Racing staple Burroughs provided a century of wit

On Horse Racing

October 04, 1998|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

Raleigh Burroughs, whose humor carried him through nearly a century of life, died Sept. 25 in Florida after suffering a heart attack. He would have turned 97 on Oct. 15.

Burroughs was born in Baltimore and lived his first 65 years here, serving as editor of Turf and Sport Digest and The Maryland Horse. He wrote columns carried in numerous magazines as well as an autobiography, "Horses, Burroughs, and Other Animals."

"In his prime, say 30 years ago, just about anybody who had anything to do with horses knew of Raleigh Burroughs," said Snowden Carter, a longtime friend. "He had a way of making a joke out of just about anything."

Rosecroft showcase

Rosecroft Raceway's marquee event takes place Saturday with the "Showcase of Champions," races worth an estimated $500,000 at the harness track in Prince George's County.

The races highlight "Maryland's Mane Attraction," a weeklong celebration of state harness racing. Events include a golf tournament Tuesday at Andrews Air Force Base. Proceeds benefit Horse Lover's United, a Maryland-based organization that finds homes for retired standardbreds.

On Thursday night at Rosecroft, a share in a racehorse will be given away. On Friday night, wallets containing vouchers for food and bets will be handed to the first 3,000 patrons.

On Saturday, "Showcase Night," the band Poco will perform at 6 p.m. Other events include free carnival rides, pony rides, face painting, a petting zoo, NASA space center for children, free hot dogs and lemonade for children 12 and younger, stable tours and a panel of trainers, drivers and owners answering fans' questions.

Finally, at 1 p.m. Sunday, the Chesapeake yearling sale will take place at Rosecroft.

For information about any of the events call 301-567-4000. Rosecroft's post time is 7: 20 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

'Million' deadline near

State thoroughbred racing's main fall event takes place a week later. That is, of course, Maryland Million day Oct. 17 at Laurel Park.

The deadline is Wednesday for pre-entries to Maryland Million races. Entry clerks will be on duty at Laurel tomorrow, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Maryland Million program consists of 11 races for Maryland-sired horses, ranging from a $25,000 steeplechase race to the $200,000 Maryland Million Classic. Purses total $1,025,000.

The Maryland Million golf tournament is Thursday at Bulle Rock Golf Course in Havre de Grace. (For information, call 410-239-7022.)

The Maryland Racing Writers' Association "Salute to Maryland Million" crab feast is Friday night (More about that below.)

Other related events include the railsitters' Maryland farm tour on Saturday and Sunday. (Call 703-818-1644.) The Maryland Million Gala is Oct. 16, and the MHBA/TOBA new owners' seminar is Oct. 17. (For information about either, call 410-252-2100.)

Building the ranks

The Maryland Racing Writers' Association has resolved a problem facing turf-writer groups across the country -- a dwindling of their ranks -- by broadening its membership requirements.

The group recently adopted revised bylaws that open membership to "all persons involved in the dissemination of information about thoroughbred racing and/or breeding in Maryland." It plans to solicit members from the roster of TV broadcasters, who occasionally mention horse racing, as well as racing photographers. Founded in 1937, the Maryland association has 37 members.

Its main purpose is raising money for college scholarships for backstretch and farm workers. On Friday, at its annual crab feast and auction, the group will present a record $13,000 in scholarships. That includes contributions of $4,000 each from the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and Maryland Horsemen's Assistance Fund.

The racing writers also will present awards to four Marylanders for meritorious service to racing: Hal C.B. Clagett, the venerable breeder of horses including Little Bold John; Alan M. Foreman, a director of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association; Eugene A. Conti Jr., former secretary of the state department that oversees the Maryland Racing Commission; and Stuart S. Janney III, majority owner of Coronado's Quest.

For tickets to the crab feast, call 410-252-2100.

Fasig-Tipton at Timonium

Nine of the top 20 sires in the nation will have offspring in the show ring at Fasig-Tipton Midlantic's Eastern Fall Yearlings sale tomorrow and Tuesday at the Timonium Fairgrounds.

Included are the progeny of Crytoclearance, No. 2 on the current stallion list and sire of Triple Crown star Victory Gallop and Carson City, the leading sire of 2-year-olds. The other top 20 sires represented are Wild Again, Black Tie Affair, Runaway Groom, Tactical Advantage, Silver Deputy, Dynamformer and Red Ransom.

Also in the sale are the first yearlings fathered by the little come-from-behind dynamo, Concern, the local horse who won the Breeders' Cup Classic and more than $3 million.

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