CHESS CHIEF named Virginia Horse of the Year

Purchased as a yearling at Saratoga by Kirkwood for trainer Dallas Stewart and the Estate of James Coleman
Chess Chief (outside) wins the 2021 Tenacious Stakes at Fair Grounds
Chess Chief (outside) wins the 2021 Tenacious Stakes at Fair Grounds

Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.

The annual Virginia Breeder’s Awards program has been scheduled at Great Meadow Friday May 6th—the evening before the Virginia Gold Cup Races—in a return to more of a “normal times” format for the first time since 2019. The event will take place in a trackside tent on Member’s Hill overlooking the deep stretch and finish line areas where steeplechase horses are set to compete the next afternoon. A list of awards to be presented that night follows.

Horse-of-the-Year honors go to Chess Chief, who was also recognized as Virginia-Bred Older Horse Champion based on two stakes wins and $446,290 in earnings. The Dallas Stewart trainee struck early and late in the year, connecting at Fair Grounds twice in the Grade 2 New Orleans Stakes March 20 and in the Tenacious Stakes December 26. Bred by Morgan’s Ford Farm, the 6-year-old Into Mischief horse heads into spring with $865,338 in winnings overall.


MR ALEC wins dramatically over hurdles!

MR ALEC dramatic maiden winner for owner Dick Colton and trainer Arch Kingsley first time over hurdles at Springdale Racecourse in Camden SC Developed for Alec Head at Kip Elser’s Kirkwood Stables. MR ALEC broke his maiden on the flat at Belmont and won a Saratoga allowance race.

Kirkwoood Yearling Purchase wins the CAROUSEL S. at Oaklawn

Courtey of the TDN

CAROUSEL S., $200,000, Oaklawn, 4-2, 4yo/up, f/m, 6f, 1:09.26, ft.
1–ACTING OUT, 124, m, 5, Blame–Riding Point, by Speightstown. ($120,000 RNA Ylg ’18 KEESEP; $12,000 3yo ’20 KEEJAN). 1ST BLACK TYPE WIN.
O-Sherman Racing, Inc., Zvika Akin & Robert Harkins;
B-Vincent Colbert (KY)
T-Jerry Hollendorfer;  Lifetime Record: 12-5-3-0, $323,840.

Acting Out made it two-for-two since joining Hall of Famer trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Previously campaigned by winning co-owner and former trainer Art Sherman, she was a well-beaten sixth at Del Mar July 29. She returned eight months later to lead gate-to-wire against a similar field Mar. 11 at Oaklawn. Two of those beaten rivals were behind her again Saturday as she stepped back into stakes company for the first time since a second-place finish over the Golden Gate grass last April.

Acting Out got away from the gate in good order to set the early pace and led comfortably throughout. She entered the stretch with a 1 1/2-length advantage and was pushed to the wire by heavily favored SW & MGISP Frank’s Rockette (Into Mischief) to win comfortably.

Acting Out is a half-sister to two other winners and her dam was bred to Seattle Serenade in 2022


STARTWITHABANG (Jump Start)  raced 6 1/2 furlongs at Charles Town to a MSW graduation. She came between horses late to win by a neck.  She is trained by  Anthony Farrior for owner Timothy Freitag. She was bred in MD by Mr. & Mrs. Charles McGinnes.

Starts Firsts Seconds Thirds Earnings
6 1 2 2 $51,379