Mrs. Ogden Phipps' Straight And True goes after a third consecutive victory at Fair Hill today when the 8-year-old tackles a dozen other steeplechasers in the $5,000 Manly Handicap at 2 3/16 miles over 14 jumps.
The Kentucky-bred, Mike Smithwick-trained gelding came off a disastrous 1977 season - going unplaced in eight starts - to win both the Kent and National at Fair Hill in June. The 1976 Eclipse Award-winner also turned into strong races in the Midsummer at Monmouth Park, the Steeplechase Plate at Delaware Park and the Lovely Night at Saratoga this summer. Last Saturday, he lost in the final strides to Leaping Frog in the Albermarle at Foxfield.
Straight And True will carry top weight of 153 pounds here Saturday, giving away weight to such classy rivals as Don Panta, 149 Tib's Eve, 150, and Owhata Chief, 148. Rounding out the field will be Royal Mystic, 147; Jive, 144; Popular Hero, 143; Mr. Waffles and Khyber Pass, 140; Blue Shore, 138; Red Grasshopper, 135; Rocking, 133, and Wine Scandal, 130.
The Manly is the feature of an eight-race card that opens at 1:30 p.m. Fair Hill offers parimutual wagering with daily double and exactas.