Randleston Farm’s Spy in the Spy, winner of a Grade 1 race last year and a close second in another top-rated contest, heads a large and highly competitive field for the $50,000 Temple Gwathmey (Gr. 3), the featured hurdle race at the 92nd annual Middleburg Spring Races on Saturday, April 20. First post time for the eight-race program is 1 p.m. at Glenwood Race Course in the heart of Virginia’s horse country.
Winner of the 2009 New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1) in a big upset, Spy in the Sky pulled a 25-1 shocker in winning last year’s A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) at Saratoga Race Course. The veteran finished third in the New York Turf Writers before missing by a nose in the Lonesome Glory Stakes (Gr. 1) at Belmont Park. Trainer Jimmy Day named Danielle Hodsdon to ride.
Hickory Tree Stable’s Gustavian, winner of Belmont Park’s William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes on Sept. 27 in his most recent start, will be ridden by three-time champion jockey Paddy Young. Gustavian never finished worse than second in 2012 and posted four stakes placings for trainer Leslie Young.
Oakwood Stable’s dependable Country Cousin enters the Temple Gwathmey from a second-place finish in the Budweiser Imperial Cup (Gr. 3) at the Aiken Spring Steeplechase on April 23. The Lear Fan gelding had three straight second-place finishes in stakes races last year, including the Temple Gwathmey.
Augustin Stables’ Rainiero will make his 2013 bow in the 2 1/2-mile Temple Gwathmey. Trained in Virginia by Richard Valentine, the Argentina-bred gelding won last fall’s Noel Laing Handicap at the Montpelier Hunt Races.
Four Temple Gwathmey starters will carry the green-and-gold silks of leading owner Irvin S. Naylor. Decoy Daddy, a multiple stakes winner, finished third in the Stoneybrook Steeplechase’s Sandhills Cup open allowance race on April 6 to open his 2013 campaign. Decoy Daddy finished second to Rainiero in the Noel Laing after winning the race in the preceding two years.
Naylor’s Lake Placid was the 2011 novice champion and won two starter allowance races last season. He finished off the board in two Saratoga novice stakes, the Jonathan Kiser and Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes.
French-bred You’re the Top finished sixth in last fall’s $250,000 Grand National (Gr. 1) at Far Hills, N.J., in his U.S. debut. Naylor’s Irish-bred Jack Cool was out of the money in the Grand National and the Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1) in Camden, S.C.
Naylor’s team is trained by Brianne Slater, who tapped Carol Ann Sloan for Decoy Daddy, Xavier Aizpuru for You’re the Top, and reigning champion jockey Ross Geraghty for Jack Cool. No rider was named for Lake Placid.
Middleburg-based trainer Doug Fout entered Clorevia Farm’s Extraextraordinary, the third finisher in Aiken’s Imperial Cup. A first-out winner over fences last year, Extraextraordinary also won an optional allowance at the International Gold Cup in October. Jeff Murphy will ride.
Champion trainer Jack Fisher supplemented Andre Brewster’s and Sheila Williams’ All Together to the Temple Gwathmey. The champion’s novice champion in 2010, All Together is winless since the 2011 Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes at Saratoga. Sean Flanagan has the mount.
Tom Voss, who preceded Fisher as champion trainer in 2011, entered Armata Stables’ Cornhusker, a British-bred gelding who finished sixth behind Gustavian in the Entenmann Memorial before a third in the Noel Laing. Kieran Norris will be in the saddle.