Dolly Fisher’s Schoodic, a Grade 2 winner over hurdles who has made a successful transition to timber racing, heads a talented group of nominees to the $30,000 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup on Saturday, Oct. 12.
First post time will be 1 p.m. for the 91st sanctioned running of the historic race meet in Geneseo, N.Y.
A highly talented but erratic performer over hurdles, Schoodic has settled down over timber fences for leading trainer Jack Fisher, the current owner’s son. The nine-year-old Tiznow gelding won his first three timber starts, including the Iroquois Steeplechase’s Mason Houghland Memorial by 16 ¾ lengths on May 11.
His win streak ended on Sept. 28 when he finished second, beaten a neck, in Shawan Downs’ Brown Advisory Legacy Chase.
Trainer Julie Gomena nominated Michael A. Smith’s Le Chevalier, a veteran timber performer who has finished second three times this year, including the Virginia Gold Cup and a narrow defeat in the Radnor Hunt Cup in May.
The nominations to the 3½-mile Genesee Valley Hunt Cup include the top two finishers from an amateur apprentice timber allowance at Shawan Downs.
Owner-trainer Kathy Neilson nominated It’s Nothing, who closed well to win by 2¾ lengths with her daughter, Skylar McKenna, in the saddle.
Finishing second was Black and Blue Stable’s Monstaleur, another timber veteran who was second in last year’s Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. The 12-year-old, trained and ridden by Forrest Kelly, finished fifth in the Willowdale Steeplechase on May 12.
Nominated to the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup from an overwhelming victory in a Willowdale allowance timber race was Kiplin Hall’s Katnap, who was unplaced in two steeplethons over mixed obstacles at Middleburg Spring and the Virginia Gold Cup. The 12-year-old Irish-bred is trained by Willie Dowling.
Trainer Todd McKenna nominated Upland Partners’ Mystic Strike and Sovereign Fund. Mystic Strike won the My Lady’s Manor on April 13 and finished sixth in the Willowdale Steeplechase. Sovereign Fund was pulled up in the Willowdale Steeplechase.
Blair Wyatt’s Witor finished second in the My Lady’s Manor on April 13 and was fourth in the Willowdale Steeplechase for the owner’s husband, trainer Todd Wyatt.
Also nominated was owner-trainer-breeder Jeremy Gillam’s Portomento, who would be making his first 2019 start in pursuit of a maiden victory.
Here are the nominees to the $30,000 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. Entries close on Monday, when supplementary entries may be made for $250.
It’s Nothing. 2013 b. g., Congrats—Quies, by Quiet American. Owner-trainer: Kathy Neilson. 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.
Katnap (Fr). 2007 bl. g., Sleeping Car—Kitty Gale, by Strong Gale. Owner: Wits End Farm. Trainer: William Dowling. Breeder: Susan Angela Bramall (Fr). 2019 record: 2-1-0-0, $6,600. 2018 record: 2-2-0-0, $36,000. 2017 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $12,000. Easily won 2019 Willowdale timber allowance. Tired to finish sixth in Middleburg Spring’s 2019 Alfred M. Hunt steeplethon. Won 2018 steeplethon at International Gold Cup after score in Virginia Fall steeplethon. Found new ownership after finishing sixth in Far Hills’ Grand National (Gr. 1) while trained by Joseph O’Brien.
Le Chevalier. 2009 g. or ro. g., Broken Vow—Orellana, by With Approval. Owner: Michael A. Smith. Trainer: Julie Gomena. 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.
Monstaleur. 2007 ch. g., Meadow Monster—Taleur, by Stalwars. Owner: Black and Blue Stable. Trainer: 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.
Mystic Strike. 2009 b. g., Smart Strike—Mystic Rhythms, by Citidancer. Owner: Upland Partners. Trainer: Todd McKenna. 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. 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.
Schoodic. 2010 b. g., Tiznow—Aunt Henny, by Hennessy. Owner: Dolly Fisher. Trainer: Jack Fisher. 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.
Sovereign Fund. 2006 dk. b. or br. g., Giant’s Causeway—Colonial Play, by Pleasant Colony. Owner: Upland Partners. Trainer: Todd McKenna. 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.
Witor (Ger). 2008 b. g., Dashing Blade—Wurfspeil, by Lomitas (GB). Owner: Blair Wyatt. Trainer: Todd Wyatt. 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.