Merriefield Farm’s Foyle has an opportunity to earn the 2013 National Steeplechase Association timber championship and complete a rags-to-riches season, but standing in his way is a crowded field for the $35,000 Pennsylvania Hunt Cup on Sunday, Nov. 3. First post time in 1:30 p.m.
The 79th Pennsylvania Hunt Cup concludes the 2013 timber stakes schedule, and the four-mile race over the Unionville course attracted a crowd looking to deny Foyle, who scored a 11.60-1 upset in the $50,000 International Gold Cup on Oct. 19.
The International Gold Cup’s $30,000 first-place purse placed Foyle just $3,450 behind timber earnings leader Grinding Speed, the Virginia Gold Cup winner who has been inactive through the fall season. Any finish in the money would give the earnings lead to Foyle, who currently has purse earnings of $42,750.
Kieran Norris rode Foyle to a one-length victory in the International Gold Cup, and trainer Bruce Fenwick tapped Norris again for the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup. They will have plenty of competition, including the entire field from the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup in Upstate New York on Oct. 12.
Keystone Thoroughbreds’ Crossing Again won the Genesee race by 3 1/2 lengths under Annie Yeager, and she will again ride for trainer Todd McKenna. Arcadia Stable’s Delta Park finished second, and trainer Jack Fisher named Darren Nagle to ride the 2012 New Jersey Hunt Cup victor.
Leading trainer Irv Naylor will be represented by Alfa Beat, third in the Genesee race. Billy Meister, a leading timber trainer, will put James Slater in the saddle.
Completing the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup’s order of finish were Kinross Farm’s Sand Box Rules, Magalen O. Bryant’s Dakota Slew, and Rosbrian Farm’s More Fascination. Moonsox, owned by Nelson & Traveller Stable, lost his rider at Genesee.
Emerging from Virginia Fall’s $35,000 National Sporting Library Chronicle Cup to challenge Foyle were Armata Stable’s Embarrassed and Holston Hall’s Hot Rize, respective third- and fourth-place finishers.
Completing the field are Gerry Brewster’s Brands Hatch, fifth in the International Gold Cup’s Steeplethon, and Lucy Stable’s Justpourit, who was pulled up in the International Gold Cup.
Who do you like in the $35,000 Pennsylvania Hunt Cup?
More Fascination. 2003 b. g., Dynaformer–Desiray, by Deputy Minister. Owner: Rosbrian Farm. Trainer: Tara Elmore. Jockey: Mark Beecher. 2013 record: 1-0-0-0, $750. 2012 record: 3-0-0-1, $3,000. 2011 record: 2-0-1-0, $6,300. 15-1 odds. Finished sixth in the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup, his only 2013 start. Tired to finish seventh in 2012 Radnor Hunt Cup, his prior start. Fell at the sixth fence of the 2012 Maryland Hunt Cup after third-place finish in the Grand National.
Brands Hatch. 2001 dk. b. or br. g., A.P. Indy–Watch Out, by Mr. Prospector. Owner: Gerry L. Brewster. Trainer: Blythe Miller Davies. Jockey: Jackson Roberts. 2013 record: 5-0-0-0, $2,075. 2012 record: 5-1-1-1, $9,950. 2011 record: 7-0-1-0, $5,100. 15-1 odds. Finished fifth in International Gold Cup’s Steeplethon in most recent start. Won 2012 Grand National and was sixth this year.
Sand Box Rules. 2004 dk. b. or br. g., Outofthebox—Lady Ensign, by Miner’s Mark. Owner: Kinross Farm. Trainer: Neil Morris. Jockey: Diane Gillam. 2013 record: 3-0-1-0, $16,250. 2012 record: 5-0-1-1, $9,450. 2011 record: No starts. 10-1 odds. Began fall season with fourth in the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. Finished good second in the 2013 Maryland Hunt Cup after fourth in My Lady’s Manor. Closed out 2012 season with a second-place finish in the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup after being placed third in the Steeplethon at the International Gold Cup meet.
Imperial Way. 2005 ch. g., Point Given–Lasha, by Rahy. Owner: Merriefield Farm. Trainer: Tom Voss. Jockey: Paddy Young. 2013 record: 2-0-0-1, $2,000. 20-1 odds. Maiden on flat and over fences came back after 2 1/2-year absence to finish third in a Foxfield Spring timber maiden on May 5 and then was fourth in a Winterthur timber allowance on May 5.
Embarrassed. 2005 b. g., Flatter—Stormy Blast, by Kayrawan. Owner: Armata Stables. Trainer: Kathy Neilson. Jockey: Willie McCarthy. 2013 record: 5-1-1-1, $17,100. 2012 record: 7-1-0-2, $10,700. 2011 record: 10-1-1-2, $10,850. 12-1 odds. Finished distant third in National Sporting Library Chronicle Cup on Oct. 5 after fourth in Shawan Downs’ Legacy Chase on Sept. 28. Within a week, finished second in 2013 Winterthur Bowl and then won $15,000 Willowdale Steeplechase over timber.
Moonsox. 2006 ch. g., Mojave Moon–Sister Sox, by Deputy Minister. Owner: Nelson & Traveller Stable. Trainer: Kevin Boniface. Jockey: Amelia McGuirk. 2013 record: 5-1-0-0, $21,600. 2012 record: 4-0-1-0, $10,350. 2011 record: 4-1-1-2, $17,937. 10-1 odds. Lost rider in Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. Began fall campaign with close-up sixth in Shawan Downs’ Legacy Chase on Sept. 28. Finished seventh in the Radnor Hunt Cup after fifth in the Virginia Gold Cup. Won 2013 My Lady’s Manor by 1 3/4 lengths after leading early, dropping back to last, and then making a big late run. Finished second in the 2012 New Jersey Hunt Cup.
Delta Park. 2004 b. g., Johannesburg–Excedius, by Seattle Dancer. Owner: Arcadia Stable. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Darren Nagle. 2013 record: 2-0-1-0, $4,500. 2012 record: 2-1-0-1, $29,000. 2011 record: 6-2-0-2, $51,250. 6-1 odds. Finished second in Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. In first start since winning the 2012 Radnor Hunt Cup, finished ninth in Shawan Downs’ Legacy Chase. Won the 2011 New Jersey Hunt Cup at Far Hills.
Crossing Again. 2002 b. m., Valley Crossing—Clever Mary, by Clever Champ. Owner: Keystone Thoroughbreds. Trainer: Todd McKenna. Jockey: Annie Yeager. 2013 record: 3-1-0-2, $16,500. 2012 record: No starts. 5-1 odds. Maiden over fences led most of the way and won the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup by 3 1/2 lengths. Was third in amateur apprentice timber allowances at Grand National and Willowdale.
Foyle. 2005 dk. b. or br. g., Yarrow Brae–Londonderry, by Perfecting. Owner: Merriefield Farm. Trainer: Bruce Fenwick. Jockey: Kieran Norris. 2013 record: 3-2-0-0, $42,750. 2012 record: 3-1-1-1, $10,300. 2011 record: No starts. 9-2 odds. Pulled surprise in winning $50,000 International Gold Cup as 11.60-1 longshot. Finished well-beaten tenth in Shawan Downs’ Legacy Chase on Sept. 28 after fourth in Virginia Gold Cup on May 4. Declared winner of Grand National’s Benjamin H. Murray Memorial after first two finishers went off course. Started his timber career last fall and won maiden victory at the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup in November.
Alfa Beat (Ire) 2004 gr. or ro. g., Environment Friend (GB)—Belle d’Anjou (Fr), by Saint Cyrien (Fr). Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: William Meister. Jockey: James Slater. 2013 record: 4-1-1-1, $22,300. 2012 NSA record: 6-0-1-0, $3,050. 8-1 odds. Finished third in Genesee Valley Hunt Cup on Oct. 12. Finished a distant seventh in Virginia Gold Cup on May 4. Made steady progress through Grand National field and won by five lengths on April 20. A week earlier, finished second in first division of John Rush Streett maiden timber. Two-time winner of the Guinness Kerry National Handicap Steeplechase at Listowel in Ireland.
Hot Rize. 2004 dk. b. or br. g., Sultry Song—Donesia, by Desert Wine. Owner: Holston Hall. Trainer: Edward Mulligan. Jockey: Jeff Murphy. 2013 record: 4-1-1-0, $23,200. 2012 record: 1-0-0-0, $1,050. 2011 record: 7-2-1-2, $23,100. 15-1 odds. Never was seriously involved in the National Sporting Library Chronicle Cup and finished a distant fourth on Oct. 5. Finished second by a nose in Radnor Hunt Cup on May 18. Finished sixth in the Virginia Gold Cup as the 3.10-1 favorite. For new owner and trainer, won Middleburg Hunt Cup on April 20. Finished fourth in 2012 International Gold Cup after sixth in National Sporting Museum Chronicle Cup.
Dakota Slew. 2007 dk. b. or br. g., Slew City Slew—Klearlee Kiera, by Allen’s Prospect. Owner: Magalen O. Bryant. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Jockey: Robbie Walsh. 2013 record: 3-0-0-1, $8,500. 2012 record: 5-2-0-2, $18,000. 2011 record: 2-0-0-1, $1,750. 12-1 odds. Finished fifth in Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. Finished third in Virginia Gold Cup and then lost rider in Willowdale Steeplechase on May 12. Won timber allowance at 2012 Pennsylvania Hunt Cup.
Justpourit (Ire). 1999 b. g., Glacial Storm–Gale Choice, by Strong Gale. Owner: Lucy Stable. Trainer: Julie Gomena. Jockey: George Hundt Jr. 2013 record: 4-0-1-0, $4,275. 2012 record: 1-0-0-0, $2,000. 2011 record: 4-1-3-0, $14,400. 20-1 odds. Pulled up in International Gold Cup after second in Willowdale Steeplechase on May 12 in Pennsylvania. Finished fifth in 2013 Grand National after fourth in the John D. Schapiro Memorial at My Lady’s Manor. In only 2012 start, finished fourth in the Radnor Hunt Cup at Malvern, Pa. Won the 2011 John D. Schapiro Memorial at My Lady’s Manor before three second-place finishes, including the Radnor Hunt Cup.