Mede Cahaba Stable’s Class Indian will attempt to prove that he is the class of a highly competitive field for the $25,000 Daniel Van Clief Memorial, the featured race of the 35th annual Foxfield Spring Races in Charlottesville on Saturday, April 28. First post time for the five-race program is 1:30 p.m.
Class Indian enters the Daniel Van Clief from a second-place finish in the year’s first stakes race, the $50,000 Budweiser Imperial Cup at the Aiken Spring Races on March 24. In his final start of 2011, the Waquoit gelding finished fourth in the AFLAC Supreme Hurdle for novices–horses in their first years of competition over fences–at the Steeplechase at Callaway in Georgia on Nov. 5. Trainer Lilith Boucher named her husband, Richard, to ride the five-year-old in the 2 1/8-mile Daniel Van Clief.
Certainly the most intriguing challenger will be Randleston Farm’s Duc de Savoie, a Harlan’s Holiday gelding who won his United States jumps debut by five lengths after setting all the pace in a $25,000 Sport of Kings maiden hurdle at the Carolina Cup Races in South Carolina on March 31. The six-year-old previously had been racing with modest success at small Irish race courses. Trainer Jimmy Day named Jeff Murphy to ride.
Leading owner Irvin S. Naylor and trainer J. W. Delozier will take two shots at the Daniel Van Clief with Imperial Gin and Best Alibi. Imperial Gin began his 2012 season with a fourth-place finish in a tough Woodward-Kirkover optional allowance at the Carolina Cup. Ross Geraghty, who already has ridden three 2012 stakes winners for Naylor and Delozier, will be aboard the five-year-old Go for Gin gelding.
Delozier also will saddle Best Alibi, who came back from a year-long absence to finish third in a claiming race at the Stoneybrook Steeplechase in Raeford, N.C., on April 7. Carl Rafter has the mount.
Finding the winner’s circle at Stoneybrook was Daniel Van Clief entrant Old Timer, who won the $15,000 Stoneybrook Cup maiden hurdle. Trained by Neil Morris, Kinross Farms’ Orientate gelding will be ridden by Jeff Murphy.
Champion trainer Tom Voss entered Armata Stables’ Cornhusker, a British-bred gelding who finished second to eventual novice champion Lake Placid in a 2011 optional allowance hurdle at Parx Racing near Philadelphia but then was unplaced in his subsequent starts. Completing the field is owner-trainer Randy Rouse’s Letter Perfect, who would be making his first start since finishing fourth in the 2010 Budweiser Imperial Cup.