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McLane's Picks for My Lady's Manor

Race #1: The My Lady's Manor Stakes 3 Miles (Timber)

A Very strong group of five runners for this year’s edition of the Maryland classic. The field is highlighted by last year’s Pennsylvania Hunt Cup winner and runner up in the Maryland Hunt Cup, Royal Ruse. 

Top Selections: #3 Royal Ruse, #2 Our Friend #1 Road To Oz

  1. ROAD TO OZ – The winner of the ’22 Grand National and a winner over this course. He won his prep race two weeks ago at Greenspring Point to Point, so he should be in good form going into this race. Nominated to the Maryland Hunt Cup 

  2. OUR FRIEND (IRE) – He was 4th, just behind Salamanca School, to end his season last year. He was a winner over this course in ’22, and most recently, he was a convincing winner last weekend across the road at the Elkridge-Harford Point to Point. With a run at Piedmont point to point and the Fox Hall team chase, he should be in good order to make his first sanctioned start of the season. Nominated to the Maryland Hunt Cup

  3. ROYAL RUSE (L) – A good 2nd to start of the season in the Cheshire Bowl two weeks ago. He comes back to Maryland after well respected 2nd in last year's Maryland Hunt Cup. He followed that with a win in the PA Hunt Cup last fall and now has his sights set on Maryland Hunt Cup glory this spring. Apprentice Dan Nevin and former Maryland Hunt Cup winner, climbs aboard for the first time.

  4. INCLUDE IT (L) – An impressive winner two weeks back at Cheshire after being away from the races for almost two years. Before which he was on a three-win streak. Now unbeaten in all four sanctioned starts over Timber, he steps up to stakes company to try and make it five in a row. 

  5. SALAMANCA SCHOOL (FR) – He will likely be the early pacesetter, as is his typical style. An impressive American debut last fall at Shawan Downs winning by 9 lengths following that up with a 21-length victory at Genesee. Most recently he made his first start to this season at the newly sanctioned Blue Ridge races where he was 2nd. He will likely try to best the field from the front end, but the front running tactics are no longer a secret the seven-year-old son of Rock of Gibraltar. 

Race #2: The John Rush Street Memorial ALLOWANCE 3 Miles (Timber) 

For Five Year Olds and Upward which have never won two races over timber. A good group of up-and-coming timber horses mixed with some veterans competing for the John Rush Street. I’m going with the recent form of To Be Or Not To Be and Hard Strike. Stolen Shoes handled the course well in his win last year but will have to take on other winners this year. 

Top Selections: #1 To Be Or Not To Be, #6 Stolen Shoes, #2 Hard Strike

  1. TO BE OR NOT TO BE – Winner of the Open timber race last week at Elkridge-Harford Point to Point. He broke his maiden under NSA rules at Willowdale last Spring. It seems he is back in form given his run last week, making him my top pick here. 

  2.  HARD STRIKE (L) - 6yr. son of Hard Spun comes in here on a two-win streak to start his Spring season. He broke his maiden two weeks ago at Cheshire, and previously notched a win at Warrenton Point to Point. The Manor course will be a good test for him after posting some spotty form to begin his timber career last fall.  

  3. THEDA'S BOY – Two thirds to begin the timber career of the 7-year-old by Seville. This will be a step up in jumping test for the homebred of Daniel Doane as he tries to break his maiden in his seventh career start.

  4. HAFAJAY (GB) – The 11-year-old comes in with spotty form breaking his maiden in his only U.S. win over timber at Winterthur 3 years ago. He had two spring preps coming into here with the Fox Hall Team Chase and a third at Piedmont Point to Point. Nominated to the Maryland Hunt Cup.

  5. HUYANA – He finished 2nd last week to Mr. Fine Threads in a thriller of a race across the street at Elkridge-Harford P2P. The week before he was a well beaten 5th at Blue Ridge. Racing into form he could be primed for a strong effort here.

  6. STOLEN SHOES (GB) – An impressive winner here last year breaking his Maiden by a whopping 26 lengths. He has not raced since that day but obviously has plenty of talent, so we’ll see what he has in store for this season. 

Race #3: The Thomas H. Voss Memorial MAIDEN 3 Miles (Timber) Purse $20,000 

A strong field of Maidens for the first division of the Thomas H. Voss. A couple horses make their return to the NSA scene after time away. Most all have had point to point prep or a start in a sanctioned race coming into this contest. I’m going to lean on the bit of experience in the field with The Butler Yates on top and Hero’s Return underneath, rounding out the top three with Junonia.

Top Selections: #6 The Butler Yates, #1 Hero’s Return, #5 Junonia

  1. HERO'S RETURN (L) G.7 – He comes into this season off a strong 3rd at the end of the season last year. He’s one that’s been knocking on the door trying to break his maiden over timber and could jump up and win given his experience. He was second at Warrenton P2P in his early prep this season behind Hard Strike so should be in form for this race.

  2. DRUID'S ALTAR (IRE) (L1) G.7 – Second last fall at Winterthur, Trainer William Dowling sends out the son of Mastercraftsman for his third career sanctioned timber start. He prepped for this start with a run in the Fox Hall Team Chase and on the flat at Green Spring P2P. Pulled up in timber debut he seems to gain experience with each start.

  3. BE COUNTED (L) G.10 – This will be his first NSA race in two years and second career start over timber. He ran last season in the Point to Points winning the Lady’s timber at Piedmont. Three preps this season coming into this race coming at Fox Hall, 2nd at Piedmont, and a 2nd last week at Elkridge-Harford under trainer Todd Wyatt’s son James. 

  4. QUEENS EMPIRE (IRE) (L) G.7 – Apprentice Whitney Schweizer climbs aboard for trainer Jack Fisher. The son of Empire Maker finished out his ’23 season with a 4th behind Hero’s Return in the PA Hunt Cup maiden. Has some experience but may lack the speed to get the job done here. Nominated to the Maryland Hunt Cup.

  5. JUNONIA (L) G.10 – The big grey by City Zip converted from hurdles to timber in the winter off season. He’s had three point to point preps this spring in advance of the sanctioned timber debut with two point to point runs over timber; 3rd at Piedmont and DQ at Blue Ridge. He seems like the type that would take to the bigger jumps.

  6. THE BUTLER YATES (IRE) (L) G.7 – The son of Yates was 2nd in his U.S. debut over timber in the Maiden at the Grand National last year. He comes into this race off a win at Piedmont P2P and a run around Fox Hall team chase. He should be close to the pace here and could just best this group.

  7. THE BALLYBREEN FOX (IRE) G.6 – Making his first NSA sanctioned start he has 4 point to point runs overseas and 1 win. He prepped this spring in the Fox Hall team chase and a 5th of 5 finish in the novice timber at Green Spring P2P. 

  8. HARD GAME (L) G.6 – The son of Hard Spun makes his second sanctioned timber start under veteran jockey Eric Poretz. I had the chance to school him this week and was very impressed with him. He should be in good form after a 4th at Blue Ridge P2P two week ago.

Race #4: The Thomas H. Voss Memorial MAIDEN 3 Miles (Timber) Purse $20,000

Top Selections: #7 Animal Kingston, #1 Wagner, #4 Potus

  1. WAGNER (IRE) G.9 – A four-time winner in England, he’s imported by Marriebelle Stables for trainer Blythe Miller Davies ridden by her son Teddy Davies. Nominated to the Maryland Hunt Cup, this will be his first start in the U.S. since shipping over.

  2. ISLAND NATION (IRE) (L) G.7 – He was tired and pulled up in his only start of the fall season but comes in off a recent win at Cheshire P2P in the Novice timber. 

  3. DON'T SHOUT (IRE) (L) G.10 – Virginia Korrell rides for her mother Elizabeth. He was a well beaten 5th last out in the sanctioned maiden timber at Cheshire. 

  4. POTUS (L) G.6 – A winner in his last start over hurdles to end his ’23 season. Trainer Jack Fisher converts to timber in the off season. Prepped for the spring with a run at Fox Hall and a second in the novice timber at Green Spring p2p two weeks ago.

  5. PING PONG CHAMP (L) G.6 – Another one from the Fisher camp converting to timber this season. He was a productive horse over hurdles and comes into this off a prep at Fox Hall and a 3rd at Green Spring P2P. 

  6. BLACKHALL (IRE) G.10 – Nominated to the Maryland Hunt Cup he comes here after a 2nd in a prep at Green Spring P2P. He finished 5th in the ’22 Maryland Huntcup but fell at the 16th fence last year. Connections will be using this as a prep aiming at the bigger timber at the end of the month.

  7. ANIMAL KINGSTON (L) G. 10 – This accomplished hurdler also converted to timber this off season. He finished a good second in his debut at Cheshire and looks to build on that experience here.

  8. MEKONG G.7 – The PA bred still seeking his first win over fences picks up Brett Owings. Seventh last start two weeks ago at Cheshire where he did not impress with his jumping. This will be a tougher test here.

Race 5: The John D. Schapiro Memorial ALLOWANCE 3 Miles (Timber) 

For Five Year Olds and Upward Which have not won a timber or hurdle stakes in 2023-2024. To be ridden by Apprentice Riders. The field is highlighted by the Maryland Hunt Cup course record holder, Vintage Vinnie. He should be the heavy favorite, but can he get back into form in the slight class drop? 

Top Selections: #2 Vintage Vinnie, #4 Rhythmia, #2 Awsome Adrian

  1. OUR LEGEND (IRE) – He prepped this spring with a 3rd at Piedmont and a 2nd at Elkridge-Harford Point to Points. Has not made a sanctioned start since fall of ’22. Picks up apprentice jockey Whitney Schweizer. 

  2. VINTAGE VINNIE (IRE) – The two-time Maryland Hunt Cup winner and Winner of the My Lady’s Manor stake in ’21. He enters this race on the condition he has not won a stake race since ’22. He was second in the feature race last year and did not complete the Maryland Hunt Cup. Let’s see if he can get back to his record-breaking form in a class drop.

  3. AWESOME ADRIAN – A veteran timber horse that always tries his best and is nominated to the Maryland Hunt Cup this year. He was a good second last time out at Cheshire just getting passed at the wire by Include It at Cheshire. 

  4. RHYTHMIA – Unseated rider in his last start at Cheshire. He made a splash ending last season with two consecutive wins. He is a full brother to the legendary Mystic Strike and looks to give Vintage Vinnie a run for his money here.

  5. BOGEY'S IMAGE – He broke his maiden over the small course at the Grand National last year. A winner in his prep this season at the Green Spring P2P under Teddy Davies, apprentice rider Theresa Dimpfel gets the mount here. 

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