My Lady’s Manor and Tryon preview

Royal Ruse © Tod Marks

By Tod Marks

A 10-race doubleheader is on tap for Saturday as timber specialists head to Monkton, Md., while hurdlers travel toward the mountains of Western North Carolina for the 76th 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 five-race, $130,000 card. The race, first contested in 1902, has drawn an accomplished and familiar field of five led by Charlie Fenwick’s Royal Ruse, who captured the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup to close out 2023, and Daniel Baker’s Road to Oz, who hasn’t started since his victory in the 2022 Grand National, the second leg of the Timber Triple. Riverdee Stable’s Maryland-bred Include It is an intriguing entry, who makes his first stakes start after taking four straight allowance contests dating back to 2021, most recently at Cheshire two weeks ago following a layoff of nearly two years.

Armata Stable’s Our Friend, a maiden and allowance winner, makes his second stakes appearance in 24 starts for local connections trainer Joe Davies and his son, jockey Teddy Davies. Fat Chance Farm’s Salamanca School, a two-time timber winner last season, prepped for his seasonal bow with a second-place finish in allowance company at the Blue Ridge point to point last month.

The My Lady’s Manor is the first of three timber races at increasing distances over three successive Saturdays. The second leg, the Grand National, will be contested on April 20 in Butler, at 3 ¼ miles. The crown jewel is the 127th running of the  Maryland Hunt Cup on April 27 in Glyndon, at 4 miles.

In addition to the stakes feature at the Manor, there are a pair of $20,000 maiden events – the Thomas H. Voss Memorial – which has been split into two divisions; the $25,000 John Rush Streett Memorial and the $15,000 John D. Schapiro Memorial allowance restricted to apprentice jockeys. All are 3 miles. Armata Stable’s local legend, Vintage Vinnie, a two-time Maryland Hunt Cup winner, will make his 15-year-old bow in the Schapiro, a race he used in 2022 as a springboard to his second Hunt Cup tally.

The My Lady’s Manor stakes will be race one on the program, with a post time of 1:30 p.m. Gates open at 10 a.m. Click here for the complete entries:

$110,000 up for grabs at Tryon Block House Races

Green Creek Race Course, one of the most picturesque properties on the National Steeplechase Association circuit, plays host to the Tryon Block House Races on Saturday.

Five races, four over hurdles at 2 miles, have been carded including the $20,000 Cannon Harmon Memorial Cup maiden claimer; the $30,000 TR & HC Mulberry Farm Cup maiden special weights contest; the $20,000 Carter P. Brown conditioned claimer for horses who have never won two races; and the $35,000 Jennifer & Roger Smith handicap for horses rated at 120 or less.  The day ends with a training flat race at 1 ¼ miles.

In the featured ratings handicap, Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Tease and Seize, trained by Richard Valentine, wheels back following a 20-length blowout in a 115 ratings handicap at the Carolina Cup Races on March 30. Bruton Street-US’ Ziggle Pops makes his first start since finishing sixth in a 120 handicap at the Iroquois Races last May. Before that he had back-to-back wins in a maiden and 115 handicap. Similarly, Riverdee Stable and Ten Strike Racing’s Rocket One, a career winner of $175,000, had consecutive scores in a maiden and 115 handicap last season before finishing fourth in the Harry Harris four-year-old stakes at Far Hills in October. Hudson River Farms, Madaket Stables, and R and K Racing’s The Insider, a stakes winner at three, returned after a year-long layoff at Aiken last month, where he contested in the early going of the Imperial Cup stakes before tiring. Brownland Farm’s L’Or des Roses, who joined the NSA circuit last October, finished third to Tease and Seize in his 2024 debut. Del Rio Racing’s Soviet Pimpernel is looking for his first win in more than four years, and has run exclusively in stakes since coming from Ireland in 2022. Most recently, he was third in the Imperial Cup at Aiken. Since winning a 115 handicap at Colonial Downs last summer, Go Poke the Bear Syndicate’s Go Poke the Bear has finished fifth and third in two subsequent 120 handicap starts.

Gates open at 10 a.m.; first race post time is 1:30 p.m. For the complete entries, click here:

You can catch all of the excitement from Tryon and The Manor via live stream from the NSA website.

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