Tarsky goes for 2nd in row in National

April 20, 1996|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

A solid field of eight horses, including the winners of the last three races in the Maryland Triple Crown, will vie today in the 94th running of the Grand National Steeplechase in Butler.

Included in the field are defending champion Tarsky; the 1-2 finishers in last year's Maryland Hunt Cup, Buck Jakes and Florida Law, and Southwoods, who out-dueled two-time Timber Horse of the Year Saluter last week to take the My Lady's Manor, the first leg of the 1996 Triple Crown.

Another contender could be Welter Weight, who won the Benjamin H. Murray Memorial, the co-feature on the card, in 1995.

"The Grand National has a $25,000 purse and, under the rules, is a stakes race for the first time," said race secretary Charles Fenwick Jr.

Fenwick also trains Buck Jakes, the gray gelding who had the lead approaching the last jump in last year's Grand National, but was overtaken by Tarsky, who gave Louis "Paddy" Neilson III a triumph in this race in his fifth different decade.

"Buck Jakes seems to be in good order," said Fenwick. "But Tarsky is a good horse and Jack Fisher [second in the national steeplechase trainer standings last year] is riding him this time."

Tarsky's victorious time last year was a blistering 5: 51 over the three-mile distance and 18 fences. It was almost eight seconds faster than the previous record for the race.

The $1,000 purse in the amateur flat race, the John K. Shaw Memorial, will be contributed to the National Steeplechase Foundation in the name of the winning owner, Fenwick said.

Post time for the final tuneup for the Hunt Cup is 3: 15 p.m. The course is located off Butler Road.

Pub Date: 4/20/96

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