Stand Down and Super Saturday, the first two finishers in last year’s Pennsylvania Hunt Cup, are on course to clash again on Sunday in the 85th edition of the $40,000 timber classic at Unionville. Post time is 1:30 p.m. for the four-race program.
Frank A. Bonsal Jr.’s Stand Down will be seeking his first win since finishing 7¾ lengths ahead of Super Saturday in the 2018 Pennsylvania Hunt Cup. He most recently finished fourth in the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup on Oct. 12. Trainer Joseph G. Davies named Eric Poretz to ride the seven-year-old Irish-bred.
Irv Naylor’s Super Saturday will be coming back on a week’s rest to contest the four-mile Pennsylvania Hunt Cup, the year’s final timber classic. The Any Given Saturday gelding finished third in the International Gold Cup on Oct. 26 after a second-place effort in Virginia Fall’s National Sporting Library and Museum Cup. Trainer Kathy Neilson named Gerard Galligan to a return engagement aboard the 10-year-old.
Neilson also entered It’s Nothing and Awesome Adrian. Owned by Move-Up Stables and Sally Reed, It’s Nothing won a Shawan Downs timber allowance on Sept. 28 before a fifth-place finish in the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. Skylar McKenna, the trainer’s daughter, again will ride the six-year-old Congrats gelding.
Nancy Reed’s Awesome Adrian won a Willowdale Steeplechase maiden timber race on May 12 and most recently was seventh in Fair Hill’s novice timber race on May 24. Poretz has a second call.
The Pennsylvania Hunt Cup’s early pace very likely will be set by Armata Stables’ Grand Manan, who finished third in the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. Archie Macauley will ride for trainer Billy Meister.
Trainer Todd McKenna entered Upland Partners’ Mystic Strike and Keystone Thoroughbreds’ Be Great. Mystic Strike began the year with a victory in the My Lady’s Manor and was pulled up in the Genesee Valley. Mark Beecher has the mount.
Be Great finished fifth in last year’s Pennsylvania Hunt Cup and in his most recent start was fifth in a Willowdale timber allowance. Brian Linehan will ride the 12-year-old Gulch gelding.
Paul O’Neill will be aboard Blair Wyatt’s Witor, who finished third in the National Sporting Library on Oct. 12. Trained by Todd Wyatt, the owner’s husband, the German-bred was second in the My Lady’s Manor and fourth in the Willowdale Steeplechase.
Here is the field for the $40,000 Pennsylvania Hunt Cup in post-position order.
Stand Down (Ire). 2012 b. g., Yeats (Ire)—Quadrennial, by Un Desperado. Owner: Frank Bonsal Jr. Trainer: Joseph G. Davies. Jockey: Eric Poretz. Breeder: Mrs. E. Costelloe (Ire). 2019 record: 3-0-1-0, $7,300. 2018 record: 5-3-0-1, $45,000. Finished fourth in 2019 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. Finished fifth in 2019 Virginia Gold Cup after second in John D. Schapiro timber allowance at My Lady’s Manor. Won 2018 Pennsylvania Hunt Cup. Sustained first career defeat when third in 2018 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup, then was pulled up in International Gold Cup. Won first two career starts by open lengths, beginning with 2018 Grand National timber allowance and then Willowdale allowance timber.
Witor (Ger). 2008 b. g., Dashing Blade—Wurfspeil, by Lomitas (GB). Owner: Blair Wyatt. Trainer: Todd Wyatt. Jockey: Paul O’Neill. Breeder: Gestut Farhof (Ger). 2019 record: 3-0-1-1, $14,750. 2018 record: 2-1-0-1, $13,000. 2017 record: 2-1-0-0, $10,250. Finished third in 2019 National Sporting Library & Museum Cup. Finished game second in 2019 My Lady’s Manor, then was fourth in soggy Willowdale Steeplechase. Won 2018 John D. Schapiro Memorial amateur apprentice timber at My Lady’s Manor, then was third in Winterthur Bowl. Scored maiden timber victory at 2017 Willowdale meet and then was fourth in a Fair Hill timber novice.
Be Great. 2007 b. g., Gulch—Classic Ingrid, by Regal Classic. Owner: Keystone Thoroughbreds. Trainer: Todd McKenna. Jockey: Brian Linehan. Breeder: Equivine Farm (Pa.) 2019 record: 2-0-0-0, $1,300. 2018 record: 2-0-0-0, $3,100. 2017 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. Finished sixth in 2019 Middleburg Hunt Cup and fifth in Willowdale timber allowance. Finished fourth in 2018 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup, a race he won in 2015, and finished fifth in the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup. In only 2017 start, fell at the 15th fence of Willowdale amateur apprentice timber race.
Grand Manan. 2009 b. g., Giant’s Causeway—Manoa, by Seeking the Gold. Owner: Armata Stables. Trainer: William Meister. Jockey: Archie Macauley. Breeders: Stuart S. Janney III and Phipps Stable (Ky.). 2019 record: 5-0-1-2, $7,300. 2018: 4-0-0-1, $6,200. Finished third in Shawan’s 2019 Legacy Chase and Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. after distant second in Willowdale timber allowance. Led and was pulled up in 2019 My Lady’s Manor and Middleburg Hunt Cup. Closed 2016 season with back-to-back front-running victories in the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup and International Gold Cup.
It’s Nothing. 2013 b. g., Congrats—Quies, by Quiet American. Owner-trainer: Kathy Neilson. Jockey: Skylar McKenna. Breeder: Mr. and Mrs. Roy Jackson (Ky.) 2019 record: 4-1-0-0, $7,500. 2018 record: 6-1-1-1, $20,800. Finished fifth in 2019 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. Won amateur apprentice timber allowance at 2019 Shawan Downs after sixth in Fair Hill allowance timber and seventh in Virginia Gold Cup. Won maiden timber victory at Fair Hill Races in May 2018. Completed 2018 season with fourth in Pennsylvania Hunt Cup allowance race. Year-younger half-brother to timber allowance winner Aquies.
Mystic Strike. 2009 b. g., Smart Strike—Mystic Rhythms, by Citidancer. Owner: Upland Partners. Trainer: Todd McKenna. Jockey: Mark Beecher. Breeder: Peter Vegso Racing (Fla.). 2019 record: 3-1-0-0, $33,000. 2018 record: 4-0-2-1, $17,600. 2017 record: 2-2-0-0, $27,000. Pulled up in 2019 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. Won the 2019 My Lady’s Manor, then was sixth in Virginia Gold Cup. Finished fifth in 2018 New Jersey Hunt Cup. Finished second in 2018 Radnor Hunt Cup and Winterthur Bowl after third in My Lady’s Manor. Barely beaten and then placed first in 2017 Radnor Hunt Cup.
Super Saturday. 2009 gr. or ro. g., Any Given Saturday—Lady Aloma, by Cozzene. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Kathy Neilson. Gerard Galligan. Breeder: Walton Breeders (Ky.) 2019 record: 5-0-1-2, $25,900. 2018 record: 6-1-2-1, $51,800. 2017 record: 6-0-1-1, $13,400. Finished second in Virginia Fall’s 2019 National Sporting Library and Museum Cup, then was third in International Gold Cup. Finished third in 2019 Virginia Gold Cup, then fell in Radnor Hunt Cup. Finished fifth in Middleburg Hunt Cup. Finished second in 2018 International Gold Cup and Pennsylvania Hunt Cup after fifth in National Sporting Library & Museum Cup. Won 2018 Middleburg Hunt Cup, then was third in the Virginia Gold Cup and fourth in Radnor Hunt Cup.
Awesome Adrian. 2013 dk. b. or br. g., Great Notion—River Kwai, by Valley Crossing. Owner: Nancy A. Reed. Trainer: Kathy Neilson. Jockey: Eric Poretz. Breeder: Nancy Reed (Md.) 2019 record: 3-1-0-1, $11,000. 2018 NSA record: 2-0-0-2, $4,950. Won 2019 Willowdale maiden timber before seventh-place finish in Fair Hill novice timber. Finished third in tough division of John Rush Streett Memorial maiden timber at My Lady’s Manor. Finished third in two timber starts in 2018.