and wife, Ingrid, Susan Cassandra Zimmerman and husband, Bruce, Shannon Smith Horan and husband, Brendan and Bryan Sheppard Smith and wife, Robyn; nine grandchildren, Susan, Wayne, Alyssa, Lauren, Bryan, Payton, Caitlyn, Brian and Jacob; sister, Catherine Jeanette Smith; uncle, William Holzgrete; brother-in-law, Guy Sheppard and wife, Susan; and many loving family and friends. Tony was a 1964 graduate of Benedictine High School and attended VCU and graduated with a B.S. in economics. Tony was a loving father, grandfather, brother and a friend to many. The family will receive friends 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday (today), January 12, at Bliley’s-Staples Mill, 8510 Staples Mill Rd., with a prayer service starting at 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10 a.m. Wednesday, January 13, at St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church, 2700 Dolfield Rd., Richmond, Va. Interment will follow in Holy Cross Cemetery.


The Virginia Thoroughbred Association (VTA) 19-person Board of Directors is now set for 2016 after elections late last year and based on the ballot results, ten winning candidates will begin serving a two year term from January 1, 2016 thru December 31, 2017. That group will join nine other board members who are midway through their current term — Dr. Maurice “Tim” Casey III, Wayne Chatfield-Taylor, Donna Dennehy, Gillian Gordon-Moore, Susan Hart, Tommy Lee Jones, Brook Royster, Jim Treptow and Cynthia Tucker-Curtis.

Three from the new slate are District Directors — John White (Blue Ridge District), Dr. Sam English (Capitol District) and Lee Ann Smith (Potomac District) while the other seven are Directors At-Large — Ferris Allen, William Backer, Sean Clancy, Susan Cooney, Dr. Al Griffin, Carol Holden and Louisa Lenehan.

John White was born in Lynchburg, attended Davidson College in North Carolina and currently owns and operates an Ameriprise financial services practice in Roanoke. In 2007, John and his wife purchased 100 acres of land in Botetourt County and turned it into a large farm where they breed and raise homebreds.

Dr. Sam English is a graduate of VMI and the MCV School of Dentistry, and is currently President of the Dental Centers of Virginia. Sam owns English Racing Stables and has eight horses in training at his Dinwiddie training center. His broodmares, weanlings and yearlings are located at his farm in Goochland.

Lee Ann Smith graduated from the Potomac Horse Center in 1975, bought Paradign Farm in Warrenton in 1988 and has been breeding and raising thoroughbreds in Virginia for the last 17 years. Lee Ann participates every year in the VTA yearling show with Virginia-bred yearlings she foals and raises.

Ferris Allen is a native of Varina and has been involved in Virginia racing his whole life. He started race riding at age 10 and when he outgrew that, began training horses in 1974. Ferris is the all time leading trainer at Colonial Downs in wins and purse earnings, and his horses combined have won over 2,000 races. He currently serves on the horsemen’s board in Maryland where he was Vice-President for 12 years.

William Backer has been an owner and breeder since 1956, and currently has 15 broodmares at the Smitten Farm in The Plains. He bred and raced two Virginia Oaks winners and most recently bred and raced Moon River, champion Virginia-bred 2 Year Old Colt in 2014.

Sean Clancy is a writer, editor, publisher and owner of ST Publishing, Inc., parent company of the website. He owns and operates Clancy Bloodstock and Riverdee Stables, specializing in turf and steeplechase horses.

Susan Cooney is an owner, breeder and trainer and her Cooney Racing Stable is based in Berryville, Virginia. She breeds a small number of her own mares and races the progeny. Susan also trains and races for several other owners.

Dr. Al Griffin has been an active horse owner for the last 28 years and has been Director of Racing at the Virginia Gold Cup since 2007. He oversaw the introduction of pari-mutuel wagering at the Gold Cup and also integrated flat racing into the Gold Cup card.

Carol Holden owns a small breeding and racing operation in Middleburg called Sporting Life Stable and is also an insurance agent for Markel Insurance. Carol is President and co-founder of the West Virginia Breeders Classics, Ltd, and is co-host of Trackside Radio.

Louisa Lenehan owns and lives at the 180 acre Lochlow Farm near Warrenton, where she keeps 8-10 broodmares and breeds for the annual yearling sales. She is also Vice-President of the International Hunter Futurity.

The VTA would especially like to thank the following outgoing board members for their contributions and dedication to the Virginia racing and breeding industry: Pug Hart, Leanne Hester, Joan Jones and Anne Tucker.

Hugh Motley

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of former VTA member Hugh Motley. Motley a highly-regarded horseman from Keswick, Va., who started his own bloodstock agency and sold Thoroughbreds at many of America’s top sales, died in Wellington, Fla., on Jan. 9 of complications from pneumonia. He was 60.

Motley began riding as a child when his family moved from Virginia Beach to Keswick when he was 10. For more than 25 years he also had his own business breaking and training yearlings on his family’s Highground Farm near Keswick.

Motley began his Thoroughbred career working for his cousin, L. Clay Camp, who had his own bloodstock agency. Motley and many other young Virginia riders, including horse show legend Rodney Jenkins, also would help Camp show his yearlings at venues up and down the East Coast including the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale.

“Hugh could do pretty much anything when it came to horses,” said lifelong friend John Coles of Middleburg, Va. “We started fox hunting together when we were 10. He was a wonderful horseman, a guy with a great sense of humor, and everybody just loved him.”

Motley served as Master of Fox Hounds for the Keswick Hunt from 2000-05. He also played polo for many years as a member of the Charlottesville Polo Club.

“He was a great rider with a natural seat,” said friend Tommy Lee Jones. “He did a great job as Master at Keswick. People just enjoyed riding with him. He knew how to have a good time, and he was always harder on himself than he was with anybody else.”

Hugh Douglas Camp Motley was born Jan. 30, 1955 in Virginia Beach, the son of Frank Robertson Motley and Caroline Camp Sherman who preceded him in death. He attended the Blue Ridge School in St. George, Va., and graduated from Christ Church School in Richmond before starting his career in the horse business.

Motley was an avid golfer and a voracious reader. He was a member of the Keswick Hunt Club, and a past member of the Keswick Club and Farmington Country Club in Charlottesville. In addition to his farm in Keswick, Motley also spent part of the year living with his family in Wellington.

Motley is survived by his wife of 40 years, Kathleen Buchanan “Winkie” Motley; a daughter, Sheila Camp Motley of Wellingon, (married to Mathew Allen); a sister, Mary Motley Kalergis of Charlottesville; a brother, James Coleman Motley of Salt Lake City, Utah; and a grandson, Collins Camp Allen.

The family requests donations be made in memory of Hugh Motley to two charities: the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation (821 Corporate Drive, Lexington, KY 40503) and the Little Keswick School, P.O. Box 24, Keswick, VA  22947.

Reprinted courtesy of the

Stellar Wind Named Eclipse Award Finalist

Congratulations to Virginia-bred Stellar Wind, who was named one of three Eclipse Award finalists in the 3 Year Old Filly division along with Found and I’m A Chatterbox!
Virginia-bred Stellar Wind wins the Grade I $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks April 4, 2015 at Santa Anita.

Virginia-bred Stellar Wind wins the Grade I $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks April 4, 2015 at Santa Anita.

Bred by the Keswick Stables & Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, LLC, the daughter of Curlin won the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks, the Grade II Summertime Oaks and a pair of Grade III’s this year. Her most memorable race though was the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, where she fell 4 feet short of winning after a thrilling stretch duel.
Stellar Wind a2 72
The John Sadler trainee is out of the Malibu Moon mare, Evening Star. Eclipse award winners are announced January 16th in a ceremony at Gulfstream Park
Stellar Wind won the Grade III, $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes February 28 at Santa Anita Park

Stellar Wind won the Grade III, $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes February 28 at Santa Anita Park