As a racehorse, Proud Truth had his one great moment of glory when he beat Gate Dancer and Chief's Crown in the 1985 $3 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Aqueduct.
Now he is rising out of obscurity as a stallion to become the hottest sire in Maryland.
Riding the horse's wave of success is local breeder, Lehr Jackson.
Jackson, and his wife, Julie, jumped into the thoroughbred breeding game five years ago when they bought the run-down Stymie Manor Farm in Baltimore County at public auction. They renamed the historic property Corbett and set about restoring it.
Two years ago they acquired a third interest in Proud Truth and moved him to Maryland after his stud career had gotten off to a sluggish start in Kentucky.
This weekend, two sons of Proud Truth -- Truth of It All and Proudest Romeo -- ran in Triple Crown prep races, trying to earn a slot in the starting gate at the 1993 Kentucky Derby.
Proudest Romeo finished second in the Jim Beam Stakes at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky. Truth of It All was sixth as the second choice in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark.
Additionally, Proud Truth's 4-year-old daughter, Low Tolerance, won as the starting highweight in the Snow Goose Handicap at Pimlico and another one of his daughters, Aztec Hill, could be headed to the Kentucky Oaks after a win last weekend in the Honeybee Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
Jackson acquired 15 of the 40 shares in the 11-year-old horse in October, 1991, from the Darby Dan Farm of the late John Galbreath in Lexington, Ky.
"When we first bought the farm we were pretty aggressive in getting stallions," Jackson said. "We had obtained Clever Secret [via the late Gene Klein and his trainer D. Wayne Lukas], Harriman and Northern Wolf [a track record-setter at Pimlico and Laurel]. But they are young and unproven. I thought maybe we should get an older stallion that might have gotten lost in the shuffle in Kentucky, but still had solid credentials."
The Jacksons looked at Track Barron, Highland Blade, Magesterial and even went to Ireland to see a horse named Glow.
Then through a business associate, Arthur Seelbinder, who was a friend of the Galbreath family, Jackson heard Proud Truth might be for sale.
"We worked out the deal over the telephone," Jackson recalled.
Up to that point, Proud Truth had failed to attract much attention from his first two crops of foals. Like their sire, his offspring are stayers and are often slow developers. Then last year, after he had left Kentucky, Proud Truth started to click with his third crop and now he's siring one stakes winner after another.
Jackson is a partner in the Baltimore retail planning firm of Williams, Jackson, Ewing, Inc.
But no one at the office blames him for spending more and more time at the farm.
Last year, Proud Truth bred 47 mares. Jackson closed the horse's 1993 book last week and could breed him to up to 80 mares this spring at $3,500 per mare.
Comp card at Delaware
Delaware Park opened its 151-day meet of live racing this weekend. The track is the first in the area to introduce a Player Tracking System.
Steve Kallens, Delaware's innovative marketing director, said when customers sign up for the program,they get a voucher "that looks like a credit card. Every time they make a bet, they present it to the teller, who logs it on the card. The information is strictly confidential."
Every time a fan bets $2, he gets one point. As the points build up, they can redeemed for prizes.
"The casinos started this sort of thing," Kallens said. "We're doing it to reward our bettors. Everybody gets something."
Prizes range from free pizza (100 points) to a month of free admission and parking (600 points) to color television sets and trips for the biggest gamblers.
Delaware has been able to maintain its racing program through such marketing ideas despite close competition from Garden State and Philadelphia parks as well as Pennsylvania OTB.
In addition to live racing, the track will offer full-card simulcasts from Gulfstream Park (through Wednesday) and Oaklawn Park (through April 17). After that the track will rely on live racing five days a week from the end of April though Nov. 7. On dark days -- Thursdays and Fridays -- Delaware will simulcast full cards from the New York tracks.
Delmarva Downs near Ocean City opens for live racing Friday night, the earliest opening in the track's history. . . . Harness operators must still apply to the state racing commission for approval to simulcast their races into Pimlico at night under an TTC experimental inter-track wagering program. Pimlico is not specified under state law as an inter-track outlet, but instead is considered a potential OTB site for the harness simulcasts. . . . Ted Snell, president of Rosecroft/Delmarva, said he will apply for an OTB license from the commission this week. An April 14
hearing is tentatively scheduled for Pimlico-area residents to voice views about the proposal. If the license is approved, the harness simulcasts could start at Pimlico that weekend (April 17-18). . . . A similar public hearing is tentatively set for April 21 at the Cracked Claw Restaurant near Frederick. At that time, neighborhood groups can tell the commissioners how they feel about the facility becoming the site of an OTB parlor.