03/14/2014 1:23PM

Concern, Tuscalee, elected to Maryland Thoroughbred Hall of Fame


Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Concern and champion steeplechaser Tuscalee comprise the Maryland Thoroughbred Hall of Fame’s class of 2014.

The ceremonial honor is open to Maryland-bred flat runners and steeplechase horses that have been retired from racing for at least five years. The Hall of Fame is a joint production of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association and the Maryland Racing Media Association.

Concern was Maryland’s Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old in 1994, on the strength of a campaign that included wins in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs and the Grade 2 Arkansas Derby. He also placed in the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes, Travers Stakes, Super Derby, and Haskell Invitational Handicap, the Grade 2 Ohio Derby, Rebel Stakes, Molson Export Million Stakes, the Grade 3 Round Table Stakes, and two additional listed stakes.

During his 4-year-old campaign, the son of Broad Brush won the Grade 1 Californian Stakes and the Grade 3 New Orleans Handicap, and also finished in the money in the Grade 1 Oaklawn Handicap, Pimlico Special Handicap, and Meadowlands Cup Handicap.

Campaigned as a homebred by Robert Meyerhoff and trained by Richard Small, Concern finished his on-track career with seven wins in 30 starts, only missing the board five times, for earnings of $3,079,350.

He retired to Northview Stallion Station as the richest runner to enter stud in the state, and sired two-time champion steeplechaser Good Night Shirt. He now resides as a pensioner at Oklahoma Equine Thoroughbred Stallions in Washington, Okla.

Tuscalee, one of North America’s greatest steeplechasers, holds the North American record for most career wins over jumps, with 37, as well as the single-year record for most steeplechase wins, with 10.

That 10-win campaign in 1966 earned the Tuscany gelding champion steeplechaser honors from the Thoroughbred Racing Associations, and the first of three consecutive titles as champion Maryland-bred steeplechase horse. In 2013, he was inducted into the National Racing Hall of Fame.

Homebred by Alfred Smith, trained by Joe Aitcheson Sr., and primarily ridden by his trainer’s son, Joe Aitcheson, Jr., Tuscalee raced from ages 3-12, winning 39 of 89 career starts, all in hunt or steeplechase races, for earnings of $130,917. He was a two-time winner of the Indian River Steeplechase Handicap and the Georgetown Steeplechase Handicap at Delaware Park.

Concern and Tuscalee are part of the second class elected to the state’s Hall of Fame, following a 12-member inaugural class that included flat racers Broad Brush, Challedon, Cigar, Find, Gallorette, Jameela, Politely, Safely Kept, Twixt, and Vertex, as well as steeplechasers Elkridge and Jay Trump.