Overcoming a slow early pace, Proud Dawg edged Ninewa by a length yesterday to win the $17,500 My Lady's Manor three-mile timber race in Monkton.
Much attention was focused on Saluter, the Maryland timber horse who has won five straight runnings of the Virginia Gold Cup and was making his 1999 debut yesterday. But Saluter was third, finishing five lengths behind the leaders in the steeplechase.
"It was a very slow pace for the first mile and a half," said trainer Tom Voss, whose Manor entry, Welter Weight, was scratched. "The pace didn't suit Saluter at all."
Instead, Proud Dawg and Ninewa moved to the front of the five-horse field and dueled over the final jump before Proud Dawg, owned by Irv Naylor with Joe Gillet aboard, pulled ahead to win in 6: 25. Saluter, who holds the record for career timber (wooden fences) earnings with $328,000, will now prepare to defend the Virginia Gold Cup title May 1.
In the other timber race, Bit of Scotch nosed Ironfist to win the $10,000 John Rush Streett Memorial for maiden timber horses. Make Me a Champ finished third in the 12-horse field. JJ Hansel, a projected contender, was scratched.
Ellen Horner was aboard Bit of Scotch and raced to her first win, covering the three-mile course in 6: 05.
Pub Date: 4/11/99