Virginia Fall’s featured $40,000 National Sporting Library & Museum Cup attracted a strong contingent of 13 nominees for the 3 1/4-mile timber race on Saturday, Oct. 8. First post time for the 62nd annual Virginia Fall Races at Middleburg’s Glenwood Park Course is 1 p.m.
Among the nominees are division leader Ebanour and three of the top four finishers from Shawan Downs’ Legacy Chase, which opened the fall timber championship season on Sept. 24.
Campaigned by leading owner Irv Naylor, Ebanour is undefeated this year and would be shooting for this third straight victory. After scoring in last fall’s New Jersey Hunt Cup, the Irish-bred won the My Lady’s Manor and Virginia Hunt Cup this past spring. He is trained by Cyril Murphy.
Leading trainer Jack Fisher came home with a first and a third in the Legacy Chase in suburban Baltimore. Two’s Company arrived just in time to claim victory in the Legacy Chase by a head, and Straight to It finished third.
Two’s Company is owned by Bruton Street-US, whose Ballylifen also was nominated to the race after a sixth-place finish in the Legacy Chase. The Irish-bred finished third in last year’s National Sporting Library Cup.
Sheila Williams’ and Northwoods Stable’s Straight to It won last year’s National Sporting Library Cup by seven lengths.
Michael Wharton’s Grinding Speed, the reigning timber champion, continues on the comeback trail. After sixth-place finishes in the My Lady’s Manor and Virginia Gold Cup this spring, he finished fourth in the Legacy Chase. Last year, he was second to Straight to It in the Virginia Fall feature.
Grinding Speed is trained by Alicia Murphy, who also nominated Armata Stables’ Cornhusker, who was fourth in last year’s race. Winner of last year’s Middleburg Hunt Cup on the Glenwood course, Cornhusker would be making his first 2016 start.
Here are the 13 nominees to the $40,000 National Sporting Library & Museum Cup.
Adios Diablo. 2009 ch. g., Devil His Due—Say Farewell, by Second Bar. Owner: Magalen O. Bryant. Trainer: Doug Fout. Breeder: Magalen O. Bryant (W.Va.) 2016 record: 4-1-1-1, $13,800. 2015 record: 4-0-0-3, $5,250. Won 2016 Shawan Downs maiden timber by two lengths after second at Foxfield Spring and third at Willowdale.
Ballylifen (Ire). 2007 b. g., Brian Boru—Line Jade, by Luchiroverte. Owner: Bruton Street-US. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Breeder: J. Mangan (Ire). 2016 record: 3-0-0-1, $4,750. 2015 record: 5-2-0-1, $35,750. Finished fourth in 2016 My Lady’s Manor, then third in Willowdale Steeplechase and sixth in Shawan’s Legacy Chase. Won 2015 Steeplechase at Callaway timber allowance race after fourth in International Gold Cup. Finished third in Virginia Fall’s National Sporting Library & Museum Cup. Finished fourth in 2015 Virginia Gold Cup after winning division of John Rush Streett maiden timber race at My Lady’s Manor.
Cornhusker (GB). 2007 b. g., Dynaformer–Nebraska Tornado, by Storm Cat. Owner: Armata Stables. Trainer: Alicia Murphy. Breeder: Juddmonte Farms (GB). 2015 record: 4-2-0-0, $66,250. 2014 record: 5-2-1-0, $50,300. Ended 2014 and 2015 seasons with second-place finishes in Pennsylvania Hunt Cup. Finished sixth in 2015 New Jersey Hunt Cup after winning Iroquois’ Mason Houghland Memorial for the second straight year. Won 2015 Middleburg Hunt Cup after sixth-place finish in My Lady’s Manor.
Ebanour (Ire). 2007 ch. g., Indian Ridge—Ebadilya, by Sadler’s Wells. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Cyril Murphy. Breeders: Aga Khan’s Studs (Ire). 2016 record: 2-2-0-0, $78,000. 2015 record: 2-1-1-0, $31,800. Won 2016 Virginia Gold Cup after victory in My Lady’s Manor. Won New Jersey Hunt Cup with a powerful late rush. After missing the 2014 season, returned with a good second in John D. Schapiro Memorial amateur apprentice timber at My Lady’s Manor.
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.). 2016 record: 2-1-0-0, $10,950. 2015 record: 3-2-0-0, $31,050. 2014 record: No starts. Finished in dead heat for 2016 Willowdale Steeplechase win after fifth in My Lady’s Manor. Closed 2015 campaign with runaway victory in Pennsylvania Hunt Cup timber allowance. In first start in more than two years, won Fair Hill’s Valentine Memorial Novice Timber by seven lengths, then was sixth in Virginia Fall’s National Sporting Library & Museum Cup.
Grinding Speed. 2006 gr. or ro. g., Grindstone—Cozelia, by Cozzene. Owner: Michael T. Wharton. Trainer: Alicia Murphy. Breeders: Alan S., Mark T., Mitchell A., and Madeline R. Kline, et al. (Md.) 2016 record: 3-0-0-0, $5,150. 2015 record: 5-3-1-0, $124,550. 2014 record: 5-1-1-2, $46,350. Finished sixth in 2016 Virginia Gold Cup and My Lady’s Manor, races he won the previous year, then was fourth in Shawan’s Legacy Chase. Clinched 2015 timber title with stylish victory in International Gold Cup, his third win in richest fall timber race. Also won his second Virginia Gold Cup in 2015.
Le Chevalier. 2009 g. or ro. g., Broken Vow—Orellana, by With Approval. Owner: Otter Racing. Trainer: Julie Gomena. Breeder: Haras du Mezeray (Ky.) 2016 record: 2-1-1-0, $18,000. 2015 record: 2-0-1-1, $4,200. Broke through for a decisive victory in division of John Rush Streett Memorial maiden timber race at 2016 My Lady’s Manor, then was second in Mason Houghland Memorial at Iroquois Steeplechase.
Leffingwell Lion. 2003 dk. b. or br. g., Lion Hearted—Spruce Head, by Val de’Orne (Fr). Owner-trainer: Elizabeth C. Korrell. Breeder: Elizabeth Cousins-Korrell (Pa.) 2016 record: 2-1-0-0, $12,000. 2015 record: 3-0-0-0, $0. 2014 record: No starts. Won 2016 Benjamin H. Murray Memorial amateur allowance timber at Grand National, then was pulled up in Willowdale Steeplechase.
Prime Prospector. 2008 b. g., Seeking the Gold—Remember Love, by A.P. Indy. Owner: Peter A. Jay. Trainer: Todd Wyatt. Breeder: Woodford Thoroughbreds (Ky.) 2016 record: 2-0-0-0, $2,000. 2015 record: 2-1-0-1, $7,500. Finished fifth in Willowdale Steeplechase after finishing fifth and placed fourth in the Grand National’s Benjamin H. Rush Memorial. Won maiden victory over timber at 2015 Willowdale Steeplechase.
Puller. 2008 dk. b. or br. g., Lion Hearted—Londonderry, by Perfecting. Owner: Charles C. Fenwick Jr. Trainer: Todd Wyatt. Breeder: Elberton Hill Farm (Md.) 2016 record: 3-0-0-1, $1,500. 2015 record: 4-1-1-1, $14,150. Finished ninth in Grand National’s Western Run Plate after third in John D. Schapiro Memorial to open 2016 campaign. Pulled up in Shawan’s Legacy Chase.
Pured It. 2009 b. g., Purim—Judiths Humor, by Hennessy. Owner: Gerry Brewster. Trainer: Kathy Neilson. Breeder: Ashleigh Stud, Frank Ramos, and Jackie Ramos (Ky.) 2016 record: 1-1-0-0, $9,000. In first timber start and first jumps start in almost two years, won High Hope’s Jay Trump maiden timber by 10 1/4 lengths.
Straight to It. 2006 ch. g., Giant’s Causeway—Helsinka (Fr), by Pennekamp. Owners: Sheila J. Williams and Northwood Stables. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Breeder: Thierry Grandsir (Ky.). 2016 record: 4-1-1-1, $30,00. 2015 record: 4-1-1-1, $36,600. 2014 record: 7-1-0-3, $33,000. 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. Finished fifth in 2015 My Lady’s Manor, then third in Virginia Gold Cup. Won the 2012 New Jersey Hunt Cup at Far Hills.
Two’s Company (Ire). 2009 b. g., Soviet Star—Gaye Lady, by Pistolet Bleu (Ire). Owner: Bruton Street-U.S. Trainer Jack Fisher. Breeders: M. W. and Mrs. M. Doran (Ire). 2016 record: 4-3-1-0, $63,000. 2015 record: 4-1-1-0, $12,600. Opened 2016 with victories in Middleburg Hunt Cup and Carolina Cup’s C. P. and Edith Wills DuBose Cup, then closed for second in Virginia Gold Cup. Won 2016 Legacy Chase at Shawan Downs.