Fenwick gets record 10th win at Grand National

April 24, 1994|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Sun Staff Writer

The grand master will be back for the 100th anniversary of the Maryland Hunt Cup.

That was guaranteed yesterday when Charles Fenwick Jr. returned to riding in the Grand National Point-to-Point and scored a driving victory aboard Buck Jakes on an ideal day in Butler.

After a two-year absence from the race, Fenwick returned with an unprecedented 10th triumph in the three-mile timber race. It was his 15th attempt in 21 years on the 18-jump course, setting up a Hunt Cup showdown against his successor at dominating the local steeplechasing scene, Jack Fisher.

"He'll be entered [in the Hunt Cup]," said Fenwick of Buck Jakes, a grandson of Alydar. "It'll be a lot to ask of a 6-year-old. This was only his fifth timber race."

Fenwick, 46, will be shooting for his sixth Maryland Hunt Cup victory on Saturday. A win would tie him with Mike Smithwick's record.

Buck Jakes ran over hurdles for most of the past two years, but "seems to like the pace of timber," said Fenwick. "We started him on this late in 1993 and he won two of three starts and was second in the other one."

Fenwick was confident early because the gelding "was way up over the first three or four fences", and was content to sit behind former Timber Horse of the Year Joe's O.K. and rider, John Bosley.

"We all let that horse go," said Fenwick of Joe's O.K. "We knew that would be the one out first. Even after we got ahead of him, he began to come back on the way home."

Joe's O.K. was second, beating closer Dr. Fusco, who made a late charge to make it a three-horse drive.

Buck Jakes had some success on the flat tracks, winning four times, and has excellent bloodlines.

Fenwick's primary focus now is training. He handles 22 jumpers and ranked second nationally in training wins last year.

He acquired Buck Jakes for Arcadia Stable and came to the conclusion that the horse's large size and temperament are more suited for the slower pace of timber races.

With Tarsky scratched, Fire Sale and rider, Brooks Durkee, made a shambles of the secondary feature, the Benjamin H. Murray Memorial.

Fire Sale took a commanding lead after Patrick's Butler fell midway through the race and won as he pleased for owner Randolph Rouse and trainer Smithwick.

"He was jumping so well, it made it so easy," said Durkee. "No one was around me. After the other horse fell, we dictated the pace from then on."

Tarsky, who won with Fisher up last weekend at My Lady 's Manor, was scratched because "he's just a young horse with a limited amount of experience over these types of fences," said owner Irvin Naylor, who was scheduled to ride since Fisher was in Middleburg, Va.

It was a tough day for Naylor. Imp Chacer, his entry in the feature, balked at the start when the tape was released and threw his rider.

"This is a crazy game," said Naylor. "One minute you're a favorite and a prince and the next you're a frog."


1st--$20,000, 3mi., open timber.

Grand National Point-to-Point

Buck Jakes (C. Fenwick)

Joe's O.K. (J. Bosley)

Dr. Fusco (R. Carrier)

Time: 6:14 3/5. Scratched--Nick The Plumber, Reputed Dance. Did not finish--Imp Chacer.

2nd--$10,000, 3mi, allow, timber.

Benjamin H. Murray Memorial

Fire Sale (B. Durkee)

Hello Hal (W. Meister)

Welter Weight ( J.D. Gillet)

Time: 6:04. Scratched--Tarsky, Body Music, Imp Chacer. Did not finish: Moseby, Patrick's Butler.

3rd--$1,000, Amateur Riders Club, 2mi, turf.

John K. Shaw Memorial

Nordic Surprise (S. Neilson)

Lefroy (D. Brewster)

To Ridley (S. Fisher)

C7 Time: 3:37. Scratched--Motorcade, Mining For Magic.

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