Eight well-matched timber specialists have been nominated to the $40,000 National Sporting Library and Museum Cup, the featured post-and-rail race of the 65th annual Virginia Fall Races at Middleburg’s Glenwood Park on Saturday, Oct. 12.
The 3¼-mile race will have no lack of horses who like to set the pace or to be close to it.
Kinross Farm’s Just Wait And See set all the pace in the Willowdale Steeplechase on May 12 under very wet conditions and won by six lengths. Before that start, the Irish-bred trained by Richard Valentine had finished third in steeplethons over mixed obstacles at the Middleburg Spring Races at Glenwood and at the Virginia Gold Cup.
Also coming out of the Willowdale Steeplechase is Blair Wyatt’s Witor, who was fourth after finishing second in the My Lady’s Manor. The German-bred is trained by the owner’s husband, Todd Wyatt.
Armata Stables’ Grand Manan almost always is on the pace, and he ran third in the Brown Advisory Legacy Chase on Sept. 28. Before that start, the Billy Meister-trained 10-year-old had finished second in a Willowdale timber allowance to Kiplin Hall’s Katnap, who is also nominated to the National Sporting Library.
Trained by Willie Dowling, Katnap won the Willowdale race by more than 40 lengths after unplaced finishes in the steeplethons at Glenwood and the Virginia Gold Cup.
Coming out of the $100,000 Virginia Gold Cup are Michael A. Smith’s Le Chevalier, Irv Naylor’s Super Saturday, and Frank A. Bonsal Jr.’s Stand Down, the respective second, third, and fifth finishers.
Trained by Julie Gomena, Le Chevalier will be looking to improve on a string of second-place finishes. Before the Virginia Gold Cup, he finished second in the Middleburg Hunt Cup, and he heads into the Virginia Fall race from a close second in the Radnor Hunt Cup in May.
Trained by Kathy Neilson, Super Saturday fell in the Radnor Hunt Cup.
Irish-bred Stand Down, trained by Joseph G. Davies, had wrapped up his 2018 season with a victory in the four-mile Pennsylvania Hunt Cup.
Leading trainer Jack Fisher nominated Woodslane Farm’s Overwhelming, who won a Fair Hill timber allowance in May and was third in a Shawan Downs amateur apprentice timber allowance on Sept. 28.
Here are the nominees to the $40,000 National Sporting Library and Museum Cup. Entries close on Monday, and supplementary entries may be made then for $250.
Grand Manan. 2009 b. g., Giant’s Causeway—Manoa, by Seeking the Gold. Owner: Armata Stables. Trainer: William Meister. Breeders: Stuart S. Janney III and Phipps Stable (Ky.). 2019 record: 4-0-1-1, $4,300. 2018: 4-0-0-1, $6,200. Finished third in Shawan’s 2019 Legacy Chase after distant second in Willowdale timber allowance. Led and was pulled up in 2019 My Lady’s Manor and Middleburg Hunt Cup. Finished third in 2018 New Jersey Hunt Cup after fifth in Radnor Hunt Cup. Closed 2016 season with back-to-back front-running victories in the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup and International Gold Cup.
Just Wait And See (Ire). 2009 dk. b. or br. g., Acambaro—Connollys Glory, by Kadeed. Owner: Kinross Farm. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Breeder: Andrew Connolly (Ire). 2019 record: 3-1-0-2, $27,000. 2018 NSA record: 2-0-0-1, $4,800. Won 2019 Willowdale Steeplechase after third-place finishes in steeplethons at Middleburg Spring and Virginia Gold Cup. Finished third in International Gold Cup’s 2018 steeplethon.
Katnap (Fr). 2007 bl. g., Sleeping Car—Kitty Gale, by Strong Gale. Owner: Wits End Farm. Trainer: William Dowling. Breeder: Susan Angela Bramall (Fr). 2019 record: 2-1-0-0, $6,600. 2018 record: 2-2-0-0, $36,000. 2017 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $12,000. Easily won 2019 Willowdale timber allowance. Tired to finish sixth in Middleburg Spring’s 2019 Alfred M. Hunt steeplethon. Won 2018 steeplethon at International Gold Cup after score in Virginia Fall steeplethon. Found new ownership after finishing sixth in Far Hills’ Grand National (Gr. 1) while trained by Joseph O’Brien.
Le Chevalier. 2009 g. or ro. g., Broken Vow—Orellana, by With Approval. Owner: Michael A. Smith. Trainer: Julie Gomena. Breeder: Haras du Mezeray (Ky.) 2019 record: 3-0-3-0, $29,700. 2018 record: 4-1-2-1, $54,900. Finished close second in 2019 Radnor Hunt Cup after second-place finishes in Virginia Gold Cup and Middleburg Hunt Cup. Won 2018 National Sporting Library & Museum Cup, then was third in International Gold Cup. Won the 2016 New Jersey Hunt Cup.
Overwhelming. 2010 b. g., Hard Spun—Oh What a Windfall, by Seeking the Gold. Owner: Woodslane Farm. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Breeder: Phipps Stable (Ky.) 2019 record: 4-1-0-1, $9,600. 2018 NSA record: 4-1-0-1, $41,000. Sent over timber in 2019 and won Fair Hill allowance after fifth in Virginia Gold Cup’s Steeplethon. Finished third in Shawan amateur apprentice timber allowance. Finished third in Saratoga’s 2018 A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1), then was fifth in New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1). Won Steeplechase at Callaway’s 2015 AFLAC Supreme Hurdle and Belmont’s William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes.
Stand Down (Ire). 2012 b. g., Yeats (Ire)—Quadrennial, by Un Desperado. Owner: Frank Bonsal Jr. Trainer: Joseph G. Davies. Breeder: Mrs. E. Costelloe (Ire). 2019 record: 2-0-1-0, $5,800. 2018 record: 5-3-0-1, $45,000. Finished fifth in 2019 Virginia Gold Cup after second in John D. Schapiro timber allowance at My Lady’s Manor. Won 2018 Pennsylvania Hunt Cup. Sustained first career defeat when third in 2018 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup, then was pulled up in International Gold Cup. Won first two career starts by open lengths, beginning with 2018 Grand National timber allowance and then Willowdale allowance timber.
Super Saturday. 2009 gr. or ro. g., Any Given Saturday—Lady Aloma, by Cozzene. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Kathy Neilson. Breeder: Walton Breeders (Ky.) 2019 record: 3-0-0-1, $11,200. 2018 record: 6-1-2-1, $51,800. 2017 record: 6-0-1-1, $13,400. Finished third in 2019 Virginia Gold Cup, then fell in Radnor Hunt Cup. Finished fifth in Middleburg Hunt Cup. Finished second in 2018 International Gold Cup and Pennsylvania Hunt Cup after fifth in National Sporting Library & Museum Cup. Won 2018 Middleburg Hunt Cup, then was third in the Virginia Gold Cup and fourth in Radnor Hunt Cup.
Witor (Ger). 2008 b. g., Dashing Blade—Wurfspeil, by Lomitas (GB). Owner: Blair Wyatt. Trainer: Todd Wyatt. Breeder: Gestut Farhof (Ger). 2019 record: 2-0-1-0, $10,750. 2018 record: 2-1-0-1, $13,000. 2017 record: 2-1-0-0, $10,250. Finished game second in 2019 My Lady’s Manor, then was fourth in soggy Willowdale Steeplechase. Won 2018 John D. Schapiro Memorial amateur apprentice timber at My Lady’s Manor, then was third in Winterthur Bowl. Scored maiden timber victory at 2017 Willowdale meet and then was fourth in a Fair Hill timber novice.