Irvin S. Naylor’s Pullyourfingerout made a bold move on the final turn of Ford Conger Field, charged past pacesetter Birthday Beau, and drew away easily to win the $50,000 Budweiser Imperial Cup on Saturday, March 24, at the Aiken Spring Steeplechase.
Ridden by Ross Geraghty, Irish-bred Pullyourfingerout won by 11 3/4 lengths over Mede Cahaba Stable’s Class Indian, who closed past Birthday Beau in the stretch. Owner-trainer Michele Sanger’s Birthday Beau finished third, 12 1/4 lengths farther back. Pullyourfingerout completed the Budweiser Imperial Cup’s two miles over National Fences in 3:50.40 on firm ground.
The Budweiser Imperial Cup for novices–horses in their first seasons of competition over fences–was the featured event of the kick-off race meet on the National Steeplechase Association 2012 schedule.
Pullyourfingerout carried the Budweiser Imperial Cup’s 156-pound high weight based on his form in England last year, when he won two hurdle races and a flat race. Acquired by Naylor in the fall and placed with trainer Joseph W. Delozier III, Pullyourfingerout was eased in his only previous U.S. start, on yielding ground in the Foxbrook Champion Hurdle at the Far Hills Races in New Jersey on Oct. 22.