Two Maryland Hunt Cup winners, two former National Steeplechase Association timber champions, and a brilliant multiple stakes winner highlight the 10 nominees to the $30,000 My Lady’s Manor, the traditional kick-off race for the storied Maryland timber triple crown on Saturday, April 15.
Irvin L. “Skip” Crawford’s Senior Senator would be making his first sanctioned start for trainer Joe Davies since winning the 2016 Maryland Hunt Cup. Davies also nominated Kinross Farm’s Schoolhouse Woods, who did not start in 2016.
Raven’s Choice, owned by Ann Jackson, was placed first in the 2015 Hunt Cup. Trained by Todd Wyatt, the 10-year-old Dancing With Ravens gelding fell in last year’s Hunt Cup after winning the Grand National.
Merriefield Farm’s Foyle reigned as the timber champion in 2013 after back-to-back wins in the International Gold Cup and Pennsylvania Hunt Cup. The Maryland-bred trained by Bruce Fenwick most recently lost his rider in the 2016 Hunt Cup.
Holston Hall’s Hot Rize succeeded Foyle as the timber champion after winning the 2014 Virginia Gold Cup and New Jersey Hunt Cup. He made only one 2016 start for trainer Russell Haynes and finished fourth in the Mason Houghland Memorial at the Iroquois Steeplechase.
Donald R. Reuwer Jr.’s Grand Manan is riding a three-race winning streak after closing out the 2016 season with scores in the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup and the International Gold Cup. The front-runner previously notched a dead-heat victory in the Willowdale Steeplechase for trainer Billy Meister.
Champion trainer Jack Fisher nominated Drift Society, Lemony Bay, and Hockey Pop. Winner of a My Lady’s Manor maiden timber race last spring, Bruton Street-US’s Drift Society finished second in the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup.
Lemony Bay, also owned by Bruton Street-US, won three timber allowance races last year. Dolly Fisher’s Hockey Pop would be making his first start since losing his rider in a Willowdale timber allowance last May.
Completing the nominees is Michael Smith’s Le Chevalier, the 11-length winner of last year’s New Jersey Hunt Cup for trainer Julie Gomena.
Here are the 10 nominees to the $30,000 My Lady’s Manor.
Drift Society (Ire). 2008 b. g., Jackson’s Drift—Tansey Yearwood (Ire), by Moscow Society. Owner: Bruton Street-US. Trainer: Jack Fisher. 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.
Foyle. 2005 dk. b. or br. g., Yarrow Brae–Londonderry, by Perfecting. Owner: Merriefield Farm. Trainer: H. Bruce Fenwick. 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.
Grand Manan. 2009 b. g., Giant’s Causeway—Manoa, by Seeking the Gold. Owner: Donald Reuwer Jr. Trainer: William Meister. 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.
Hockey Pop. 2010 dk. b. or br. g., Empire Maker—Potrinner, by Potrillazo. Owner: Mrs. John R.S. Fisher. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Breeders: Colts Neck Stables and Reynolds Bell Jr. 2016 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. 2015 record: 2-1-0-0, $9,000. 2014 record: 2-0-1-0, $5,250. Lost rider in 2016 Willowdale amateur allowance timber. Won 2015 Willowdale maiden race after unplaced finish in John Rush Streett division at My Lady Manor.
Hot Rize. 2004 dk. b. or br. g., Sultry Song—Donesia, by Desert Wine. Owner: Holston Hall. Trainer: Russell Haynes. Breeder: Anne Haynes (Ky.) 2016 record: 1-0-0-0, $2,500. 2015 record: 5-0-0-0, $5,100. 2014 record: 4-2-0-1, $79,400. Finished fourth in 2016 Mason Houghland Memorial at Iroquois Steeplechase. Unplaced in five 2015 starts. Clinched 2014 timber championship with half-length score in Far Hills’ New Jersey Hunt Cup. Won the Virginia Gold Cup at odds of 10.70-1. Closed season with third in the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup.
Le Chevalier. 2009 g. or ro. g., Broken Vow—Orellana, by With Approval. Owner: Michael Smith. Trainer: Julie Gomena. 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.
Lemony Bay (GB). 2009 b. g., Overbury—Lemon’s Mill, by Roberto. Owner: Bruton Street-US. Trainer: Jack Fisher. 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.
Raven’s Choice. 2007 dk. b. or br. g., Dance With Ravens—Millashand, by Regal Intention. Owner: Ann Jackson. Trainer: Todd Wyatt. Breeder: Cary W. Jackson (Md.) 2016 record: 2-1-0-0, $18,000. 2015 record: 2-1-0-1, $48,000. 2014 record: 3-2-1-0, $29,700. Won 2016 Grand National, then fell at 16th fence in Maryland Hunt Cup. Placed first in 2015 Maryland Hunt Cup after finishing close second. Began that season with third in Grand National. Won 2014 Willowdale Steeplechase.
Schoolhouse Woods. 2007 b. g., Sky Classic—Mabelino, by Trempolino. Owner: Kinross Farm. Trainer: Joseph G. Davies. Breeder: Kinross Corp. (Ky.). 2016 record: No starts. 2015 record: 6-2-1-1, $46,700. 2014 record: 4-2-0-0, $21,000. Finished good third in 2015 New Jersey Hunt Cup, a week after refusing at start of Virginia Fall’s National Sporting Library & Museum Cup. Won Willowdale Steeplechase eight days after victory in Virginia Gold Cup’s Steeplethon. Also second in Middleburg Spring’s Alfred M. Hunt steeplechase.
Senior Senator. 2010 b. g., Domestic Dispute—Queen Kennelot, by Awesome Again. Owner: Irvin L. Crawford II. Trainer: Joseph Davies. Breeder: Charles C. D. McGill (Pa.) 2016 record: 2-1-0-0, $60,000. 2015 record: 2-0-2-0, $10,800. 2014 record: 3-1-1-0, $12,000. Won 2016 Maryland Hunt Cup after setting most of the pace. Finished first and disqualified to last for interference in 2016 Benjamin H. Murray Memorial amateur allowance timber at Grand National. Had second-place finishes in 2015 My Lady’s Manor and Grand National.