Arcadia Stable’s Bubble Economy will be seeking his third victory in the $75,000 Virginia Gold Cup when he starts in the classic four-mile timber steeplechase race on Saturday, May 5. The 87th running of the Virginia Gold Cup will be the highlight of a gala six-race program at Great Meadows in The Plains. First post time is 1:30 p.m.
The Virginia Gold Cup brings together the top two finishers in Maryland’s first timber classic, the My Lady’s Manor on April 14. Robert A. Kinsley’s Incomplete finished 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Bubble Economy, who was making his first start in 23 months.
Both are veterans of the Great Meadow course. Trained by Ann Stewart, Incomplete won the 2011 International Gold Cup by 2 3/4 lengths on Oct. 15 and finished second in the New Jersey Hunt Cup a week later. Joey Elliott will be aboard for the Virginia Gold Cup.
Bubble Economy has won three National Steeplechase Association timber championships, in 2004, 2008, and 2010. In the latter two years, his championship campaign included victories in the Virginia Gold Cup.
He went to the sidelines after winning the 2010 Mason Houghland Memorial at the Iroquois Steeplechase in Nashville one week after his Virginia Gold Cup triumph. He came back well in the My Lady’s Manor, and trainer Jack Fisher named Willie Dowling to ride.
Also in the highly competitive Virginia Cup field is Magalen O. Bryant’s G’day G’day, who kicked off his 2012 season with a 6 3/4-length victory in the Middleburg Hunt Cup on April 21. Trained in Middleburg by Doug Fout, G’day G’day closed out the 2011 season with a score in the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup against top-quality competition. Carl Rafter has the mount.
Fout also will saddle Alfred C. Griffin Jr.’s Aero, who finished second in the Middleburg Hunt Cup. Last fall, Aero scored a sparkling victory in the National Sporting Museum Chronicle Cup at the Virginia Fall Races in Middleburg before finishing second to Incomplete in the International Gold Cup. Jeff Murphy will ride Aero.
Veteran timber trainer William Meister entered NoGo Stable’s Yin Yang and Mrs. William D. Class Jr.’s Voler Bar Nuit. Yin Yang would be making his first start of the year, and Voler Bar Nuit has had one outing, a third in the John Rush Streett Memorial amateur maiden timber race at My Lady’s Manor in Monkton. Christopher Read was named aboard Yin Yang, and James Slater will ride Voler Bar Nuit.
Two-time champion trainer Sanna N. Hendriks entered FOXY Stable’s Guts for Garters. The Irish-bred gelding has had two starts this year, a fourth in the Streett followed by a close second in the Benjamin H. Murray Memorial amateur allowance timber race at the Grand National meet in Butler, Md. Darren Nagle was named to ride.