Remembering a star, Lord Gaylord


Lord Gaylord, one of Maryland's top stallions of the 1980s, was euthanized Aug. 27 due to the infirmities of old age. The 28-year-old stallion had been retired at Worthington Farms in Glyndon since 1992.

"He just got uncomfortable," said J.W.Y. Martin Jr., who owns the farm with his wife, Glennie. "He wasn't drinking water. He was losing weight."

Lord Gaylord gained national prominence as the sire of Lord Avie, the 1980 2-year-old champion male. He sired 31 other stakes winners, including Lady Dean, I Rejoice, I Am the Game and Notches Trace.

From 18 crops, Lord Gaylord sired 357 foals, of which 309 raced. Of those, 252 won -- a remarkable 82 percent -- and 61 finished first, second or third in a stakes. His progeny have earned more than $13,750,000.

Lord Gaylord was also a distinguished sire of broodmares. One of his daughters, Miss Rudy T., gave birth to Tenski, the 3-year-old filly by Polish Numbers who has won six of eight races. Owned by Richard L. Golden, Tenski won the Lake Placid Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 26, the day before her grandsire's death.

Lord Gaylord was buried at Worthington Farms next to Lady Dean, Martin said, "back along the woods between the sixth and seventh fence of the Maryland Hunt Cup course."

Northern Raja is the lone remaining stallion at Worthington. But Martin said Lord Concorde, a son of Lord Gaylord, will join Northern Raja next year in the breeding shed.

Lord Gaylord was the second prominent Maryland stallion to die this summer. Thirty Eight Paces was euthanized after breaking a leg at Shamrock Farms in Woodbine.

In other stallion news, Larrupin', who finished second in the 1966 Rushaway Stakes at Turfway Park, will stand next year at Green Willow Farms in Westminster; Green Alligator, who finished fourth in the 1991 Kentucky Derby, will stand at Buckingham Farm in Chestertown; Rakeen has been returned to South Africa after standing at Northview Stallion Station near Chesapeake City; 22-year-old Smarten has been retired at Northview Stallion Station, and Robert E. Meyerhoff has sold Hay Halo, a half-brother to Broad Brush, to breeders in Texas.

Iselin adventures

Dale Mills survived his foray into the top echelon of the sport when Testafly, whom he trains at Laurel Park, finished third behind Skip Away in the $500,000 Philip H. Iselin Handicap last weekend at Monmouth Park.

"I didn't partake in any of the festivities, but it was a lot of fun," Mills said. "This is my first big horse. I spent about every waking minute with him. But maybe next year he'll be the one winning the $500,000 races."

Before the Iselin, Mills was concerned that Testafly might get discouraged running against Skip Away, ranked by the Daily Racing Form as the top horse in the world. But Testafly gave the champion a run for his money into the far turn of the 1 1/8 -mile race before Skip Away finally began pulling away.

Skip Away barely edged Stormin Fever for his eighth win in a row.

"I thought it was a remarkable race for Skip Away," Mills said. "He was a beaten horse. But it's like he said: 'Hey, I'm a champion. You're not going to beat me.' He just surged back ahead the last couple of strides.

"That's why I like my horse so much. He likes to win. When those other horses came to him, he said: 'OK, I can't get Skip Away, but I'm not going to let you get me.' "

Testafly was full of energy back at Laurel Park. But instead of running him in the final two MATCH races (3-years-and-older-long division), Mills said he'll probably train him up to the Maryland Million Classic.

"Meeting Skip Away and running three weeks later is a little too much to ask," Mills said. "I don't think that'd be fair to my horse."

It also wasn't fair that Mills had to run Testafly in a race rewritten to attract Skip Away -- long after it had been included in the MATCH series. It might have cost Mills and the owners of Testafly a shot at top money ($40,000 for trainer, $100,000 for owner) in the overall MATCH standings.

Busy weekend

MATCH (Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championships) moves to Philadelphia Park tomorrow for the $250,000 Pennsylvania Derby, a Grade III stakes at 1 1/8 miles. It is the sixth of seven races in the 3-year-old-long division.

Thomas Jo, the division leader, will probably be a big favorite.

The Pennsylvania Derby is also the first race of the Coast-to-Coast Triple, a $1 wager requiring bettors to pick the winners of the Pennsylvania Derby, Cradle Stakes at River Downs and Del Mar Derby.

The wager features a takeout of 10 percent, about half the takeout of other exotic bets. The three races will be televised tape-delayed from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow on ESPN.

Tomorrow is also America's Day at the Races, created last year to showcase the sport to fans old and new. Timonium is one of many tracks participating, and its list of events includes:

Jim McKay signing his book "The Real McKay, My Wide World of Sports"; an exhibit of Ruffian memorabilia; an art show; an exhibit by veterinarians; jockeys signing autographs and tossing T-shirts; giveaways of horseshoes, magazines, posters and bumper stickers; the Budweiser Clydesdales, and the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation "Parade of Champions."

The festivities mark the close of Timonium's 10-day fair meet.

As Timonium closes, Colonial Downs opens. The track in southern Virginia will run tomorrow through Oct. 11 (post time tomorrow 1 p.m., then 7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and 4 p.m. Mondays).


Watch soon for a series of first-rate commercials on TV promoting Maryland racing. A New York crew was at Laurel Park and state horse farms last month collecting film for the spots. Muscles Yankee, born and raised at Yankeeland Farms ----near Frederick -- is two-thirds of the way to trotting's Triple Crown. He'll seek the sweep Oct. 9 in the Kentucky Futurity at The Red Mile in Lexington, Ky. Between the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's deal with Fox Sports and Fox Sports Net to televise a series of races for older horses, and NTRA's deal with ABC Sports to televise more Triple Crown prep races (not to mention ESPN's regular broadcasts), sports fans can look forward to more horse racing on TV next year than ever. The National Turf Writers Association has voted Joe Hirsch, Andrew Beyer and Sandy Hawley winners of its annual awards to be presented Nov. 4 in Louisville, Ky., three days before the Breeders' Cup. Next time you're at the post office, mark a "Celebrate the Century" ballot for Secretariat to be on a stamp next year as a sports star of the 1970s.

Pub Date: 9/06/98

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