South Monarch took control over the last two timber fences and turned back a late surge by Bubble Economy to win the $30,000 My Lady’s Manor by a head on Saturday, April 10, at Monkton, Md. Ridden by Jody Petty, owner-trainer Sanna N. Hendriks’ eight-year-old gelding overcame some questionable jumping and held on well to stave off the menacing charge by Bubble Economy under 2009 champion jockey Paddy Young.
Mr Liberator went out early in the three-mile race over post-and-rail fences on a brilliant, seasonably mild afternoon in the countryside north of Baltimore. Ridden by trainer William Meister, the ten-year-old set a solid pace while jumping well but tired in the second half of the race and surrendered the lead to Haddix, with South Monarch close behind him.
Haddix tired in the late stages, and South Monarch jumped to the lead at the next to last fence, with Bubble Economy advancing into second on the inside portion of the racecourse. South Monarch dived through the final fence, dislodging the top rail, but never lost stride and ran on strongly for Petty. Bubble Economy gained ground through the run-in but could not catch the winner in time. Haddix held on for third, with Askim finishing fourth in a field of eight. South Monarch ran the three miles in 6:53.
The My Lady’s Manor was the first stakes victory for South Monarch, a son of Conquistador Cielo who was bred in Ontario by George W. Strawbridge Jr., the all-time leading owner in American steeplechasing. In the silks of Strawbridge’s Augustin Stables, the gelding had finished second to Incomplete in last year’s My Lady’s Manor and was making his first start since being pulled up by Petty in the Virginia Gold Cup on May 2.
The My Lady’s Manor was the feature race of the 100th My Lady’s Manor race meet, which benefits the Ladew Topiary Gardens and was staged at the Elkridge-Harford Hunt Club. Maryland’s historic timber-racing series continues with the Grand National in Butler next Saturday, April 17, and concludes with the Maryland Hunt Cup on April 24 in Glyndon.