MONKTON, Md.--Armata Stables' Vintage Vinnie (Ire), trained by Joe Davies and ridden by Chris Gracie, won the $30,000 My Lady's Manor 3 mile timber race on April 10 after leading all the way in a race that was marred by the fall on turns by two of the favorites.
But if you stayed home to watch the race via live stream, you might not have know that until the winner was in the winner's circle and the live stream flashed the results up on the screen.
There were live voices before and after the race, but no announcer during the race, and the first three-quarters of the race was seen only in glimpses through deep woods.
There had been no announcements of colors prior to the race, so unless you were lucky enough to know the red and gold silks of Armata Stables, you had no idea who was so far out in front.
You caught a glimpse of a horse slipping and falling on an early turn, but the camera was so far away there was no chance of spotting a number or seeing colors.
It turns out that it was Mystic Strike, a previous winner of the Manor, who fell on the turn after the seventh fence.
Then on the final turn, after the third to last fence, another horse drew even with Vintage Vinne, but again, the camera was too far away to tell who it was.
It turned out that it was Schoodic, a horse that had won five of his seven runs over timber, including the Gold Cup, but just as he got to Vintage Vinnie, he slipped and fell on the turn, leaving Vintage Vinnie to finish alone, with Bruton Street-US' Preseli Rock (Ire), trained by Jack Fisher and ridden by Connor Hankin, a distanced second.
THE CAMERA never showed another horse in the stretch, but apparently Bruton Street-US; Drift Society, trained by Fisher and ridden by Graham Watters, did finish as he was placed third, obviously very distanced.
Officer Sydney (Ire), trained by Ricky Hendriks and ridden by McLane Hendriks, pulled up before the last fence after Hendriks apparently lost his stirrup.
"Vintage Vinnie went right to the front and he had a great trip," said Davies. "He fox hunts a bit, but he's difficult."
"We bought this horse because he jumped over the Grand National course at Aintree," said Davies. "It wasn't in the Grand National, but he did jump over that course."
"We ran him in a few point-to-points, and he always won by a big margin," said Davies. "Then when we ran him in a recognized race, he'd been out of steam. So last year we just ran him in a flat race before the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup, and he was second. So we did the same thing with him this year. We just ran him in a flat race before the Manor,"
"The Manor was good to Blythe and me as jockeys, but it's never been good to us before as trainers," said Davies. "So it was nice to win and great for the hometown win of Perry Bolton."
Bolton and Benjamin Griswold IV are partners in Armata Stables.
Despite the falls of he two favorites, that race was run in the good time of 620 - one of the fastest races of the day, so the result may have been the same even had the two fallers had finished.
RENEGADE RIVER, owed by Kiplin Hall, trained by Willy Dowling and ridden by Eddie Keating, won the $15,000 John Rush Streett Memorial Maiden Timber race by 3 lengths over Our Legend, owned by Rather Be Racing, trained by Fisher and ridden by Watters, with Great Road, owned by Kinross Farm, trained by Davies and ridden by Teddy Davies, placing third.
Renegade River went to the front and was never headed and finished in 6:04.
"That's his customary was of running," said Dowling. "He's a seasoned maiden, so we thought we'd just let him go and see what happened. I think he had it under control the whole race."
"We've had him a few seasons and he's been knocking on the door but never winning," said Dowling. "I was pretty confident going into this race. He ran a good second at Shawan Downs earlier this year."
"We'll see how he comes out of this race," said Dowling. "We're hoping to run him in the Maryland Hunt Cup one day, but maybe not this year. One of his owner's, Jay Griswold, is my main owner, and he wants a Hunt Cup runner."
ROAD TO OZ, owned by Holwood Stable, trained by Mark Beecher and ridden by Watters, won the $15,000 Thomas H. Voss Memorial Maiden Timber by 3 lengths over Midnight Shot, owned by Wendy Hendriks, John L. Huganir, Stewart Strawbridge and Sanna Neilson, trained by Sanna and ridden by her son Parker Hendriks, with Sideling Hill, owned by Kiplin Hall, trained by Dowling and ridden by McLane Hendriks placing third in a time of 6:02,, equaling that of the first race.
The live stream finally got it together by the third race, with good coverage of the races and an announcer that could be heard.
"I've had him about a year and a half," said Beecher. "He won at Green Spring Valley earlier this year. He won a hurdle race last year ,and we decided to turn him to timber this year.
"He's a lovely horse," said Beecher. "He's as good-looking a horse as you could find. I had to fight off selling him as an event horse, but now I'm glad I did."
"This was only his second start over timber," said Beecher. "Our aim was to try to win here and then see where to go. You know you have a nice enough horse if he can win a maiden race at the Manor."
SUPER SATURDAY, owned by Irv Naylor, trained by Kathy Neilson and ridden by her daughter Skylar McKenna, won the $10,000 John D. Shapiro Memorial for apprentice rides by 1 1/2 lengths over Ann Jackson's Flash Jackson, trained by Todd Wyatt and ridden by Gracie, with Goodoldtimes, owned by Armata Stables, trained by Alicia Murphy and ridden by Keating, finishing third in a time of 6:19.
Super Saturday is a timber warrior," said Neilson of the 12-year-old gelding. "He's been running in timber races since he was 5. Sylar rode him at Cheshire, and they got along well there, so I thought to let her ride him. I thought it would be a favor to Super Saturday not to run him against the faster horses in one of the other races here."
Skylar sat off the pace, running second through most of the race and moving to the lead after the last fence.
"Skylar gave him a beautiful ride, and a very cagy ride," said Neilson. "He'll pause if he gets to the lead too soon."