A competitive field of seven timber specialists will line up Saturday, Oct. 12, for the $25,000 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup, the featured event of the Genesee Valley Hunt Races in Geneseo, N.Y. First post time is 1 p.m.
Arcadia Stable’s Delta Park, winner of the 2011 New Jersey Hunt Cup and 2012 Radnor Hunt Cup, will attempt to regain his top form after missing more than a year. In his comeback race, the nine-year-old Johannesburg gelding finished ninth in the $20,000 Legacy Chase timber allowance at Shawan Downs in Maryland on Sept. 28.
Riding Delta Park for reigning champion trainer Jack Fisher will be Darren Nagle, who is battling for the National Steeplechase Association’s 2013 jockey title and currently shares the top spot with 12 wins. Nagle won the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup in 2010 and 2011.
Leading owner Irv Naylor will be represented by Irish-bred Alfa Beat, who won a Maryland timber classic, the Grand National, on April 20 before a seventh-place finish in the Virginia Gold Cup on May 4. Leading timber trainer William Meister named James Slater to ride Alfa Beat.
A second Maryland timber classic winner, Moonsox, also will face the starter in the 3 1/2-mile Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. Owned by Michelle St. John’s Nelson & Traveller Stable, Moonsox most recently finished sixth in Shawan’s Legacy Chase.
Lia McGuirk, who again will ride for trainer Kevin Boniface, won her first career start over fences when Moonsox prevailed in the My Lady’s Manor in Monkton, Md., on April 13.
Virginia-based trainer Neil Morris will saddle Kinross Farm’s Sand Box Rules, who jumped stoutly in this year’s third Maryland timber classic, the Maryland Hunt Cup, and finished second, three lengths behind now-retired Professor Maxwell, winner of the 2011 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. Martin Rohan has the mount.
Robbie Walsh will be astride Magalen O. Bryant’s Dakota Slew, who finished third in the Virginia Gold Cup on May 4 but fell in the Willowdale Steeplechase. Richard Valentine trains the six-year-old Slew City Slew gelding.
Trainer Tara Elmore entered Rosbrian Farm’s More Fascination, who would be making his first start since finishing seventh in the 2012 Radnor Hunt Cup in Pennsylvania. Riding More Fascination will be Mark Beecher, who won two sanctioned Genesee Valley races last year, including the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup aboard Mecklenburg.
Completing the field is Keystone Thoroughbreds’ Crossing Again, who has two third-place finishes in amateur apprentice timber allowance races this year. Trainer Todd McKenna named Annie Yeager to ride.