The historic Maryland Timber Triple kicks off this Saturday in Monkton, about 30 miles north of Baltimore, with the $50,000 My Lady’s Manor Stakes, the main event on the four-race, $100,000 undercard.
My Lady’s Manor is the first of three grueling wooden runs over increasingly longer distances in a span of 15 days. The second leg, the Grand National, will be played on April 23 at Butler, 3 ¼ miles away. The jewel in the crown is the 125th Maryland Hunt Cup race on April 30 at Glyndon, a 4-mile, $100,000 purse.
The race has drawn six entrants, led by perennial powerhouses Mystic Strike of Upland Partners and Dolly Fisher’s Schoodic, both 13-year-olds with 90 career starts and 26 wins between them. Also entering Leipers Fork Steeplechasers’ Tomgarrow, who secured the 2021 wood championship with a score in the International Gold Cup at Great Meadow in Virginia. They also compete in the three-mile classic Preseli Rock from Bruton Street-US, who finished second in the My Lady’s Manor and Maryland Hunt Cup in 2021; Michael A. Smith’s Le Chevalier, which won the Grand National, the middle stage of the series last year; and Irv Naylor’s Hooded, a maiden winner who makes a big leap in class.
Armata Stable’s Vintage Vinnie, the 2021 Maryland Hunt Cup recording 96-length winner, had also been included among the headlines on the nights, but was redirected to the fourth race on the undercard, the John D. Grant Schapiro Memorial for rider apprentices. He will be ridden by Teddy Davies, son of trainer Joe Davies.
Last year, Vintage Vinnie set himself up for the Hunt Cup with an easy score at My Lady’s Manor. Since he arrived from Europe at the beginning of 2018, Vinnie Roe’s son, raised in Ireland and now 13, has chosen places carefully for him, racing six times, with three wins, two seconds and a third.
Additionally, there are two $20,000 Wood Maiden events on the day, the John Rush Streett Memorial and the Thomas H. Voss. All races at The Manor are restricted to amateur or apprentice riders, and all are 3 miles.
Returning to its usual spot on the spring schedule following a schedule change to June of last year due to Covid, the Tryon Block House meet at Green Creek Race Course in Columbus, NC offers four two-mile steeplechase races that have attracted a total of 23 entries.
The feature is a $30,000 overnight handicap for horses rated 120 or less. There is a $20,000 handicap for riders rated 110 or less, along with a special maiden weights hurdle and a maiden claim.
The main event features a rematch between the top two finishers in the optional $30,000 Imperial Cup who claim assignment in Aiken on March 26. The race marked the U.S. debut for Boulette de Paul and Molly Willis, a four-year-old raised in Ireland, trained by Keri Brion and ridden by Parker Hendriks, who led the entire course and raced her way by 6 ¼ lengths. . Runner-up, William Russell’s Animal Kingston, made a late rally to second-best, capturing two handicaps at a slightly lower level last season.
Allison Fulmer’s The Happy Giant lost his runner at the start of the $50,000 Carolina Cup for Beginners two weeks ago, but was an impressive winner in a high-class handicap on this course last year. Irv Naylor’s Mighty Mark takes his seasonal bow following three wins in 2021 under the tutelage of trainer Kathy Neilson, who took the son of Temple City from the claims ranks to handicapped winner at the 115 qualifying level. Completing the field is Bassmatchi of Bruton Street-US, a French-bred son of Zoffany who after a 33-race career in his homeland moved to the US last fall and competed against rising stars Historic Heart in the Harry Harris Stakes at Far Hills. and Ritzy AP, in the William Entenmann Novice Stakes at Belmont Park, finishing fourth in both. He completed his year with a third in an optional claim subsidy at Callaway Gardens.
For both meets, gates open at 10 am and the first race posting is at 1:30 pm If you won’t be attending the races in person, be sure to watch the live stream via the NSA website. The live broadcast is sponsored by Brown Advisory, Temple Gwathmey Steeplechase Foundation, Charleston’s Post & Courier, and the Virginia Equine Alliance.
For the full entries, click here.