`Sam' wins My Lady's, keeps Voss run going

Tiring 10-year-old rebuffs Secret Impression's bid

Horse Racing

April 13, 2003|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

The horse that owner Mimi Voss calls "a real family pet" came through again.

By fending off a surprisingly strong challenge from Secret Impression, Sam Sullivan made it four straight victories for Tom Voss-trained horses in the $25,000 My Lady's Manor Steeplechase yesterday at Monkton.

Sam Sullivan's winning margin after three miles and 16 timber jumps was a half length.

"He's such a nice horse," said winning rider Blair Waterman of the 10-year-old gray gelding who was named for a soldier who corresponded with an ancestor of Voss' during the Civil War. "He'll do whatever you ask of him."

What she asked Sam Sullivan to do was to surge to the front midway through the race after Waterman detected the sluggish pace being set by Charlie Fenwick III aboard Secret Impression. The lead is not normally Sam Sullivan's preference.

They stayed at the front the rest of the way while Secret Impression briefly fell back to third behind Taking Advantage.

Fenwick thought the race was over.

"We were like 10 lengths behind in second and I thought it was not in doubt the way it usually is with Sam Sullivan," Fenwick said. "But then we got closer and closer and I thought we might pull a little upset."

They arrived at the final fence virtually even, and neither went over the board barrier cleanly. Down the straightaway, Sam Sullivan had just a little more energy remaining.

"I've never seen him crash a fence," Mimi Voss said. "I was shocked."

"He got a little tired," Waterman said. "But I gave Sam a little squeeze and I found I had horse left."

Over a course softened by nearly weeklong rains, the going was surprisingly good despite some damp areas at the lower end.

"It was wet along the bottom, but it was good. Last year, the course was so hard," said Waterman, who rode Voss-trained Ironfist to a narrow victory over Maipo in 2002.

Maipo turned up among the missing yesterday, scratching from the race. Trainer Charles Fenwick Jr. said the gelding will run next week in Middleburg, Va., and later in the Virginia Gold Cup.

"He's a little tricky to ride and not just anybody can do it," he said. "His regular jockey [Arch Kingsley] was in Atlanta today, so we didn't run him."

Sam Sullivan, the runner-up to Young Dubliner in the National Steeplechase Association timber standings last year, has now won 10 of 14 starts over timber.

Bred in Maryland, he was purchased by the Voss family as a young horse and began his career over hurdles.

"He's probably the easiest horse in the entire stable to gallop," Waterman said of Sam Sullivan, who also may be destined for the Virginia Gold Cup.

Fenwick III came back to score a popular win for owner Irv Naylor aboard Askim in the $10,000 John Rush Streett Memorial, the secondary feature.


My Lady's Manor


The My Lady's Manor Purse $25,000, stakes, 5YOs&up, abt 3 mi. over timber.

Horse Jockey

Sam Sullivan B. Waterman

Secret Impression C. Fenwick III

Taking Advantage J. Bosley

Time: 6:41. Scratched: Classic Cal, Maipo.


The John Rush Streett Memorial Purse $10,000, 5YOs&up, abt 3 mi over timber.

Askim C. Fenwick III

Loughbeg Rambler G. Winants

Brambledown B. Sillars

Time: 6:28. Scratched: Kennelot's Reward, Oliver Owl, Ta Akau Five, Mr Rokeby.


The John D. Schapiro Purse $7,500, 5YOs&up, abt 3 mi. over timber.

Holzmann A. Hambleton

Lone Mountain M. van der Woude

Kebo Valley S. Fisher

Time: 6:54. Scratched: Silver Spoon, Te Akau Five, Secret Impression, Heath's Approval.

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