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Sarah L. Greenhalgh

May 22, 2009

Vinnie Boy Pleases At Willowdale

He gives his connections their first sanctioned win in this amateur contest.

When Adair Bonsal Stifel’s Vinnie Boy (Jacob Roberts) wore down the competition to win for new trainer Blythe Miller Davies, May 10, it was the first sanctioned win for all parties involved—horse, rider, trainer and owner. Always tricky, the amateur timber course at the Willowdale Steeplechase is comprised of ditches, a large water jump, natural hedges and timber fences.

May 22, 2009

Pierrot Lunaire Runs To Unlikely Upset At Iroquois

He uses the deep footing to his advantage as he takes down one of the titans of the sport.

Hardly a soul, least of all his jockey, knew anything about Pierrot Lunaire. But he ended one of the biggest Grade I winning streaks steeplechasing has ever seen.

“I had never ridden the horse in a race, which is nothing new, he just shipped over,” said rider Chip Miller. “Everyone knew about as much about the horse as I did—zero.”

May 22, 2009

Two For Two

With only four horses in the $75,000 timber stakes at Iroquois, the chances were good that Irv Naylor’s two entries—Patriot’s Path (Darren Nagle) and Askim (James Slater)—would finish in the money, and they did, in first and second, respectively.

This win gives Patriot’s Path’s trainer Desmond Fogarty his second $75,000 timber stakes win in two weeks. He and Nagle just won the Virginia Gold Cup with Naylor’s Salmo, and Patriot’s Path won the $15,000 allowance race at My Lady’s Manor (Md.) in April.

May 22, 2009

Perfect Orbit

Fox Ridge Farm’s 2007 novice champion Planets Aligned (Padge Whelan) stayed hidden behind a sea of mud being kicked up by Sheila Williams’ Rare Bush (Aizpuru) until the last fence when he surged ahead to win by less than a length in the $50,000 Marcellus Frost Hurdle Stakes.

Trainer Tom Voss of Monkton, Md., thought the ground might suit the 8-year-old grandson of Deputy Minister.

May 15, 2009

Salmo Returns For A Second Virginia Gold Cup Title

He gives owner Irv Naylor his third win in the timber stakes.

Even at the age of 13, Salmo still has the ability to surprise. The seasoned campaigner bested a good field of timber horses to capture his second Virginia Gold Cup title in three years on May 2.

Salmo’s trainer Desmond Fogarty opted to run him just twice on the flat this season, with no previous starts over fences. At the Marlborough Hunt Races (Md.), he placed sixth out of eight. Then he ran at the Fairfax Hunt Point-To-Point (Va.) and was never better than 10th out of 11 starters.

May 11, 2009

Heat Wave

Before the Atlanta Steeplechase, most of the weekends in April produced mild weather or torrential rains. The shift from 70s to the high 90s was a huge change for all involved in steeplechasing.

Xavier Aizpuru said he felt for the horses. “We just have to cling to their backs; they do all the work,” he said. “I was so exhausted after the day, I felt drained.”

May 8, 2009

The Price Of Love Pays Off At Atlanta Steeplechase

Danielle Hodsdon guides the winner in the $50,000 feature.

Danielle Hodsdon and Xavier Aizpuru effectively shut down the competition at the Atlanta Steeplechase,
April 25, winning all five of the races between them.

Hodsdon won two out of the five in Kingston, Ga., in the sweltering heat of 95 degrees. She took home the lion’s share of the money with a win in the $50,000 Georgia Cup feature with William Pape’s The Price Of Love.

May 8, 2009

Michele Marieschi Outlasts The Competition In Maryland Hunt Cup

He is best of the two horses to finish this grueling timber challenge.

Named for an Italian painter with a flair for the theatrical, Michele Marieschi’s win in the Maryland Hunt Cup, April 25, was nothing short of dramatic.

The Glyndon, Md., course, with 4 miles of huge, unforgiving post and rail fences, took its toll on even the most veteran of horses and riders until only two were left.

May 1, 2009

Isti Bee Surprises At Middleburg Spring Races

Doug Fout’s trainees claim the top two spots in the feature stakes race.

The Middleburg Spring Races, April 18, was a case of, if he does not enter, they will come.

With multiple stakes champion Good Night Shirt taking the weekend off, trainers took the opportunity to unload their hopefuls into the $60,000 Temple Gwathmey Grade III hurdle stakes. Spectators were treated to a spectacular upset victory and some of the best runners this side of a major track.

April 24, 2009

Incomplete Finishes The Job At My Lady's Manor

Deep footing doesn’t slow down Charlie Fenwick and his charge.

Hometown favorite Incomplete and Charlie Fenwick III took a decisive win in the 99th running of the $30,000 My Lady’s Manor timber stakes in adverse conditions on the Monkton, Md., course.

Despite torrential rains the night before and well into the morning of the race, the field only had one scratch, leaving a hearty 10 to traverse the 3 miles of big timber on April 11.

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