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Rutledge Farm’s “Researcher”
By Joy M. Smith
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Researcher racing.jpg

Herman and Monica Greenberg, owners of Rutledge Farm, have been supporters of the Virginia Tech Foundation’s M.A.R.E. Center in Middleburg for many years. When they bought Researcher at the Center’s 2005 yearling sale, they were continuing their support of the Center by buying their horses there.

Through four years of training and racing, their new Two Smart, Virginia bred gelding out of the Apalachee mare Wild Magnolia, is proving to be a fine investment for his owners. As one writer observed when telling of the Greenberg’s years of support for the Center and racing, “good things happen to good people.”
Saturday, April 18, at Charles Town Race Track, Researcher won the inaugural race of the Charles Town Classics which opened West Virginia racing’s new 2009 four-event series. With that win, he earned more than $360,000. He had preceded the Classic win by setting a track record for 1 1/8 miles in his previous start on March 28. Leading up to those wins, Researcher had won ten of his 17 career starts. All told he has amassed lifetime earnings of $676,809.

Robert Powell, Rutledge Farm Manager for more than 40 years, shared with us the excitement of all concerned at Researcher’s biggest win of his career. Powell said, “the Greenbergs, Trainer Jeff Runco and Jockey Kendrick Carmouche praised the ease and command of the track Researcher displayed in his run.” Runco and Carmouche emphasized the importance of the win. “This is a big deal, it’s as big a deal as winning the grade III in New York…he came into this race perfectly…that’s what we were hoping for…he knew what to do.”

Researcher is based at Charles Town with trainer Runco. Racing fans there know the horse and the rider well and the win had the crowd on their feet and cheering as Researcher made the third turn and raced to the finish line. The win also, with purse earnings of $364,850, propelled the Greenberg’s Rutledge Farm to the top of the list of leading North American owners by purse earnings.

Rutledge Farm is one of the most distinctive horse farms in the Middleburg area. Located just east of the village its pastoral landscapes and rustic color-coordinated houses, barns and farm service buildings seem to blend and flow with the lawns, paddocks, and four-board fenced pastures. Quiet beauty and symmetry spread out in every direction.

While we toured the farm with Mr. Powell, he took us to the pasture where Researcher’s dam Wild Magnolia was turned out with the other mares. The morning was sunny and cool and a more tranquil, relaxing environment for retirement just can’t be imagined.

We understand Researcher hasn’t spent much time at Rutledge Farm since he began his winning career and we’re sure retirement from racing is the last subject on anyone’s mind right now. But, hey, when the cheers have gone quiet and the finish lines are all behind him . . . back home at Rutledge Farm looks like the most rewarding place of all for our Hometown Hero.

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Posted on: Wednesday, April 29, 2009