Incomplete: Completely dominant at Piedmont

Incomplete: Completely dominant at Piedmont

Submitted by: Betsy Burke Parker
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Email Address: betsy(at)virginiaequestrian.com
Date Added: 3/24/2009

UPPERVILLE, VIRGINIA – Robert Kinsley's Incomplete brushed away the cobwebs of almost a year away from the course to win his second straight Rokeby Bowl at Saturday's Piedmont Foxhounds Point-to-Point.
The Maryland-owned, -trained and ridden speedster proved he is a top contender in American timber racing.
Incomplete hadn't run since last April, but showed he's one of the sport's best with the unrivaled victory in the 3 mile marathon feature.
The 8-year-old now boasts a four-for-six record in point-to-points, with his sole National Steeplechase Association run a victory in last spring's allowance at the Grand National meet in Maryland.
Amateur jockey Charlie Fenwick III partnered the bay gelding in the Upperville feature, showing nearly arrogant confidence in the horse's late speed holding Incomplete well off the early fractions set by Shady Valley (Russell Haynes) and A Fine Story (Diana Gillam.) Reserved until the field of seven rounded the far west end of the rambling Salem Farm course, Incomplete edged into contention with three furlongs to run. He leaped to the lead at the last and motored up the testing, uphill stretch to draw off to win by six.
Professor Maxwell (owner George Hundt Jr. up) was second, with Brogans Shield (Michael Cooney) third. A Fine Story and Shady Valley faded to sixth and seventh.
Trainer Ann Stewart, Fenwick's mother, was impressed. "He's a good boy, tough, very, very tough, but a good boy," she said. "I guess my 'boy' is a good boy, too." She smiled at her son, grappling with an armful of trophies beside her.
"He's a nice horse," said Fenwick of the Maryland-bred. Fenwick's uncle Bruce Fenwick won the Rokeby Bowl in 1978. "We're hoping for big things from him. He's still relatively inexperienced, but we think he might be a 'big timber' horse."
Fenwick spoke reverently of Maryland's "Big Three" timber races – My Lady's Manor, the Grand National (timber) and the Maryland Hunt Cup, races he said his mother was likely aiming for with Incomplete. Timing, he said, is everything with the timber specialists. With a limited number of engagements available at the top level – and with most of the big timber races clustered on consecutive weekends in April and early May, trainers must plan their horses' campaigns carefully.
Fenwick ruminated that the Virginia Gold Cup could end up on Incomplete's dance card as well. "Those are all big races. We hope to get him there. But I know mom's ultimate goal is to win the Maryland Hunt Cup."
Stewart achieved her goal last spring, winning the Cup with Irv Naylor's Askim. Son Charlie, 35, was aboard.
Of the giant, 5-foot-high solid rails that line the 4-mile Hunt Cup course, Fenwick was fairly certain of Incomplete's legitimate chances. "Incomplete jumps like he could do it," he said.
Incomplete went from last year's Rokeby score to one more point-to-point tightener, the open timber at Elkridge Harford, which he also won. Well-prepped but not over-used, Incomplete next won his only other 2008 start, the $15,000 allowance timber at the Grand National races in Maryland April 19.
Until Saturday, Incomplete had been away from the races.
Time off often triggers a return to fitness and form, Stewart said, noting that she hoped Incomplete was on track for another three-week victory lap.
"He hasn't let me down yet," she said.
The Salem Farm course's changes of direction and unique uphill and downhill fences suited the horse's stalking style, Fenwick said.
Incomplete's owner Robert Kinsley, joint-master of the Elkridge-Harford Hunt in Maryland, was a little worried by the late race "stalk." "Charlie always keeps (the horse) back in the pack until the end," Kinsley said with a laugh. "I hoped not too far back! I guess he knows exactly what he's doing."
Only five horses had ever won back-to-back Rokeby Bowls: Charoton in 1950-'51, Logistics in '59 and '60, Yes I Will in '65 and '66, Frost A Lot in '97 and '98, Apache Twist in 2005 and '06.
Incomplete, 8, was sired by Mr. Prospector line stallion Press Card. His dam is Sioux Lady, by Poker (also dam's sire of champion Seattle Slew.)
Fenwick's father Charlie Fenwick Jr. won five Maryland Hunt Cups, the Virginia Gold Cup and every other top American timber prize. He even won the 1980 English Grand National. The junior Fenwick said that though he would "love" to dream about a run for England's top jumping prize, his family life was more important. With a wife and two small children, and a commercial real estate career, Fewncik said he limits himself to following the spring timber circuit. "It is tough to get in shape," he allowed, noting that foxhunting during the winter months and galloping racehorses for both his mother and father helped get him fit.
Fenwick rode on the flat track three years as a professional jockey. His struggle with weight eventually pushed him into steeplechasing, and his family eventually led him to semi-retirement. But for horses like Incomplete, and Askim, on whom he won last year's Maryland Hunt Cup, Fenwick is eager to stay in the game.
"I think the ultimate goal for this horse is the Hunt Cup," he said. "But its up to the trainer."
John Pettibone's Antonio Star continued his domination of the ladies' timber division, romping to victory in the 3-mile 'chase with leading lady rider Diana Gillam. Veteran Antonio Star won the Rokeby Bowl in 2004.
Owner John Pettibone was injured in a freak railside accident earlier in the day and was not in the winner's circle to greet his winner.
In the previous race, the foxhunters' timber, winner Quick Line (owner Noel Ryan up) suffered an apparent heart attack one stride after the finish line and collapsed into the railside parking area. The falling horse knocked over Pettibone and his wife, along with two other spectators who had just an instant before been cheering the victors. The horse died immediately; four people were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. All had been released by Monday afternoon.
Except for a cut cheek and a sore hand, Ryan was uninjured.
The attending veterinarian said that though catastrophic incidents like this were rare, they can happen in racing – "In life, really.
"I was watching the whole thing," said Dr. Ian Harrison, who was on the judge's stand at the finish line when Quick Line staggered a stride after crossing the finish. The vet noted that the horse finished well, easily winning his race and in no distress. A stride later, though, he staggered to the right and fell through the rail into the tailgate area.
Veterinarian Dr. Ron Bowman later explained that even a tiny abnormality of the giant heart muscle in the horse can cause complete failure. "They used to call it the 'Swale Syndrome'," he said. Swale won the 1984 Kentucky Derby and Belmont, collapsing and dying just eight days after the Belmont after exercise. "They did all sorts of necropsies and finally found a tiny abnormality in his heart.
"It is impossible to prevent that type of failure in a horse," Bowman added. "Or in a human. I've seen pleasure horses just drop (from a heart attack), backyard ponies, racehorses too. It is rare but it does happen." Bowman hastened to add that no one was to blame for the incident, "not the horse, not the rider, not the course. It just happens. Sad, but it can happen anytime. To anybody. Horse or human."


In the day's other races:
* Virginia-bred by Daybreak Stables in Millwood, Expel won his second Virginia turf race this season. Sponsored by the Virginia Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, the series races offer $2,000 purses.
* Bred and trained in Maryland by Bay Cockburn, I'm Telling set a solid pace to win the maiden timber. Brands Hatch actually collared I'm Telling with six furlongs to run, but I'm Telling came back to win by 2 lengths.
* In the owner-rider timber, George Hundt Jr. reserved Michele Marieschi off Cool Fellow's pace and went to the lead at the second last. Cool Fellow came again to regain the lead, but could not hold off Michele Marieschi after they jumped the last as a team.
* In the maiden turf race, Dubai Review took the lead with three furlongs to go and held off Over The Lea's late charge to win by a half-length. Dubai Review was bred in Virginia by Mrs. Oliver Iselin III.
In the open turf race, When The Saints, Second Approval and Global Genius arrived at the wire in a blanket finish, with Kinross Farm's When The Saints narrowly best.

Results
George Robert Slater memorial maiden timber. 3 miles. Time: 6:12. 1. I'm Telling, o/Cockburn and Naney, r/Jacob Roberts; 2. Brands Hatch, o/Billy and Karen Eyles, r/Jeff Murphy; 3. Won Wild Bird, o/Anne Haynes, r/Will Haynes.
Reed Thomas memorial owner-rider timber. 3 miles. Time: 6:21 3/5. 1. Michele Marieschi, o/Anna Stable, r/George Hundt Jr.; 2. Cool Fellow, o/r Ken Shreve; 3. Assembly, o/r Matt Hatcher.
Foxhunters' timber. 3 miles. Time: 6:22 3/5. 1. Quick Line, o/r Noel Ryan; 2. Hotspur, o/Gregg Ryan, r/Spencer Allen.
Thomas and Virginia Beach memorial ladies timber. 3 miles. Time: 6:57. 1. Antonio Star, o/John Pettibone, r/Diana Gillam; 2. L'Amour Sans Fin, o/Welch Prospect, r/Debbie Welch; 3. Fergie Storm, o/Doris Stimpson, r/Catherine Stimpson.
Rokeby Bowl open timber. 3 1/2 miles. Time: 8:02 1/5. 1. Incomplete, o/Robert Kinsley, r/Charlie Fenwick III; 2. Professor Maxwell, o/Lucy Stable, r/George Hundt Jr.; 3. Brogans Shield, o/Beth DeStanley, r/Michael Cooney.
Maiden turf. 1 1/4 miles. Time: 2:07 3/5. 1. Dubai Review, o/Wolver Hill Farm, r/Charlie Fenwick III; 2. Over the Lea, o/Bruce Smart Jr., r/Diana Gillam; 3. Sky Count, o/Kinross Farm, r/James Slater.
Richard Henry Dulany memorial turf. 1 miles. Time: 2:04 3/5. 1. When The Saints, o/Kinross Farm, r/Chris Read; 2. Second Approval, o/Brianne Slater, r/James Slater; 3. Global Genius, o/Whitewood Stable, r/Jeff Murphy.
Virginia turf. Purse: $2,000. 1 miles. Time: 2:06. 1. Expel, o/Northfield Farm, r/Jeff Murphy; 2. Roseville Run, o/Eric Myer, r/Ben Garner; 3. Meklenburg, o/Anne Haynes, r/Will Haynes.

ALL PHOTOS COPYRIGHT BETSY BURKE PARKER 2009

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