Dolly Fisher’s Schoodic, a graded stakes winner over hurdles and now a three-time winner over timber, heads a talented field for Saturday’s $30,000 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup.
First post time will be 1 p.m. for the 91st sanctioned running of the historic race meet in Geneseo, N.Y.
Trained by Jack Fisher, the current owner’s son, Schoodic transitioned to timber racing and won his first three starts, including the Iroquois Steeplechase’s Mason Houghland Memorial timber allowance on May 11. He finished a close second in Shawan Downs’ Brown Advisory Legacy Chase on Sept. 28.
Hadden Frost will ride the nine-year-old Tiznow gelding.
The Genesee Valley Hunt Cup’s pace most likely will be set by Armata Stables’ Grand Manan, who finished third, six lengths behind Schoodic, in the Legacy Chase. Winner of the 2016 Genesee Valley for trainer Billy Meister, Grand Manan will be ridden by Archie Macauley.
Two other starters experienced the Geneseo course last year. Black and Blue Stable’s Monstaleur, trained and ridden by Forrest Kelly, finished second. The third finisher behind champion Doc Cebu, Frank A. Bonsal Jr.’s Stand Down, won the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup later in the season. Eric Poretz will ride Stand Down for trainer Joseph G. Davies.
It’s Nothing, owned and trained by Kathy Neilson, is coming off a victory in a Shawan Downs allowance timber race. Skylar McKenna, the trainer’s daughter, has a return call for the Genesee Valley.
Upland Partners will send out My Lady’s Manor winner Mystic Strike and Sovereign Fund, both trained by Todd McKenna, for the 3½-mile Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. Bethany Baumgardner rides Mystic Strike, and McLane Hendriks will be aboard Sovereign Fund.
Two Genesee Valley entrants, Michael A. Smith’s Le Chevalier and Blair Wyatt’s Witor, were cross-entered for the Virginia Fall Races’ National Sporting Library and Museum Cup, also on Saturday.
Here is the field for the $30,000 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup in post-position order.
Stand Down (Ire). 2012 b. g., Yeats (Ire)—Quadrennial, by Un Desperado. Owner: Frank Bonsal Jr. Trainer: Joseph G. Davies. Breeder: Mrs. E. Costelloe (Ire). 2019 record: 2-0-1-0, $5,800. 2018 record: 5-3-0-1, $45,000. Finished fifth in 2019 Virginia Gold Cup after second in John D. Schapiro timber allowance at My Lady’s Manor. Won 2018 Pennsylvania Hunt Cup. Sustained first career defeat when third in 2018 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup, then was pulled up in International Gold Cup. Won first two career starts by open lengths, beginning with 2018 Grand National timber allowance and then Willowdale allowance timber.
Grand Manan. 2009 b. g., Giant’s Causeway—Manoa, by Seeking the Gold. Owner: Armata Stables. Trainer: William Meister. Jockey: Archie Macauley. Breeders: Stuart S. Janney III and Phipps Stable (Ky.). 2019 record: 4-0-1-1, $4,300. 2018: 4-0-0-1, $6,200. Finished third in Shawan’s 2019 Legacy Chase after distant second in Willowdale timber allowance. Led and was pulled up in 2019 My Lady’s Manor and Middleburg Hunt Cup. Finished third in 2018 New Jersey Hunt Cup after fifth in Radnor Hunt Cup. Closed 2016 season with back-to-back front-running victories in the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup and International Gold Cup.
Monstaleur. 2007 ch. g., Meadow Monster—Taleur, by Stalwars. Owner: Black and Blue Stable. Trainer: Forrest Kelly. Jockey: Forrest Kelly. Breeders: Dr. James E. Bryant and Linda P. Davis (Va.). 2019 record: 4-0-1-1, $0. 2018 record: 4-0-1-2, $14,900. 2017 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. Finished second in 2019 Shawan Downs amateur apprentice timber allowance and third in Fair Hill timber allowance. Lost jockey late in 2019 Grand National. Finished second in 2018 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. Was third in 2018 Grand National and Willowdale Steeplechase, then fifth in Brown Advisory Legacy Chase at Shawan Downs. Closed ground for dead-heat win in 2016 Willowdale Steeplechase.
Le Chevalier. 2009 g. or ro. g., Broken Vow—Orellana, by With Approval. Owner: Michael A. Smith. Trainer: Julie Gomena. Jockey: Mark Beecher. Breeder: Haras du Mezeray (Ky.) 2019 record: 3-0-3-0, $29,700. 2018 record: 4-1-2-1, $54,900. Finished close second in 2019 Radnor Hunt Cup after second-place finishes in Virginia Gold Cup and Middleburg Hunt Cup. Won 2018 National Sporting Library & Museum Cup, then was third in International Gold Cup. Won the 2016 New Jersey Hunt Cup.
It’s Nothing. 2013 b. g., Congrats—Quies, by Quiet American. Owner-trainer: Kathy Neilson. Jockey: Skylar McKenna. Breeder: Mr. and Mrs. Roy Jackson (Ky.) 2019 record: 3-1-0-0, $6,300. 2018 record: 6-1-1-1, $20,800. Won 2019 amateur apprentice timber allowance at 2019 Shawan Downs after sixth in Fair Hill allowance timber and seventh in Virginia Gold Cup. Won maiden timber victory at Fair Hill Races in May 2018. Completed 2018 season with fourth in Pennsylvania Hunt Cup allowance race. Year-younger half-brother to timber allowance winner Aquies.
Sovereign Fund. 2006 dk. b. or br. g., Giant’s Causeway—Colonial Play, by Pleasant Colony. Owner: Upland Partners. Trainer: Todd McKenna. Jockey: McLane Hendriks. Breeder: Robert S. Evans (Ky.) 2019 record: 2-0-0-0, $0. 2018 record: 2-0-0-0, $1,500. 2017 record: No starts. Lost jockey in 2019 Grand National, then was pulled up in Willowdale Steeplechase. In first start since 2015, finished sixth in 2018 Grand National before fall at Maryland Hunt Cup’s 20th fence. Finished fourth in 2015 Pennsylvania Hunt Cup for second straight year. Finished second in 2015 Willowdale Steeplechase after win in Grand National’s Benjamin H. Murray Memorial timber allowance race.
Mystic Strike. 2009 b. g., Smart Strike—Mystic Rhythms, by Citidancer. Owner: Upland Partners. Trainer: Todd McKenna. Jockey: Bethany Baumgardner. Breeder: Peter Vegso Racing (Fla.). 2019 record: 2-1-0-0, $33,000. 2018 record: 4-0-2-1, $17,600. 2017 record: 2-2-0-0, $27,000. Won the 2019 My Lady’s Manor, then was sixth in Virginia Gold Cup. Finished fifth in 2018 New Jersey Hunt Cup. Finished second in 2018 Radnor Hunt Cup and Winterthur Bowl after third in My Lady’s Manor. Barely beaten and then placed first in 2017 Radnor Hunt Cup.
Portamento. 2006 dk. b. or br. g., Port Villa (Fr)—Misty Julep, by His Majesty. Owner-trainer: Jeremy Gillam. Jockey: Virginia Korrell. Breeder: Jeremy J. H. Gillam (Md.) 2019 record: No starts. 2018 record: 2-0-0-0, $0. Pulled up in 2018 International Gold Cup steeplethon and Virginia Fall steeplethon. Maiden in 13 career starts.
Witor (Ger). 2008 b. g., Dashing Blade—Wurfspeil, by Lomitas (GB). Owner: Blair Wyatt. Trainer: Todd Wyatt. Jockey: Paul O’Neill. Breeder: Gestut Farhof (Ger). 2019 record: 2-0-1-0, $10,750. 2018 record: 2-1-0-1, $13,000. 2017 record: 2-1-0-0, $10,250. Finished game second in 2019 My Lady’s Manor, then was fourth in soggy Willowdale Steeplechase. Won 2018 John D. Schapiro Memorial amateur apprentice timber at My Lady’s Manor, then was third in Winterthur Bowl. Scored maiden timber victory at 2017 Willowdale meet and then was fourth in a Fair Hill timber novice.
Schoodic. 2010 b. g., Tiznow—Aunt Henny, by Hennessy. Owner: Dolly Fisher. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Hadden Frost. Breeder: Edith R. Dixon (Ky.) 2019 record: 4-3-1-0, $46,500. 2018 record: 6-0-1-2, $35,800. Opened his timber career in 2019 with three straight victories, including 16 ¾-length romp in Iroquois Steeplechase’s Mason Houghland Memorial and an open-length win in Fair Hill novice timber, then was second in Shawan Downs’ Brown Advisory Legacy Chase. Was a Grade 2 winner and Grade 1-placed over hurdles.