Second to Road to Oz in the 2022 Grand National Timber Stakes, Awesome Adrian got revenge and turned the tables on his rival in this year’s edition, held Saturday, April 20 in Butler.

The 11-year-old gelding by Northview stallion Great Notion entered the 121st edition of the Grand National off a pair of prep races. He finished second in an Apprentice Timber at Cheshire March 31, was third in a similar event at My Lady’s Manor April 13.

Awesome Adrian was unhurried in the early stages of the 3 ¼-mile affair, the first held over the Grand National’s new course configuration. Great Road went out and set the early pace, opening up as many as seven lengths at one point, while Awesome Adrian drafted in the second flight of pace-stalkers. With five-eighths of a mile to go and just a few fences remaining, Great Road’s strides began to shorten, and Awesome Adrian made his move. He put a half-length in front, and increased his margin as they charged down the stretch. Road to Oz made a final bid at him late, but Awesome Adrian had more to give and was never in serious danger in the final eighth. He hit the wire 4½ lengths in front, with Road to Oz second by six lengths over third-place Shootist. The final time over a good course was 6:37.80 (per NSA’s race report).

Awesome Adrian is a homebred for Nancy Reed, trained by Kathy Neilson and ridden by Teddy Davies. The victory improved his career record to 7-7-10 in 46 starts, with earnings of $122,166. He’s out of the Valley Crossing mare River Kwai, a nine-time winner and earner of $144,188 who produced two foals. His older full brother Handsome Hoyt is a four-time winner with career earnings of $91,223 who finished a third in the 2020 International Gold Cup.

Maryland-breds captured two of the remaining three races on the card. Both were trained by Joe Davies and ridden by Teddy. Mr. Fine Threads won the Benjamin H. Murray Memorial allowance timber by four and a half lengths, coming from off the pace to win going away after a strong middle move. He covered 3¼ miles in 7:19.40, for his second win of the season, following a victory in the Edward S. Voss Memorial at Elkridge-Harford two weeks ago, and his fourth win in his last five starts. His overall career record stands at 5-5-3 from 23 starts (including non-sanctioned starts) with earnings of $37,900. Bred by William Harris and owned by Armata Stable, 11-year-old gelding is by Sightseeing out of the Wayne County (Ire) mare Seven Counties, a producer of five starters and four winners.

Bogey’s Image capped the day with a resounding 35¼-length win in the Western Run Plate. He took control early on in the three-mile affair and never relinquished it, covering the distance in 6:16.80 while opening up his lead dramatically in the final strides. Bred by South Branch Equine LLC and a 7-year-old son of the late Anchor & Hope Farm stallion Imagining, Bogey’s Image is owned by Dan Colhoun, Achsah O’Donovan, and Harvey Goolsby. He’s out of the Hurricane Run (Ire) mare Casablanca Lily (Ire), a producer of three winners from four foals of racing age, all of whom have won over fences. Bogey’s Image started as a hurdle horse in 2020, and counted a second in the Harry E. Harris Stakes at Fair Hill in 2021. He has run at the Grand National three straight years, recording two wins and a third. In eight sanctioned starts, his record stands at 3-2-1, with earnings of $42,000.

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Second to Road to Oz in the 2022 Grand National Timber Stakes, Awesome Adrian got revenge and turned the tables on his rival in this year’s edition, held Saturday, April 20 in Butler.

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