MONKTON -- Push And Pull thwarted the comeback attempt of timber champion Von Csadek yesterday and won the 82nd running of the My Lady's Point-to-Point in course-record time.
The 6-year-old gray gelding, ridden and trained by Jack Fisher, overtook Von Csadek at the 13th of 16 fences on the three-mile course. He then led to the wire, holding off a rapid rally by Pennsylvania Hunt Cup winner Pleasant Sea (ridden by Liz McKnight), by two lengths.
Von Csadek, who had won the Manor race in 1989 and 1990, finished third, about a length in front of last year's winner, Cabral (Blythe Miller).
"I think we took them [Von Csadek, ridden by Patrick Worrall] by surprise," Fisher said. "Once I caught him and got to the inside, I just galloped on in." Push And Pull ran the three miles in 5 minutes, 56 seconds. Von Csadek had the previous record of 6:04.
Doug Worrall, trainer of Von Csadek, said that his horse didn't have his customary kick going up the hill of the final turn.
"I think I just ran a short horse," Worrall said. "I took a calculated risk and didn't run him in a prep race."
Push And Pull had tuned up for his Manor victory with a 20-length win at the Orange County Point-to-Point several weeks ago.
Fisher will now point him for the Virginia Gold Cup on May 2. Last week, Fisher won the Edward S. Voss Memorial at the Elkridge-Harford Point-to-Point with Revelstoke, who he expects to run in the Maryland Hunt Cup on April 25.
Push And Pull, sired by Kentucky Derby runner-up Sham, is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Rufus Williams of Butler. He was originally purchased by their daughter, Sheila, from local breeder Robert Meyerhoff, after the horse failed to show much ability at Maryland flat tracks.
Nine of the 11 Manor starters finished the race. Early pace-setter, No Triskadekafobia, fell at the 13th fence. Mike's Marauder was pulled up before the last jump.
The order of finish, behind the top four, was Nick The Plumber (John McKenna), Dashing Fred (Bruce Davidson), The Snow Flaker (Mike Elmore), Ballybranogue (Jay Meister) and Golden Lorne (Billy Meister).
The companion timber race, the John Rush Streett Memorial, which is carded for maidens, was split into two divisions. The winners also produced record times on perfect footing. Sea Speed (Billy Meister) gave Architecture (J.W. Delozier) his first defeat of the season in the first half, outlasting him at the wire by about a half length.
Delozier then survived a foul claim, filed by Mike Traurig, on third-place finisher Kuujjuaq, for interference at the 15th jump.
Sea Speed was timed in 6 minutes and is owned by the B F D Racing Stable, a group of Baltimore-based lawyers and businessmen put together by local show horse trainer Beverly Solter.
Saratoga Slew, ridden by Bruce Fenwick, appeared a certain winner in the second division of the Streett Memorial until he put in a bad fence at the last jump, unseating Fenwick.
Alexander Gordon-Watson, a 40-year-old steeplechase trainer and rider, from Chester County, Pa., then went on to win with Ninewa. Snow Maker (J.W. Delozier) was second, followed by Sarah Laimbeer on Caustic Response.
Ninewa was timed in 5:58.