Trainer Richard Valentine will send out two formidable competitors when he saddles Augustin Stables’ Radio Flyer and Magalen O. Bryant’s Dakota Slew for the $25,000 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup at the 84th annual Genesee Valley Hunt Races in Geneseo, N.Y., on Saturday, Oct. 13.
The 3 1/2-mile stakes race over timber fences drew a strong and well-matched field.
Radio Flyer won his only start of the year, in the featured Willowdale Steeplechase in Kennett Square, Pa., on May 13. The Irish-bred gelding had been second in the 2011 Virginia Gold Cup. Valentine named Darren Nagle to ride.
Dakota Slew will have the services of Paddy Young, the reigning champion jockey who is currently on a hot streak after missing the spring season with a broken arm. The five-year-old Slew City Slew gelding won his maiden victory over timber in the John Rush Streett at My Lady’s Manor on April 14 and was third in the featured Legacy Chase timber allowance at Shawn Downs in Maryland on Sept. 29.
Tara Elmore will saddle Rosbrian Farm’s Mecklenburg, who finished a good second in the $50,000 Mason Houghland Memorial timber stakes at Nashville’s Iroquois Steeplechase on May 12. The Mecke gelding collected his maiden timber victory in the Benjamin H. Murray Memorial allowance race at Maryland’s Grand National meet on April 21. Mark Beecher has the mount.
Returning to the races is Wally Pinkard Jr.’s Won Wild Bird, a Wild Wonder mare who won the 2011 Radnor Hunt Cup in Malvern, Pa. Won Wild Bird finished third in this year’s Radnor Hunt Cup, her most recent start on May 19. Trainer Regina Welsh named Roddy Mackenzie to ride.
Leading owner Irvin S. Naylor will be represented by Alfa Beat, a recent import who finished fourth in a $10,000 maiden timber race at Shawan Downs. The Irish-bred is a two-time winner of the Guinness Kerry National Handicap Steeplechase in Ireland and competed in this year’s Grand National at Aintree. James Slater will ride for trainer William Meister.
Completing the field are Armata Stables’ Embarrassed, winner of the Marshall W. Jenney maiden timber race at Willowdale, and owner-jockey Mary Motion’s Woodmont, who won the John D. Schapiro Memorial amateur timber race at My Lady’s Manor.