Irv Naylor’s Ebanour, the current leader in the timber-racing standings after two decisive victories, heads a field of seven for Saturday’s $30,000 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup, the featured race of the Genesee Valley Hunt Races in Geneseo, N.Y.
Post time for the first of two National Steeplechase Association-sanctioned races is 1:10 p.m.
Trained by Cyril Murphy, Ebanour has done nothing wrong in his last three starts. He marked himself as a horse to watch after a dramatic, late-move victory in Far Hills’ New Jersey Hunt Cup, his final 2015 start.
He began this season with a win in the My Lady’s Manor, first race of the Maryland timber triple crown, and then won the $100,000 Virginia Gold Cup in early May. His earnings for the year total $78,000.
Gus Dahl, Ebanour’s regular jockey, will be in the saddle for the 3 1/2-mile Genesee Valley Hunt Cup.
Trainer Todd McKenna and jockey Annie Yeager will go for the upset with Be Great while trying to extend their winning streaks at the upstate New York racecourse. They teamed up last year to win the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup with Welcome Here Farm’s Be Great.
They also won the feature timber race in 2013 with Crossing Again and in 2014 with Serene Harbor.
Leading trainer Jack Fisher entered Bruton Street-US’s Drift Society, winner of the John D. Schapiro amateur allowance timber race on the My Lady’s Manor program. Drift Society subsequently finished a good third in the Maryland Hunt Cup.
England-based jockey Alice Mills, who is riding for Fisher through the fall season, has the mount.
Darren Nagle will be aboard Donald Reuwer Jr.’s Grand Manan for trainer Billy Meister. The Giant’s Causeway gelding finished in a dead-heat for the win in the Willowdale Steeplechase in May after a fifth in the My Lady’s Manor.
Owner-trainer Elizabeth Korrell will saddle her homebred Leffingwell Lion, winner of the Benjamin H. Murray Memorial amateur timber allowance at the Grand National meet in April before being pulled up in the Willowdale Steeplechase. James Slater will ride.
Here is the field for the $30,000 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup.
Joshua G. 2006 ch. g., Run Softly—Search for Reality, by Regal Search. Owner: Armata Stables. Trainer: Kathy Neilson. Jockey: Forrest Kelly. Breeder: Jason L. Cole (Pa.) 2016 record: 3-0-0-1, $3,000. 2015 record: 4-0-0-0, $5,750. 2014 record: 3-1-0-0, $10,400. Finished fourth in 2016 Grand National, then fell in Maryland Hunt Cup and finished third in Willowdale amateur allowance timber. Finished fourth in 2015 Pennsylvania Hunt Cup timber allowance race after fall in Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. Finished fifth and placed fourth in Maryland Hunt Cup.
Ebanour (Ire). 2007 ch. g., Indian Ridge—Ebadilya, by Sadler’s Wells. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Cyril Murphy. Jockey: Gus Dahl. Breeders: Aga Khan’s Studs (Ire). 2016 record: 2-2-0-0, $78,000. 2015 record: 2-1-1-0, $31,800. 2014 record: No starts. Won 2016 Virginia Gold Cup after victory in My Lady’s Manor. Won New Jersey Hunt Cup with a powerful late rush. After missing the 2014 season, returned with a good second in John D. Schapiro Memorial amateur apprentice timber at My Lady’s Manor.
Drift Society (Ire). 2008 b. g., Jackson’s Drift—Tansey Yearwood (Ire), by Moscow Society. Owner: Bruton Street-US. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Alice Mills. Breeder: Eleanor Bennett (Ire). 2016 record: 2-1-0-1, $19,000. 2015 record: No starts. 2014 record: 5-1-1-0, $14,000. Won 2016 John D. Schapiro amateur apprentice allowance at My Lady’s Manor, then finished good third in Maryland Hunt Cup. Finished second in 2014 Colonial Cup timber allowance race. Broke into the ranks of winners with a 1 1/2-length score in a Fair Hill novice timber race that year.
Leffingwell Lion. 2003 dk. b. or br. g., Lion Hearted—Spruce Head, by Val de’Orne (Fr). Owner-trainer: Elizabeth C. Korrell. Jockey: James Slater. Breeder: Elizabeth Cousins-Korrell (Pa.) 2016 record: 2-1-0-0, $12,000. 2015 record: 3-0-0-0, $0. 2014 record: No starts. Won 2016 Benjamin H. Murray Memorial amateur allowance timber at Grand National, then was pulled up in Willowdale Steeplechase. Pulled up in 2015 Virginia Fall maiden timber race after seventh-place finish in Shawan Downs maiden timber.
Derwins Prospector. 2008 ch. g., Van Nistelrooy—Stringtown Sally, by Crafty Prospector. Owner: Gerry L. Brewster. Trainer: Joseph Davies. Jockey: Open. Breeders: Patricia Lagden and Devi Hall (Ky.). 2016 record: 2-0-0-0, $900. 2015 record: No starts. 2014 record: 3-0-0-0, $2,200. Finished sixth in 2016 Grand National, then lost rider in Maryland Hunt Cup. Finished fifth in 2014 timber allowance race at Willowdale after sixth at Grand National.
Grand Manan. 2009 b. g., Giant’s Causeway—Manoa, by Seeking the Gold. Owner: Donald Reuwer Jr. Trainer: William Meister. Jockey: Darren Nagle. Breeders: Stuart S. Janney III and Phipps Stable (Ky.). 2016 record: 2-1-0-0, $10,950. 2015 record: 3-2-0-0, $31,050. 2014 record: No starts. Finished in dead heat for 2016 Willowdale Steeplechase win after fifth in My Lady’s Manor. Closed 2015 campaign with runaway victory in Pennsylvania Hunt Cup timber allowance. In first start in more than two years, won Fair Hill’s Valentine Memorial Novice Timber by seven lengths, then was sixth in Virginia Fall’s National Sporting Library & Museum Cup.
Be Great. 2007 b. g., Gulch—Classic Ingrid, by Regal Classic. Owner: Welcome Here Farm. Trainer: Todd McKenna. Jockey: Annie Yeager. Breeder: Equivine Farm (Pa.) 2016 record: 1-0-0-1, $2,500. 2015 record: 3-1-0-1, $22,000. 2014 record: 2-1-0-0, $9,000. Opened 2016 with third in Winterthur Bowl open timber. Won the 2015 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. Finished fourth in 2015 Radnor Hunt Cup after third in Winterthur Bowl. Won maiden victory at Winterthur in 2014.