Michael T. Wharton’s Grinding Speed, who has made a highly successful transition to timber racing, heads a large field for the $15,000 Legacy Chase, the featured timber allowance race of the 12th annual Races at Shawan Downs on Saturday, Sept. 29. First post time is 1 p.m. for the six-race program in Maryland’s Hunt Valley.
Trained by Alicia Murphy, Grinding Speed had raced with some success in the novice hurdle division, winning one race and finishing second in another last year. But he has found his niche over timber. He started out with a second-place finish in the John D. Schapiro amateur apprentice timber at My Lady’s Manor on April 14 and then ripped off two victories.
The six-year-old Grindstone gelding won the Isabella duPont Sharp maiden timber race at the Winterthur Races in Delaware on May 6 and came back 20 days later to score a novice timber win by 4 1/4 lengths at Fair Hill, Md. Mark Beecher has the mount.
Grinding Speed can count on plenty of competition in the Legacy Chase, a 3 1/8-mile race over timber fences. Magalen O. Bryant’s Dakota Slew won the John Rush Streett maiden timber race on the My Lady’s Manor program and subsequently finished third to Grinding Speed in the Fair Hill race. Trainer Richard Valentine tapped Robbie Walsh to ride the five-year-old Slew City Slew gelding.
Trainer Lilli M. Kurtinecz will saddle Northwoods Stable’s Eye Said Scat Cat, who has been on the board three times this year, including a score in a timber allowance race at the Willowdale Steeplechase in Kennett Square, Pa., on May 13. Jacob Roberts will ride the Adcat gelding.
Also winning at Willowdale in a timber claiming race was Gregory S. Bentley’s Rainbows for Luck, who is trained by Edward L. Graham. Jody Petty will ride Rainbows for Luck, who started the 2012 campaign with a fifth-place finish in the Alfred M. Hunt at the Middleburg Spring Races on April 21.
Belle Rock Stables’ Moonsox will be seeking his first 2012 win in the Legacy Chase. Never off the board in four 2011 starts, Moonsox finished fourth in the My Lady’s Manor, first leg of the fabled Maryland timber series. Trainer Kevin Boniface will ride.
Seeking their second 2012 victories in the Legacy Chase will be Armata Stables’ Embarrassed and Sarah Mullen’s Indian Creek Queen. Embarrassed, trained by Kathy Neilson, won Willowdale’s Marshall W. Jenney maiden timber race, and Indian Creek Queen won an amateur apprentice timber race at Winterthur. Bruce Miller has taken over the training of Indian Creek Queen.