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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Racing

Hendriks saddled three winners at Aiken, Sheppard had winners at Charleston and Carolina Cup

Ricky Hendriks trained three winners at the Aiken Spring Steeplechase in Aiken, S.C., on March 25, including his Mother Wendy’s Any Given Royal in the first division of the $25,000 Imperial Cup maiden race and Wendy’s Surprising Soul in the second division.

hendricks rickyRicky HendricksRidden by Ross Geraghty, Any Given Royal won by 3 ½ lengths over Aflutter, owned by Hudson River Farms, trained by Jonathan Sheppard and ridden by Sean McDermott.

Surprising Soul won by 23 ¼ lengths over Jesse O, owned by Flying Horse Farm LLC, trained by Jazz Napravnik and ridden by Willie McCarthy.

“We went to a sale in Kentucky in February last year to buy a filly, which we did,” said Wendy. “I saw Surprising Soul out of his stall, and I said,`I have to have this horse.’”

We looked at his pedigree and vet papers and decided to buy him,” said Wendy.

“We ran him on the flat at Penn National, and he won a race and was second twice,” Wendy said. “Then we started him over fences at Middleburg and he was second, and then he was second in the Gold Cup, just beaten.”

“Number one son had him ready for Aiken,” said Wendy. “Ross said he thought he was a pretty good horse.”

“We got Any Given Royal from Canada last summer,” said Hendriks. “He ran twice last fall.”

Any Given Royal was stakes placed in Canada, running on the flat there from 2012 to 2016, before the Hendriks got him.

Ricky also saddled Winter House (GB), owned by Rosbrian Farm and ridden by Geraghty, to win the 1 ¼ mile Training Flat race.

Janet Elliot trained Christopher Elser’s Full of Joy, ridden by Keith Dalton, to win the 1 mile Training Flat.

Indy’s Legacy, owned by Thistledown Farm, trained by Desmond Fogarty and ridden by McCarthy, won the $15,000 Maiden Claiming Hurdle.

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Fair Hill point-to-Point crowned Joshua G Overall champion in the Delaware Valley Point-to-Point series

FAIR HILL, Md.—Joshua G, owned by Armata Stables, trained by Kathy Neilson and ridden by Jennie Brannigan, finished third in the Lady Rider Timber race at Fair Hill, but that, combined with his points from winning the Ladies race at Brandywine, made him the Lady Rider series champion and the 2017 Overall Champion.

fairhill2017Kathy Neilson and Steven Clements, trainer and rider of All of the Above, winner of the Heavyweight race.It was a amazing day with six hours of racing, featuring 12 races and running from 10:15 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. on a beautiful very warm spring day.

Race co-chairmen Don Cochran, Jay Meister and Paddy Neilson did an amazing job of keeping races running on time, despite some problems and confusion in the two Maiden Training Flat races when trainers didn’t get their horses to the paddock on time.

Witor (Ger), owned by Blair Wyatt, trained by husband Todd and ridden by Amelia McGuirk, won the Ladies race over Coastal Moon, owned by Upland Partners, trained by Todd McKenna and ridden by Annie Yeager, with Joshua G third and Leffingwell Lion, owned and trained by Elizabeth Korrell and ridden by daughter Virginia fourth, in a race that was wide open until the very end.

“We’ve had Witor a long time,” said Todd Wyatt. “He’s been hurt a couple of times. We’ve been hunting him with Elkridge-Harford.”

Previously owned by Merriefield Farm and trained by Wyatt, Witor ran and won once over hurdles from 2012 to 2014, then ran over timber twice in 2015 and hasn’t run since until Fair Hill, “My wife owns him now,” said Wyatt. “We thought we’d run him in a point-to-point and see how he does. We’ll wait and see what he does next.”

Neilson saddled All of the Above, owned by Sycamore Run Farm and Move Up Stables and ridden by Steven Clements, to win the Heavyweight Timber over Don’t Make Me Cry, owned by Holwood Stable and trained and ridden by Mark Beecher, and Gusto At Dawn, owned, trained and ridden by Benjamin C. Swope.

Sycamore Run Farm is owned by Charles C. Coyne and Miss Anna E, Coyne of Unionville, Pa.

“He was stakes placed on the flat,” said Neilson of All of the Above. “He was evented for two years. I’ve had him for six months. He’s crazy but talented. He’s spooky, and he goes sideways and backwards.”

Boogie Biz, owned by Daniel R. Baker and trained and ridden by Beecher, won the Novice timber over Papermill Stable’s Captain Easy, trained by Billy Meister and ridden by Eric Poretz, with Mrs. S.K. Johnston’s Share Out, trained by Wyatt and ridden by McGuirk, placing third.

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Lemony Bay wins My Lady’s Manor, giving Jack Fisher two wins for the day.

MONKTON, Md—Jack Fisher had two winners at My Lady’s Manor, Lemony Bay (GB) in the featured My Lady’s Manor and Doc Cebu in the John Rush Streett, despite his being in Tryon, S.C., at another sanctioned meet.

Charlie Fenwick's Doc Cebu, ridden by Hadden Frost, leads over the last fence on his way to winning the first section of the John Rush Streett at My Lady's Manor. Handsome Hoyt (green silks) finished second and Durer was third.

Jeff Murphy rode Bruton Street-US’ Lemony Bay to a one length victory in 5:51 4/5, and Fisher also had a second along with his two wins, as Lemony Bay’s stablemate, Bruton Street-US’ Drift Society (Ire), ridden by Haddon Frost, placed second.

Bruton Street-US is the racing operation of Michael D. Hankin, chief executive of Baltimore-based Brown Advisory and a Butler resident. His partners in Bruton Street-US are Charles Noell and Charles Fenwick Jr.

Grand Manan, trained by Billy Meister and ridden by Darren Nagle, was a slight favorite to win the Manor, but he was very washy in the paddock, a problem that had plagued him in his flat racing career, as he left his energy in the paddock.

Grand Manan went to the front, as expected, leading at times by as much as five lengths, but Lemony Bay and Drift Society came to him approaching the last fence, and he was unable to hold off their charge, finishing fourth behind Le Chevalier, trained by Julie Gomena and ridden by Mark Beecher.

Foyle, trained by Bruce Fenwick and ridden by Gustav Dahl was fifth and last.

“We wanted to be close to the pace,” said Murphy. “My fellow was tracking the leader with ease. He was jumping really well.”

“I just kicked on coming to the last and eased him up in the stretch to win,” said Murphy, who was riding Lemony Bay for the first time. “His win was never in doubt.”

“I watched all his races on tape and I talked to Connor (Hankin, his previous jockey who is now serving in the Marines),” said Murphy.

Lemony Bay had finished second in the maiden timber at the Manor last year in his first race over timber after being imported from England.

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Eventing star wins first time out in timber race at Brandywine Hills

UNIONVILLE, Pa.—Jennie Brannigan, a top event rider who was the 2014 National CIC3* Champion and has won both the CIC3* and 2* at Fair Hill International, won the Ladies Timber Race at Brandywine Hills Point-to-Point on April 2, in her first attempt at racing over timber.

brannigan smallJennie BranniganShe won on Armata Stables’ Joshua G, trained by Kathy Neilson, in six minutes 45 seconds.

“This was the first jumping race I’ve ever ridden in,” said Brannigan. “It was really fun. It’s quite different from eventing.”

“I was lucky,” Brannigan said. “I had a really good horse. Jody (Petty, a top steeplechase rider) walked every panel with me.”

“This should really help me with eventing,” said Brannigan. “David O’Connor (U.S. chef d’equipe) has been very supportive of my doing this.”

Brannigan, who operates her training and coaching facility out of the Matz’ farm in Coatesville, Pa., could ride a more forward and competitive round in the cross county phase of evening after riding in races.

Today’s riders tend to stick to just one discipline, but in the 70s it was common for riders to compete in various disciplines.

Olympic eventing gold medalists like Bruce Davidson and Mike Plumb both rode in the toughest timber race of all, the Maryland Hunt Cup, as did Kevin Freeman, and show jumping Olympians Frank Chapot and Kathy Kusner also rode in the Maryland Hunt Cup.

Crossing into different disciplines made them more complete horsemen and women.

Brannigan on Joshua G beat Virginia Korrell on Leffingwell Lion, owned and trained by her mother, Elizabeth C. Korrell, by a length and a half, with Bethany Baumgardner on Merriefield Far’s Battle Aray, trained by Billy Meister third.

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Md. Hunt Cup winner Senior Senator wins at Elkridge-Harford In prep for this year’s Hunt Cup

Senior Senator, winner of last year’s Maryland Hunt Cup, won his first start this year at the Elkridge-Harford Point-to-Point in Monkton, Md., on April 8.

senior senSenior SenatorSenior Senator, who is owned by Irvin L Crawford, III, trained by Joe Davies and ridden by Eric Poretz, won the Open Timber race by one length over De Chera, owned and trained by H. Bruce Fenwick and ridden by Gustav Dahl.

He finished the three mile race over soft turf in 6:39 1/5, the fastest time of the day.

“This was was his first race since the Hunt Cup,” said Davies. “He was a little nervous in the paddock, but he settled quite nicely early on in the race, running second or third for the first couple of miles.”

“He jumped great,” said Davies. “We were thrilled with him.”

Last year, Senior Senator was a real handful, so much so that Davies described him as “one of the craziest horses that ever looked through a bridle.”

He had to be saddled outside the paddock and taken to the start alone.

There was even a question of whether he would be allowed to run in the Hunt Cup because of his temperament.

But with patient handling through the past year,, his antics have diminished.

“I was thinking about running him in the Manor, but he likes the Grand National, so we’ll run him there,” said Davies. “He’s been first and second at the Grand National.”

Davies said his aim was to run him in the Maryland Hunt Cup again.

“His owner has been very patient with us,” said Davies. “I hunted him a couple of times this past winter, and he was okay. But he kicks up in exuberance, and we were afraid he’d kick another horse or a hound, so I only took him out twice.”

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Sheppard, Brion, Neilson and Valentine successful in Maryland and Virginia Point-to-Points

Keri Brion saddled C & C Racing’s Pac Yer Tack, a 6-year-old gelding by Purge, to win the Airlie Steeplechase open hurdle race at the Warrenton Hunt Point-to-Point in Warrenton, Va., on March 18.

getPartPac Yer Tack, ridden by Gerard Gilligan(photo by Joanne Maisano)That was his first start over fences.

“C & C Racing is my sister Kim Takacs and me,” said Brion, who is married to flat jockey Andrew Wolfsont. “We got him last October. Andrew was riding him at Penn National, where he was running for $5,000. He had won seven races and made almost $200,000. He has a big, long stride.”

“We went to his trainer Howard Brown, and he said, “For $3,500 he’s yours,’” said Brion. “He’s 100 percent sound.”

“We started schooling him over fences,” said Brion, who is Jonathan Sheppard’s assistant trainer. “He’s been schooling with Jonathan’s horses, and he can school with the best of them. Jonathan lets me keep him at his stable.”

Brion said that she’d wanted to run him in the maiden race, but she wanted Gerard Galligan to ride him, and Galligan was committed to Kathy Neilson in both sections of the maiden, so she decided to put him in the open race just to get a race in him.

“Gerard told me that going to the start he was thinking he was going to be last, but then when they were three fences from home he knew he was going to win,” said Brion.

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2 turns may be next for hot Union Rags filly Tequilita

Dorothy (D.D.) Matz’ homebred Tequilita dug in the stretch to hold off G1 winner Pretty City Dancer and win the seven-furlong G2 $200,000 Forward Gal Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 4.

It was a true family affair, as D.D. bred and raced Tequilita’s dam, Sangrita, and her husband Michael trained Tequilita as well as her dam Sangrita and her sire, Union Rags.

Tequilita conglianese photo 3Tequilita (by Lauren King)“Tequilita means a little tequila,” said D.D., who trained and showed internationally with show jumping World Championships team gold medalist and Olympic veteran Michael Matz before he retired from riding and turned to training racehorses. “Whenever we’d get sangritas they would say `with tequilita’, so that’s how she got her name.”

“Tequilita is very well behaved,” said D.D. “She’s a sweet, sweet filly, but she’s getting sassier as she gets fitter.”

“She’s very professional,” said D.D., who said they weren’t sure where they would run her next.

“We’re waiting to let her tell us,” said D.D. “We’ll see if she can get two turns. If she can, we’ll go on from there.”

D.D. said she has another 3-year-old filly by Union Rags as well as a 2-year-old filly and is breeding Sangrita back to Union Rags this year.

“I’m all in for Union Rags,” said D.D.

“I bred Sangrita, too,” said D.D. “She won a G2 at Churchill as a 3-year-old.”

"I trained the mare and trained the stallion, so it's a great thrill," said Michael in a televised interview in the winners’ circle after the Forward Gal Stakes. "She's a lot like her mother. Like her mother, she likes something to run at. I know when she gets the lead she can get lazy but (jockey) Luis (Saez) did a great job keeping her busy."

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Kathy Neilson to defend her Leading Trainer title at DelVal Point-to-Points

Katherine Neilson, last year’s Leading Trainer in the Delaware Valley Point-to-Point Association Races, is pulling out some of her big guns in defense of her title as she plans to compete at least five horses, including three that are prepping for the Maryland Hunt Cup, in the series.

KathyNeilsonKathy NeilsonPoints are awarded in 11 categories in the three Delaware Valley meets, Cheshire Foxhounds on March 26, Brandywine Hills on April 2 and Fair Hill on April 16. The season begins March 19 with the Foxhall Farms Team race, which also awards a half point to each horse that competes in the fast time race and one point each to the three winning riders in that race.

Horses must compete in at least two meets of the four Delaware Valley events to receive points in Small, Medium and Large Ponies, Heavyweight, Novice, Open, Foxhunter and Overall Championships, and trainers and riders win points towards Leading Trainer, Leading Rider and Leading Lady Rider.

“I have Joshua G going in the Ladies race at Cheshire,” said Neilson. “Jennie Brannigan is going to ride him. Then maybe he’ll go to Fair Hill. He’s in training to run in the Maryland Hunt Cup.”

Joshua G was fourth in the Maryland Hunt Cup in 2015 and fell at the fourth fence in last year’s Hunt Cup.

“Then I have Super Saturday going to Brandywine,” Neilson said. “He’ll go to the Grand National. We’ll see what he does there. If he skips around the Grand National course, he’ll go to the Maryland Hunt Cup.”

“Pured will also go to Brandywine,” said Neilson. “He was second in the non-winners of two race at the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup last fall. He’ll go to the Grand National in the non-winners of two race.”

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Sheppard still breaking records after 50 years

WEST GROVE, Pa.—After over 50 years of training champions both on the flat and over fences, Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard isn’t yet through setting records. In late 2016 he became the first person to train the winners of both the biggest Pennsylvania-bred 2-year-old filly and colt stakes, making those two, Rose Tree and Downhill Racer the ones to look out for in stakes this year.

jonathonsheppardNot only did Sheppard saddle Rose Tree to win the $102,000 Blue Mountain Juvenile Fillies Stakes on Nov. 23 and Downhill Racer to win the $100,000 Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes on Dec. 3, but he did with all the same connections, with Mr. and Mrs. Rodman Moorhead III as breeder, Moorhead’s Buttonwood Farm as owner, and Andrew Wolfsont as jockey for both winners.

And to complete the equation, Sheppard, as agent, also picked out and bought the dams of both Rose Tree and Downhill Racer for Moorhead.

“The Moorheads had just one or two racehorses with Lillith Boucher, then immediately before January, four years ago, Rod indicated to me that he might like to get a broodmare,” said Sheppard.

The Moorhead’s Buttonwood Farm in West Grove, Pa., is just about a half-mile down the road from Sheppard’s farm with a woodchip training track, stables for many of this racehorses and turnout paddocks.

For many years, Sheppard has rented space at Buttonwood Farm to keep his broodmares and their get.

Buttonwood Farm also has a 100-acre field where Sheppard trains his racehorses on the turf.

Sheppard said the Moorheads decided to get a broodmare because they liked seeing the broodmares and their get in their fields and thought it would be nice to have one of their own.

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The Horse of Delaware Valley

Editor: Sara Cavanagh
editor@thehorseofdelawarevalley.com
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Since 1980