Donald Reuwer Jr.’s Grand Manan, who made a late-season run at the 2016 timber championship, leads a talented field for Saturday’s $30,000 My Lady’s Manor, the inaugural race of the Maryland timber triple crown.
First post time is 1:30 p.m. for the four-race program, all over timber fences at the Monkton course.
Trained by timber maestro Billy Meister, Grand Manan finished fifth in last year’s My Lady’s Manor after setting the early pace and tiring in the late stages of the three-mile race.
He was perfect the rest of the year, first in a dead-heat victory in the Willowdale Steeplechase in Pennsylvania in mid-May. Meister reserved him until the fall and dispatched the richly bred Giant’s Causeway gelding to an 8 1/4-length victory in the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup.
His best race of the season was the $90,000 International Gold Cup, where he was the 3-1 second betting pick behind even-money Two’s Company, the eventual timber champion.
Ridden by Darren Nagle, Grand Manan went to the lead immediately in the 3 1/2-mile International Gold Cup, turned back a challenge from Two’s Company at the last fence, and drew away again to a seven-length victory.
Nagle will be in the saddle again Saturday for the My Lady’s Manor.
Champion trainer Jack Fisher entered the Bruton Street-US pairing of Drift Society and Lemony Bay.
Winner of a My Lady’s Manor maiden timber race last spring, Drift Society finished second in the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup. Lemony Bay won three timber allowance races last year. British jockey Hadden Frost has the mount on Drift Society, and Jeff Murphy will be aboard Lemony Bay.
Bruce Fenwick will saddle Merriefield Farm’s Foyle, who reigned as the timber champion in 2013 after back-to-back wins in the International Gold Cup and Pennsylvania Hunt Cup. He most recently lost his rider in the 2016 Maryland Hunt Cup. Gus Dahl will ride.
Former champion timber jockey Mark Beecher has the mount on Michael A. Smith’s Le Chevalier, the 11-length winner of last year’s New Jersey Hunt Cup for trainer Julie Gomena.
Here is the field for the $30,000 My Lady’s Manor in post-position order.
Foyle. 2005 dk. b. or br. g., Yarrow Brae–Londonderry, by Perfecting. Owner: Merriefield Farm. Trainer: H. Bruce Fenwick. Jockey: Gus Dahl. Breeder: Martha Hopkins (Md.) 2016 record: 2-0-0-0, $0. 2014 record: 2-0-1-0, $5,400. Finished 10th in 2016 My Lady’s Manor, then lost rider in Maryland Hunt Cup. Fell while leading the 2014 Maryland Hunt Cup. In only other 2014 start, finished second by a nose in the Grand National. Won the 2013 timber championship with late-season victories in the International Gold Cup (as 11.60-1 longshot) and Pennsylvania Hunt Cup.
Drift Society (Ire). 2008 b. g., Jackson’s Drift—Tansey Yearwood (Ire), by Moscow Society. Owner: Bruton Street-US. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Hadden Frost. Breeder: Eleanor Bennett (Ire). 2016 record: 3-1-1-1, $23,500. 2015 record: No starts. 2014 record: 5-1-1-0, $14,000. Finished second in 2016 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. Won 2016 John D. Schapiro amateur apprentice allowance at My Lady’s Manor, then finished good third in Maryland Hunt Cup.
Le Chevalier. 2009 g. or ro. g., Broken Vow—Orellana, by With Approval. Owner: Michael Smith. Trainer: Julie Gomena. Jockey: Mark Beecher. Breeder: Haras du Mezeray (Ky.) 2016 record: 5-2-1-0, $49,250. 2015 record: 2-0-1-1, $4,200. Won the 2016 New Jersey Hunt Cup by 11 lengths, then was fourth in Steeplechase at Callaway timber allowance. Broke through for a decisive victory in division of John Rush Streett Memorial maiden timber race at 2016 My Lady’s Manor, then was second in Mason Houghland Memorial at Iroquois Steeplechase.
Grand Manan. 2009 b. g., Giant’s Causeway—Manoa, by Seeking the Gold. Owner: Donald Reuwer Jr. Trainer: William Meister. Jockey: Darren Nagle. Breeders: Stuart S. Janney III and Phipps Stable (Ky.). 2016 record: 4-3-0-0, $82,950. 2015 record: 3-2-0-0, $31,050. 2014 record: No starts. Closed 2016 season with back-to-back front-running victories in the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup and International Gold Cup. Finished in dead heat for 2016 Willowdale Steeplechase win after fifth in My Lady’s Manor.
Lemony Bay (GB). 2009 b. g., Overbury—Lemon’s Mill, by Roberto. Owner: Bruton Street-US. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Jeff Murphy. Breeder: G. R. Waters (GB). 2016 record: 5-3-2-0, $38,400. Closed 2016 season with victory in Steeplechase at Callaway timber allowance race. Won Virginia Gold Cup’s Steeplethon and Middleburg Spring’s Alfred M. Hunt steeplechase after second in division of John Rush Streett maiden timber at 2016 My Lady’s Manor. Finished second in Virginia Fall’s Steeplethon.