Michael A. Smith’s Le Chevalier launched a strong late move under leading jockey Jack Doyle and drew clear Saturday to a 4 1/2-length victory in the $40,000 National Sporting Library & Museum Cup, the featured race of the Virginia Fall Races in Middleburg.
Gordonsdale Farm’s Canyon Road, always in touch with the pace in the 3 1/4-mile timber race, finished second, a neck ahead of Bruton Street-US’s Two’s Company. Irv Naylor’s starters, Ebanour and Super Saturday, finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Trained by Julie Gomena, Le Chevalier had been knocking at the door of a major victory after finishing second in both the Middleburg Hunt Cup on the same Glenwood Park racecourse and in the Virginia Gold Cup, the year’s richest timber race.
Doyle placed him at the back of the field as Kiplin Hall’s Rodriguez laid down the early pace in company with Two’s Company. Le Chevalier attacked late after Two’s Company took the lead and drew clear to the finish. The nine-year-old Broken Vow gelding ran the distance in 7:35.80 on soft turf.
Doyle, the year’s leading jockey by wins, notched his 14th victory. He leads by two wins over 2017 champion Darren Nagle, who also had a win on the Virginia Fall card with Wits End Stable’s Katnap in the Sunnybank Bowl Steeplethon. Barry Foley rode three winners on the eight-race card, including two over fences, for trainer Doug Fout.
Jack Fisher, the leading trainer by wins for the last six years, recorded a victory in New York with Doc Cebu in the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup and moved into a tie with Ricky Hendriks in the current year’s standings. Each has 15 victories.