Naylor no longer rides, but still ahead of the competition

Paralyzed Baltimore native enters Saturday's Legacy Chase leading owners standings

September 23, 2011|By Kent Baker | Special to The Baltimore Sun

Irv Naylor has never allowed a nasty spill to curb his enthusiasm for steeplechase racing.

The Baltimore native and York, Pa., businessman and philanthropist who was paralyzed from the waist down while competing as a rider in the 1999 Grand National at Butler, enters the 11th annual Legacy Chase at Shawan Downs this weekend with a comfortable lead in the National Steeplechase Association standings and is well on his way to a second consecutive owners championship.

With less than two months to go in the NSA season that concludes Nov. 19 at Camden, S.C., Naylor'shorses have amassed $282,825 in earnings and Shawan should provide another steppingstone toward a title he won in exciting fashion in 2010 — during the final program on the schedule when his Tax Ruling (also in at Shawan) finished third in the Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup, good for $10,000.

"The first time I won it was great because it was a surprise, not expected," Naylor said of the owners title. "This year it's more of a goal than it ever was. I have three entered at the Grand National (a $250,000 race) at Far Hills and if any of them win it, that would pretty much sew it up."

Naylor was left a quadriplegic by his riding accident and "can't even straighten my hand out to feed myhorses an apple." He is working to develop a cure for paralysis with Spanish officials and believes "we have developed a cell that will do it."

So, he takes his satisfaction in ownership now after riding until age 64. He has a full-time trainer at his Baltimore County farm and uses four other trainers to prepare hishorses to jump and run.

Naylor has nine entries listed to start on Saturday's five-race card, including two in the featured $15,000 open timber race, Fieldview and Gorgeous Charger.

Fieldview, trained by Kathy McKenna, will carry the 165-pound high weight after finishing second in his latest outing, a timber claiming event in Kennett Square, Pa., on May 15. Gorgeous Charger was fourth on the same program in the $15,000 Willowdale Steeplechase.

Also in the field are Armata Stable's Haddix, who was third on the Willowdale program and ran in all three Maryland races last spring, the Manor, Grand National and Hunt Cup. I'm Telling, a first-time starter, and Brands Hatch, fourth in an allowance in Middleburg, Va., complete the lineup.

Four of the five races will offer bonuses if the placers are Maryland Million-eligible, the exclusive being the finale, a training event.

Marylanders are also faring well in the trainer standings with former champions Tom Voss (first by a whisker over Jonathan Sheppard) and Jack Fisher (third) clearly in the running for another victory.

Paddy Young, a veteran, has sizable lead in the jockey standings. His mounts have earned $361,370, primarily because of 17 wins, 14 seconds and eight thirds. Decoy Daddy and Tax Ruling are 1-2 among the horses.

If you go

What: The Legacy Chase

Where: Shawan Downs, Hunt Valley

When: Saturday, first post, 1 p.m.

Directions from Baltimore: Take Interstate 83 north to Falls Road. Go 6.2 miles to Shawan Road and follow signs for parking.

General parkIng: $35 per vehicle on day of the race

Beneficiary: Greater Baltimore Medical Center

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