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Monday, November 29, 2021

Ricky Hendriks saddled the Handicap winner at Shawan Downs, Jack Fisher and Leslie Young tie Keri Brion for lead in Trainer, Races Won

HUNT VALLEY, Md.--Ricky Hendriks saddled Upland Flats Racing LLC's West Newton, ridden by Schyler McKenna, to win the featured $25,000, 2 mile Rating Handicap Hurdle at Shawan Downs on Sept. 25.

West Newton Skylar McKenna lead over last in 4th Tod MarksWest Newton leading over last fence (Photo by Tod Marks)Jack Fisher and Leslie Young each had one win on the card to move into a tie with Keri Brion for Trainer, Races Won.

West Newton ran in fifth in the six horse field early on, gradually moving up to go into the lead over the last fence and go on to win by 8 1/2 lengths in 3:38 4/5.

"I claimed him this year at Radnor from Irv Nayor," said Hendriks. "I claimed him because of his breeding. He's very well bred."

West Newton in by Kitten's Joy out of Queens Prize (GB), by Dansili (GB), who stands in England.

He was imported from England in 2019.

"I had a new owner, Patrick Lewis, who wanted a horse," said Hendriks. "We've run him a few times. We ran him in Nashville, because his owner lives there. He won a maiden race st Colonial Downs and finished third in an allowance at Saratoga. He's a high energy horse. He's fun to train. Schyler saved him early in the race. She did a wonderful job on him. It was a very exciting win."


FISHER saddled his mother, Mrs. John R.S. Fisher's Schoodic to win the $20,000, 3 miles and 1 furlong Open Timber race to move into a tie for Leading Trainer, Races Won, immediately followed by Young saddling Black and Blue Stable's Elusive Exclusive to win the $10,000 Maiden Timber race and join the tie with eight wins apiece.

Brion continues to lead in Trainer, Money Won.

Schoodic, ridden by Connor Hankin,  ran fourth in the five horse race early, flying through the stretch to go on to win by 1 3/4 lengths in 6:56..

"He'll go to Genesee Valley and then to the Gold Cup," said Fisher.

Schoodic won the timber race st Genesee Valley in 2019 and won  the Virginia Gold Cup in May and also has won the International Gold Cup before, finishing first there in 2019.

Fisher said that winning Trainer, Races Won would mean more to him that winning in Money Won, but that the most important thing for him is just to see his horses run well.

He saddled Snap Decision to finish second to The Mean Queen in the G1 Lonesome Glory at Belmont, a much anticipated meeting that turned out to be even more exciting than hoped for when the two horses hooked up as they turned into the stretch.

Both Snap Decision and The Mean Queen are now aimed at another meeting st Far Hills on Oct. 16.

"She's a nice mare," said Fisher. "I'm glad that race (the Lonesome Glory) happened at Belmont because NYRA has been good to steeplechasing. Snap needed that last race. I think he'll be better at Far Hill."

Young said she was "super happy" with Elusive Exclusive's win in the Maiden Timber, and that she's all in for the race to Leading Trainer honors.

"It's so exciting," she said of being tied for the lead. "We're going for it. In 2015, I was second to Jack, and I was third once. We had 14 horses in training in 2015, and we have 25 in training now. Wouldn't winning that title be what we all dream of? It's the greatest honor in training."

 Young said that the jockey Jack Doyle, who has been in England since Covid kept riders from returning to the U.. for the season her, had called her to say he thought a horse his sister was riding would make a good timber horse for the Maryland races.

Young said she bought him for Forrest Kelly to ride as an amateur jockey, but that since getting the horse Kelly had married Lia McGurk, and his priorities had changed.

Kelly told her to put a professional rider on Elusive Exclusive, and she put Tom Garner on him for this, his first race in this country, which he won by 3 lengths in 7:06 1/5..

"I think Forrest has gotten offers for the horse," said Young. "But he's let me have some time to try to find a buyer so I can keep him in the barn. I think he'll be a nice Maryland spring horse."

"I'm not sure where he'll go next, maybe Genesee or Middleburg," said Young.

Different trainers won every race at Shawan Downs, with Elizabeth Voss saddling the winner of the first race, a $15,000 Maiden 3-Year-Old Hurdle.

The Fields Stable's Circus, ridden by Eddie Keating, won by 7 1/4 lengths in 3:48 1/5.

In the first of two $20,000 Maiden Hurdle races, Sean McDermott trained and rode Daniel Colhoun III's Bogey's Image to win by 4 1/4 lengths in 3:42 4/5, and in the second, Kate Dalton saddled Del Rio Chaser LLC's Step to the Bar, ridden by her husband Bernie, to win by 2 1/2 lengths in 3:41 1/5

The final two races were 1 mile and 3 furlong Training Flat races, which don't count towards a trainer's winning total, with Janet Elliot saddling Gregory Hawkins' Mekong, ridden by McKenna winning the first by 1 length in 2:34 1/5, with Keri Brion saddling Hudson Hill Farm's Sleight of Hand, ridden by Parker Hendriks, to win the second by  1/2 length in 2:32 3/5.

McKenna was the only jockey to ride more than one winner,

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