Frank A. Bonsal Jr.’s Stand Down, making only his fifth career start, became a timber classic winner on Sunday when he pulled away to a 7 3/4-length victory in the 84th running of the $40,000 Pennsylvania Hunt Cup.
Reserved in the back of the field by jockey Eric Poretz, the six-year-old Irish-bred surged toward the lead approaching the last fence, jumped it with International Gold Cup runner-up Super Saturday, and drew clear to the finish line of the Unionville course.
Irv Naylor’s Super Saturday finished second, three-quarters of a length ahead of Gordonsdale Farm’s Canyon Road in third. Morningstar Farm’s Carrickboy finished fourth in a field of eight.
Trained by Joseph G. Davies, Stand Down ran the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup’s four miles in 8:34 on a course rated as good.
Stand Down is by the long-winded Irish stallion Yeats, a four-time winner of the 2 1/2-mile Ascot Gold Cup who is becoming a prominent steeplechase sire. Stand Down’s first career starts were at the Grand National and Willowdale Steeplechase this spring, and he sustained his first career defeat when third behind timber champion Doc Cebu in the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup on Oct. 13.
He did not take well to Great Meadow Race Course’s soft turf in the International Gold Cup on Oct. 27 and was pulled up by Poretz, who has been aboard for all of Stand Down’s starts. The Pennsylvania Hunt Cup’s $24,000 first-place purse more than doubled Stand Down’s career earnings to $45,000.