With the 2013 National Steeplechase Association’s timber championship up for grabs, the $50,000 International Gold Cup on Saturday, Oct. 19, attracted a strong cast of accomplished nominees.
First post time is 1:30 p.m. for the 30th International Gold Cup meet at the Great Meadows Race Course in The Plains, Va., and pari-mutuel wagering will be offered on its six races.
Among the eight nominees to the 76th International Gold Cup is leading owner Irv Naylor’s Tax Ruling, a multiple Grade 1 winner over hurdles who has made a successful transition to timber racing this year.
He was second in the Mason Houghland Memorial at Nashville’s Iroquois Steeplechase on May 11 and then won the James Stump Memorial novice timber allowance at Fair Hill, Md., two weeks later. Now based with leading timber trainer William Meister, Tax Ruling won Shawan Downs’ Legacy Chase open timber allowance race on Sept. 28.
Also nominated were several of Tax Ruling’s opponents from the Shawan Downs race in Maryland. Reigning champion trainer Jack Fisher nominated Sheila Williams’ and Andre Brewster’s Straight to It, who finished second by three-quarters of a length in the Legacy Chase. Winner of the 2012 New Jersey Hunt Cup winner, Straight to It finished third in this year’s Virginia Gold Cup on the Great Meadow course.
Fisher also nominated Sonny Via’s Worried Man, the upset winner of the Mason Houghland Memorial who finished seventh in the Legacy Chase.
Alfred C. Griffin’s Aero will be looking to improve on his two consecutive second-place finishes in the International Gold Cup. In his most recent start, the Doug Fout trainee finished third in the Legacy Chase, beaten a length.
Also nominated to the International Gold Cup from the Shawan race was Merriefield Farm’s Foyle, who finished tenth for trainer Bruce Fenwick.
Three nominees emerged from Virginia Fall’s National Sporting Library Chronicle Cup on Oct. 5. Kinross Farm’s Old Timer finished second after leading at the final fence. Holston Hall’s Hot Rize finished fourth after a narrow defeat in the Radnor Hunt Cup in Pennsylvania on May 18.
He’s a Conniver, owned by Ernie Oare’s EMO Stables, set the Chronicle Cup’s pace for the first two miles before tiring to finish last of five starters. Winner of the 2010 International Gold Cup, He’s a Conniver was making his first start after missing the entire 2012 season.
Here are the nominees to the International Gold Cup in alphabetical order:
Aero. 2005 b. g., Northern Spur (Ire)–Best Victory (Fr), by Cadoudal. Owner: Alfred C. Griffin Jr. Trainer: Doug Fout. 2013 record: 1-0-0-1, $2,000. 2012 record: 4-0-2-0, $27,350. 2011 record: 4-2-1-1, $37,000. Finished third, beaten a length, in Shawan Downs’ Legacy Chase on Sept. 28. Finished second in 2012 International Gold Cup after fourth in National Sporting Library Chronicle Cup. Started 2012 season with second in the Middleburg Hunt Cup and then was well-beaten fifth in the Virginia Gold Cup. Ran sparkling race in the 2011 National Sporting Library Chronicle Cup to win by six lengths at the Virginia Fall Races in Middleburg before second in International Gold Cup.
Foyle. 2005 dk. b. or br. g., Yarrow Brae–Londonderry, by Perfecting. Owner: Merriefield Farm. Trainer: Bruce Fenwick. 2013 record: 2-1-0-0, $12,750. 2012 record: 3-1-1-1, $10,300. 2011 record: No starts. 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.
He’s a Conniver. 2002 ch. g., Crafty Friend–Better to Be Lucky, by Roberto. Owner: EMO Stable. Trainer: Don Yovanovich. 2013 record: 1-0-0-0, $1,400. 2011 record: 7-0-1-1, $10,100. Set early pace in National Sporting Library Chronicle Cup on Oct. 5 and tired to finish last of five at Virginia Fall. Winner of the 2010 International Gold Cup finished third in 2011 Chronicle Cup after 27-length score in 2010.
Hot Rize. 2004 dk. b. or br. g., Sultry Song—Donesia, by Desert Wine. Owner: Holston Hall. Trainer: Edward Mulligan. 2013 record: 4-1-1-0, $23,200. 2012 record: 1-0-0-0, $1,050. 2011 record: 7-2-1-2, $23,100. 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.
Old Timer. 2006 b. g., Orientate—Chatham Hall, by Green Dancer. Owner: Kinross Farm. Trainer: Neil Morris. 2013 record: 3-1-1-0, $14,800. 2012 record: 4-1-0-1, $13,060. Gave up big lead at last fence of Virginia Fall’s National Sporting Library Chronicle Cup and finished second on Oct. 5. Won the first division of the John Rush Streett maiden timber race at My Lady’s Manor by 1 1/4 lengths on April 13 before fourth in the Mason Houghland Memorial timber stakes at Iroquois on May 11.
Straight to It. 2006 ch. g., Giant’s Causeway—Helsinka (Fr), by Pennekamp. Owners: Sheila J. Williams and Andre Brewster. Trainer: Jack Fisher. 2013 record: 3-0-2-1, $26,500. 2012 record: 3-2-0-1, $39,500. 2011 record: 7-1-1-0, $31,500. Finished second, beaten three-quarters of a length, by Tax Ruling in Shawan Downs’ Legacy Chase. Finished third in Radnor Hunt Cup on May 18 after second in Virginia Gold Cup on May 4. Rallied for second in My Lady’s Manor on April 13. Won the 2012 New Jersey Hunt Cup at Far Hills, N.J.
Tax Ruling. 2003 dk. b. or br. g., Dynaformer–Fantastic Find, by Mr. Prospector. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: William Meister. 2013 record: 3-2-1-0, $30,000. 2012 record: 3-0-0-0, $7,500. 2011 record: 4-2-0-0, $153,500. Made a successful transition to timber in 2013, finishing second in the Mason Houghland Memorial at Iroquois on May 11 and then winning a Fair Hill timber allowance two weeks later. Started fall campaign with victory in the Legacy Chase timber allowance at Shawan Downs in Maryland on Sept. 28. Finished fourth in 2012 Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1) while seeking third straight win. Eclipse finalist in 2011 after victories in Calvin Houghland Iroquois and Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1).
Worried Man. 2007 b. g., Dynaformer—Mystic Lady, by Thunder Gulch. Owner: Harold A. “Sonny” Via. Trainer: Jack Fisher. 2013 record: 4-1-1-0, $32,200. 2012 record: No starts. Upset the Mason Houghland Memorial at Nashville’s Iroquois Steeplechase on May 11 before seventh in Shawan Downs’ Legacy Chase on Sept. 28. Began timber career with fifth in My Lady’s Manor timber maiden and then was second in a timber maiden at the Foxfield Spring Races on April 28.