Sham Aciss 1st in `My Lady's'

Horgan rides winner after Salmo scratched

Turkish Corner wins Streett by half-length

April 16, 2006|By KENT BAKER | KENT BAKER,SUN REPORTER

The fates conspired to unite the returning rider with the redeeming horse yesterday at the 96th running of the My Lady's Manor Steeplechase.

The result was a smashing feature victory for Roger Horgan and Sham Aciss, who left four rivals in the dust before an estimated crowd of 10,000 in ideal weather.

Sham Aciss crossed the finish line seven lengths to the better of No Fast Moves after making a bold move to seize the lead at the 13th of 16 timber fences.

Trainer Jack Fisher originally was named as the rider on Sham Aciss and Horgan was scheduled to guide the other half of his entry, Salmo.

"At the last minute, he [Salmo] had a slight injury and Roger was already here, so Jack went to Atlanta [where he had five horses running in another meet]," Fisher's wife Sheila said.

It was a triumphant reunion with the major jumping circuit for Horgan, who won the My Lady's Manor three straight years (2000-2002) aboard the Tom Voss-trained Ironfist. The native of Ireland retired from steeplechase riding to pursue a training career in flat racing, assisting Ken McPeek for three years before starting his own stable last year.

And it was clearly redemption for Sham Aciss, who captured the secondary feature at the Manor in 2004 and was leading the big race last spring before falling at the next-to-last fence.

Fisher said the scratch of Salmo was actually harmful to Sham Aciss. "It left the race with no speed," she said. "So, it was hurting us."

Never mind the speed. Horgan kept his mount -- whom he rode in the Green Spring point-to-point meet two weeks ago -- off the pace set primarily by Thari for three-quarters of the race. They then zoomed past the field, and Sham Aciss had no mishaps this time.

"Everybody was worried about no pace," Horgan said. "So, I thought what we were doing was sensible. He flew that fourth-to-last fence and swelled up with confidence. He got in rhythm and went by everybody."

A son of Sham, who is most famous as the unfortunate horse who had to contend with the mighty Secretariat during the 1973 Triple Crown series, Sham Aciss has been hampered by troubles during his jumping career.

"He's really a nice horse who has had bad racing luck," Fisher said. "He's a great jumper and has a turn of foot when he needs it. But the owners [Brick'n Brew Stable] have been great about sticking with him."

Horgan came back with an eye on competing in the Maryland Hunt Cup on April 29, but is scheduled to run Gunning For in the Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland the day before the race.

"We'll have to see," he said about the Hunt Cup. "That's my job [flat training] and that comes first."

He said he tried to "keep to the same path" he took with Ironfist on the three-mile course. "It was a very uncomplicated plan."

The 82nd running of the Streett Memorial brought another popular victory, this one to the owner of Turkish Corner, Irv Naylor, who was paralyzed in a riding accident several years ago.

Turkish Corner returned from a two-year absence and survived a stirring stretch duel with Fappa Fire to prevail by a half-length.

kent.baker@baltsun.com

My Lady's Manor

1

$25,000, The My Lady's Manor, 3 mi. over timber.

Horse Rider Sham Aciss R. Horgan

No Fast Moves C. Read

Thari S. Strawbridge

Time: 6:16 Scatched: Salmo.

2

$10,000, The John Rush Streett Memorial, amateur riders, 3 mi. over timber.

Turkish Corner C. Gracie

Fappa Fire B. Curry

Coal Dust J. Slater

Time: 6:09. Scratched: Little Dewey Know, Seeking Seattle, Yankee Skip.

3

$5,000, The John D. Schapiro Memorial, amateur riders, 3 mi. over timber.

Seeking Seattle S. Strawbridge Zaratanie C. Gracie Beeseennotheard W. Meister

Time: 6:18. Scratched: Apache Twist, Fappa Fire, Private Attack, Bet A Quarter.

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