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.
Courtney C. Reid, who has become a mainstay of the National Steeplechase Association’s racing program since joining the NSA in November 2015, has been promoted to Manager of Racing Operations, effective immediately.
NSA President Guy J. Torsilieri announced the promotion. “In a short period, Courtney has become a very important asset to the NSA and steeplechasing,” he said. “She is extraordinarily competent, she is a very quick study, and she has brought much-needed technological skills into our racing operation.”
A native of Williamsburg, Va., she holds an undergraduate degree from James Madison University and a master’s degree from Liberty University. She previously worked for the Virginia Racing Commission under longtime racing official Bernard J. Hettel.
During her time at the NSA, she has graduated from the Racing Officials Accreditation Program’s stewards school and become an accredited steward. She also has worked in the racing offices of the New York Racing Association and the Breeders’ Cup.
“I am both flattered and grateful that the NSA Board has acknowledged my efforts with a promotion and a new title,” she said. “I am very grateful for the many opportunities the NSA has provided me in the short time I have been with the association, and I look forward to the future.
“Thoroughbred racing is my passion, and while steeplechasing represents a small segment of the industry, it is steeped in tradition and plays an important role in Thoroughbred history, especially at Saratoga, which is my favorite racetrack.”
Ms. Reid will continue to report to Bill Gallo Jr., the NSA’s director of racing. “Courtney Reid has had a distinct and definitive effect on our racing operations at the NSA,” he said. “In a very short time, she has grasped the scope of the racing program and has streamlined many of our racing functions.
“Her understanding of technology and its benefits when applied to the traditions of racing allows us to move forward with swift precision to better serve our horsemen and the race meets. She is an invaluable asset to me in my role as Director of Racing, and I am delighted that the NSA Board has recognized her many contributions,” he said.