Heavily favored Newport Hero rallied from last place in a seven-horse field to win the $25,000 Miles Valentine Novice Steeplechase yesterday at Fair Hill Race Course.
The 4-year-old gelding, ridden by Joe Walsh, caught his stablemate, Mort The Sport, at the 14th fence and then drew off after the 16th and final jump to beat him by four lengths. Both horses are trained by Hall of Fame steeplechase trainer W. Burling Cocks.
Lexington Ball finished third. Happy Friar was a late scratch.
Newport Hero is owned by Mrs. Miles Valentine, widow of the race's namesake, and ran the 2 3/8 miles in four minutes, 21 seconds.
Maryland trainers Nancy Knox, Ronnie Armstrong, Billy Boniface and Mike Smithwick each won a race on the card.
Knox trains Reputed Dancer, who was a wire-to-wire winner of the James Stump Novice Timber Race.