My Lady’s Manor, Tryon preview
BY TOD MARKS
An eight-race doubleheader is on tap for Saturday, with timber specialists headed to Monkton, Md., while hurdlers travel toward the mountains of Western North Carolina for the annual Tryon Block House races in Columbus.
The historic Maryland Timber Triple gets underway in Monkton, about 30 miles north of Baltimore, with the $50,000 My Lady’s Manor Stakes, the marquee event on the four-race, $100,000 card. The race has drawn an accomplished field of six, led by perennial powerhouses Upland Partners’ Mystic Strike and Dolly Fisher’s Schoodic, both 13-year-olds with 90 career starts and 26 victories between them, along with Leipers Fork Steeplechasers’ Tomgarrow, who secured the 2021 timber championship with a score in the International Gold Cup at Great Meadow in Virginia. Also competing in the three-mile classic are Bruton Street-US’ Preseli Rock, who finished second in both the My Lady’s Manor and Maryland Hunt Cup in 2021; Michael A. Smith’s Le Chevalier, who took the Grand National, the middle leg of the series last year; and Irv Naylor’s Hooded, a maiden winner who takes a huge jump up in class.
Armata Stable’s Vintage Vinnie, the 96-length, recording-setting winner of the 2021 Maryland Hunt Cup, had been listed among the starters in the overnights, too, but he’s been rerouted to the fourth race on the card, the $10,000 John D. Schapiro Memorial allowance for apprentice jockeys. He’ll be ridden by Teddy Davies, son of trainer Joe Davies.
Last year, Vintage Vinnie prepped for the Hunt Cup with a facile score in the My Lady’s Manor. Since coming over from Europe early in 2018, the now-13-year-old Irish-bred son of Vinnie Roe has picked his spots carefully, running six times, with three victories, two seconds, and a third.
The My Lady’s Manor is the first of three grueling timber races at successively longer distances over a 15-day span. The second leg, the Grand National, will be contested on April 23 in Butler, at 3 ¼ miles. The crowning jewel is the 125th running of the Maryland Hunt Cup on April 30 in Glyndon, at 4 miles with a $100,000 purse.
In addition there are two $20,000 maiden timber events on the day, the John Rush Streett Memorial and Thomas H. Voss. All of the races at The Manor are restricted to amateur or apprentice jockeys, and all are at 3 miles.
$90,000 up for grabs at 74th Tryon Block House Races
Returning to its usual slot on the Spring calendar following a schedule change to June last year due to Covid, the Tryon Block House meet at Green Creek Race Course offers four, 2-mile hurdle races that have drawn a total of 23 entries.
The feature is a $30,000 overnight handicap for horses rated 120 or less. There’s a $20,000 handicap for runners rated at 110 or less, along with a maiden special weights hurdle and maiden claimer.
The main event offers a rematch between the first two finishers in the $30,000 Imperial Cup optional claiming allowance at Aiken on March 26. The race marked the U.S. debut of Paul and Molly Willis’ Boulette, a four-year-old Irish-bred, trained by Keri Brion and ridden by Parker Hendriks, who led throughout and romped by 6 ¼ lengths. The runnerup, William Russell’s Animal Kingston, put in a late rally to be second best, and last season captured two handicaps at a slightly lower level.
Allison Fulmer’s The Happy Giant lost his rider early in the $50,000 Carolina Cup novice stakes two weeks ago, but was an impressive winner in a high-class handicap over this course last year. Irv Naylor’s Mighty Mark makes his seasonal bow following a three-victory 2021 under the tutelage of trainer Kathy Neilson, who brought the son of Temple City from the claiming ranks to handicap winner at the 115 ratings level. Completing the field is Bruton Street-US’ Bassmatchi, a French-bred son of Zoffany who after a 33-race career in his homeland relocated to the U.S. last fall, and competed against rising stars Historic Heart in the Harry Harris Stakes at Far Hills and Ritzy A.P., in the William Entenmann Novice Stakes at Belmont Park., finishing fourth in both. He completed his year with a third in an optional claiming allowance at Callaway Gardens.
For both meets, gates open at 10 a.m. and first-race post time is 1:30 p.m. If you are not attending the races in person, be sure to watch the live stream via the NSA’s website. The live stream is sponsored by Brown Advisory, the Temple Gwathmey Steeplechase Foundation, Charleston’s Post & Courier, and the Virginia Equine Alliance.
For the complete entries, click here.