The jumpers scatter this weekend as timber toppers go to Maryland for a four-race card at My Lady’s Manor and hurdle horses venture to Tryon for a five-race card at the Tryon Block House Races. As for the ST Handicappers, well, better late than never, we’re watching Real Time with Bill Maher and posting picks. Just another Friday night.
If you’re wondering what happened last week, so are we. The ST Handicappers managed just two wins on the four-race card at the Georgia Steeplechase as Joe and Tom tabbed Barnacle Bill in the feature. For the season, Joe (the Rockaround of picking winners) increased his early lead to 6-3-2 over Sean and Tom.
My Lady’s Manor. Monkton, Md. First race, 1:30.
First Race. The My Lady’s Manor. Timber Stakes. $30,000. 3 miles.
The first timber stakes on the three-weekend Maryland timber circuit attracts just six but it’s a healthy six as Jack Fisher dusts off veterans Drift Society and Straight To It and the free-running Zanclus aims at his first race NSA start since 2016 for last year’s champion jockey, Darren Nagle. Radnor Hunt Cup winner Mystic Strike, who is technically undefeated in three timber starts, makes his debut for trainer Mark Beecher, who also takes the reins.
- Joe: Mystic Strike, Drift Society, Zanclus.
- Sean: Drift Society, Zanclus, Mystic Strike.
- Tom: Drift Society, Straight To It, Wildcatter.
Second Race. The John Rush Street Memorial. Maiden Timber. $15,000. 3 miles.
They say Vintage Vinnie, a 141-rated chaser, has been dominant at the point-to-points, he’ll be winging on the lead in his acid test. Formidable Heart showed promise over hurdles and already owns a timber win at Piedmont.
- Joe: Vintage Vinnie, Formidable Heart, Jewish Holiday.
- Sean: Formidable Heart, Jewish Holiday, Vintage Vinnie.
- Tom: Jewish Holiday, Ray de Light, Formidable Heart.
Third Race. The John Rush Street Memorial. Maiden Timber. $15,000. 3 miles.
On paper, this division looks easier with first-time starter Causeworthy and Spirit Of Shankly, second in this race last year, taking most of the attention.
- Joe: Spirit Of Shankly, Causeworthy, Hill Tie.
- Sean: Causeworthy, Spirit of Shankly, Hill Tie.
- Tom: Causeworthy, Spirit Of Shankly, Spoiler Alert.
Fourth Race. The John D. Schapiro Memorial. Allowance Timber. $15,000. 3 miles.
Witor, a winner at Willowdale last spring, wears the Champerty colors and should get the job done for Blair and Todd Wyatt.
- Joe: Witor, Class Indian, Aquies.
- Sean: Witor, Carrickboy, Aquies.
- Tom: Aquies, Witor, Pured It.
The Tryon Block House Steeplechase. Columbus, N.C. First race, 1:30.
First Race. The Carter P. Brown Memorial. Maiden Claiming Hurdle. $15,000. 1:00.
Wow, the ST Handicappers make first-time starter Royal Ruse, winless in seven flat starts, the best bet of the day for early leaders Jonathan Sheppard and Jack Doyle.
- Joe: Royal Ruse, Get Out Of Town, Midnight Man.
- Sean: Royal Ruse, Pride Of Stride, Etched In Time.
- Tom: Royal Ruse, Bob’n For Silver, Etched In Time.
Second Race. The Cannon Harmon Memorial. Maiden Hurdle. $30,000. 2 1/8-miles.
Six maidens line up, including Last Shani, the most anticipated maiden hurdler since Uptown Swell. Jack Fisher sends out second-time starter Barhanpour. Sunset District learned some lessons at Camden.
- Joe: Last Shani, Barhanpour, Boss Man.
- Sean: Barhanpour, Last Shani, Sunset District.
- Tom: Last Shani, Jarir, Barhanpour.
Third Race. The Tryon Riding & Hunt Cup. Handicap Hurdle. $25,000. 2 ¼-miles.
Solid ratings hurdle wound up with a strong field of nine, including the promising returnee Ack Feisty and veteran Canaveral, who has slipped to 106. Ricky Hendriks could tack on another with Say No Maux and Any Given Royal entered.
- Joe: Ack Feisty, Any Given Royal, Hanno.
- Sean: Ack Feisty, Hanno, Stormy Alex.
- Tom: Hanno, Stormy Alex, Any Given Royal.
Fourth Race. The Block House. Allowance Hurdle. $35,000. 2 1/8-miles.
Jack Fisher goes double fisted with imports Lord Justice and Gibralfaro, the former should improve from a couple of fall placings and the latter danced to big songs for Alan King. Hendriks comes strong with promising maiden winners Sixty Five and Sail Ahoy, either one can win
- Joe: Lord Justice, Sixty Five, Gibralfaro.
- Sean: Gibralfaro, Sixty Five, Sail Ahoy.
- Tom: Lord Justice, Zio Elio, Sail Ahoy.
Fifth Race. The Dr. John Bradshaw Memorial. Allowance Flat. $25,000. 1 ½-miles.
Tough flat race closes out a solid card and the ST Handicappers spread across the board. Sean says the best best of the weekend is Overwhelming.
- Joe: Any Given Royal, Khafayya, Overwhelming.
- Sean: Overwhelming, Wild Dynaformer, Khafayya.
- Tom: Khafayya, Wild Dynaformer, Director.