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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | July 6, 1997
Bob Griffith retired in May as director of the backstretch recreation program for the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association. At 67, he'd had enough of running softball leagues and organizing golf tournaments for the 1,400 workers at the horse barns of Pimlico, Laurel Park and the Bowie Training Center.But a funny thing happened to Griffith -- as well as the horsemen's association. They missed each other."They wanted me to come back," Griffith said of the horsemen's group, "and I kind of missed it, too. You become part of the backstretch family.
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SPORTS
By Sandra McKee, The Baltimore Sun | January 3, 2012
Maryland horse racing may be on shaky ground, but Laurel Park in winter is still appealing to a number of trainers from outside the state. With the 48-day winter meet set to begin at Laurel Park on Jan. 4, and the weather growing colder up north, Laurel appears to be a popular haven. Twenty-five new trainers have brought their horses here, which is more than in years past. "The New England boys have been coming here for years, after their tracks' seasons end," Maryland Jockey Club racing secretary Georganne Hale said.
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SPORTS
By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | April 2, 2000
Bill Borchardt has become a man in demand on the backstretch at Pimlico, Laurel Park and the Bowie Training Center. Since July, Borchardt, 49, a resident of Woodlawn, has served as therapist and drug counselor to the riders, grooms and hot walkers who work on track with the state's thoroughbreds. Although experienced in his field, he had never worked at a racetrack. "I was the outsider looking in, for sure," Borchardt said. "But when the big bust came down in November, things really picked up."
SPORTS
By Ken Murray, The Baltimore Sun | May 15, 2010
Acting Happy, a lightly raced filly with the smallest earnings in the field, powered into the lead in the stretch and outran No Such Word to the finish line to win the $175,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on Friday. The race was marred by an accident leaving the backstretch in which two jockeys were thrown and one horse went down, and the incident could have implications for today's Preakness. The problem started when Diva Delite clipped heels with C C's Pal and fell, throwing jockey Julien Leparoux.
SPORTS
By BILL ORDINE | August 20, 2008
The Maryland Racing Commission had to weigh human hardship against business urgency yesterday and, some argued, the greater good of Maryland's racing community as it considered whether to delay the closing of the Pimlico Race Course backstretch. In a 4-3 vote, business urgency and the greater good won over human hardship. The Maryland Jockey Club announced this month that it would close the Pimlico backstretch and relocate 447 horses stabled there are well as 111 industry workers - trainers, grooms, hot walkers - who live at Pimlico to Laurel Park and the Bowie training facility.
FEATURES
By Rob Hiaasen and Rob Hiaasen,SUN STAFF | November 23, 2001
Clarence Whye, as he is not known, has never voted or paid a mortgage or had a driver's license or a wife. He never wanted to settle down, so he settled down at Pimlico Race Course, where he's rubbed, bandaged, saddled, blanketed and walked horses from about the time Citation won the Preakness in 1948 to when Point Given won in 2001. All Whye wanted out of life was to take care of horses. "I never rode a horse," he says. "You see people get hurt, and you figure you [are] better on the ground."
SPORTS
By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | March 18, 2003
Largely invisible to the outside world, the racetrack backstretch exists as home to the thoroughbreds that power an industry and to the people who take care of them. Inside fences and behind guarded gates, 539 people who groom and walk horses live at Pimlico, Laurel Park or the Bowie Training Center. No one gets in without a pass or worker's ID. The residents rise before dawn and live by a rhythm set by their animals and set apart from society. Their communities are dilapidated. The three backstretches have become unsightly mishmashes of rundown barns, rutted horse paths, potholes, uneven pavement, abandoned vehicles, uncollected trash, standing water and muck.
ENTERTAINMENT
By SAM SESSA and SAM SESSA,sam.sessa@baltsun.com | October 30, 2008
What would happen if a zombie apocalypse descended on Silver Spring? Karl Ericson recently posed that question on his blog. This weekend, we'll know the answer. Well, sort of. Ericson, a 33-year-old who lives in Silver Spring, helped organize the inaugural Silver Spring Zombie Walk, which takes place Saturday. The event encourages people to dress up as zombies, meet at the Silver Spring bar the Quarry House, stumble around the city for a bit and then reconvene for a showing of Night of the Living Dead at the AFI Silver Theatre.
NEWS
By Tanya Jones and Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF | April 23, 1997
After minor amendments were adopted last night, the Anne Arundel County Council delayed a vote on legislation that would have cleared the way for funding for new dormitories to house workers who groom and exercise thoroughbreds at Laurel Park and live year-round on the backstretch.Because the bill was amended, the council has to seek public comment on the measure before it can take a final vote.But one councilman questioned the need to spend federal and state dollars on a private enterprise.
NEWS
By Tanya Jones and Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF | May 20, 1997
The Anne Arundel County Council unanimously approved last night legislation clearing the way for the release of construction funds for dormitories to house workers who groom and exercise thoroughbreds and live on the backstretch at Laurel Park.The council approved an amendment to the county's plan for housing and community development that notes the need for improved housing conditions at the track. The action clears the way for a $1 million loan from the state.The council also unanimously adopted a resolution supporting the funding, another prerequisite for the loan from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.
ENTERTAINMENT
By SAM SESSA and SAM SESSA,sam.sessa@baltsun.com | October 30, 2008
What would happen if a zombie apocalypse descended on Silver Spring? Karl Ericson recently posed that question on his blog. This weekend, we'll know the answer. Well, sort of. Ericson, a 33-year-old who lives in Silver Spring, helped organize the inaugural Silver Spring Zombie Walk, which takes place Saturday. The event encourages people to dress up as zombies, meet at the Silver Spring bar the Quarry House, stumble around the city for a bit and then reconvene for a showing of Night of the Living Dead at the AFI Silver Theatre.
SPORTS
By BILL ORDINE | August 20, 2008
The Maryland Racing Commission had to weigh human hardship against business urgency yesterday and, some argued, the greater good of Maryland's racing community as it considered whether to delay the closing of the Pimlico Race Course backstretch. In a 4-3 vote, business urgency and the greater good won over human hardship. The Maryland Jockey Club announced this month that it would close the Pimlico backstretch and relocate 447 horses stabled there are well as 111 industry workers - trainers, grooms, hot walkers - who live at Pimlico to Laurel Park and the Bowie training facility.
SPORTS
By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN REPORTER | January 31, 2007
KENNETT SQUARE, Pa. -- Those immune to Barbaro's mystique looked on in disbelief for the past eight months at the emotion and money being spent on a horse and might well have asked the question Barbaro's surgeon, Dr. Dean Richardson, asked shortly after Barbaro was euthanized Monday. "Was it worth it?" Richardson's answer was that it was, because the Kentucky Derby winner "had many happy days." Yesterday, others not as close to Barbaro had the same positive answer. Barbaro's legacy has a chance to be long-lasting.
SPORTS
By Tom Keyser | June 7, 2005
The Maryland Horsemen's Assistance Fund, which benefits backstretch workers at the state's thoroughbred tracks, will conduct its spring fund-raiser tomorrow at Mt. Washington Tavern. Racing memorabilia will be offered in a live auction at 7 p.m., as well as during a silent auction throughout the evening. Live-auction items include an autographed, framed photo of Lance Armstrong, bronze statuettes and a date with personable jockey Ryan Fogelsonger. Guest bartenders will include jockey Steve "Cowboy" Hamilton and trainer Janice Nini.
NEWS
By Sumathi Reddy and Sumathi Reddy,SUN STAFF | May 21, 2005
There is a steady rhythm to life on the backstretch, from the crow of the roosters at dawn to the rustle of the first workers awakening. By 7 a.m., the day is well under way. Workers clean and groom, walk and whistle to the sometimes unruly creatures that form the backbone of a significant state industry and sport. Thousands are employed at Laurel Park, Pimlico Race Course and Bowie Training Center. But the several hundred men and women who work the most menial jobs live along these backstretches, usually two to a room, in the most primitive conditions.
SPORTS
By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | March 18, 2003
Largely invisible to the outside world, the racetrack backstretch exists as home to the thoroughbreds that power an industry and to the people who take care of them. Inside fences and behind guarded gates, 539 people who groom and walk horses live at Pimlico, Laurel Park or the Bowie Training Center. No one gets in without a pass or worker's ID. The residents rise before dawn and live by a rhythm set by their animals and set apart from society. Their communities are dilapidated. The three backstretches have become unsightly mishmashes of rundown barns, rutted horse paths, potholes, uneven pavement, abandoned vehicles, uncollected trash, standing water and muck.
NEWS
By Tanya Jones and Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF | April 23, 1997
After minor amendments were adopted last night, the Anne Arundel County Council delayed a vote on legislation that would have cleared the way for funding for dormitories to house workers who groom and exercise thoroughbreds at Laurel Park and live year-round on the backstretch.Because the bill was amended, the council has to seek public comment on the measure before it can take a final vote.One councilman questioned the need to spend federal and state dollars on a private enterprise."This is private land, a private facility," said Councilman William C. Mulford III. "It's a little city.
SPORTS
By Tom Keyser | August 19, 1998
Morris Gardner, a longtime backstretch worker at Maryland horse tracks, died Sunday in his room at Pimlico. He was 51.His family said Gardner died of natural causes. He was employed as foreman for trainer Mary Eppler and had worked around tracks most of his life.A public viewing will be held from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow at Chatman-Harris Funeral Home, 5240 Reisterstown Road. Family members will receive friends in the chapel from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.On Friday, a wake will begin at noon at Mt. Calvary A.M.E.
SPORTS
By Jon Morgan and Jon Morgan,SUN STAFF | March 27, 2002
Sheri Garcia, a 37-year-old exercise rider who was just days away from realizing a dream of becoming a professional jockey, was killed yesterday while galloping her horse at Pimlico Race Course. Garcia, of Lancaster, Pa., suffered head injuries at about 7:30 a.m. when she struck a pole near the half-mile mark on the backstretch of the Northwest Baltimore track, said Charles Frock, a thoroughbred horse trainer who sometimes employed Garcia. Garcia was taken by ambulance to Sinai Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 8:20 a.m., according to a hospital spokeswoman.
FEATURES
By Rob Hiaasen and Rob Hiaasen,SUN STAFF | November 23, 2001
Clarence Whye, as he is not known, has never voted or paid a mortgage or had a driver's license or a wife. He never wanted to settle down, so he settled down at Pimlico Race Course, where he's rubbed, bandaged, saddled, blanketed and walked horses from about the time Citation won the Preakness in 1948 to when Point Given won in 2001. All Whye wanted out of life was to take care of horses. "I never rode a horse," he says. "You see people get hurt, and you figure you [are] better on the ground."
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