Two’s Company arrived just in time to win Shawan Downs’ Legacy Chase, and he heads the field for Saturday’s $40,000 National Sporting Library & Museum Cup, the featured race of the 62nd annual Virginia Fall Races.
First post time at Middleburg’s Glenwood Park Course is 1 p.m. The popular race meet attracted overflow fields for five of its nine races.
Two’s Company is raced by Bruton Street-US, the current leader in the 2016 timber owner standings. The Irish-bred helped the cause with a dramatic late move to notch a win by a head in the Legacy Chase over timber on Sept. 24.
The Legacy Chase was his third win of the year, after victories in the featured timber race at the Carolina Cup in South Carolina and the Middleburg Hunt Cup over the Glenwood course.
The only blemish on his 2016 record is a second in the Virginia Gold Cup. Sean McDermott again will ride Two’s Company for leading trainer Jack Fisher.
The 3 1/4-mile National Sporting Library will go a long way toward determining whether Michael Wharton’s Grinding Speed has regained his form after rolling to the timber championship last year.
The Grindstone gelding finished fourth in the Legacy Chase after sixth-place finishes in the My Lady’s Manor and Virginia Gold Cup, both races that he had won in 2015. Mark Beecher again rides for trainer Alicia Murphy.
Maryland-based Murphy has another contender in Aramata Stables’ Cornhusker, a converted hurdler who most recently finished second in the 2015 Pennsylvania Hunt Cup. Bethany Baumgardner will ride.
Here is the field for the $40,000 National Sporting Library & Museum Cup.
Grinding Speed. 2006 gr. or ro. g., Grindstone—Cozelia, by Cozzene. Owner: Michael T. Wharton. Trainer: Alicia Murphy. Jockey: Mark Beecher. Breeders: Alan S., Mark T., Mitchell A., and Madeline R. Kline, et al. (Md.) 2016 record: 3-0-0-0, $5,150. 2015 record: 5-3-1-0, $124,550. 2014 record: 5-1-1-2, $46,350. Finished sixth in 2016 Virginia Gold Cup and My Lady’s Manor, races he won the previous year, then was fourth in Shawan’s Legacy Chase. Clinched 2015 timber title with stylish victory in International Gold Cup, his third win in richest fall timber race. Also won his second Virginia Gold Cup in 2015.
Puller. 2008 dk. b. or br. g., Lion Hearted—Londonderry, by Perfecting. Owner: Charles C. Fenwick Jr. Trainer: Todd Wyatt. Jockey: Willie McCarthy. Breeder: Elberton Hill Farm (Md.) 2016 record: 3-0-0-1, $1,500. 2015 record: 4-1-1-1, $14,150. Finished ninth in Grand National’s Western Run Plate after third in John D. Schapiro Memorial to open 2016 campaign. Pulled up in Shawan’s Legacy Chase.
Two’s Company (Ire). 2009 b. g., Soviet Star—Gaye Lady, by Pistolet Bleu (Ire). Owner: Bruton Street-U.S. Trainer Jack Fisher. Jockey: Sean McDermott. Breeders: M. W. and Mrs. M. Doran (Ire). 2016 record: 4-3-1-0, $63,000. 2015 record: 4-1-1-0, $12,600. Opened 2016 with victories in Middleburg Hunt Cup and Carolina Cup’s C. P. and Edith Wills DuBose Cup, then closed for second in Virginia Gold Cup. Won 2016 Legacy Chase at Shawan Downs.
Le Chevalier. 2009 g. or ro. g., Broken Vow—Orellana, by With Approval. Owner: Otter Racing. Trainer: Julie Gomena. Jockey: Mark Beecher. Breeder: Haras du Mezeray (Ky.) 2016 record: 2-1-1-0, $18,000. 2015 record: 2-0-1-1, $4,200. Broke through for a decisive victory in division of John Rush Streett Memorial maiden timber race at 2016 My Lady’s Manor, then was second in Mason Houghland Memorial at Iroquois Steeplechase.
Prime Prospector. 2008 b. g., Seeking the Gold—Remember Love, by A.P. Indy. Owner: Peter A. Jay. Trainer: Todd Wyatt. Jockey: Blair Wyatt. Breeder: Woodford Thoroughbreds (Ky.) 2016 record: 2-0-0-0, $2,000. 2015 record: 2-1-0-1, $7,500. Finished fifth in Willowdale Steeplechase after finishing fifth and placed fourth in the Grand National’s Benjamin H. Murray Memorial. Won maiden victory over timber at 2015 Willowdale Steeplechase.
Adios Diablo. 2009 ch. g., Devil His Due—Say Farewell, by Second Bar. Owner: Magalen O. Bryant. Trainer: Doug Fout. Jockey: Kieran Norris. Breeder: Magalen O. Bryant (W.Va.) 2016 record: 4-1-1-1, $13,800. 2015 record: 4-0-0-3, $5,250. Won 2016 Shawan Downs maiden timber by two lengths after second at Foxfield Spring and third at Willowdale.
Cornhusker (GB). 2007 b. g., Dynaformer–Nebraska Tornado, by Storm Cat. Owner: Armata Stables. Trainer: Alicia Murphy. Jockey: Bethany Baumgardner. Breeder: Juddmonte Farms (GB). 2015 record: 4-2-0-0, $66,250. 2014 record: 5-2-1-0, $50,300. Ended 2014 and 2015 seasons with second-place finishes in Pennsylvania Hunt Cup. Finished sixth in 2015 New Jersey Hunt Cup after winning Iroquois’ Mason Houghland Memorial for the second straight year. Won 2015 Middleburg Hunt Cup after sixth-place finish in My Lady’s Manor.
Pured It. 2009 b. g., Purim—Judiths Humor, by Hennessy. Owner: Gerry Brewster. Trainer: Kathy Neilson. Jockey: Gerard Galligan. Breeders: Ashleigh Stud, Frank Ramos, and Jackie Ramos (Ky.) 2016 record: 1-1-0-0, $9,000. In first timber start and first jumps start in almost two years, won High Hope’s Jay Trump maiden hurdle by 10 1/4 lengths.
Canyon Road. 2009 ch. g., Service Stripe—Observe, by Patton. Owner: Gordonsdale Farm. Trainer: Christopher Kolb. Jockey: Jeff Murphy. Breeder: Gordonsdale Farm (W.Va.) 2016 record: 3-1-0-1, $11,250. 2015 record: No starts. Won Willowdale maiden hurdle in May and then was distanced in Fair Hill’s novice timber allowance.