Last weekend, April 20-21, saw back-to-back racing on the Maryland Steeplechase Association’s Governors Cup Series schedule with the Grand National Steeplechase on Saturday and the Fair Hill Point-to-Point on Sunday.
The junior jockeys were the first ones out around the course at the Grand National Steeplechase with William Slater winning the Small division of the Jr. Field Masters Chase. He was riding Lauren Schock’s Chewy and is trained by Brianne Slater. Teddy Davies raced to the front of the Medium division aboard Count Chocula, owned by Elizabeth McCue and trained by Ashton Williams. Austin Belt won the Large division with Mint Meadows Farm LLC’s Class Day, trained by Suzanne Stettinius. It was Parker Hendriks that won the JFMS TB Horses division with Lawn Ranger, owned and trained by Sanna Neilson.
Senior Senator was the big winner of The Grand National, moving his trainer Joe Davies into the top spot in the Governors Cup Leading Trainer standings. With Eric Portez in the irons for owner Irvin Crawford II, Senior Senator won by 30 lengths with Armata Stables’ Joshua G in second. Both horses are slated to run in this weekend’s Maryland Hunt Cup.
Eddie Keating rode Aquies to victory in the Benjamin H. Murray Memorial allowance timber. Trained by Katherine Neilson and owned by Irvin Naylor, Aquies won by 2 1/4 lengths.
Flaming Sword’s win on the Western Run Plate amateur apprentice timber moved him into a tie with Prime Prospector in the Amateur Apprentice Timber Horse & Rider standings. Flaming Sword is owned by Fat Chance Farm and is trained by Leslie Young. Prime Prospector is another horse entered in Saturday’s Maryland Hunt Cup.
Junior jockeys started the day at the Fair Hill Point To Point as well with Thomas Houghton winning the Small Pony Flat race aboard Elizabeth McCu’es Lickity Split. Hougton is trained by Bernie Houghton. Taylor Kingsley and Roger That, trained by Mimi Schmitz, won the Medium division for owner Gerry L. Brewster and Teddy Davies earned the win in the Large division riding EHM Stables’ Charmed, trained by Betty McCue.
Teddy Davies, Austin Belt and Parker Hendriks had double win weekends as all three headed to Fair Hill after wins at the Grand National. Davies and Count Chocula won the Medium Ponies Jr Field Masters Chase while Belt and Class Day won the Large Ponies division. Hendriks and Lawn Ranger topped the Horse division.
Fair Hill also has a leadline pony division, which was won by George Aller riding Carousel Anna. The paint mare is owned by Cindy Buchanan and trained by Jamie Bartholomew Aller.
Sean McDermott rode Straylight Racing, LLC’s Invocation to win the Meill of Belair Turf Prep open flat. The French gelding is trained by William Santoro. Ross Geraghty and Shoreline, owned by Morningstar Farm and trained by Ricky Hendriks, won the Maiden Training Flat.
The Amateur Open Flat was divided into two sections with Brevard Place winning the first and Bapu winning the second. Jonathan Sheppard in the owner and trainer of Brevard Place, who was ridden by Keri Brion for the win. Laura Brophy trains Bapu for High Note Stable with her son John Brophy in the irons for the win.
Morningstar Farm’s Indigo Heart won the first hurdle race of the day, the Amateur Apprentice Hurdle. Eve Ledyard was in the irons for trainer Ricky Hendriks. Hendriks scored a second hurdle win with That’s That in the Maiden Hurdle for owner Debra E. Kachel. Ross Geraghty was the bay filly’s jockey.
Skylar McKenna won the Lady Rider Timber aboard It’s Nothing, owned by Move Up Stable and Sally Reed and trained by Katherine Neilson. John Brophy earned his second win of the day, this time with Dr. K’eogh in the Roy Rector Memorial Heavyweight Timber for owner/trainer William Meister. Armata Stables won the Novice Timber with Pincer Movement, trained by Ricky Hendriks and ridden by Archie MacAuley. Paul O’Neill and Carnival Carl won the Open Timber for owner David Belt, Jr. and trained by Mark Beecher.
Parker Hendriks moved up to some timber with the Maryland Hunt Cup veteran Guts for Garters to win the Foxhunter Timber. Guts for Garters is owned by Stewart Strawbridge and trained by Sanna Neilson.
This weekend is another back-to-back steeplechase weekend with the 125th anniversary of the Maryland Hunt Cup on Saturday and the Maryland Junior Hunt Cup on Sunday. To see who is entered in the Maryland Hunt Cup, click here.