Kiplin Hall’s Rodriguez, fresh from a victory in Shawan Downs’ Brown Advisory Legacy Chase, is among 12 nominees to the $40,000 National Sporting Library and Museum Cup, the featured timber race of the 63rd annual Virginia Fall Races on Saturday, Oct. 15.
The 3 1/4-mile National Sporting Library attracted seven starters from the Legacy Chase on Sept. 23, including the top five finishers.
Trained by William Dowling, Irish-bred Rodriguez made a strong late move to overtake Cornhusker and win by a half-length under leading jockey Darren Nagle. In his prior start, Rodriguez had finished third in the Winterthur Bowl on May 7.
Armata Stables’ Cornhusker, trained by Alicia Murphy, came up just short in the Legacy Chase after concluding his spring season with a victory in the Mason Houghland Memorial at the Iroquois Steeplechase on May 13.
Finishing third in the Legacy Chase was Four Virginia Gents’ Worried Man, who is trained in Middleburg by Doug Fout. The Dynaformer 10-year-old finished three-quarters of a length behind Cornhusker.
Leading trainer Jack Fisher nominated Northwoods Stable’s and Sheila Williams’ Straight to It, who finished fourth in the Legacy Chase, and Gil Johnston’s Syros, who finished eighth.
Also coming out of the Legacy Chase are Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Class Cherokee, fifth in the Legacy Chase for trainer Richard Valentine, and Gordonsdale Farm’s Canyon Road, who was 10th.
Here are the 12 nominees to the $40,000 National Sporting Library and Museum Cup.
Canyon Road. 2009 ch. g., Service Stripe—Observe, by Patton. Owner: Gordonsdale Farm. Trainer: Christopher Kolb. Breeder: Gordonsdale Farm (W.Va.) 2017 record: 4-0-1-0, $6,600. 2016 record: 5-2-0-1, $25,250. 2015 record: No starts. Finished fifth in 2017 Radnor Hunt Cup before 10th in Shawan’s Legacy Chase. Opened 2017 season with second in Middleburg Hunt Cup, then was pulled up in Virginia Gold Cup. Finished fourth in Virginia Fall’s 2016 National Sporting Library & Museum Cup before winning timber allowance at Pennsylvania Hunt Cup.
Certain Swagger. 2009 b. g., Arch—Comedy, by Theatrical (Ire). Owner: Jeremy Batoff. Trainer: William Dowling. Breeders: Claiborne Farm and Arlene Dilschneider. (Ky.) 2016 record: 4-0-1-2, $9,000. 2015 record: 6-1-0-1, $17,000. 2014 record: 5-0-0-2, $27,200. Finished ninth in 2016 My Lady’s Manor, then was third in Middleburg Spring’s Alfred M. Hunt steeplechase, second in Winterthur Bowl. Ended 2015 season with seventh in International Gold Cup after being pulled up a week earlier in New Jersey Hunt Cup. Scored 45-length victory in Queen’s Cup timber allowance. Made successful transition to timber racing in 2014 and won timber allowance at International Gold Cup meet.
Class Cherokee. 2010 dk. b. or br. g., Cherokee Boy—Class Excells, by Class Secret. Owner: Jacqueline Ohrstrom. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Breeder: Mede Cahaba Stable and Stud (Va). 2017 record: 2-1-0-0, $9,000. 2016 record: 4-0-0-1, $13,050. 2015 record; 4-1-0-0, $17,500. Won his timber debut in Foxfield Spring’s 2017 Grover Vandevender Memorial maiden race, then was pulled up in Iroquois’ Mason Houghland Memorial. Finished third in 2016 Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase, then sixth in Marcellus Frost Novice Stakes at Iroquois Steeplechase and fourth in Far Hills ratings handicap.
Cornhusker (GB). 2007 b. g., Dynaformer–Nebraska Tornado, by Storm Cat. Owner: Armata Stables. Trainer: Alicia Murphy. Breeder: Juddmonte Farms (GB). 2017 record: 4-2-2-0, $57,000. 2016 record: 2-0-0-0, $4,500. 2015 record: 4-2-0-0, $66,250. Finished second in Shawan’s 2017 Legacy Chase. Won 2017 Mason Houghland Memorial, his third win in the Iroquois timber stakes, after 2014 and 2015. Ran a confident race in the 2017 Middleburg Hunt Cup and won by 5 3/4 lengths, then finished second in the Winterthur Bowl. Finished fourth in 2016 International Gold Cup.
Grand Manan. 2009 b. g., Giant’s Causeway—Manoa, by Seeking the Gold. Owner: Donald Reuwer Jr. Trainer: William Meister. Breeders: Stuart S. Janney III and Phipps Stable (Ky.). 2017 record: 3-0-1-0, $7,800. 2016 record: 4-3-0-0, $82,950. 2015 record: 3-2-0-0, $31,050. 2014 record: No starts. Began 2017 fall season with second in Shawan’s Legacy Chase. Finished fourth in 2017 My Lady’s Manor, then was pulled up in Virginia Gold Cup after setting most of pace. Closed 2016 season with back-to-back front-running victories in the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup and International Gold Cup. Finished in dead heat for 2016 Willowdale Steeplechase win after fifth in My Lady’s Manor.
Gusto At Dawn. 2008 dk. b. or br. g., Buckle Down Ben—Rose Dawn, by Colonial Affair. Owner-trainer: Benjamin C. Swope. Breeder: Charles C. Conaway Jr. (W.Va.). 2017 record: 2-1-0-0, $24,600. 2016 record: 2-0-0-0, $750. Won 2017 Virginia Gold Cup’s Steeplethon by six lengths with owner-trainer in saddle. In only other 2017 start, finished fifth in Middleburg Spring timber allowance.
Ride Away. 2011 b. g., Candy Ride (Arg)—East Hampton, by Meadowlake. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Katherine Neilson. Breeder: Pin Oak Stud (Ky.) 2017 record: 3-1-1-0, $12,300. Easily won 2017 Winterthur amateur allowance timber allowance before second in similar race at Willowdale.
Rodriguez (Ire). 2007 dk. b. or br. g., High Chapparal (Ire)—Sofia Aurora, by Chief Honcho. Owner: Kiplin Hall. Trainer: William Dowling. Breeder: Michael G. Daly (Ire). 2017 record: 3-1-0-1, $17,500. 2016 record: 3-1-1-0, $12,700. Won Shawan’s 2017 Brown Advisory Legacy Chase. Finished third in 2017 Winterthur Bowl after being pulled up in Grand National’s Western Run Plate. After second at 2016 Shawan Downs meet, won timber maiden at Virginia Fall before fifth at Steeplechase at Callaway in November.
Sol a Pino. 2005 b. g., Dynaformer—Kuda, by Strawberry Road (Aus). Owner-trainer: Nicki Valvo. Breeder: Haras Santa Maria de Araras (Ky.) 2017 record: 2-0-0-0, $600. 2016 record: 3-1-1-0, $3,000. 2015 NSA record: 2-0-0-1, $3,750. 2014 record: No starts. Finished fourth in 2016 Middleburg Hunt Cup, a race in which he had finished third the previous year.
Straight to It. 2006 ch. g., Giant’s Causeway—Helsinka (Fr), by Pennekamp. Owners: Sheila J. Williams and Northwoods Stable. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Breeder: Thierry Grandsir (Ky.). 2017 record: 1-0-0-0, $1,250. 2016 record: 4-1-1-1, $30,900. 2015 record: 4-1-1-1, $36,600. Began 2017 campaign with fourth in Shawan’s Legacy Chase. Won 2016 Radnor Hunt Cup after fourth in Virginia Gold Cup, then was third in Shawan’s Legacy Chase. Won Virginia Fall’s 2015 National Sporting Library & Museum Cup by seven lengths. Disqualified from victory in 2015 Radnor Hunt Cup. Won the 2012 New Jersey Hunt Cup at Far Hills.
Syros. 2008 b. g., Dynaformer—Meridiana (Ger), by Lomitas (GB). Owner: Gil Johnston. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Breeders: Jon and Sarah Kelly (Ky.) 2017 record: 5-1-1-1, $24,000. 2016 record: 5-0-1-1, $11,400. 2015 record: 7-1-1-1, $81,750. Finished second in 2017 Mason Houghland Memorial at Iroquois before fifth in Fair Hill novice timber. Finished eighth in Shawan’s 2017 Legacy Chase. In 2017 debut, won Carolina Cup’s C. P. and Edith DuBose Cup, then was third in Queen’s Cup timber allowance.
Worried Man. 2007 b. g., Dynaformer—Mystic Lady, by Thunder Gulch. Owner: Four Virginia Gents. Trainer: Doug Fout. Breeder: Lee Lewis (Ky.) 2017 record: 3-0-0-1, $5,000. 2016 record: No starts. Finished fourth in 2017 Mason Houghland Memorial at Iroquois. In first start in almost three years, lost his rider in Middleburg Spring’s Alfred M. Hunt Steeplechase.