Champion owner Irv Naylor’s Ebanour has been supplemented to the $35,000 Pennsylvania Hunt Cup, and the Virginia Gold Cup winner will be the horse to beat in the four-mile journey over timber fences at Unionville on Sunday.
The 82nd annual Pennsylvania Hunt Cup kicks off with a 1:30 p.m. post time for the first of its five races, four over timber and one on the flat.
Ebanour ended the spring season as the timber sport’s leading earner after his victories in the My Lady’s Manor and the Virginia Gold Cup. He lost rider Gus Dahl in the Genesee Hunt Cup on Oct. 8 and also surrendered the earnings lead to Bruton Street-US-owned Two’s Company, whom Ebanour had beaten in the Virginia Gold Cup.
Dahl will again be aboard Ebanour, who is trained by Cyril Murphy.
Naylor, who already has broken his own record for owner earnings, also will be represented by Almarmooq and Super Saturday, both trained by Kathy Neilson. Gerard Galligan has a double call on the Neilson-trained horses.
Michael Wharton’s Grinding Speed, the reigning timber champion, will be looking for his first victory of the year. He finished second to Two’s Company in the National Sporting Library & Museum Cup at Virginia Fall on Oct. 8 and was scratched from the International Gold Cup on Oct. 22. Mark Beecher will ride for trainer Alicia Murphy.
Bruton Street-US, the current leading owner in the timber standings, will be represented by Ballylifen and Drift Society, two Irish-breds trained by Jack Fisher. Ballylifen, fourth in the New Jersey Hunt Cup on Oct. 15, will be ridden by Alice Mills, and Sean McDermott will be aboard Drift Society, second in the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup a week earlier.
Trainer Richard Valentine will saddle Kinross Farm’s Old Timer, who most recently finished third in the New Jersey Hunt Cup. Kieran Norris, the sport’s leading jockey by wins, has the mount.
Here is the field for the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup.
Old Timer. 2006 b. g., Orientate—Chatham Hall, by Green Dancer. Owner: Kinross Farm. Trainer: Richard L. Valentine. Jockey: Kieran Norris. Breeder: Gainesway Thoroughbreds (Ky.) 2016 record: 4-0-1-2, $17,400. 2015 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. 2014 record: 2-0-1-1, $12,900. Finished third in 2016 New Jersey Hunt Cup after second in Radnor Hunt Cup. Finished third in My Lady’s Manor and was fifth in Virginia Gold Cup. Fell in the National Sporting Library and Museum Cup, his only 2015 start. Finished second in 2014 My Lady’s Manor before third in Virginia Gold 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: 3-2-0-0, $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. Lost rider late in Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. Won 2015 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.
Grinding Speed. 2006 gr. or ro. g., Grindstone—Cozelia, by Cozzene. Owner: Michael T. Wharton. Trainer: Alicia Murphy. Jockey: Mark Beecher. Breeders: Alan S., Mark T., Mitchell A., and Madeline R. Kline, et al. (Md.) 2016 record: 4-0-1-0, $5,150. 2015 record: 5-3-1-0, $124,550. 2014 record: 5-1-1-2, $46,350. Finished second in 2016 National Sporting Library & Museum Cup at Virginia Fall. Finished sixth in 2016 Virginia Gold Cup and My Lady’s Manor, races he won the previous year, then was fourth in Shawan’s Legacy Chase. Clinched 2015 timber title with stylish victory in International Gold Cup, his third win in richest fall timber race. Also won his second Virginia Gold Cup in 2015.
Almarmooq. 2007 dk. b. or br. g., Dynaformer–Tuscoga, by Theatrical (Ire). Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Kathy Neilson. Jockey: Gerard Galligan. Breeder: Stone Farm (Ky.). 2016 record: 3-0-0-0, $3,600. 2015 record: 4-1-0-0, $23,250. 2014 record: 6-1-3-0, $23,400. Finished fifth in International Gold Cup. Finished seventh in 2016 My Lady’s Manor, then fell in Maryland Hunt Cup. Won 2015 Pennsylvania Hunt Cup. Finished sixth in Willowdale Steeplechase after late fall in Maryland Hunt Cup. Finished distant fourth in Grand National. Capped busy 2014 fall season with victory in Pennsylvania Hunt Cup’s Arthur O. Choate Jr. timber allowance.
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: 3-1-0-0, $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 and Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. Pulled up in 2015 Virginia Fall maiden timber race after seventh-place finish in Shawan Downs maiden timber.
Super Saturday. 2009 gr. or ro. g., Any Given Saturday—Lady Aloma, by Cozzene. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Kathy Neilson. Jockey: Gerard Galligan. Breeder: Walton Breeders (Ky.) 2016 record: 5-0-1-0, $4,550. 2015 record: 4-1-1-0, $19,800. 2014 record: 5-1-0-1, $13,000. Began 2016 campaign with second in Middleburg Spring’s Alfred M. Hunt steeplechase, then was fourth in Winterthur Bowl and seventh in Willowdale Steeplechase. Finished eighth in Shawan’s Legacy Chase and fifth in Virginia Fall’s Steeplethon.
Ballylifen (Ire). 2007 b. g., Brian Boru—Line Jade, by Luchiroverte. Owner: Bruton Street-US. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Alice Mills. Breeder: J. Mangan (Ire). 2016 record: 4-0-0-1, $7,250. 2015 record: 5-2-0-1, $35,750. Finished fourth in 2016 New Jersey Hunt Cup. Finished fourth in 2016 My Lady’s Manor, then third in Willowdale Steeplechase and sixth in Shawan’s Legacy Chase. Won 2015 Steeplechase at Callaway timber allowance race after fourth in International Gold Cup. Finished third in Virginia Fall’s National Sporting Library & Museum Cup. Finished fourth in 2015 Virginia Gold Cup after winning division of John Rush Streett maiden timber race at My Lady’s Manor.
Be Great. 2007 b. g., Gulch—Classic Ingrid, by Regal Classic. Owner: Welcome Here Farm. Trainer: Todd McKenna. Jockey: Open. Breeder: Equivine Farm (Pa.) 2016 record: 2-0-0-1, $4,000. 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, then was fourth in Genesee Valley Hunt Cup, race he won in 2015. Finished fourth in 2015 Radnor Hunt Cup after third in Winterthur Bowl. Won maiden victory at Winterthur in 2014.
Drift Society (Ire). 2008 b. g., Jackson’s Drift—Tansey Yearwood (Ire), by Moscow Society. Owner: Bruton Street-US. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Sean McDermott. Breeder: Eleanor Bennett (Ire). 2016 record: 3-1-1-1, $23,500. 2015 record: No starts. 2014 record: 5-1-1-0, $14,000. Finished second in 2016 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. Won 2016 John D. Schapiro amateur apprentice allowance at My Lady’s Manor, then finished good third in Maryland Hunt Cup. Finished second in Genesee Valley Hunt Cup.
Golden Slammer. 2005 dk. b. or br. g., Grand Slam—Barbara Sue, by Big Spruce. Owner: Upland Partners. Trainer: Todd McKenna. Jockey: Open. Breeder: James P. Gallagher (Ky.). 2016 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. 2015 record: 1-0-0-0, 0. Lost rider late in 2016 Genesee Valley maiden timber. Finished seventh in division of 2015 John Rush Streett maiden timber at My Lady’s Manor.