For many owners, trainers, riders, and spectators, Easter Sunday was spent at the Fair Hill Point-to-Point, which turned out to be a perfect day to spend at the races. Fair Hill held an ambitious card of fifteen races; pony races, flat races, hurdle races, and timber races were all run.
The day started off with pony races where Thomas Houghton won the small pony flat race on Lickity Split over Taylor Kingsley on Hoof Hearted. Taylor came back to win the medium pony flat race aboard Roger That. In the large pony flat race, it was Teddy Davies on Charmed who took the win. In the Junior Field Masters Chase, Teddy also won on a medium pony, Count Chocula. Austin Belt rode Class Day to win the large pony division of the Jr. FMC while Parker Hendriks won the horse division on Lawn Ranger. Not to be forgotten, the Lead Line Pony Trot Race was won by George Aller on Carousel Anna.
The day continued with the Mill of Belair Turf Prep, a flat race won by Straylight Racing, LLC’s Invocation. Invocation, trained by William Santoro and ridden regularly by Sean McDermott, has been a strong contender on the National Steeplechase Association circuit and was likely using this as a prep for his next run. The next flat race was for maidens, horses that have never won a race. Morningstar Farm’s Shoreline, with Ross Geraghty in the irons, took the win. This was trainer Ricky Hendriks’ first of four wins on the card.
The last two flat races were for amateur riders. The first division, a ten horse field, was won by Brevard Place who was ridden by Keri Brion. Brevard Place is owned and trained by Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard. The second division of the amateur flat race was won by John Brophy on High Note Stable’s Bapu, trained by his mom Laura Brophy. John Brophy went on to win another race later in the day.
This year, Fair Hill offered two hurdle races, one for amateur apprentices and one for maidens. The Amateur Apprentice Hurdle race was a three horse field; Indigo Heart took a wire-to-wire victory for rider Eve Ledyard, owner Morningstar Farm, and trainer Ricky Hendriks. Hendriks’ third win came in the next race, the maiden hurdle, with Debra E. Kachel’s That’s That. The filly, the only one in a field of seven geldings, was ridden by Ross Geraghty.
Next came the timber races, starting with the Lady Rider Timber. Skylar McKenna rode It’s Nothing to win for mom and trainer Katherine Neilson. This is Skylar’s first year out of the junior ranks. The Heavyweight Timber and the Foxhunter Timber were combined to make a race of four horses. John Brophy’s second win of the day came on Dr. K’eogh, owned and trained by William Meister. The foxhunter division was won by Guts for Garters and Parker Hendriks. Guts for Garters won the Maryland Hunt Cup in 2014 and is trained by Parker’s mom Sanna Neilson. Like Skylar McKenna, this race was a step up from the junior division for Parker Hendriks.
The last two races were the fastest timber races of the day. The Novice Timber race gave trainer Ricky Hendriks his fourth win when Armata Stables’ Pincer Movement won with Archie MacAuley in the irons. David Belt, Jr.’s Carnival Carl was the winner of the Open Timber race. Carnival Carl is trained by Mark Beecher and Paul O’Neill had the call to ride.
Be on the lookout as many of these horses will be running in bigger races later on in the spring racing season.
Missed the Fair Hill Point-to-Point? Don’t miss the Fair Hill Races at the same racecourse on Friday, May 24th and Saturday, May 25th; the last race meet of the season!
For full results please click here.
To see photo coverage from photographer Jim Graham click here.