Incomplete completes task

steeplechase

Trailing most of way, 8-year-old rallies to win My Lady's Manor by 7 lengths

April 12, 2009|By Bill Ordine | Bill Ordine,bill.ordine@baltsun.com

Timber racer Incomplete bided his time trailing the leaders for most of the 99th running of the My Lady's Manor steeplechase race Saturday in Monkton before finding another gear and running away from the rest of the 10-horse field to win by seven lengths.

Incomplete, an 8-year-old bay, is 3-for-3 in National Steeplechase Association-sanctioned races since beginning his career over timber two years ago.

"My horse has a great quarter-of-a-mile kick," said Incomplete jockey Charlie Fenwick III, "and he has enough tactical speed to put him wherever I want to put him, so that's what I did, and it worked out."

Incomplete finished the three-mile, 16-jump course in 6 minutes, 18 seconds and outdistanced co-favorite South Monarch, who placed second with Jody Petty riding. J. Alfred Prufrock, who held the lead briefly, finished third with Conrad Somers in the irons.

The $30,000 My Lady's Manor marked the first of three successive steeplechase weekends in Maryland, to be followed by the Grand National in Butler on Saturday and the Maryland Hunt Cup in Glyndon on April 25.

In Saturday's second race, the $15,000 John Rush Streett Memorial for timber maidens, Patriot's Path notched his first career victory by a wide margin, besting nine challengers in 6:39.

In the featured My Lady's Manor, Foiled Again set the early pace on a course made heavy by overnight and morning rain. For much of the race, the leader was stalked by Uppercut and J. Alfred Prufrock.

Uppercut rallied for the lead momentarily before pulling up, and then J. Alfred Prufrock took his turn in front. But winning jockey Fenwick saw his opening at the third-to-last jump and Incomplete showed his class by turning on the afterburners.

"I wanted to be within striking distance at any time and right beside a horse that I thought was the co-favorite - South Monarch - so I tracked with him all the way," Fenwick said. "I got the inside of that third-to-last fence. When I had the inside there, I thought I'd take advantage of it a little bit and I did, and he had a great kick up the lane."

Incomplete had an undistinguished career as a flat racer, but trainer Ann Stewart said one his best attributes as a timber racer is his ability to relax and wait for his chance.

"It's the end that counts," Stewart said.

In the maiden race, Patriot's Path, ridden by Darren Nagle, bested nine others with Messomania, ridden by Jacob Roberts, finishing second and Toughkenamon, with Jason Griswold riding, in third. In his previous five races, Patriot's Path finished second four times and third once.

"Whenever he's gotten out front, he's just stopped running, so our key training question has been how do we keep him interested in staying in first," owner Irv Naylor said. "But today, he got out front and he seemed to like it."

In the maiden, Template jockey James Stierhoff lost the saddle over a jump but was not seriously hurt. His mount made several jumps along with the pack before eventually peeling off.

In two short-field secondary races, Haddix (William Santoro) won the $5,000 John D. Schapiro Memorial, with King Lear (Suzanne Stettinius) second and Little Dewey Know (James Stierhoff) third, and in the unsanctioned Yoicks Cup, Fort Henry (Molly Forlano) was the winner, followed by Vinnie Boy (Adair Bonsal Stifel) and Dreaming of Glory (Kim Vest).

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