Dolly Fisher’s Schoodic overcame a mistake at the last fence of the $30,000 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup and held off Le Chevalier to win by a length on Saturday.
Early pacesetter Grand Manan, who had won the 2016 edition of the 3½-mile Genesee Valley Hunt Cup, held on well to finish third, 6 3/4 lengths farther back.
Trained by Jack Fisher, the owner’s son, Schoodic had sustained his first defeat over timber fences two weeks earlier when second in Shawan Downs’ Brown Advisory Legacy Chase. He had won the Iroquois Steeplechase’s Mason Houghland Memorial in May.
Armata Stables’ Grand Manan invariably sets the pace in his races, and the Billy Meister-trained 10-year-old jumped to the front at the start on the Genesee Valley course in Geneseo, N.Y.
Jockey Hadden Frost placed Schoodic in second position, roughly three lengths behind Grand Manan and jockey Archie Macauley, for the first two miles. The field crossed under the finish line for the second time with Grand Manan leading Schoodic by about three lengths, with Michael A. Smith’s Le Chevalier in third under Mark Beecher.
Frost asked Schoodic for a bit extra speed on the clubhouse turn, and the nine-year-old Tiznow gelding roared to the lead, and Le Chevalier displaced Grand Manan in second position on the run down the backstretch for the final time.
Schoodic continued to jump well until the last fence, where he took down the top rail with his knees, and lost some momentum. Beecher, sensing an opportunity, asked Le Chevalier for one final assault, but Schoodic quickly recovered and led to the finish. He ran the distance in 7:22 1/5.