Round Valley Thoroughbred Wins At Turf Paradise


When Magnificent Maid won the first race of her career Dec. 30 at Turf Paradise, the thoroughbred's owner, Victor Sheridan, was nowhere to be found.

In fact, he didn't find out his horse had won until the following day.

The 84-year-old owner, a Round Valley resident who is partially blind, can't drive to Phoenix. His best option, he said, is to watch the Turf Paradise races from the off-track betting site at Payson's Famous Sam's restaurant.

But on the day Magnificent Maid broke into the win column, Sheridan had misunderstood when the race was to be run.

"I thought it was going to be the next day (Tuesday) so I didn't go (to Famous Sam's) to watch," he said. "I got a phone call the next day from my trainer telling me the horse had won."

For those holding a winning ticket on the horse, the victory paid $8.80 for a $2 bet. The victorious 4-year-old gray filly who stands 17.2 hands, covered the six furlong distance in 1:11.04.

The horse was born and raised in Round Valley and has a 2-year-old full sister in training that will soon begin her racing career.

Prior to the win at Turf Paradise, Magnificent Maid's best efforts were two third-place showings and two fifth-place finishes at Prescott last summer.

Sheridan plans on continuing to run the horse at Turf Paradise throughout the winter and might schedule the filly for a return visit to Prescott next summer.

For Sheridan, the thoroughbred's win was another highlight of a horse-training career that began in 1960.

"I hooked up with a wealthy owner and trained horses all over California," he said. "I once took some horses to the Kentucky Derby but quickly realized they weren't ready for that level (of competition)."

Several years ago, Sheridan sold his ranch in Flagstaff and a home in Phoenix and moved to Round Valley where he's continued to breed horses. He says his best hope is for his thoroughbred to continue winning, but he wants to witness future races.

"I missed the first (victory)," he said. "I don't want to miss another."

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