Charlie Fenwick’s Doc Cebu continued his ascent in the timber ranks Sunday with an authoritative nine-length victory over pacesetter Grand Manan in the $35,000 Willowdale Steeplechase.
Class Brahms was third, and Naturally Won took fourth in the 3 1/2-mile race over timber fences in Kennett Square, Pa. Doc Cebu ran the distance in 7:36.80 on turf rated as good.
Doc Cebu, a two-time winner over hurdles last year, began his timber career with a victory in a division of the John Rush Streett Memorial at My Lady’s Manor on April 15 and then finished second to well-regarded Henry San in the Queen’s Cup timber allowance two weeks later.
Ridden by Hadden Frost, Doc Cebu followed the breakaway pace of Grand Manan, with the remainder of the field well behind them, and moved toward the lead going into the last fence.
The Willowdale Steeplechase was the second feature-race victory of the weekend for champion trainer Jack Fisher, who won Saturday’s $200,000 Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1) over hurdles with Bruton Street-US’s Scorpiancer.
Doc Cebu now becomes eligible for the $100,000 Willowdale Steeplechase, to be paid out to the winner of the Willowdale race and the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup in the same year.