Fisher looks to make jump

With an eye to rise, trainer saddling up at My Lady's Manor


The last jumping season was a discouraging one for Jack Fisher, who unsuccessfully strove to defend the National Steeplechase Association trainers' title he had captured in 2004.

He never gathered any real momentum and labored home fifth in the standings. As the Monkton resident put it: "I didn't have a brilliant year."

But spring brings a fresh outlook and Fisher will half-empty his stable today when he dispatches 11 horses to three meetings, including the My Lady's Manor, which will stage its 96th renewal in Fisher's homestanding area.

"It's that time of the year and they have to run," said Fisher, who also has entries on programs at the Atlanta Steeplechase in Kingston, Ga., and the Strawberry Hill Races in New Kent, Va.

So far, he has one winner among four runners during the early stages of the season. Veteran out-of-staters Jonathan Sheppard (four) and Doug Fout (three) have dominated so far.

At the My Lady's Manor meet, Fisher will be astride Sham Aciss in the six-horse feature - which offers a $25,000 purse - while Roger Horgan, a three-time winner of this race astride Tom Voss-trained Ironfist, will return to the saddle on Fisher's other charge, Salmo.

Horgan left the jumping circuit after 2002 and purse earnings of more than $700,000 to pursue a career as a flat-track trainer, but is returning with an eye on competing in the Maryland Hunt Cup on April 29.

Fisher, who occasionally names himself as the rider on a horse as a prank, said he will indeed guide Sham Aciss, who broke his maiden at the Manor two years ago in the co-featured Street Memorial and was leading the big race late last year before falling.

"He should know this course by now," the trainer said. "I like the horse."

Recent rain should make the going smooth for the field after a dry winter. Among the competition, Voss will pin his hopes on a rising star, Equistar, who set a track record over hurdles at Saratoga last summer. Thari and Rosbrian are stakes winners and No Fast Moves is coming off a victory over timber on April 1.

Post time for the Manor card is 1:30 p.m.

My Lady's Manor

What: The My Lady's Manor steeplechase meeting

When: Today, first post 1:30 p.m.

Where: Pocock Road and Jarrettsville Pike, Monkton

Directions from Baltimore: From Beltway Exit 27B, take Dulaney Valley Road north slightly more than four miles and bear left onto Jarrettsville Pike (Md. 146). Continue through Jacksonville, going 9.2 miles to the course.

Tickets: Parking available at $40 (general) and $50 (family)

Beneficiary: Ladew Topiary Gardens

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