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Saturday, December 03, 2022

Leslie Young had two winners at Aiken Spring Steeplechase

AIKEN, S.C.--Leslie Young, sick with Covid, was home in bed on March 26, but nevertheless she had two winners and two seconds at the Aiken Spring Steeplechase, the first sanctioned meet of the spring season.

Bee Major wins 2d 5Bee Major winning at Aiken (Photo by Tod Marks)Thomas Rice and Van Cushny's Bee Major, ridden by Harrison Beswick, won the $25,000.2 miles and1 furlong Maiden Hurdle by 1 1/4 length over Cause for Pardon, also trained by Young, with Freddy Flintshire, trained by Keri Brion, third.

"All congratulations to Van," said Young. "He picked out the horse. He's a full brother to Ritzi A P. Van claimed him at The Meadowlands last fall and sent him to me. We ran him once last fall at Charleston when we were trying to win races. We ran him in a flat race this spring in the Florida Point-to-Point to support that meet."

"Then he went to Harry (Beswick) in Camden, where Harry was schooling him." said Young. "Harry seemed confident in him, but I thought the other horse would win. Maybe he'll run next at Tryon. When he was running on the flat, he was running in front and then just getting nipped at the wire. We're just trying to get him relaxed running behind."

 

BEE MAJOR looked rank in the beginning of the race but then settled mid pack while jumping well and came flying after the last fence to win.

Maranto Manor's Duckett's Grove, trained by Young and ridden by Tom Garner, won the 1 1/4 mile Training Flat race by a neck over Tankerville, trained by Neil Morris, ad Motivational, trained by Ted Thompson.

"I bought him at Tattersalls," said Young. "He'd won at Royal Ascot. When we got him, he needed freshening. He'll go to Camden next."

"I went to Cheltenham," said Young. "I was fine coming home but then when I got home I got Covid. I feel better today."

Brion, last year's Leading Trainer, Money Won, had one winner, one second and one third while her fourth horse pulled up with a slipped saddle.

Molly and Paul Willis' Boulette (Ire), ridden by Parker Hendriks, won the featured $30,000 Ratings Handicap Hurdle by 6 1/4 lengths over Animal Kingston, trained by Norris, and Boss Man, trained by Arch Kingsley.

"It was a great day for good owners," said Brion. "I don't think anyone else expected him to win. He was running in England for these same owners before they sent him to me. He ran Jan. 29 at Cheltenham and was fifth behind a horse trained by Gordon Elliot."

Brion saddled Seville Barber to be second by 1/2 length to NRQ Stable's Criticize, trained by Neil Morris, in the $15,000 Maiden Claiming Hurdle, with Seb's Welcome (Fr), trained by Kate Dalton, third.

Gaye Breeze (Ire), owned by Petticoats Loose Farm and trained and ridden by Sean McDermott, won the fifth and final race on the card, the $20,000 Ratings Handicap Hurdle.

Gaye Breeze won by 1/2 length over Don't Shout, trained by Young, and Fightinirishtabit, trained by Ricky Hendriks, was third.

Peat Moss (Ire), trained by Brion, hit an early hurdle hard and almost fell, with his rider, Hendriks, thrown crosswise across the saddle.

Somehow, Hendriks achieved what seem almost impossible and regained his seat, but in the process the saddle slipped and Hendriks had to pull up.

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