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The 2016 Silver Blaze (Southern Division) 2 Guinea Banknote

The 2016 Silver Blaze (Southern Division) 2 Guinea Banknote

“‘Then he paid up his two guineas…

– The Hound of the Baskervilles (HOUN)

In 1952, Thomas L. Stix, Sr. started the New York Silver Blaze at the Jamaica Raceway in honor of the story of the same title by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The race was an annual (well, almost) race at various tracks around New York, although management of the various tracks did pose a few logistical problems over the next 50 years. In 1997, the decision was made to have the race every three years, beginning in 2000. Since that time, the race has been held at Saratoga, the country’s oldest race track and a very picturesque setting.

Various “imitations” of the race would sprout up around the country (and internationally) over the years since that first race in 1952 – Chicago in 1960, Denmark in 1963 with others appearing for a few (or more) races in Toronto, St. Louis, San Francisco, Tampa, Philadelphia, Winnipeg, Dallas, Vancouver, Australia, Portland and Denver, with many more.

In 1972, the 13th Garrideb, Peter E. Blau, started the Silver Blaze (Southern Division) shortly after he relocated to the Washington, DC area. The first two races were held at Bowie Race Course (between Washington and Baltimore). The race would move to historic Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore where he would be held from 1974 through 1998. The race went on hiatus in 1998, as Blau was not willing to deal with the track’s management and lousy customer service any longer.

Your webmaster restarted the Silver Blaze (Southern Division) in 2015, after securing the blessing of Mr. Blau. 2016 marked the 30th running of the race and to commemorate the occassion, the 42nd Garrideb, Denny Dobry, created the souvenir banknote featured above. Many are familiar with the fact that $2 is a common small bet in the horse racing world, so we modified a $2 red seal United States note that is pictured below.

Thomas Jefferson was replaced with Silver Blaze. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes signatures replaced those of the U.S. Treasury officials. Our club seal replaced the seal that was being used by the Treasury Department. The mismatched serial numbers represent the dates of the 2016 race at Pimlico and the date that the Wessex Cup was ran according to the chronologists. On the back of the note, Monticello was replaced with the old Pimlico clubhouse, which was destroyed by fire in 1966. Fifty notes were made and distributed to the race attendees that day.

Today, the only other active Silver Blaze races are held in Chicago, Toronto, and Monmouth Park. This year’s Silver Blaze (Southern Division) will be held on Sunday, June 25 at Laurel Park. The Maryland Jockey Club, owners of both Pimlico and Laurel, forced this race to move south to Laurel as they only had 12 days of racing at Pimlico this year.

Sherlockian Appointed to Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee

Sherlockian Appointed to Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee

“What do you think of such a commission as that?” – The Advenuture of the Engineer’s Thumb (ENGR) A rather famous Sherlockian (more noted for his previous career) was recently appointed to fill a vacancy on the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC). From the U.S.Mint’s January 19, 2017 press release: The United States Mint is pleased… Continue Reading

The 1949 Inaugural Medal of BSI Member Harry S Truman

The 1949 Inaugural Medal of BSI Member Harry S Truman

“The leader alone retained his stern, impressive expression.” – A Study In Scarlet (STUD) The polls indicated that a Presidential candidate would win the general election handily. However, when the votes were tabulated, the other candidate was victorious. Are we talking about the recent 2016 Presidential election? No, we are referring to the 1948 Presidential… Continue Reading

Meet the Garridebs: William Pavey Meskan

Meet the Garridebs: William Pavey Meskan

“A little later the chief constable sent for me.” – The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez (GOLD) It’s been just over a year since we last published one of our “Meet the Garridebs” features. Let’s take this opportunity to meet the 12th Garrideb, William Pavey Meskan, aka Beau. One of our founding charter members (Syracusean,… Continue Reading

The Presidential Inaugural Medals of BSI Member Franklin D. Roosevelt

The Presidential Inaugural Medals of BSI Member Franklin D. Roosevelt

“… whose massive head and resolute expression marked him as leader. “ – A Study In Scarlet (STUD) We have discussed before how President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was awarded an honorary membership in the Baker Street Irregulars in 1942, which can be read HERE. With the 2017 President Inauguration a few days away, this seems like a… Continue Reading

The Lady Carfax Memorial Walk Medal

The Lady Carfax Memorial Walk Medal

“She walked up the Kennington Road …” – The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax       In the January 1992 edition of Peter E. Blau’s Scuttlebutt from the Spermaceti Press, he commented: The American Volksmarch Association and three local Sherlockian societies will sponsor a “Lady Carfax Memorial Walk” in Black Forest, Colorado, on July 25 (a special… Continue Reading

Garridebs in the News – October 2016

Garridebs in the News – October 2016

“Look at the headlines …” – The Adventure of the Stock Broker’s Clerk (STOC) One of our newer Garridebs, Jeff Rock aka Inspector Baynes, recently edited a book on the 1787 Fugio Cents that circulated in the states during the confederation period. From the press release: Many colonial collectors remember Rob Retz and know that when… Continue Reading

The Westphalian Coinage of Jerome I

The Westphalian Coinage of Jerome I

“… the natural anxiety of a wife for her missing husband.” – The Sign of The Four (SIGN) Jérôme-Napoléon Bonaparte was the youngest brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, a military leader who would become the Emperor of France. In his late teens, Jerome visited the United States after serving in the French navy in the Carribean. While visiting… Continue Reading