Kent Desormeaux, the second-leading jockey in the country to Corey Nakatani, makes a rare appearance at Pimlico Race Course on April 22 when he flies in from Santa Anita Park to ride Harry and Tom Meyerhoff's colt, Western Echo, in the $150,000 Federico Tesio Stakes.
Bud Delp, who trains the horse, said the Meyerhoffs had offered Desormeaux a substantial retainer to fly to Maryland for the race.
"They want to bring in a top rider and just see how good a horse they have," Delp said. He added that "in no way" is the move a criticism of Edgar Prado, who was beaten on the horse in the Harriman Stakes at Pimlico on Sunday.
Desormeaux also is expected to ride in four other stakes that day on the Maryland Spring Breeders' Challenge card, including trainer Charlie Hadry's Blind Faith and Military Look.
My Lady's Manor tomorrow
A year ago, Colvin "Greg" Ryan was in critical condition at Johns Hopkins Hospital. A disk in his back was shattered and his spinal cord nearly severed in a steeplechase spill at the Marlborough Hunt Races. Doctors surgically fused the disk.
Now Ryan, 34, is getting ready to ride in the Maryland Hunt Cup, considered the most grueling of all American steeplechase courses.
Ryan, a Baltimore insurance executive, was back riding over fences last fall. He decided that after he had regained his amateur standing this spring, he would ride in Maryland's "Big 3" series of jumping races -- the My Lady's Manor Point-to-Point, the Grand National Steeplechase and the Maryland Hunt Cup.
"If my doctors thought I was at increased risk, I wouldn't do it," he said.
Ryan's Hunt Cup mount is Gus's Boy, who tunes up for the April 29 race tomorrow in the first leg of the series at the My Lady's Manor Point-to-Point in Monkton.
A field of nine will go over the three-mile course, including 1993 Maryland Hunt Cup winner Ivory Poacher.
Post time for the three-race card is 3:30 p.m. The course is at Jarrettsville Pike and Pocock Road at the Elkridge-Harford Hunt Club.