A highly competitive field of six will line up Saturday for the $50,000 New Jersey Hunt Cup, a race over timber fences that brings down the curtain on the richest-ever edition of the Far Hills Races.
Bruton Street-US’s Ballylifen will be striving to regain his best form after a sixth-place finish in the Legacy Chase over timber at Maryland’s Shawan Downs on Sept. 24.
The Irish-bred closed out the 2015 season with a victory a timber allowance at the Steeplechase at Callaway in Georgia. Sean McDermott will ride for leading trainer Jack Fisher.
Leading timber jockey Mark Beecher will be aboard Otter Racing’s Le Chevalier for trainer Julie Gomena. The Broken Vow gelding most recently finished second in the Mason Houghland Memorial timber stakes race at Nashville’s Iroquois Steeplechase in May.
Kinross Farm’s Old Timer has been competing in timber racing’s top division and most recently was fifth in the Virginia Gold Cup in May. Trainer Richard Valentine tapped Kieran Norris to ride.
Charlie Fenwick Jr.’s Puller finished third in last Saturday’s National Sporting Library & Museum Cup at the Virginia Fall Races. Trainer Todd Wyatt named Willie McCarthy to ride.
Owner-trainer Kathy Neilson will saddle Pured It, who finished sixth in the National Sporting Library. Gerard Galligan has the mount.
Completing the field is Achsah O’Donovan’s West Is Best, who finished fifth in the Legacy Chase. Bethany Baumgardner will ride for trainer Alicia Murphy.
Here is the field for the 3 1/4-mile New Jersey Hunt Cup. All starters carry 165 pounds.
Ballylifen (Ire). 2007 b. g., Brian Boru—Line Jade, by Luchiroverte. Owner: Bruton Street-US. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Sean McDermott. 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.
Puller. 2008 dk. b. or br. g., Lion Hearted—Londonderry, by Perfecting. Owner: Charles C. Fenwick Jr. Trainer: Todd Wyatt. Jockey: Willie McCarthy. Breeder: Elberton Hill Farm (Md.) 2016 record: 4-0-0-2, $5,500. 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 before third in Virginia Fall’s National Sporting Library & Museum Cup.
Old Timer. 2006 b. g., Orientate—Chatham Hall, by Green Dancer. Owner: Kinross Farm. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Jockey: Kieran Norris. Breeder: Gainesway Thoroughbreds (Ky.) 2016 record: 2-0-0-1, $7,000. 2015 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. 2014 record: 2-0-1-1, $12,900. Finished third in 2016 My Lady’s Manor and was fifth in Virginia Gold Cup. Fell in the National Sporting Library and Museum Cup, his only 2015 start. Finished second in 2014 My Lady’s Manor before third in Virginia Gold Cup. Finished second in 2013 National Sporting Library Chronicle Cup.
Le Chevalier. 2009 g. or ro. g., Broken Vow—Orellana, by With Approval. Owner: Otter Racing. Trainer: Julie Gomena. Jockey: Mark Beecher. 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.
West Is Best. 2009 dk. b. or br. g., War Chant—Marisa Mia, by Miner’s Mark. Owner: Achsah O’Donovan. Trainer: Alicia Murphy. Jockey: Bethany Baumgardner. Breeder: Dr. S. Mark Rayburg (Pa.) 2016 record: 4-1-1-0, 14,850. 2015 record: 5-0-2-0, $7,200. Opened season with win in John Rush Streett division at My Lady’s Manor and was second in Queen’s Cup timber race before fourth in Fair Hill novice timber. Finished fifth in Shawan Downs’ Legacy Chase.
Pured It. 2009 b. g., Purim—Judiths Humor, by Hennessy. Owner-trainer: Kathy Neilson. Jockey: Gerard Galligan. Breeder: Ashleigh Stud, Frank Ramos, and Jackie Ramos (Ky.) 2016 record: 2-1-0-0, $10,200. In first timber start and first jumps start in almost two years, won High Hope’s Jay Trump maiden hurdle by 10 1/4 lengths. Finished sixth in Virginia Fall’s National Sporting Library & Museum Cup.