The Highland Ridge Farm ponies and Alice Peirce’s custom Easter Bunny photo booth.

The Green Spring Valley Point-to-Point at Shawan Downs was the first race meet in Maryland, kicking off the spring season that will continue through April and conclude in May. Sunday, March 31st was Easter Sunday but horsemen showed up in full force and spectators were able to enjoy a variety of Easter activities. The Maryland Horse Foundation sponsored an Easter Scavenger Chase for kids. High Ridge Farm brought their adorable, popular ponies back for people of all ages to enjoy, and a custom photo booth was designed by Alice Peirce so everyone could capture a special photo on the day.

The action got started with three pony flat races. Cami Kern piloted Hoof Hearted to win the Small Pony Flat, Cambrie Franks and Sugar won the Medium Pony Flat, and Yomar Ortiz, Jr. took the Large Pony Flat on Class Day.

Savannah Hutchins and Captain took their first win together in the Large Pony division of the Field Masters Chase. Carol Fenwick photo.

The Junior Field Masters Chase was run as the Austin Tamberino Memorial, in memory of former pony racer Austin Tamberino, who passed away in 2020. Cami Kern was also victorious in the Small Pony division of the Jr. Field Masters Chase on Mallory. Yomar Ortiz, Jr. took his second win of the day on Blueberry in the Medium Pony division while Savannah Hutchins and Captain teamed up for their first win in the Large Pony division. Jaidyn Shore was the only finisher in the Jr. Horse division of the Field Masters Chase. She rode Railmaster, owned by The Orebanks and trained by Suzanne Stettinius.

The timber races kicked off with the Worthington Bowl Heavyweight Timber, which was a match race between Hunt Cup nominees Goodoldtimes and Blackhall. The pair started the race as a team but Armata Stables’ Goodoldtimes took a narrow lead for most of the race and held off Blackhall for the win. Mark Beecher trained the winner and Dan Nevin had the mount.

Five horses went to post in the Daniel Baugh Brewster Memorial Novice Timber. Trainer Jack Fisher went 1-2-3 with Presence of Mind and jockey Graham Watters taking the win. Bruton Street-US owns the Irish-bred who was making his first start over timber after a hurdle career. Potus, ridden by Whitney Schweizer, and Ping Pong Champ, ridden by Ben Sullivan, finished second and third and were also making timber debuts. Presence of Mind sat second behind pacesetter Take Profit until he launched a bid approaching the stretch and narrowly held off a late charging Potus.

Maryland-bred Road to Oz and jockey Dan Nevin won the feature race of the day. Carol Fenwick photo.

The feature race of the day, the Frank A. Bonsal Memorial Open Timber, gave trainer Mark Beecher and jockey Dan Nevin their second win of the day with Holwood Stable’s Road to Oz. Road to Oz, winner of the Grand National Timber Stakes in 2022, bested timber veterans Storm Team and Schoodic. The trio raced one behind the other, with Storm Team in front and Road to Oz and Schoodic following closely behind. All three horses entered the stretch together, jumped the last as a team, and finished well in close company. Although none are Hunt Cup nominees, these three horses will likely run in timber stakes later in the season.

Maryland-bred Bogey’s Image continued his successful timber career with a win in the Heavyweight Timber. Carol Fenwick photo

The Kiplin Farm Bowl Amateur Apprentice Timber had four runners. Maryland-bred Bogey’s Image, trained by Joseph Davies and ridden by Teddy Davies took the win for owners Harvey Goolsby, Achsah O’Donovan, and Daniel Colhoun. Bogey’s Image assumed the lead at the start, briefly opening up a wide advantage but was joined by the rest of the field and even passed by runner-up Gaye Breeze before regaining the lead in the stretch. The Maryland-bred won three straight races in Maryland last spring and looks to find more success this year.

The Caves Farm Amateur Flat is a two mile flat race restricted to amateur riders. Nine horses ran and Jimmy P bested the field for trainer Keri Brion and jockey Felix Astudillo. Makadet Stables LLC and Paul and Molly Willis own Jimmy P, who has won three hurdle races in eight starts, and finished second in a Grade 1 Hurdle Stake at Saratoga last summer. Two time Maryland Hunt Cup winner, Vintage Vinnie, used this race as a prep.

The Stoneworth Farm Training Flat, a popular spot for horses to prep for the rest of the season, drew enough entries to be split three ways. The first division gave trainer Keri Brion and jockey Teddy Davies their second win of the day with St James the Great, owned by a syndicate of Serio Racing Stables, USA Steeplechase, R and K Racing, and Paul & Molly Willis. The Kentucky bred sat in third, moved up the inside on the final turn, and took control of the lead in the stretch.

Runnymoore Racing LLC’s Loose Ends stepped off the racetrack for the day and looked quite comfortable winning the second division of the training flat. Anne Litz photo.

Runnymoore Racing LLC’s Loose Ends won the second division for trainer Cathal Lynch and rider Anthony Lynch. The five year old has won six races at the track, including a victory at Penn National on January 31st. Loose Ends raced wide around the first turn but assumed the lead on the backside and was never headed in the stretch.

High Definition won the final division for trainer Leslie Young and jockey Jamie Bargary. Leipers Fork Steeplechasers LLC own the winner. This was the largest division with nine entries. High Definition sat between horses, moved up in the stretch, and bested Crabs N Beer. Multiple Grade 1 Winner Snap Decision used this race as a prep.

Full results can be found on Central Entry or click here.

Replays of the timber and flat races can be found here.

Anne Litz’s photos can be found on the Green Spring Valley Hounds Facebook page. Robert Keller’s photos are also posted on Facebook. Tammie Monaco’s photos are posted here.

Next on the schedule: the Elkridge-Harford Point-to-Point at Atlanta Hall Farm in Monkton on Saturday, April 6th.

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