The 117th running of the $75,000 Maryland Hunt Cup has attracted 16 early nominees, including two-time winner Twill Do, 2011 winner Private Attack, and 2011 timber champion Bon Caddo. The historic Hunt Cup, the culmination of Maryland’s timber-racing triple crown, will be run on Saturday, April 27, at Glyndon.
Early nominations for the four-mile race over 22 fences closed March 12 for a $25 fee. Supplementary nominations for $500 can be made when entries are taken on Tuesday, April 23.
Hunt Cup nominees frequently prepare for the concluding race of the Maryland timber triple in the preceding legs, the My Lady’s Manor on April 13 and the Grand National on April 20. My Lady’s Manor and the Grand National carry $30,000 purses. The My Lady’s Manor is run at three miles, and the Grand National is 3 1/4 miles.
Lucy Goelet’s Twill Do scored a dramatic victory in the 2012 Hunt Cup when he came back to overtake Battle Op and win by three-quarters of a length. Trained by Billy Meister, Twill Do was ridden by James Stierhoff in both his 2010 and 2012 victories. Northwoods Stable’s Battle Op also was an early nominee to this year’s Hunt Cup. Both Goelet and Northwoods have won the Hunt Cup twice, and they will be shooting to retire the Challenge Trophy with three victories. That sweep has occurred six times since 1894.
Sportsmans Hall’s Private Attack was a runaway winner of the 2011 Hunt Cup but fell at the 13th fence on the Hunt Cup course last year. In his previous start, Alicia Murphy-trained Private Attack had finished second in the Grand National, middle leg of Maryland’s timber triple. And the Eagle Flys, the 2012 Grand National winner, also was an early nominee to the 2013 Maryland Hunt Cup. Trained and ridden by Meister, he fell at the 15th Hunt Cup fence last year.
Merriefield Farm’s Bon Caddo, the 2011 timber champion, finished third in last year’s Hunt Cup after a third in the My Lady’s Manor, first leg of the Maryland timber triple. Bon Caddo had won the My Lady’s Manor in 2011, scored an easy victory in the Virginia Gold Cup, and went on to claim the year’s timber racing title. Dawn Williams trains the Maryland-based 12-year-old Bon Point gelding.
The early nominees to the 2013 Maryland Hunt Cup are:
And the Eagle Flys. 2002 ch. g., Double Honor–Slick Mountain, by Peaks and Valleys. Owner: Mrs. William D. Class Jr. Trainer: William Meister. 2012 record: 2-1-0-0, $18,000. 2011 record: 2-0-1-0, $14,250. Won the 2012 Grand National but fell at the 17th fence of the Maryland Hunt Cup. Finished second in the 2011 Maryland Hunt Cup after a fourth in the Benjamin Murray Memorial at the Grand National meet.
Battle Op. 2000 gr. or ro. g., Ops Smile–Allepia, by Allen’s Prospect. Owner: Northwoods Stable. Trainer: Lilli Kurtinecz. 2012 record: 2-0-1-1, $15,000. 2011 record: 2-0-0-1, $2,500. Finished game second in 2012 Maryland Hunt Cup, beaten three-quarters of a length, and then third in the Willowdale Steeplechase over timber. Also finished third in 2010 Maryland Hunt Cup.
Bon Caddo. 2001 b. g., Bon Point (GB)–Tactical Info, by Tactical Advantage. Owner: Merriefield Farm. Trainer: Dawn Williams. 2012 record: 2-0-0-2, $10,500. 2011 record: 5-2-1-0, $73,500. Timber champion of 2011 finished third in the 2012 My Lady’s Manor and then was third in the Maryland Hunt Cup. Front-running winner of the My Lady’s Manor in first 2011 start, then won Virginia Gold Cup.
Brands Hatch. 2001 dk. b. or br. g., A.P. Indy–Watch Out, by Mr. Prospector. Owner: Gerry L. Brewster. Trainer: Blythe Miller Davies. 2012 record: 5-1-1-1, $9,950. 2011 record: 7-0-1-0, $5,100. With new owner and trainer for 2012, won the Grand National’s Western Run Plate after finishing third in the John D. Schapiro Memorial at My Lady’s Manor. Finished second in Willowdale Steeplechase and was fifth in the International Gold Cup.
Bug Eyed Willy. 2003 dk. b. or br. g., Lion Hearted—Bug Eyed Betty, by Pilot Ship. Owner: NoGo Stable. Trainer: William Meister. 2012 record: 3-0-1-0, $3,550. 2011 record: 3-0-0-0, $0. Finished close second in Genesee Valley Hunt Races maiden timber for first placing of his racing career, then was respectable fourth in Pennsylvania Hunt Cup.
Catch the Echo. 2004 dk. b. or br. g., Eastern Echo—Catch the Varmint, by Spicy Story. Owner: Gerry L. Brewster. Trainer: Blythe Miller Davies. 2012 record: 1-0-1-0, $1,800. 2011 record: 1-0-0-0, $375. In only 2012 start, finished second in John Rush Street Memorial maiden timber race at My Lady’s Manor.
Fort Henry. 2001 b. g., Zaffaran–You Name It, by Le Moss. Owner: Joseph G. Davies. Trainer: Blythe Miller Davies. 2012 record: 3-0-0-1, $4,500. 2011 record: 1-0-1-0, $2,700. Finished third in the Benjamin H. Murray Memorial at the Grand National after being pulled up in the 2012 My Lady’s Manor. Finished fifth in the Maryland Hunt Cup. Second in 2011 Benjamin H. Murray Memorial in only start. Won maiden at 2010 My Lady’s Manor meet.
Foyle. 2005 dk. b. or br. g., Yarrow Brae–Londonderry, by Perfecting. Owner: Merriefield Farm. Trainer: Dawn Williams. 2012 record: 3-1-1-1, $10,300. 2011 record: No starts. Started his timber career last fall and won maiden victory at the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup in November. Maiden on flat last raced at Laurel Park in February 2008.
Haddix. 2002 dk. b. or br. g., Deputy Commander–Dysham, by Dynaformer. Owner: Armata Stables. Trainer: Kathy Neilson. 2012 record: 2-0-0-0, $1,200. 2011 record: 7-1-1-1, $18,150. Finished fifth in the 2012 Grand National before an early fall in the Maryland Hunt Cup. Finished fourth in the 2011 New Jersey Hunt Cup. Faded slightly to finish second in 2011 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup after brilliant 9 3/4-length win in Shawan’s Legacy Chase over timber. Distant fifth in 2011 My Lady’s Manor.
Justpourit (Ire). 1999 b. g., Glacial Storm–Gale Choice, by Strong Gale. Owner: Lucy Stable. Trainer: Richard Valentine. 2012 record: 1-0-0-0, $2,000. 2011 record: 4-1-3-0, $14,400. In only 2012 start, finished fourth in the Radnor Hunt Cup at Malvern, Pa. Won the 2011 John D. Schapiro Memorial at My Lady’s Manor before three second-place finishes, including the Radnor Hunt Cup.
Private Attack. 1999 dk. b. or br. h., Private Interview–Ruby Sunset, by Red Attack. Owner: Sportsmans Hall. Trainer: Alicia Murphy. 2012 record: 2-0-1-0, $5,400. 2011 record: 4-2-0-0, $65,300. Finished second in 2012 Grand National before falling at the 13th fence of the Maryland Hunt Cup. Brilliant 60-length winner of the 2011 Maryland Hunt Cup a week after winning Grand National.
Professor Maxwell. 1999 b. g., Buckhar–Pas de Basque, by Bounding Basque. Owner: Jacqueline Ohrstrom. Trainer: Richard Valentine. 2012 record: 1-0-0-0, $3,750. 2011 record: 5-1-0-0, $16,750. In only 2012 start, finished fourth in the Maryland Hunt Cup after pressing the early pace. Scored modest upset in winning 2011 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup, then was fourth in the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup.
Prospectors Strike. 1999 b. g., Smart Strike–Zuri, by Danzig. Owner: Jeremy Batoff. Trainer: Jack Fisher. 2012 record: 4-0-0-0, $3,375. 2011 record: 4-0-1-0, $2,700. Finished fourth in the 2012 John D. Schapiro Memorial at My Lady’s Manor before sixth in the Maryland Hunt Cup. Finished second in 2011 Willowdale Steeplechase. Won 2010 Benjamin Murray at Grand National meet.
Sand Box Rules. 2004 dk. b. or br. g., Outofthebox—Lady Ensign, by Miner’s Mark. Owner: Kinross Farms. Trainer: Neil Morris. 2012 record: 5-0-1-1, $9,450. 2011 record: No starts. Closed out 2012 season with a second-place finish in the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup after being placed third in the Steeplethon at the International Gold Cup meet.
Twill Do. 2000 dk. b. or br. g., Yarrow Brae–A Little Wild, by Wild Again. Owner: Lucy A. Goelet. Trainer: William Meister. 2012 record: 2-1-0-0, $46,500. 2011 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. Became a two-time Maryland Hunt Cup winner in 2012 after fourth-place finish in the Grand National. Winner of 2010 Maryland Hunt Cup lost rider in last year’s Grand National, his only 2011 start.
Voler Bar Nuit. 2001 ch. g., Lord Concorde–Don’t Ask, by Don’s Choice. Owner: Mrs. William D. Class Jr. Trainer: William Meister. 2012 record: 2-0-0-1, $1,000. 2011 record: 2-0-1-0, $1,350. Started 2012 with a third-place finish in the John Rush Streett at My Lady’s Manor before being pulled up in the Virginia Gold Cup. Finished second in 2011 John D. Schapiro Memorial at My Lady’s Manor.