Zanclus makes a splash to win My Lady's Manor in first race of Maryland timber triple crown

Zanclus is named for a species of fish, but there was nothing fishy about his front-running victory in Saturday’s 108th running $30,000 My Lady’s Manor.

The 8-year-old gelding, owned by Sara E. Collette, showed no signs of rust after more than a year on the sidelines. He went to the lead at the start and never was challenged as he rolled to a 25 1/4-length victory in the first leg of the Maryland timber triple crown.

Straight to It, a 12-year-old veteran of the timber-racing races, finished second, 8 lengths ahead of Mystic Strike, the early trailer who closed well in the stretch for third. Drift Society, second in the My Lady’s Manor last year before a second in the Maryland Hunt Cup, tired late to finish fourth, 6 lengths farther back, in a field of six.

Zanclus was ridden by Darren Nagle, the National Steeplechase Association’s leading jockey by wins last year, and ran the 3 miles of the My Lady’s Manor in 5 minutes, 47 seconds on fast turf at the Monkton course. Nagle placed Zanclus approximately 4 lengths ahead of his five opponents in the early going and pulled away in the final quarter-mile.

Collette, a resident of Casanova, Va., bred Zanclus out of a stallion and mare that she also bred. Zanclus is named for a species of fish popularly known as the Moorish idol, a nod to the owner-breeder’s husband, Bruce, a marine zoologist. Her dark green silks bear the images of two jumping dolphins.

The My Lady’s Manor was his eighth career start, the last six over timber fences. In those starts for trainer Neil Morris, he has never finished worse that second. He won an allowance hurdle at the International Gold Cup in The Plains, Va., by 25 lengths while setting all the pace in October 2016 and went to the sidelines with an injury after his next start two weeks later.

The $50,000 Grand National, the second leg of the Maryland timber triple, will be raced April 21, in Butler, and the series concludes with the $100,000 Maryland Hunt Cup on April 28 in Glyndon.

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