Fenwick a natural for Grand National

4th-generation horseman is on mount trained by his mother

his father trains a rival


His great-grandfather, Redmond Stewart, was one of the founders of the prestigious Maryland Hunt Cup. His grandfather built the property on which today's 104th Grand National Steeplechase will be conducted. His father, Charlie Fenwick Jr., has been a prominent rider and trainer in jumping circles for decades.

So, steeplechasing is clearly ingrained in the blood of Charlie Fenwick III, who is scheduled to ride Askim while defending the jockey title in today's feature at Butler.

The younger Fenwick will be aboard for his mother, Ann D. Stewart, who trains Askim, and competing against his father, who trains Make Your Own, during the 3 1/4 -mile test over timber fences that will be the final tuneup for the Hunt Cup next weekend.

"I love it. There is a lot of fulfillment in this sport for me," Fenwick III said. "I've got a job, so it's just a hobby, but my whole family has been doing it forever."

Fenwick, who captured the Grand National on Rosbrian last year, competed in his first steeplechase event in 1989 at age 16, then took a fling as a flat-racing jockey from 1990 through 1993, competing basically at the Maryland tracks with reasonable success. He was also jumping whenever practical.

Then he starting adding weight and his career at the flats ended. That consigned him to steeplechase races where making the weight limit - Askim and nine others are scheduled to carry 165 pounds in the Grand National - is not nearly as demanding.

He is also named as the rider on Secret Impression, the other half of an entry, but said: "Askim is going best. He is a very fast horse, and I've ridden him in all his victories. He's shown every sign he'll be able to do this."

Fenwick will be the jockey for owner Irv Naylor, who was riding into his early 60s when an accident left him paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair.

"He's a great competitor," Fenwick said of Naylor. "It's great to represent someone with the energy and spirit he has. But it makes it harder, too, because he knows exactly what's going on."

Twenty-eight horses were entered for a three-race program that is expected to be intruded upon by inclement weather. But the show goes on, rain or shine.

"Only in timber racing do people not mind bad weather," said Fenwick. "For a month and a half [in the spring], it's a chaotic time."


Grand National

What: Grand National Steeplechase program

When: Today, post time 3:15 p.m.

Where: Butler

Directions: From Baltimore Beltway, take Falls Road north for about 18 miles. Turn left onto Butler Road and proceed about two miles to course

Parking: Available today at $20 per vehicle

Beneficiary: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation



$30,000, The Grand National, stakes, 3 1/4 miles over timber

a-Askim 165 Make Your Own 165 b-Watch Captain 165 c-Lil Starvin Marvin 165 Ivorgorian 165 b-Loughbeg Rambler 165 Zaratanie 165 a-Secret Impression 165 Salmo 165 c-Sky And Sea 165

a-Ann D. Stewart-trained entry; b-Richard L. Valentine-trained entry; c-William Meister-trained entry


$15,000, The Benjamin H. Murray Memorial, allowance, 3 1/4 miles over timber

Tale Teller 162 a-Zaratanie 162 b-Seeking Seattle 170 Yankee Skip 162 c-Sky And Sea 170 b-Allimac 170 d-Loughbeg Rambler 162 Make Your Own 170 c-Lil Starvin Marvin 162 d-Watch Captain 162 a-Jamaica Me Laugh 162

a-Joe G. Davies-trained entry; b-Sanna N. Hendriks-trained entry; c-William Meister-trained entry; d-Richard L. Valentine-trained entry


$5,000, The Western Run Plate 3 miles over timber

Bien Allure 170 Yankee Skip 170 Tacloban 160 Secret Impression 180 Little Dewey Know 160 Riderwood 170 a-Ice Bullet 165 Royal's Quest 170 a-Brinton Bridge 170 In Kent's Memory 160

a-Katherine N. McKenna-trained entry

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