Fair Hill’s Lizzie Merryman Debuts at the Breeder’s Cup

It’s a long way from Fair Hill to the prestigious international 2021 Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in California, and breeder Lizzie Merryman is proud of her filly Caravel’s debut on the international stage. Named after the 16th century sailing ships Christopher Columbus piloted on his way to discovering America, Caravel is by Kentucky stallion Mizzen Mast and out of Zeezee Zoomzoom, a mare given to Lizzie by a friend.

Co-owner of a barn at the Fair Hill Training Center with her brother, Edwin, Lizzie trained the striking gray filly to win seven out of nine races – five of them stakes races – before selling three quarters of her to celebrity chef, Bobby Flay. After her ninth start, she was transferred to fellow Fair Hill trainer Graham Motion. At the Breeders’ Cup she competed for Flay in the Breeders Cup Turf Sprint, and while she did not finish in the money, she ran a game race.

Bred on Merryman’s Londonderry Farm in Coatesville, PA, in 2017, the Pennsylvania Bred Horse of the Year for 2020 began her career at Penn National in 2020 with a last to first victory. She followed that up with another win in allowance competition at Penn before scoring in open stakes competition in The Lady Erie at Presque Isle Downs. She wrapped up 2020 with a win in the Malvern Rose after suffering her only defeat while finishing 3rd in The Hill Top Stakes. As a fouryear-old she won three stakes races in a row, including a narrow victory in the Very One Stakes on Black Eyed Susan Day before the Preakness. She topped that win with successive victories in The Goldwood Stakes at Monmouth Park and then the Grade 3 Caress Stakes at Saratoga.

Lizzie has been breeding and training Thoroughbreds for more than 25 years and Caravel is her first Breeders’ Cup horse. She is excited about what the future holds and the changes that are taking place at Fair Hill, commenting, “Fair Hill is great for the Thoroughbred industry as a whole. Horses can race here and then go on to be steeplechase horses and then event horses and it’s all showcased in a state-of-the-art facility right here in the heart of horse country.

“Turf racing is probably the most exciting flat racing worldwide and for Fair Hill to have such a state-of-the-art turf course will propel it to nationwide prominence and will hopefully attract international attention, just as the 5 Star has done for Eventing. The Mid-Atlantic region is a mecca of horse racing and to have this facility so centrally located is a real boon to the horse racing industry,” she noted.