Holston Hall’s Hot Rize, upset winner of the Virginia Gold Cup, launches his fall campaign in Saturday’s $50,000 New Jersey Hunt Cup, the featured timber race of the Far Hills Races.
Trained by Holston Hall’s Russell Haynes, Hot Rize made a strong run in the $75,000 Virginia Gold Cup on May 3 to score by three-quarters of a length. Willie McCarthy, currently the National Steeplechase Association’s leading jockey, will be in the saddle.
Hot Rize’s principal opponent will be Armata Stable’s Cornhusker, a dominant winner of two timber stakes races this past spring.
Trained by Alicia Murphy, Cornhusker most recently lost his rider in the $35,000 National Sporting Library & Museum Cup at the Virginia Fall Races in Middleburg on Oct. 4.
In his previous start, the Dynaformer gelding had won the Iroquois Steeplechase’s $50,000 Mason Houghland Memorial by 5 3/4 lengths on May 10. In his only other start this year, he waltzed away to a 6 1/2-length victory in the Middleburg Hunt Cup on April 19. Mark Beecher will ride.
Also entered for the 3 1/4-mile New Jersey Hunt Cup was Armata’s Brother Sy, who finished second in the National Sporting Library Cup. Trained by Todd McKenna, Brother Sy won a Willowdale amateur timber race on May 11. He will be ridden by Paddy Young.
Jack Fisher, currently the sport’s leading trainer, will send out Sheila J. Williams’ and Andre Brewster’s Straight to It, a disappointing fourth in the Radnor Hunt Cup on May 17. Winner of the 2012 New Jersey Hunt Cup, Straight to It will be ridden by Sean McDermott.
Leading owner Irv Naylor will be represented by Super Saturday, winner of a Shawan Downs maiden timber race on Sept. 27 at Hunt Valley, Md., and Here Comes Badness, second in a Winterthur timber allowance race on May 4.
Here is the field for the New Jersey Hunt Cup:
Super Saturday. 2009 gr. or ro. g., Any Given Saturday—Lady Aloma, by Cozzene. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Kathy Neilson. Jockey: James Slater. 2014 record: 3-1-0-1, $10,500. 2013 record: 6-0-1-2, $3,750. 10-1 odds. Broke through for a seven-length victory in a Shawan Downs maiden timber race on Sept. 27. Finished third in a Fair Hill novice timber race on May 24.
Hot Rize. 2004 dk. b. or br. g., Sultry Song—Donesia, by Desert Wine. Owner: Holston Hall. Trainer: Russell Haynes. Jockey: Willie McCarthy. 2014 record: 1-0-0-0, $900. 2013 record: 6-1-1-1, $27,500. 2-1 odds. Won the Virginia Gold Cup at odds of 10.70-1. Finished sixth in Grand National on April 19. Ended 2013 season with third in the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup after fourth in the National Sporting Library Chronicle Cup. Finished second by a nose in Radnor Hunt Cup after sixth in the Virginia Gold Cup as the 3.10-1 favorite. Won Middleburg Hunt Cup.
Brother Sy. 2005 b. g., Syncline—Cozy Rhythm, by Cozzene. Owner: Armata Stable. Trainer: Todd McKenna. Jockey: Paddy Young. 2014 record: 4-2-1-0, $18,900. 8-1 odds. Finished second in Virginia Fall’s $35,000 National Sporting Library & Museum Cup on Oct. 4. Won Willowdale amateur allowance timber race on May 11. Won Grand National’s Western Run Plate amateur apprentice timber race by 42 lengths on April 19 after fifth in division of John Rush Streett Memorial maiden timber at My Lady’s Manor a week earlier.
Straight to It. 2006 ch. g., Giant’s Causeway—Helsinka (Fr), by Pennekamp. Owners: Sheila J. Williams and Andre Brewster. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Sean McDermott. 2014 record: 3-0-0-0, $6,500. 2013 record: 6-1-4-1, $47,500. 5-1 odds. Finished fourth in Radnor Hunt Cup on May 17. Finished fourth in 2014 debut in My Lady’s Manor, then was fifth in Virginia Gold Cup on May 3. Gave Jack Fisher a share of trainer’s title with victory in Colonial Cup’s Springdale timber allowance. Won the 2012 New Jersey Hunt Cup at Far Hills, N.J.
Cornhusker (GB). 2007 b. g., Dynaformer–Nebraska Tornado, by Storm Cat. Owner: Armata Stables. Trainer: Alicia Murphy. Jockey: Mark Beecher. 2014 record: 3-2-0-0, $42,000. 2013 record: 5-1-1-0, $15,950. 4-1 odds. Made successful transition to timber racing and won Iroquois Steeplechase’s $50,000 Mason Houghland Memorial on May 10 after score in Middleburg Hunt Cup open timber race on April 19. Lost rider in Virginia Fall’s National Sporting Library & Museum Cup on Oct. 4.
Here Comes Badness. 2006 ch. g., Naevus–Ojibwa Princess, by Regal Classic. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Kathy Neilson. Jockey: James Slater. 2014 record: 4-0-1-0, $3,800. 2013 record: 3-0-1-0, $6,250. 12-1 odds. Finished second in Winterthur timber allowance to go with three fourth-place finishes this year. Finished second in last year’s New Jersey Hunt Cup, when it was run as a timber allowance race.