Donald Reuwer Jr.’s Grand Manan, making his first career start over fences after nearly 2 1/2 years on the sidelines, drew away to a seven-length victory in Saturday’s $30,000 Valentine Memorial Novice Timber Stakes at the Fair Hill Races.
The Valentine Memorial was the first win of any kind for the six-year-old Giant’s Causeway gelding, who is trained by Billy Meister and ridden by Fritz Boniface. Black and Blue Stable’s Monstaleur finished second, and Rosbrian Farm’s Class Brahms took third money.
Grand Manan, whose previous start was a third-place finish in a Laurel Park $8,000 maiden claimer in December 2012, ran the Valentine Memorial’s 3 1/8 miles in 6:10 on firm turf at the northern Maryland racecourse. The $18,000 first-place purse raised his career earnings to $19,665 from six starts.
Jockey Paddy Young, making a serious bid for his fifth riding title, added two more victories to open a gaping lead on his fellow riders. He won aboard Bill Pape’s Divined in a $15,000 maiden claiming hurdle, and scored in the next race, a $30,000 Sport of Kings maiden hurdle, aboard Michael Smith’s Cul Baire.
He completed the National Steeplechase Association’s spring season with 12 wins, seven more than his closest competitors. Jack Doyle moved up into a second-place tie with Sean McDermott, Bernie Dalton, and Mark Beecher when he rode Clarke Ohrstrom’s See Trouble in a $20,000 maiden hurdle for fillies and mares.
Young also leads the earnings list with $233,200, and Doyle is second at $216,450.