Leading timber earner to make Manor debut

Fisher-trained Saluter joins field of seven for today's 3-mile race


April 10, 1999|By Joe Clancy | Joe Clancy,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The most famous Maryland timber horse never to run in the Maryland Hunt Cup will make his 1999 debut in today's My Lady's Manor steeplechase, a 3-mile timber race worth $17,500.

Trained in Butler by Jack Fisher, Saluter holds the record for career timber (wooden fences) earnings with $328,000 and is two victories shy of the all-time U.S. record of 20. Owned by Virginians Henry and Ann Stern, Saluter has won five consecutive runnings of the Virginia Gold Cup and is preparing for his title defense May 1.

The Manor is one of two timber races on the card, which includes pony races and other events. Post time is 2: 30 p.m.; gates on the Jarrettsville Pike course open at noon.

Saluter's regular jockey, Fisher, wants to add a Manor victory to his horse's resume. He suffered rare defeats when finishing second in the 1994 and 1996 runnings. But Saluter won't run in the Maryland Hunt Cup -- the big fences are simply not for him.

"The Hunt Cup is more of a course for specialists and Saluter could do it, but he would be ruined for the other races he's so good at," said Fisher.

Saluter faces six rivals, including Maryland Hunt Cup contender Welter Weight and stakes winners Ninewa and Gold Quoit. Welter Weight, trained in Monkton by Tom Voss, has finished second in the past two Hunt Cups and will compete in his first Manor. Mike Elmore gets the ride.

Ninewa will be a threat to Saluter based on a win in last fall's Pennsylvania Hunt Cup. Owned, trained and ridden by Alexander Gordon-Watson, Ninewa won the John Rush Streett Memorial (companion race to the Manor) in 1992 but missed six years of racing because of a broken pelvis. Kinross Farm's Gold Quoit won the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup in New York last fall.

Others in the race are Proud Dawg, Lexington Ball and Sarkis.

The $10,000 Streett Memorial, for maiden timber horses, attracted a full field of 13. Newcomers Tej Singh, Halo Magic, Ironfist and JJ Hansel head the group.

Pub Date: 4/10/99

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