Sportsmans Hall’s Private Attack, always prominent in the $75,000 Maryland Hunt Cup, drew away to a 60-length victory in the historic timber race in Glyndon on Saturday, April 30.
In another busy weekend of National Steeplechase Association-sanctioned racing, Brian Crowley won three jump races and a flat race at the Queen’s Cup Steeplechase, including the $50,000 Queen’s Cup MPC ‘Chase aboard Triplekin, and Demonstrative prevailed in the $25,000 Daniel Van Clief Memorial at the Foxfield Spring Races in Charlottesville, Va.
Riding Private Attack in the 115th Maryland Hunt Cup was Blythe Miller Davies, a retired champion jockey who had scratched her husband’s entrant from the race and thus could again partner with the 12-year-old timber specialist.
Trainer Alicia Murphy had tapped Davies to ride Private Attack in the $30,000 Grand National in Butler a week earlier. They set all the pace and won by a neck.
The Hunt Cup’s imposing post-and-rail fences and four-mile distance proved little challenge for Private Attack, who had finished second in last year’s race. Carrying scale weight of 165 pounds, the Private Interview horse ran the distance in 9:27.60 on a course rated as good.
Mrs. William D. Class Jr.’s And the Eagle Flys, who accompanied Private Attack on the early pace, finished second under trainer William Meister. Northwoods Stable’s Volle Nolle, ridden by Michael Traurig, finished third. Of the Hunt Cup’s seven other starters, two fell and five unseated their jockeys.
Davies trains husband Joe’s Fort Henry, who was entered for the Hunt Cup but scratched prior to race time, thus allowing the two-time champion steeplechase jockey to accept the mount.
Triplekin roars to Queen’s Cup win
Magalen O. Bryant’s Triplekin took over the lead with three-quarters of a mile remaining in the Queen’s Cup MPC ‘Chase, opened a ten-length advantage before the final fence, and came home under light urging to a 5 3/4-length victory under Crowley.
Mede Cahaba Stable’s Complete Zen, who set the pace under Richard Boucher, finished second, two lengths clear of Stephen Price’s Fealing Real and Augustin Stables’ Port Morsbey, who dead-heated for third in the novice stakes for horses in their first seasons of competition over fences.
Trained by Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard, Triplekin ran the 2 1/4 miles of the Queen’s Cup in 4:25 flat on firm ground at Brooklandwood near Charlotte, N.C. Triplekin, a six-year-old Makin gelding, was making his first start in nearly a year. In his previous start, he had won an allowance race at the Tanglewood Cup Steeplechase in North Carolina last May.
Crowley also won the BAE Systems maiden hurdle with Cherry Knoll Farm’s Roman Glory, the day’s timber race on Lucy Stable’s Westbound Road, and a training flat race aboard Gregory Hawkins’ Alajmal. Racing Hall of Fame trainer Janet Elliot saddled Roman Glory and Alajmal.
In another training flat race, Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Slip Away, the reigning Eclipse Award winner, ran a strong second to Hudson River Farms’ Inauguration, beaten 1 3/4 lengths in the 1 1/4-mile race. Ridden by Matt McCarron, Slip Away galloped out another half-mile as he prepares for another run at the $150,000 Calvin Houghland Iroquois in Nashville on May 14. The Skip Away gelding finished second last year.
Demonstrative takes Van Clief
Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Demonstrative, the reigning National Steeplechase Association three-year-old champion, surged over the final fence and drew clear to a 1 3/4-length victory in a talent-filled running of the $25,000 Daniel Van Clief Memorial at the Foxfield Spring Races.
Trained by Richard Valentine and ridden by Robbie Walsh, Demonstrative ran the Van Clief’s 2 1/8 miles in 4:04.40 on turf rated as good. Cashel Stables’ Ballet Boy, who had a slight lead over Demonstrative at the final fence, finished second, and Caves Farm’s Grantor took third. Jennifer Pitts’ Green Velvet set the early pace and finished fourth.
Demonstrative, an Elusive Quality gelding acquired last summer by trainer Richard Valentine for Ohrstrom, had started the 2011 season with a second-place finish in a tough allowance race at the Aiken Spring Races on March 26.