Merriefield Farm’s Foyle fought off a stretch-long challenge from Delta Park to win the $35,000 Pennsylvania Hunt Cup on Sunday, Nov. 3, and lock up the 2013 timber championship.
Ridden by Kieran Norris, Foyle took the lead at the sixth fence of the Unionville classic and withstood the challenge from Arcadia Stable’s Delta Park and jockey Darren Nagle to win by a half-length. Hot Rize finished third, and early pacesetter More Fascination took fourth.
Foyle, trained in Maryland by Bruce Fenwick, completed the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup’s four miles in 8:55 on firm turf.
The Pennsylvania Hunt Cup’s $21,000 first-place purse raised Foyle’s 2013 earnings to $63,750 and assured him the year’s timber title over Virginia Gold Cup winner Grinding Speed, who earned $46,200 in the spring season and has not competed this fall. The 79th running of the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup concluded the year’s schedule of timber stakes races.
The title will be the second in three years for the Merriefield Farm operation of Charles Noell and Barbara Voss, who campaigned Bon Caddo in 2011.
Foyle placed himself in position for the title with an 11.60-1 upset in the $50,000 International Gold Cup on Oct. 19. He needed to finish no worse than third in the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup to take the earnings lead over Grinding Speed, and he notched a game victory over stakes winner Delta Park.
Norris placed Foyle in fifth position early as More Fascination cut the early pace before Alfa Beat went to the front. The leader fell at the sixth fence, and Foyle seized the opportunity to take the lead. Delta Park came to Foyle early in the stretch but was unable to overtake him in an exciting finish.