Four Virginia Gents’ Worried Man had no worries at the finish of Virginia Fall’s $40,000 National Sporting Library and Museum Cup, reaching the line 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Grand Manan in a modest upset on Saturday.
Trained by Middleburg-based Doug Fout and ridden by 2016 champion jockey Kieran Norris, Worried Man made a solid late charge that carried him past Armata Stables’ front-running Grand Manan, who was 3 1/2 lengths clear of third finisher Straight to It.
Rodriguez finished fourth, and Cornhusker was fifth in a field of eight timber specialists. They had finished first and second, respectively, in Shawan Downs’ Legacy Chase on Sept. 23, and Worried Man collected third money. Worried Man ran the National Sporting Library’s 3 1/4 miles in 6:48 on turf rated as good.
The Dynaformer 10-year-old missed the 2015 and 2016 seasons and came back to the races this spring, when he finished fourth in the Iroquois Steeplechase’s Mason Houghland Memorial. The National Sporting Library was his first win since an allowance victory at the 2013 Pennsylvania Hunt Cup.
The National Sporting Library was the first major victory of the fall for Norris, who missed the summer season after an injury at the Radnor Hunt Races in May. The Virginia Fall race was his second win of the fall championship season and gave him 10 wins overall, four behind leader Darren Nagle.
The win was the second of the afternoon for Fout, who took the Bon Nouvel ratings handicap with Beverly R. Steinman’s Reporter. Shane Crimin was in the saddle.
In the afternoon’s featured hurdle race, the $35,000 Randolph D. Rouse Memorial, Rosbrian Farm’s Officer Sydney drew away to a five-length victory over Giza in the racings handicap. Ross Geraghty rode the Irish-bred gelding for trainer Ricky Hendriks.
PathFinder Stable’s Cognashene finished third in the field of 10. Officer Sydney ran the 2 1/8-mile distance in 4:08.80.