The Fields Stable’s Left Unsaid, the National Steeplechase Association’s 2009 novice champion, will take on a field of potential future stars on Saturday, May 15, in the $50,000 National Hunt Cup, the richest race of the 80th annual Radnor Hunt Races in Malvern, Pa.
Also on Saturday, a competitive field will line up for the $25,000 Strawberry Hill Classic, the featured race of the 78th annual Strawberry Hill Races at Colonial Downs in New Kent, Va.
Trained by Tom Voss, Left Unsaid will be making his first start of the 2010 season in the 2 3/8-mile race over National Fences and will carry the 156-pound high weight in the National Hunt Cup, a part of the Sport of Kings series for novice steeplechase competitors.
Ross Geraghty again will ride Left Unsaid, a five-year-old Dynaformer gelding who sealed his title with a score in the Foxbrook Champion Hurdle at Far Hills, N.J., on October 17.
Voss also will saddle Cashel Stables’ Ballet Boy, who won a Sport of Kings maiden hurdle at the Foxfield Spring Races in Charlottesville, Va., on April 24. Champion jockey Paddy Young has the mount.
Two other National Hunt Cup competitors already have notched their first 2010 victories. Mrs. Calvin Houghland’s Nationbuilder comes into the National Hunt Cup from a victory in the $50,000 Queen’s Cup MPC Chase at the Queen’s Cup in Mineral Springs, N.C., on April 24. Danielle Hodsdon again will ride the six-year-old Came Home gelding for Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard.
Also in the field of seven is Riders Up Farm’s You the Man, who finished third in the Queen’s Cup, and Mrs. S.K. Johnston’s Ambersham, the Queen’s Cup fourth finisher.
Oakwood Stable’s Country Cousin rides a two-race winning streak into the National Hunt Cup. After winning his maiden victory at the Montpelier Hunt Races last November, the seven-year-old Lear Fan gelding took the $20,000 Glenwood Cup by seven lengths at the Middleburg Spring Races at Middleburg, Va., on April 17. Trainer Julie Gomena named Carl Rafter to ride Country Cousin in the National Hunt Cup.
South Monarch goes for three in Radnor Hunt Cup
Also featured at the Radnor Hunt Races will be the $40,000 Radnor Hunt Cup, a 3 1/4-mile race over timber fences that attracted six entries. Seeking his third victory in as many 2010 races will be owner-trainer Sanna N. Hendriks’ South Monarch, who already has scored in the My Lady’s Manor at Monkton, Md., on April 10 and the Winterthur Bowl in Delaware on May 2. Jody Petty again will ride the eight-year-old Conquistador Cielo gelding.
Also shooting for a third win in a row is The Whacker, who won the Sham ACISS at the My Lady’s Manor meet and then took the $25,000 Steeplethon at the Virginia Gold Cup meet in The Plains, Va. Voss named Young to ride Robert A. Kinsley’s nine-year-old Irish-bred.
Seeking his first win of the year is reigning timber champion Patriot’s Path, who will be ridden by Darren Nagle. Owned by Irvin Naylor and trained by Desmond Fogarty, the ten-year-old Carnivalay gelding most recently finished third in the $75,000 Virginia Gold Cup on the Great Meadow Race Course.
Prince Rahy meets seasoned opponents in Strawberry Hill Classic
Dogwood Stable’s Prince Rahy, an accomplished runner on the flat and a promising competitor over fences, will carry the 156-pound co-high weight in the $25,000 Strawberry Hill Classic. The eight-year-old Rahy gelding finished second in the 2005 Hill Prince Stakes (G3) and was third in last year’s Lure Stakes, both at Belmont Park. He showed he had bright prospects for racing in National Steeplechase Association-sanctioned events when he won the Priority Payment Systems Maiden Hurdle by ten lengths at the Atlanta Steeplechase on April 24.
Richard Boucher, who rode Prince Rahy in his debut over fences at Atlanta, was named by Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard to ride Dogwood’s gelding in the Strawberry Hill Classic, a 2 1/4-mile race over National Fences.
Sharing the high weight as a 2010 winner under the Strawberry Hill Classic’s allowance conditions is Oakwood Stable’s Virginia Minstrel, a six-year-old Pleasant Tap gelding who won the $25,000 Camden Plate at the Carolina Cup Races in Camden, S.C., on March 27.
Getting a break in the weights as a four-year-old is Laura Thiel Shull’s Moving Violation, who cruised to a six-length victory in the Belk Maiden Claiming Hurdle at the Atlanta Steeplechase. The Medaglia d’Oro gelding, who carries 146 pounds, is trained by Britt Graham.
–Written by Don Clippinger