Steeplechase season gets under way

Circuit doing well, NSA official says

April 10, 2010|By Kent Baker | Special to The Baltimore Sun

While thoroughbred racing is struggling through the throes of a downturn, the steeplechase circuit is holding rather steady.

That is particularly true in Maryland, which kicks off its spring season in earnest today with the 100th renewal of the $30,000 My Lady's Manor race at Monkton.

On consecutive weeks, the Grand National at Butler and the prestigious Maryland Hunt Cup at Glyndon will follow today's four-race card, which annually draws the largest crowd for any sporting event in Harford County.

"We did have some setbacks, losing a race at Belmont Park, but by today's standards and in this tough economy, we're doing pretty good," said Bill Gallo, the director of racing for the National Steeplechase Association, which is headquartered at Fair Hill. "Generally speaking, our races are one-day events, so we're not as susceptible. And, our bigger ones, like Far Hills [N.J.], are doing really well."

The NSA conducts 19 meetings from Georgia to Pennsylvania and New Jersey, accenting a day in the country alongside the spectacle of horses jumping over obstacles.

With an abundance of good competitors in the area, the Maryland timber scene is flourishing, Gallo said.

"I remember when the Maryland Hunt Cup was run for a trophy, and now it's a $75,000 race," he said.

The feature at the Manor has attracted a field of nine, including South Monarch, who was second last year, and Bubble Economy, who raced third.

Bubble Economy is half of a two-horse entry trained nearby by Jack Fisher, an annual contender for the national training title. The other is Delta Park; both are owned by Arcadia Stable.

Also figuring prominently are two Irv Naylor entrants, Hot Springs, who prevailed at the Manor two years ago, and Askim, the 2008 winner of the Hunt Cup.

1st

$30,000, The My Lady's Manor, 3 mi over timber.

a-Delta Park…165

South Monarch…165

Askim…165

Haddix…165

J. Alfred Prufrock…165

More Fascination…165

aBubble Economy…165

Hot Springs…165

Mr Liberator…165

a-Jack Fisher-trained entry.

2nd

$12,500, The John Rush Streett Memorial, mdn, 3 mi over timber.

Little Dewey Know…155

Fort Henry…165

Crypto Cousin…165

Heros Among Us…160

East Coker…165

Any Key…165

Artist's Stroke…160

Armed Brat…160

Sand Box Rules…165

3rd

$12,500, The Sham Aciss, mdn, 3 mi over timber.

Fieldview…155

G'Day G'Day…160

a-Imperial Way…155

b-And The Eagle Flys…160

He's Got Mojo…160

Monarch Lane…160

a-The Whacker…160

East Coker…160

b-Big Bad Joe…155

a-Thomas Voss-trained entry; B-William Meister-trained entry.

4th

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

Prospectors Strike…175

Little Dewey Know…160

Pan Adam…160

Kilbreena…175

Mach Ten…160

Western Fling…170

Big Bad Joe…165 If you go What: My Lady's Manor steeplechase races When: Today, first post, 1:30 p.m. Where: Jarrettsville Pike and Pocock Road, Monkton Directions from Baltimore: Take Beltway to Dulaney Valley Road north. Go four miles and bear left onto Jarrettsville Pike (Md. 146). Go through Jacksonville and proceed five miles. Parking: Available race day, $50 and up per vehicle Beneficiary: Ladew Gardens

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