CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.--Jonathan Sheppard saddled Taking the Lead Racing's Lead Investor, ridden by Aaron Sinnott, to win the $15,000 Maiden Claiming Hurdle by 8 1/2 lengths at the Foxfield Spring Races on April 27.
"Lead Investor belongs to a girl who used to work for me, Heather Gregorek," said Sheppard. "She works in licensing at Delaware Park now, but she's kept in touch."
"We've had this horse since last September," said Sheppard. "He ran in a point-to-point and finished second at Orange County. He ran fifth at Charleston last November."
Lead Investor ran in maiden claiming races in 2016 and 2017 with his best finish a second in a maiden special weight at Penn National on Sept. 30, 2016 as a 2-year-old.
"He's a sort of a hard knocking little guy," said Sheppard. "When he first got off the track, it took him a while to settle in. He was coming up to this race pretty well. He was just a bit ahead at the last fence and drew away to win nicely. Maybe we'll run him at Willowdale."
Market Alley, owned by Beverly Steinman, trained by Doug Fout and ridden by Barry Foley, won the $20,000 Filly & Mare Maiden Hurdle by 1 1/2 lengths over That's That, owned by Debra Kachel, trained by Ricky Hendriks and ridden by Ross Geraghty.
MACCABEE, owned by Mason Hardaway Lampton, trained by Lilith Boucher and ridden by Richard Boucher, won the $25,000 Ratings Handicap Hurdle by 5 3/4 lengths over Mavoureen, owned, trained and ridden by Bethany Baumgardner.
In the $15,000 Maiden Timber, Kinross Farm'a Jump to Juneau, trained by Neil Morris and ridden by Foley, won by a neck over El Jefe Grande, owned by Irvin Naylor, trained by Cyriil Murphy and ridden by Graham Watters.