Leading owner Irv Naylor’s Black Quartz, benefiting from a savvy inside trip under Paddy Young, surged to the lead in the late stages of the $50,000 Queen’s Cup MPC ‘Chase and easily turned back a late challenge by Wild for Gold to win by 2 3/4 lengths in the feature race of the 18th annual Queen’s Cup Steeplechase near Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday, April 27. Mr. Hot Stuff finished third in a talented field of seven novices, or horses in their first seasons of racing over fences.
Young took the inside path and tucked French-bred Black Quartz in midpack before making his charge to the lead. Black Quartz drew clear and had no difficulty resisting the late move of Gene Weymouth’s Wild for Gold, a supplementary entry to the Queen’s Cup. Barnstorming finished fourth, followed in order by Forgotten Man, novice champion Alajmal, and Fog Island, who was pulled up before the ninth fence. Trained by Brianne Slater, Black Quartz ran the 2 3/8 miles of the Queen’s Cup in 4:25 on firm ground.
Naylor, who made a dramatic surge to the lead in the owner standings a week earlier with five wins, added a second Queen’s Cup victory when All That Rules won the second division of the King George III Sport of Kings maiden hurdle. Slater also trained All That Rules, who was ridden by Ross Geraghty. The reigning champion jockey also picked up a win on Gil Johnston’s Alburj in the first division of the King George III.
Demonstrative, runner-up in last year’s Eclipse Award voting after scoring two Grade 1 victories, returned to action in the Trugreen training flat race and won with authority.