Keystone Thoroughbreds’ Crossing Again scored a breakthrough victory when the 11-year-old mare led throughout the $25,000 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup and won by 3 1/2 lengths on Saturday, Oct. 12.
Arcadia Stable’s Delta Park finished second, and Irvin S. Naylor’s Alfa Beat finished third. With Annie Yeager in the saddle, Crossing Again ran the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup’s 3 1/2 miles over timber fences in 7:51.20 on firm turf.
Under clear skies and with pleasant temperatures, Genesee Hunt Cup Races attracted a record crowd for its races. The Genesee Hunt Cup, now more than a century old, attracted a field of six in which steeplechase maiden Crossing Again had to be regarded as a longshot. The Maryland-bred Valley Crossing mare had concluded a long career on the flat when trainer Tod McKenna claimed her in 2006 for $14,000 at Laurel Park. She made one start over fences that year and then did not start in a sanctioned race for more than four years.
She made four starts in 2011, and the closest she came to a victory was a second in Genesee Valley’s Martha S. Wadsworth Memorial, beaten only a neck. Crossing Again missed the entire 2012 season and had two third-place finishes in amateur maiden timber races this spring.
Naylor’s Almarmooq won this year’s edition of the Martha Wadsworth with James Slater in the saddle. Kathy Neilson trains the six-year-old Dynaformer gelding.