Straight And True returned to his Eclipse Award-winning form of 1976 yesterday by winning the Kent Steeplechase by 3 1/2 lengths over favored Canadian Regent with Salvo third another 10 3/4 lengths to the rear.
"He's a class horse . . . the best-conditioned and best-groomed horse running today," said apprentice Bill Martin, the Havre de Grace, Md., youngster who was winning his second race over jumps in the past two weeks.
"I tried to follow orders . . . took him out fast. But then he just wanted to run," Martin said.
Straight And True, owned by Mrs. Ogden Phipps and trained by D. M. (Mike) Smithwick, was the top steeplechase horse of 1976, but failed to place in any of his eight races over jumps last year. Yesterday was the 8-year-old dark brown son of Never Bends' fifth start of the year and he has placed in all five of those races. He was placed first last Saturday at Radnor after Tall Award was disqualified.
A record Fair Hill spring meeting crowd of 16,225 saw Earla Mor and Salvo lead over the first seven jumps with Straight And True, the 2-to-1 second choice in the betting, running and jumping easily in third.