Hall of Angels rallies for win at Shawan

Trainer Rowland gets 2 victories

Horse racing

September 25, 2005|By Wendy E. Lane | Wendy E. Lane,Special to The Sun

Using the personal touch paid off yesterday for trainer Paul Rowland, whose Hall of Angels came from behind to claim the $25,000 timber stakes in the Legacy Chase at Shawan Downs.

The 9-year-old gelding surged from just off the lead to pass Albert's Crossing before the last fence, winning the day's feature race by 2 1/2 lengths. It was one of two wins for Rowland, whose stable star, Preemptive Strike, won a training flat race for amateur jockeys. The day featured seven races on the undulating Shawan Downs course.

Dry weather conditions forced the timber race onto Shawan Downs' main course, which is irrigated, and caused the race to be shortened from 3 3/4 miles to 3 1/8 . Jockey Robert Walsh kept Hall of Angels, owned by Josh W. Taylor, in third most of the way behind leader Albert's Crossing, who set a slow early pace for a field reduced to four by three late scratches.

"He just fell asleep and jumped away," Walsh said. "At the second to last hurdle he jumped his way to the front, and he had a look at the last fence and just popped it."

Hall of Angels had been under the tutelage of trainer Jack Fisher, who gave up on him and passed him on to Rowland. Coming from Fisher's large and busy Butler training facility, Hall of Angels has thrived in an environment where he gets plenty of individual attention. After coming over from England in 1988, Rowland recently opened his own stable in Unionville, Pa., where he has five horses.

"Jack didn't want him around because as somebody with a barn full of horses, he's not the type of horse who will fit into that type of program," Rowland said. "He's a one-on-one horse. He's very nervous and has a lot of issues. You've got to stay patient with him. Robby has been great with him and he knows Robby really well."

Fisher has been happy to see his castoff thrive at Rowland's barn.

"Paul's done a great job with him," he said.

It was the first victory in three starts this year for Hall of Angels, who finished a strong second in Radnor, Pa., in May, to Miles Ahead, the year's leading timber horse.

In the day's secondary feature, the $20,000 Legacy Chase, Nick Mitchell took the lead just after the second to last hurdle and had plenty of speed left to zip past the fading Mark The Shark, who had opened a sizable lead halfway through the 2 1/2 miles, for a two-length victory.

"Both the horses ran well," said Fisher, Mark The Shark's trainer. "I was hoping [he could hold on] but I had my doubts."

"At the second to last, he switched to his outside lead and from there I knew I was going to pass the leader," said winning rider Cyril Murphy. "It was just a matter of when, but he was always going to catch him."

Owner Vincent Bracciale Jr., a former flat jockey who raced up and down the East Coast during his career, has a sentimental attachment to Nick Mitchell, whom he raised at his farm in Sykesville. He chose one of the trainers he used to ride for, Thomas Voss, to train Nick Mitchell, first as a flat racer, winning three allowances. This year, Voss and Bracciale decided it was time to train him over hurdles. The 6-year-old dark bay broke his maiden at Colonial Downs in July.

"He's an overachiever," said Bracciale, who named the horse after his two grandsons. "He doesn't seem like a great horse, but when he gets in a race he does really well. He can't run fast but he can just keep it going."



First Purse $15,000, mdn, 3YO&up, 2 mi. over nat. fences

Horse Jockey

1. Studio Time J. Petty

2. Lone Arrow Z. Miller

3. Easy Escapade J. Murphy

Time: 3:38. Scratched: Bonfo. Also ran: Dig This Hoss, Illusionary.

Second Purse $15,000, mdn, 3YO&up, 2 mi. over nat. fences

1. Desert Swing C. Murphy

2. Thermostat J. Petty

3. Irish Laddie Z. Miller

Time: 3:43 1/5. Scratched: Hawk Speed. Also ran: Speed Of Light (fell), Lightning Paces (pulled up), French Schemer (pulled up), Pinky Pizwaanski (fell.)

Third Purse $15,000, mdn, F&M 3YO&up, 2 mi. over nat. fences

1. Class Vigor R. Winants

2. Amazing Truth X. Aizpuru

3. Miss Golden Girl R. Bennett

Time: 3:47 2/5. Scratched: Artsy, Miss Battisti. Also ran: Lizzie Lane, Salem Jewel, Analyze (fell), Gracious Goodness (pulled up).

Fourth The Legacy Chase Purse $20,000, 4YO&up, 2 1/2 miles over nat. fences

1. Nick Mitchell C. Murphy

2. Mark The Shark W. Dowling

3. Move West J. Petty

Time: 4:45 4/5. Scratched: Sweeps Week, Vintage Class, Aluckyperk. Also ran: Potentially, Church Ghost, Nick Sprout (pulled up).

Fifth Training flat, 3YO&up, amateur riders, 1 mi. 7 furlongs on turf

1. Flat Spin J. Slater

2. Bow Strada B. Waterman

3. Bubble Economy P. Young

Time: 3:21. Scratched: Bounding Cat, Pinky Pizwaanski, French Schemer, Pizarro. Also ran: Erin Go Bragh, For Bravery, Cambridge Bay, Russia, Salmo, In Kent's Memory, Joe At Six,, Ballingowan Kash.

Sixth Training flat, 3YO&up, amateur riders, 1 mi. 7 furlongs on turf

1. Preemptive Strike P. Young

2. Lord Zada J. Slater

3. Vente Z. Miller

Time: 3:15. Scratched: Mon Villez, Derby For Darby. Also ran: Cherokee Lee, Najjm, Prince Manila, Nijinsky's Pride, Riderwood, Sham Aciss, Java To Go, Northern Thinking, Lake Of Bays, Sugar Hall.

Seventh The Ski Roundtop Timber Stakes Purse $25,000, timber, 4YO&up, 3 1/8 mi.

1. Hall Of Angels R. Walsh

2. Albert's Crossing J. Petty

3. Chef Bear Z. Miller

Time: 7:07 1/5. Scratched: Sky And Sea, Nijinksy's Pride, Ghost Valley. Also ran: Regal Again.

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