Private Attack, the brilliant 60-length winner of the Maryland Hunt Cup, returns to the races in the $25,000 Genesee Hunt Cup, featured race of the 83rd annual Genesee Valley Hunt Races in Geneseo, N.Y., on Saturday, Oct. 5. First post time is 1 p.m., and the 3 1/2-mile Genesee Hunt Cup over timber fences will be the fifth race on the afternoon’s program.
Also on Saturday is the 32nd annual Morven Park Steeplechase in Leesburg, Va., which attracted large fields for its six races, including two training flat races containing horses preparing for such races as the $250,000 Grand National (Gr. 1) at the Far Hills Races in New Jersey on Oct. 22. Morven Park’s first post time is 1:30 p.m.
Sportsmans Hall’s Private Attack is undefeated in 2011 and a leading contender for the year-end timber horse title. The 12-year-old Private Interview gelding preceded his Maryland Hunt Cup triumph on April 30 with a win in the Grand National, the middle leg of the Maryland spring timber series, a week earlier. Trainer Alicia Murphy named Mark Beecher to ride.
Armata Stables’ Haddix enters the Genesee Hunt Cup from a front-running, 9 3/4-length victory in the $15,000 Legacy Chase at Shawan Downs in Maryland on Sept. 24. He competed in all three Maryland spring timber classics and finished fifth in the My Lady’s Manor. Roddy Mackenzie again will be in the saddle.
Arcadia Stable’s Delta Park most likely will be running late at the Genesee Hunt Cup’s pacesetters. Trained by Jack Fisher, the seven-year-old Johannesburg gelding finished third in the Mason Houghland Memorial Timber Stakes on May 14 at the Iroquois Steeplechase in Nashville after winning the Middleburg Hunt Cup in Virginia.
Leading steeplechase owner Irvin S. Naylor will be represented by Gorgeous Charger, an Awad gelding who finished third in the Legacy Chase, 17 1/4 lengths behind Haddix. Trainer William Meister named James Slater to ride.
Completing the field are Stewart Strawbridge’s Determind Stand, most recently fifth in the Radnor Hunt Cup in Pennsylvania on May 21, and Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Professor Maxwell, who was pulled up in the Mason Houghland.
Morven Park features timber optional allowance
A well-balanced field of ten is scheduled to line up for Morven Park’s $10,000 optional allowance timber race at 3 1/4 miles.
Leading owner Irvin Naylor will be represented in the optional allowance by Fieldview, an eight-year-old Charismatic gelding trained by Kathy McKenna. Fieldview tuned up for the Morven Park race with a second-place finish in the Virginia Beach Memorial, an amateur highweight timber race at the Virginia Fall Races in Middleburg on Oct. 2. Bernie Dalton will ride.
Entering the race from a maiden timber victory is Anthony Malatino’s Belarion, who won at the Winterthur races in Delaware on May 8. Trainer Leslie Young named her husband, champion jockey Paddy Young, to ride the nine-year-old Belong to Me gelding.
Young also will saddle Vicky Bower’s Wazee Moto, who finished fourth in the Middleburg Hunt Cup on April 23 and the Virginia Gold Cup’s Steeplethon at The Plains on May 7. Robbie Walsh has the mount.
Perry J. Bolton’s Arch Hero scored his first victory over timber in the Grover Vandenvender Memorial, a race for maidens at the Foxfield Spring Races on April 30. Kristin Fischer will ride for trainer Tom Voss.
Returning to the races after more than a year’s absence is Gregory Bentley’s Rainbows for Luck, who went to the sidelines after losing his rider in the 2010 Virginia Gold Cup. Stakes-placed on the flat in his native Ontario, Rainbows for Luck is trained by Edward Graham and will be ridden by Jody Petty.
The crowded Morven Park fields include two training flat races that attracted several likely nominees for the Grand National and other races. Among them is 2009 Grand National winner Your Sum Man, owned by The Fields Stable and trained by Voss. Others competing in the training flat races are Gentry Stable’s Be Certain; Naylor’s Organisateur, Armata Stables’ Dynaski, Mary Ann Houghland’s Pierrot Lunaire, and Bill Pape’s Sermon of Love.