Fisher-trained horses dominate My Lady's Manor races

April 17, 1994|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Sun Staff Writer

If the tuneup at My Lady's Manor Steeplechase Races proved anything yesterday, it was that Jack Fisher again will be tough to beat in the 100th anniversary running of the Maryland Hunt Cup.

Even with Revelstoke, considered the best of Fisher's initial six-horse entry in the Monkton races, scratched, Fisher trainees finished 1-2-3 in the 84th running of the My Lady's Manor Point-to-Point.

Then Fisher rode and trained the winners of both divisions of the John Rush Streett Memorial for maidens who had never won over timber.

The only thing that eluded Fisher was a riding victory in the $15,000 Manor feature when rider Sanna Neilson and Shining Beacon beat Saluter, with Fisher aboard, by less than a length.

But then, Shining Beacon runs in the colors of Kingfisher Farm, owned by Fisher and his wife, Sheila.

"My only instruction to Sanna [before the race] was 'don't beat me,' " said Fisher. "But girls never listen to you. Shining Beacon always had a tremendous finishing kick and he had a little more left."

Sea Speed finished third with John Bosley in the saddle, putting two of the Fisher-trained trio in perfect preparation for the Hunt Cup on April 30. Fisher will run Saluter in the Virginia Gold Cup on May 7.

All three races yesterday were conducted over a hilly three-mile course over 16 different fences. The course was soft after some morning rain, but dried out in most areas and was rated good by race time yesterday.

The early running in the feature was dominated by Reputed Dancer and the Charles Fenwick-trained Free Throw, with Sea Speed keeping them honest on the front end.

But near the end of the cleanly run race, Shining Beacon and Saluter had the most energy left running down the final hill.

They came driving down the stretch side by side, and Neilson's rating paid off.

"I just hung back off the pace," she said. "I figured we'd need it at the end. This horse [Shining Beacon] is a very accurate jumper with a lot of range. He's really a simple horse to ride."

In the first division of the $7,500 Rush Memorial, Fisher rode Navy Pilot to a 1 1/2 -length victory over Destination, who made a serious run, then hung slightly in the stretch.

Only three in the six-horse field finished. Happy Birthday Dew, who was ridden by William Meister, took a serious fall at the final fence.

Meister got up quickly, but Happy Birthday Dew was on the ground for more than a half-hour before being revived by ice treatments. The horse then walked to the barn.

In the second division, Fisher gave Tarsky a breather before the last two fences, then put on a furious rally to win going away.

"I didn't envision a day like this," said Fisher. "I envisioned breaking my collarbone in the first race."

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