Sea Speed pulls away in National

April 18, 1993|By Muphen Whitney | Muphen Whitney,Contributing Writer

Sea Speed, a 7-year-old bay gelding ridden by William Meister, took the lead at the midway point and went on to an eight-length victory in the Grand National Steeplechase yesterday in Butler.

"It just came up that way," said Meister when asked about his strategy in moving to the front. "He was handling the deep going just fine and we moved to the lead. He was going easily."

Sea Speed, who was a faller in last week's My Lady's Manor Point-to-Point, finished ahead of Oval Office, ridden by Joe Gillet, who had a 1 1/2 -length advantage over Ivory Poacher, with Sanna Neilson riding.

Gillet's mount also finished second last week in the My Lady's Manor Point-to-Point. But Gillet, who trains and rides the 8-year-old Le Fabuleux gelding, is far from discouraged.

"This is a young, talented horse who was a baby until today," Gillet said. "His jumping is much improved and today he was better than everyone except the winner."

Early leader Uncle Merlin and Reputed Dancer both pulled up during the race.

"It is real, real deep all over the course and even deeper in spots," said Uncle Merlin's rider, Paddy Neilsen.

The day's second race, the Benjamin H. Murray Memorial Steeplechase, was "truly a team effort," said John Bosley who rode Kuujjuuaq to an eight-length victory.

Neilsen set the early pace in that race aboard the Irish-bred The Milroy, but fell at the second-last fence. Bosley, on Kuujjuuaq, had been stalking the leader and jumped into the lead at the 13th fence.

Snow Maker, with Joseph Delozier III up, was second, followed by Florida Law, with Michael Traurig.

"I think Bos did all the work," Liz McKnight said of John Bosley's ride aboard Kuujjuuaq. "Kuujjuuaq is a very sensitive horse and John gets along with him."

Bosley said, "He [Kuujjuuaq] went really well and relaxed really well today. He jumped fantastically."

Helen Pitts, riding Make Azilian, prevailed by six lengths over Riposto in the two-mile flat race. Count Glen was third, followed by Raggaasy Ann and Current Trend.

The 91st Grand National Steeplechase Purse: $15,000. Time: 6:30. 1, Sea Speed (William Meister). 2, Oval Office (Joe Gillet). 3, Ivory Poacher (Sanna Neilsen). 4, Proven Warrior (Patrick Worrall). 5, Cotuit (John Bosley). Pulled up: Uncle Merlin, Reputed Dancer, Tot Elah.

The Benjamin H. Murray Memorial Purse: $10,000. Time: 6:36 1, Kuujjuuaq (John Bosley). 2, Snow Maker (Joseph W. Delozier III). 3, Florida Law (Michael Traurig), 4, Boom Town Bob (Michael Elmore). 5, Sarkis (William Meister). Fell: The Milroy. Pulled up: Body Music.

The John K. Shaw Memorial Trophy Purse: $1,000. 1, Make Azilian (Helen Pitts). 2, Riposto (Charles Fenwick, Jr). 3, Count Glen (Joe Gillet). 4, Raggaasy Ann (Danielle Brewster). 5, Current Trend (Dixon Stroud, Jr.).

Small Pony Race 1, Frisky Business (Arabelle Knox). 2, Valley Girl (Meghan Langrill). 3, Radish Dude (Tim Mascari).

Medium Pony Race 1, Blue Dog (Casey Hinsdale). 2, Garfield (Kelly Conaway). 3, Nickles and Dimes (Alexis Makarov).

Large Pony Race 1, Jay (Elizabeth Voss). 2, Dance For Dot (Casey Hinsdale). 3, Bit Cut (Leigh Offutt). 4, Got All Night (Kelly Conaway). 5, Bull Durham (Josh Horner). 6, Go Flight (Tod Barclay). 7, Silent Dream (Sierra McMurty).

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