Voss hoping `Sullivan' has enough in Monkton

Trainer a little dubious about repeating in feature

April 10, 2004|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

The master of the Manor will strive for his fifth straight victory today as Maryland timber racing's spring season opens with a flourish.

As usual, trainer Tom Voss will be in absentia at the 94th annual My Lady's Manor program in Monkton, where his wife Mimi's horse, Sam Sullivan, will try to win the $25,000 feature for the second year in a row.

Voss, whose sprawling farm is only a mile from the Manor course, again will be in Atlanta, where he has four entries on a card featuring the Grade I, $100,000 Georgia Cup, first leg of steeplechasing's Triple Crown.

He isn't overly confident about Sam Sullivan's chances against 11 others.

"Sam Sullivan is doing fine and he knows his way around there," said Voss. "But he hasn't had a prep like every other year and he's getting older [11] for a timber horse. But he always does his best."

Before Sam Sullivan, Ironfist, a front-end runner, dominated at the Manor, the most popular equine event in Harford County.

Voss is coming off a tough year in which he surrendered his National Steeplechase Association training title to fellow Marylander Jack Fisher, who has Dr. Ramsey and Matchless entered in the Manor.

Some sickness among his jumping stable consigned Voss to a slow start, and he never caught up despite a mid-year rally and his customary success at Saratoga in the summer.

"We gave him one," he said of Fisher.

In addition, Voss underwent knee replacement surgery a few months ago.

"I'm fine now," said the former steeplechase jockey. "I've been riding horses for a month."

The course is expected to be in generally good condition despite some spotty water-logging.

Fisher also has an entry in the secondary feature, the $10,000 John Rush Streett Memorial. Spoonfullofsugar and Sham Aciss will run under his colors.

Post time is 1:30 p.m. for the feature. Gates open at 11. Racing will be conducted rain or shine.

At a glance

What: My Lady's Manor steeplechase races

Where: Monkton

Post time: 1:30 p.m. today

Directions: From Baltimore, take Beltway exit 27-B (Dulaney Valley Road north). The road becomes Jarrettsville Pike. Follow approximately 14 miles from the Beltway to Pocock Road.

Admission: General parking, $35, and family parking, $45, are available at the gate.

Beneficiary: Ladew Topiary Gardens

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