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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Houghton's Sylmar Farm has two winners, a second and two thirds in one night at Penn National

GRANTVILLE, Pa.--Bernie Houghton saddled five horses for his mother Betsy's Sylmar Farm at Penn National on June 24 to finish with two wins, a second and two thirds.

Bernie Betsy Thomas HoughtonBernie. left, Betsy and Bernie's son Thomas Houghton"It was a great night," said  Betsy Houghton. "We were really happy with all the horses. It's been a bad last three months, and that really helped."

Sylmar Farm both bred and owned all five horses, although one, Allowance winner Beyond the Bend, was half owned and bred by Bernie Houghton's WMT Stables.

Sylmar and WMT Stables earned a total of $45,767 in prize money and added an additional $18,306.80 in Pa-bred Breeders Awards for a total of $64,073.80.

The Pa-bred awards certainly add greatly to a horse's earnings.

Although all of Sylmar's horses are Pa-breds, none of then were by stallions standing in Pennsylvania.

Pa.-breds by a stallion standing in Pennsylvania earn 50 percent bonus in maiden races and 40 percent in other races, while Pa-breds by out of states stallions earn 20 percent.

If those five horses had been by stallions standing in Pennsylvania, they would have earned over $30,000 in Breeders Awards.

Pocopson Station started of Sylmar's skein of placements with a second by 1/2 length in a $5,000, 6 furlong Claiming race, the first race of the evening.


"HE RAN good, but we'd dropped him way down," said Houghton. "He isn't the horse we thought he'd be."

Beyond the Bend by Jump Start won the fifth race by 1 1/4 lengths, a $31,600, 6 furlong Allowance race for 3-year-olds and up that have never won a race other than maiden, claiming or starter.

Then in the sixth race an open, $30,948 6 furlong Maiden Special Weight, Sylmar's Seeking the Dream by Great Notion won by 1/2 length while Secret Music was another 2 lengths back in third.

"We love the filly that one," said Houghton. "We've loved her all along. They were both first time starters."

"Secret Music was really bad going into the gate," said Houghton of the filly that reared up and lost her jockey while being loaded and finally had to be taken into the stall riderless after delaying the start and upsetting her stablemate, who was waiting to be loaded.

"We do as much as we can to work them in the gate before they start, but they didn't have any geate work at Penn while there was no race, so she probably hadn't been in a gate for four months," said Houghton. "She'll probably run good next time out."

"We do a lot withthe horses here at the farm before they go to the races," said Houghton. "So they're pretty fit when Bernie gets them. We're lucky to have that track here. In fact, we worked some out of the gate here this morning."

"I'm just glad all the hores ran well," said Houghton. "While the traks were closed, Bernie said, `When they open up, my horses are going to be ready to rock and roll.' He was careful with the horses, but he worked them regularly. You could tell they were all fit.

"The second horse in the maiden, Barbara's Bank, is a really nice horse," said Houghton. "I thought in the stretch, she was going to win, but Seeking the Dream really dug in at the end. You could see she was fit."

Sylmar finished the evening with a third by Tribal Princess in a $11,800 5 1/2 Maiden Claiming race.




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