FAIR HILL -- It wasn't Ladies Day at the Fair Hill races yesterday, but the ladies had a field day, anyway.
Female trainers captured the first five races -- two each by Lilith Boucher and Janet Elliot and one by Katherine Neilson, who also rode the winner in the second race.
But Sanna Neilson supplied the big finish for the women, sending out Chilean-bred Dictador to victory in the $25,000 Miles Valentine Novice Stakes, the feature of an eight-race card.
"I had to get a little taste myself," said Sanna Neilson in reference to her sister Katherine's success after Craig Thornton steered Dictador to a four-length score over Right Stuff.
Neilson, a jockey winner here in 1994 aboard Dalton River, went to Chile to purchase the horse two years ago.
"I liked him. He seemed very honest, not very big but powerfully built," she said.
A brisk pace set by Tomahawk Warrior was a key for Dictador, who laid comfortably off the lead.
"We were a little closer than I expected to be," said Thornton. "He took a little while to relax because there were horses right on his heels pushing him along.
"But he switched off [relaxed] soon enough, and I didn't have to let down on him a little bit until coming to the last fence."
Owned by Augustin Stables, Dictador was making his third start in this country. He was third in his debut, then broke his maiden at Charlotte, N.C., a month ago.
"We didn't have a definite plan," said Neilson. "We just let the race unfold. This horse is quite a good jumper and quite handy, so he just sat in the pocket and waited. He has nice speed or he can come from off the pace."
The favorite, Jack Fisher-trained Batchwood, entered off a two-race winning streak, but was never a factor.
"I don't know what happened," said his rider, Sean Clancy.
With the weather clearing into bright sunshine after a tornado touched down near the track Friday night, a crowd of 15,894 wagered $207,349.
Pub Date: 5/27/97