Chasing in Focus
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Bruton Street-US' 8-year-old son of Scorpion signaled his readiness for a big effort with a win in the Gwathmey at Middleburg last month, and on Saturday ran away by 16 lengths with the Spring's jumbo prize, the $200,000 Grade 1 Iroquois for trainer Jack Fisher and jockey Sean McDermott. McDermott and Fisher also teamed up with rising Bruton Street's Moscato, who captured his second straight, this time defeating an allowance field by nearly 7 lengths. Fisher nabbed a third win on the seven-race Nashville card with Rather Be Racing's Kremlin Keith Dalton) in the Sloan maiden. Other winners on the day include Armata Stables' running machine Cornhusker, in the $50,000 Mason Houghland timber stakes and Maggie Bryant's Plated, in the Ratings Handicap for amateur riders. Two other impressive winners -- and bona fide rising stars -- were Wendy Hendriks' Surprising Sourl (Ricky Hendriks, Ross Geraghty), who made it three in a row with a victory in the $100,000 Marcellus Frost, and The Fields Stables' Sarah Joyce in the filly and mare Margaret Currey Henley Stakes. Tod Marks was on the scene for the recap.
Irv Naylor's timber ace picked up where he left off last fall, following up his Pennsylvania Hunt Cup victory with a win in the historic $100,000 Virginia Gold Cup at rain-soaked Great Meadow in The Plains, Va., for trainer Cyril Murphy and jockey Gus Dahl. Naylor, Murphy, and Dahl teamed up for victory in the other big timber race of the weekend, the Winterthur Bowl in Delaware on Sunday with Top Man Michael. There were other great story lines in Virginia. Owner, trainer, and rider Ben Swope captured the $40,000 Steeplethon with his Gusto At Dawn. Dapper Dan broke his maiden for owner Donna T. Rogers, trainer Neil Morris, and rider Darren Nagle, while Mark Beecher scored his second victory as a trainer with My Afleet, ridden by his lifelong pal Kieran Norris. Norris continues to top the NSA standings with seven wins. The meet also marked a comeback of sorts for Edie Dixon's Schoodic. Schoodic began his jumping career in 2013 with great fanfare, but hadn't won a race in nearly a year. With Paddy Young aboard, Schoodic rediscovered his mojo and surged to victory in the $75,000 David Semmes Memorial Hurdle Stakes (G2) by 2 lengths over Charminster. And in yet another story line, Elizabeth Voss' stakes winning turf star Renown returned to the races and handily won the $50,000 Secretariat Stakes on the flat. Tod Marks has the recap.
DASH Stable's gray comet gets the best of Carolina Cup winner Show Court, Miguel Grau, and Cul Baire to take the $75,000 Queens Cup Novice Stakes at Mineral Springs, NC., for trainer Jack Fisher and jockey Sean McDermott, both of whom struck twice on the card. Their other winner, Bruton Street-US' Moscato was especially impressive in breaking his maiden by 7 lengths over Rather Be Racing's Kremlin and Augustin Stables' Life Said. Also victorious was The Fields Stable's Sarah Joyece (Jack Doyle, Elizabeth Voss) in the Ratings Handicap; Irv Naylor's Henry San over timber (Darren Nagle, Cyril Murphy); and Ballybristol Farm's Andi'Amu (Rhys Flint, Leslie Young), who tuned up on the flat for the Grade 1 Iroquois in Nashville on May 13. Tod Marks had a recap of the action.