Gaining revenge for a narrow defeat in the Foxbrook Supreme Hurdle, Andre W. Brewster’s All Together turned the tables on Nationbuilder with a resounding victory in the $75,000 AFLAC Supreme Hurdle at the Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens on Saturday, Nov. 6.
Also on a busy afternoon of National Steeplechase Association-sanctioned racing, Irvin Naylor’s Decoy Daddy scored a runaway victory in the $40,000 Noel Laing Stakes at the Montpelier Hunt Races in Montpelier Station, Va. The following day, Naylor scored again when his 2009 timber champion Patriot’s Path won the $35,000 Pennsylvania Hunt Cup in Unionville, Pa.
Trained by Jack Fisher and ridden by Xavier Aizpuru, All Together has been racing in top form this fall. He won a Monmouth Park allowance race on the flat on Sept. 25, and he had something to prove after losing a nose decision to Mary Ann Houghland’s Nationbuilder in the Foxbrook at Far Hills, N.J., on Oct. 23. All Together appeared to have the race won in midstretch, but Nationbuilder closed resolutely under Brian Crowley to claim the victory in the final stride.
All Together, a five-year-old Danzig gelding, left no doubt about the outcome in the AFLAC Supreme Hurdle, in which he roared away to a 7 3/4-length victory over his rival. Mede Cahaba Stable’s Complete Zen finished third, and owner-trainer Jonathan Sheppard’s Italian Wedding was fourth in a field of seven. All Together ran the AFLAC Supreme Hurdle’s 2 1/4 miles in 3:55.80 on firm turn at the Pine Mountain, Ga., course.
Aizpuru, having his best afternoon of the 2010 season, also won Callaway’s co-feature, the $30,000 Crown Royal Stakes for fillies and marea aboard Flying Horse Farm’s Farah T Salute. Trainer Jazz Napravnik’s homebred Boy Done Good mare prevailed by a half-length over Bill Pape’s The Manner Born, trained by Sheppard and ridden by Crowley.
Lonesome Nun finished third under Robbie Walsh, and Jennifer Pitts’ front-running Peapack Stakes winner Green Velvet was fourth in a field of eight. Farah T Salute ran the Crown Royal’s 2 1/4 miles over National Fences in 4:01.60.
At Montpelier, Irish-bred Decoy Daddy marked himself as a horse to watch when he burst away to a 25 1/2-length victory under Jeff Murphy in the Noel Laing. Tom Voss-trained Dictina’s Boy finished second under champion jockey Paddy Young, and Pape’s The Price of Love was third. Trained by Desmond Fogarty, Decoy Daddy finished seventh in the $250,000 Grand National (Gr. 1) at Far Hills in his first U.S. start. The eight-year-old gelding ran the Laing’s 2 1/2 miles in 5:17.20 on the Montpelier Brush Course.
It took him four tries, but Patriot’s Path finally secured a win in the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup, scoring by a length over Merriefield Farm’s Bon Caddo. Professor Maxwell finished third, and Haddix was fourth. Trained by Fogarty and ridden by Darren Nagle, Patriot’s Path ran the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup’s four miles in 9:25.75 on firm turf. Patriot’s Path has won three consecutive timber stakes: the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup on Oct. 9, the New Jersey Hunt Cup at Far Hills on Oct. 23, and now the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup.
The successful weekend placed Naylor, a York, Pa., businessman and sportsman, close to the lead for the owner’s championship going into the final weekend of the season at the Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup at Camden, S.C., on Saturday, Nov. 13. Naylor’s purses total $315,500 to leader Pape’s $317,390. Both have horses nominated to the $100,000 Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1) on the Springdale Course.