Arcadia Stable’s Delta Park, a supplementary entry to Sunday’s $35,000 Pennsylvania Hunt Cup, drew away to a two-length victory over Cornhusker in the final timber stakes race of the 2014 National Steeplechase Association season. Hot Rize finished third, two lengths farther back.
Ridden by Sean McDermott, timber veteran Delta Park bettered his second-place finish in last year’s Pennsylvania Hunt Cup. He ran the four-mile distance in 9:20.80 on a firm course at Unionville. Malibu Moon set the pace for most of the timber classic, and the field of six was tightly bunched over the last fence. Delta Park, most recently finished fifth in Shawan Downs’ Legacy Chase on Sept. 27, gradually pulled away from his competitors to the finish line.
The victory all but assured Jack Fisher his third consecutive title as the sport’s champion trainer by wins. He had one victory at each of the weekend’s three meets– the Steeplechase at Callaway and the Montpelier Hunt Races were run on Saturday–to raise his season total to 19 wins.
Richard Valentine and Cyril Murphy, who entered the season’s second-to-last weekend with 13 wins each, tallied victories at Montpelier and now have 14 wins for the season.
Holston Hall’s Hot Rize finished third for the second straight year in the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup and assured himself the 2014 timber title. Third-place money raised his 2014 purses total to $79,400 with only one timber race, the Colonial Cup’s $20,000 Springdale open timber, remaining on the schedule. Armata Stable’s Cornhusker moved into second position with $50,300, placing him ahead of International Gold Cup winner Grinding Speed.