The 122nd edition of the $100,000 Maryland Hunt Cup has attracted 25 nominees, including the past three winners of the storied timber classic.
The four-mile test in Glyndon on Saturday, April 28, concludes the Maryland timber triple series that encompasses the My Lady’s Manor in Monkton on April 14 and the Grand National at Butler a week later.
Maryland horseman Joseph G. Davies nominated the past two winners, Gerry L. Brewster’s 2017 winner, Derwins Prospector, and 2016 victor Senior Senator, owned by Irvin L. “Skip” Crawford. Both will be making their first starts since the 2017 Hunt Cup.
In 2015, Raven’s Choice finished a close second and was placed first after first finisher Imperial Way lost saddle weights while jumping a fence. Raven’s Choice, owned by Ann Jackson and trained by Todd Wyatt, and Merriefield Farm’s Imperial Way, trained by Elizabeth Voss, both were nominated to this year’s Hunt Cup.
Derwins Prospector prevailed by three-quarters of a length last year in a scintillating stretch battle with Bruton Street (US)’s Drift Society. Trained by Jack Fisher, Drift Society also was nominated to this year’s Hunt Cup. Senior Senator, a favorite to win last year’s Hunt Cup after his brilliant 2016 victory, fell at the third fence.
Irv Naylor’s Ebanour, two-time winner of the Virginia Gold Cup and Pennsylvania Hunt Cup at four miles, has been nominated for a shot at the Maryland Hunt Cup’s big fences. The Irish-bred is trained in Butler by Cyril Murphy.
Richard Valentine, a two-time winning Hunt Cup trainer, nominated Kinross Farm’s Old Timer, who was leading at the top of the stretch but lost his rider at the 21st of 22 fences.
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The top-ranked jumpers heading into spring
More than 100 runners, so far, are ready and rarin' to go for the Spring NSA season. Here are the top 17, based on their theoretical weight assignments. Note, the list includes only returning runners, not those newcomers expected to compete on the circuit for the first time.