Doc Cebu, the two-time champion timber horse, is among seven nominees to the $50,000 My Lady’s Manor, the first jewel in the Maryland timber triple crown, on Saturday, April 13.
The three-mile My Lady’s Manor will be the featured race at the My Lady’s Manor course in Monkton. First post time will be 1:30 p.m.
Owned by Charles Fenwick, Michael Hankin, and Charles Noell, Doc Cebu secured his second straight timber title last October with a second consecutive victory in the International Gold Cup in Virginia.
A member of champion trainer Jack Fisher’s stable, the nine-year-old Hard Spun gelding was undefeated in his two starts over hurdles in 2016 before Fenwick converted him to timber. Doc Cebu won his first timber race, a division of the John Rush Streett Memorial, at My Lady’s Manor in April 2017.
Doc Cebu went onto the Monkton course shortly after Bruton Street-US’s Lemony Bay won the My Lady’s Manor. Also trained by Fisher, Lemony Bay missed the 2018 season and is mounting a comeback for Bruton Street-US, the 2017 champion owner whose partners are Fenwick, Hankin, and Noell.
Maryland-based trainer Willie Dowling nominated Wits End Farm’s Katnap, who was imported for the 2017 Grand National (Gr. 1), in which he finished sixth for trainer Joseph O’Brien. Dowling sent the French-bred into mixed-obstacle steeplethons last year, and he won his two starts at Virginia Fall and the International Gold Cup.
Trainer Billy Meister nominated Armata Stables’ Grand Manan, who is seeking his first victory in more than two years. He set the pace in the 2018 New Jersey Hunt Cup at the Far Hills Races and tired to finish third.
Blair Wyatt’s Witor, winner of last year’s John D. Schapiro Memorial timber allowance on the Monkton course, was nominated for a shot at the My Lady’s Manor. Trained by Todd Wyatt, the owner’s husband, the German-bred Witor also finished third in last year’s Winterthur Bowl.
Trainer Kathy Neilson is off to a fast start in the current racing season with three wins over hurdles, and she nominated Irv Naylor’s Aquies, who finished third to Witor in last year’s Schapiro Memorial.
Completing the field is Upland Partners’ Mystic Strike, who finished third in last year’s My Lady’s Manor before second-place finishes in the Winterthur Bowl and Radnor Hunt Cup. The 10-year-old Smart Strike gelding is trained by Todd McKenna.
Here are the nominees to the 109th sanctioned running of the My Lady’s Manor in alphabetical order.
Aquies. 2012 b. g., Artie Schiller—Quies, by Quiet American. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Kathy Neilson. Breeders: Mr. and Mrs. M. Roy Jackson (Ky.) 2018 record: 5-0-2-2, $9,300. 2017 record: 4-1-1-2, $15,700. Fell in 2018 Pennsylvania Hunt Cup. Finished third in 2018 Willowdale timber allowance after second a week earlier in similar race at Winterthur. Finished third in My Lady’s Manor’s 2018 John D. Schapiro Memorial and second in Grand National’s Western Run Plate. Won 2017 Willowdale maiden timber and was third in Fair Hill novice timber.
Doc Cebu. 2010 b. g., Hard Spun—Berga, by Jade Hunter. Owners: Charles C. Fenwick Jr., Michael Hankin, and Charles Noell. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Breeder: Graceville Breeding (Ky.) 2018 record: 5-4-0-1, $57,000. 2017 record: 5-4-1-0, $96,600. Timber champion, 2017, 2018. Won International Gold Cup for a second time to lock up 2018 timber title. Also won Shawan Downs’ 2018 Brown Advisory Legacy Chase by 3 1/2 lengths and scored a second victory in the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup by seven lengths. Won Willowdale Steeplechase for a second straight year in 2018 after third in Middleburg Hunt Cup. Clinched 2017 timber championship with 11-length victory in International Gold Cup. Scored maiden victory at 2017 My Lady’s Manor.
Grand Manan. 2009 b. g., Giant’s Causeway—Manoa, by Seeking the Gold. Owner: Armata Stables. Trainer: William Meister. Breeders: Stuart S. Janney III and Phipps Stable (Ky.). 2018: 5-0-0-1, $6,200. 2017 record: 5-0-3-0, $28,500. Finished third in 2018 New Jersey Hunt Cup after fifth in Radnor Hunt Cup on very soft ground. Pulled up in Pennsylvania Hunt Cup. Finished second in 2017 International Gold Cup and National Sporting Library and Museum Cup. Closed 2016 season with back-to-back front-running victories in the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup and International Gold Cup.
Katnap (Fr). 2007 bl. g., Sleeping Car—Kitty Gale, by Strong Gale. Owner: Wits End Farm. Trainer: William Dowling. Breeder: Susan Angela Bramall (Fr). 2018 record: 2-2-0-0, $36,000. 2017 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $12,000. Won 2018 steeplethon at International Gold Cup after score in Virginia Fall steeplethon. Found new ownership after finishing sixth in Far Hills’ Grand National (Gr. 1) while trained by Joseph O’Brien.
Lemony Bay (GB). 2009 b. g., Overbury—Lemon’s Mill, by Roberto. Owner: Bruton Street-US. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Breeder: G. R. Waters (GB). 2017 record: 3-1-1-0, $37,500. Missed the 2018 season. Won 2017 My Lady’s Manor, then was game second in Virginia Gold Cup and fourth in Radnor Hunt Cup. Won Virginia Gold Cup’s 2016 Steeplethon and Middleburg Spring’s Alfred M. Hunt steeplechase after second in division of John Rush Streett maiden timber at My Lady’s Manor.
Mystic Strike. 2009 b. h., Smart Strike—Mystic Rhythms, by Citidancer. Owner: Upland Partners. Trainer: Todd McKenna. Breeder: Peter Vegso Racing (Fla.). 2018 record: 4-0-2-1, $17,600. 2017 record: 2-2-0-0, $27,000. Finished fifth in 2018 New Jersey Hunt Cup. Finished second in 2018 Radnor Hunt Cup and Winterthur Bowl after third in My Lady’s Manor. Barely beaten and then placed first in 2017 Radnor Hunt Cup.
Witor (Ger). 2008 b. g., Dashing Blade—Wurfspeil, by Lomitas (GB). Owner: Blair Wyatt. Trainer: Todd Wyatt. Breeder: Gestut Farhof (Ger). 2018 record: 2-1-0-1, $13,000. 2017 record: 2-1-0-0, $10,250. Won 2018 John D. Schapiro Memorial amateur apprentice timber at My Lady’s Manor, then was third in Winterthur Bowl. Scored maiden timber victory at 2017 Willowdale meet and then was fourth in a Fair Hill timber novice.