Armata Stables’ Cornhusker, confident winner of the Middleburg Hunt Cup, heads the field for the $25,000 Winterthur Bowl, the featured race of Sunday’s 39th annual Winterthur Point to Point.
The four-race program, held at the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library near Wilmington, Del., kicks off with a 2 p.m. first post time.
Trained by Alicia Murphy, the British-bred 10-year-old easily pulled away from his opponents in the April 22 race and won by 5 3/4 lengths. Former champion timber jockey Mark Beecher will ride.
Leading owner Irv Naylor will send out Top Man Michael, who will be aiming for a second straight win in the Winterthur Bowl. Cyril Murphy-trained Top Man Michael prevailed by 12 lengths under Gus Dahl, who has a return engagement aboard the Irish-bred.
Naylor also entered Takepointsandrun, who is trained by Billy Meister. He made his first timber starts this spring and most recently finished fourth in Middleburg Spring’s Alfred M. Hunt Steeplechase. Willie McCarthy has the mount.
Former champion jockey William Dowling will saddle Rodriguez, winner of a maiden timber race last fall. In his 2017 debut, the Irish-bred fell in the Grand National’s Western Run Plate on April 22. Champion jockey Kieran Norris will be aboard Rodriguez.
Annie Yeager will ride Keystone Thoroughbreds’ Great Halo, who refused at the third fence of the Maryland Hunt Cup on April 29 and lost his rider. The 10-year-old is trained by Todd McKenna.
Wantan and Baumer will be making their debuts over timber fences. Rosbrian Farm’s Wantan, trained by Tara Elmore, won a Radnor allowance hurdle race in 2015. Trained by Leslie Young, Michael A. Smith’s Baumer was a maiden winner over hurdles last year. Five-time champion jockey Paddy Young will ride.
Here is the Winterthur Bowl field in post-position order.
Rodriguez (Ire). 2007 dk. b. or br. g., High Chapparal (Ire)—Sofia Aurora, by Chief Honcho. Owner: Kiplin Hall. Trainer: William Dowling. Breeder: Michael G. Daly (Ire). 2017 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. 2016 record: 3-1-1-0, $12,700. Fell in Grand National’s Western Run Plate. After second at 2016 Shawan Downs meet, won timber maiden at Virginia Fall before fifth at Steeplechase at Callaway in November.
Wantan (Arg). 2005 dk. b. g., Pure Prize—Water Proof, by Turkoman. Owner: Rosbrian Farm. Trainer: Tara Elmore. Breeder: Carampangue (Arg). 2017 record: No starts. 2016 record: No starts. Making transition to timber racing after long hurdle career. Last raced in 2015 and won a Radnor allowance hurdle.
Takepointsandrun. 2010 ch. g., Point Given—Town Queen, by Williamstown. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: William Meister. Breeders: Carl Hurst, Fred Bradley, and William Bradley (Ky.). 2017 record: 2-0-0-0, $1,550. 2016 record: 7-2-0-0, $27,350. In new career as a timber horse, fourth in Middleburg Spring’s Alfred M. Hunt Steeplechase after fifth in Carolina Cup’s C. P. and Edith DuBose Cup timber allowance. Kicked off 2016 campaign with win in Aiken Spring allowance hurdle, then won Stoneybrook Steeplechase ratings handicap after private sale.
Top Man Michael (Ire). 2009 b. g., Antonius Plus—Top Brex, by Top Ville. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Cyril Murphy. Breeder: John Egan (Ire). 2016 record: 3-1-0-1, $19,000. No starts. 2015 record: No starts. Won 2016 Winterthur Bowl in his first start over timber, then was fourth in Radnor Hunt Cup and third in Callaway timber allowance race. Won the Daniel Van Clief Memorial at 2014 Foxfield Spring Races.
Cornhusker (GB). 2007 b. g., Dynaformer–Nebraska Tornado, by Storm Cat. Owner: Armata Stables. Trainer: Alicia Murphy. Breeder: Juddmonte Farms (GB). 2017 record: 1-0-0-0, $18,000. 2016 record: 2-0-0-0, $4,500. 2015 record: 4-2-0-0, $66,250. Ran a confident race in the 2017 Middleburg Hunt Cup and won by 5 3/4 lengths. Finished fourth in 2016 International Gold Cup after seventh in Virginia Fall’s National Sporting Library & Museum Cup. Ended 2014 and 2015 seasons with second-place finishes in Pennsylvania Hunt Cup.
Baumer. 2012 b. g., Corinthian—Terrifee, by Menifee. Owner: Michael A. Smith. Trainer: Leslie Young. Breeder: T. F. VanMeter, Michael Lowenbaum, and Dr. R. and E. Dankner (Ky.). 2017 record: No starts. 2016 record: 4-1-0-0, $11,500. In final 2016 start, won Montpelier maiden claimer over hurdles.
Great Halo. 2007 b. g., Great Notion—Noddy’s Halo, by Halo. Owner: Keystone Thoroughbreds. Trainer: Todd McKenna. Jockey: Annie Yeager. Breeder: Roland Farm (Md.) 2017 record: 2-0-0-0, $600. 2016 record: 2-0-0-1, $2,450. Finished sixth in 2017 Benjamin H. Murray Memorial at Grand National, then refused third fence and lost rider in Maryland Hunt Cup. Finished fourth and was placed third in 2016 Murray Memorial after sixth in division of John Rush Streett maiden timber at My Lady’s Manor.