IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • SUMMER 2015
Spring Races By Will O’Keefe Old Dominion Hounds Point-to-Point A year ago when the Old Dominion Hounds Point-toPoint went head-to-head with the Dogwood Classic races in Virginia and the Elkridge Harford Hunt Point-to-Point in Maryland, the Old Dominion Race Committee decided to offer $1,000 incentives to the leading trainer and rider of the day’s races. These rewards were so popular that Old Dominion Hounds Point-to-Point, they were offered again even with the Dogwood Classic The Leeds Manor Virginia Bred/Sired Flat. Races choosing not to run this year. The leading trainer (l-r) Wahoo (Jacob Roberts, up) – 1st; last year was Jimmy Day, and the leading rider was his Prima Facie (Jeff Murphy, up) – 2nd. Douglas Lees photo stable rider Tom Bennett. Jimmy Day was on hand again with a new stable lad and with five runners, but he faced serious competition from Neil Morris with seven starters. The first race was the restricted young adult flat race, and Jimmy Day started the day with a win. He saddled Magalen O. Bryant’s Plated, who was ridden by Michael Wagstaff, and won by ½ length over Mint Meadows Farm’s Henry’s Hero (Hazel O’Neil) with Kinross Farm’s King Ting (Zoe Valvo) third. With three furlongs to run Plated and King Ting moved to the front. Plated pulled away from King Ting in the final quarter mile and held off a late rally from Henry’s Hero. The first division of the novice rider flat race went to Magalen O. Bryant’s Slew’s Best Quality (Brendan Old Dominion Hounds Point-to-Point, Brooks), who was trained by Neil Morris. Slew’s Best The Big Cobbler Amateur/Novice Rider Hurdle. Quality led all the way and won handily by 1½ lengths (l-r) Acela (Suzanne Stettinius, up) – 2nd; Controlled Neglect over Mrs. Calvin Houghland’s Pierrot Lunaire (Keri (Brendan Brooks, up) – 1st. Douglas Lees photo Brion). It appeared briefly in the second division of the Old Dominion novice rider flat race that Magalen O. Bryant was going to Hounds complete a hat trick with Smart Rush (Keri Brion), but Point-to-Point, Jean L. Rofe’s Pagan Cat proved to be the spoiler. Smart The Ben Venue Lady Rider Timber. Rush went to the front with a half mile to run, but could I’m Telling not hold off Pagan Cat, who closed well under Michael (Emme Fullilove, Wagstaff to win by 1½ lengths. up) – 1st. Neil Morris moved to the lead in the trainer’s race Douglas Lees photo when Sara E. Collette’s Wahoo (Jacob Roberts) upset Celtic Venture’s Prima Facie (Jeff Murphy) in the Virginia-bred flat race. Prima Facie went to the front with six furlongs to run and entered the stretch on top, but Wahoo, who had been far back early, was on the move. With a sixteenth to run, it became a two horse race, which Wahoo won by ½ length. It was Jimmy Day’s turn in the amateur novice hurdle race when he saddled the favorite, Ann Braxton JonesLynch’s Controlled Neglect (Brendan Brooks), who had won the amateur novice rider hurdle race at Blue Ridge. Celtic Venture Stable’s Acela (Suzanne Stettinius) set the pace with Controlled Neglect close behind. These two jumped the third fence from home as a team, but Controlled Neglect quickly took control and won easily by two lengths. The lady rider timber race was a match race between Emme Fullilove on her I’m Telling and Mint Meadows Farm’s Admiral Bull (Suzanne Stettinius). I’m Telling Old Dominion Hounds Point-to-Point, Maiden Hurdle. Skunk (Ben Swope, up); Jake’s Mandate (Robert Walsh, up) – opened a clear lead from the start and coasted home alone 1st; Fall Colors (Brendan Brooks, up) – 3rd. Douglas Lees photo after Admiral Bull was pulled up with two miles to run. This was Emme Fullilove’s first win out of the junior ranks. Jimmy Day and Neil Morris both had two runners in the five-horse maiden hurdle race, but this time it was Richard Valentine’s turn. Rose Marie Bogley’s Jake’s Mandate (Robert Walsh) led for most of the race and won handily by 4 lengths over Sara E. Collette’s Vladykov (Jacob Roberts/Neil Morris) with S. Bruce Smart, Jr.’s Fall Colors (Brendan Brooks/Jimmy Day) third. When the horses went to the start in the open hurdle race, the leading competitors for the $1,000 rewards were in action. Daybreak Stable’s Manacor (Ire) (Brendan Loudoun Hunt Point-to-Point Open Hurdle Bedizen (Jeff Murphy, up) 2nd; Hishi Soar (Woods Winants, Brooks/Jimmy Day) was on hand to try to win this race for up) - 1st. Richard Clay photo the second consecutive year and was the favorite. Jacob
Roberts and Neil Morris were represented by Noble Stable’s Kingofalldiamonds, and Margaret R. White’s Blazing Beryl (Jeff Murphy) rounded out the three horse field. In the race Manacor took command from the start and held the lead until the third fence where Kingofalldiamonds took over. Manacor continued to race within striking distance but failed to seriously threaten Kingofalldiamonds, who won by 2 lengths. This race did decide the trainer and rider competitions, which were won by Neil Morris and Jacob Roberts. The last race on the card was the Leeds Don open timber race, which may have been short on starters (3) but was long on excitement. Arcadia Stable’s Delta Park (Sean McDermott) and Mrs. George L. Ohrstrom, Jr.’s Private Equity (Robert Walsh) dueled for most of the three mile race with Woodslane Farm’s Lion’s Double (Connor Hankin) in their shadow. Approaching the last fence Delta Park put Private Equity away and held sole possession of the lead, but upon landing Lion’s Double steadily cut into Delta Park’s lead and proved best by 1¼ lengths. Delta Park was second, and Private Equity was third. Loudoun Hunt Point-to-Point A huge crowd was on hand at Oatlands Plantation near Leesburg for the Loudoun Hunt Point-to-Point run on Sunday, April 12. The nine race card not only included races over timber, hurdles, and on the flat but two side saddle exhibition races were run prior to the traditional card. The first race aside was a half mile over one fence in the stretch. Sarah O’Halloran sent Patrick to the lead at the start with Devon Zebrovious a close second on Quest. These two hooked up in the stretch with Quest winning by a neck in a driving finish. In the flat race that followed Christina Mulqueen set the pace with Figure It Out but Moneytrain and Ann Sittman were never far behind. They took the lead on the turn and won going away by 5 lengths. For years the Loudoun Hunt Point-to-Point has attracted a large contingent of horses and horsemen from Maryland. Maybe it’s the fact that this meet is the Northern most in Virginia or it could be the popularity of the racecourse that features split rail post and rail fences. In either case the Marylanders came, and it was a successful invasion. The feature race has always been the Eustis Cup open timber race, which traditionally was run over a 4-mile course. Shortened to 3½ miles this year, the race attracted three starters all from the other side of the Potomac. Rosbrian Farm’s entry of Gawaarib (Mark Beecher) and Class Brahms (Martin Rohan) raced as a team for much of the race with Irvin L. Crawford’s Touchdowntony (Forrest Kelly) in a perfect stalking position. The Rosbrian entry jumped the last fence on top but Touchdowntony was poised to strike. He did that in the stretch and won going away by 3 lengths over Gawaarib. Earlier on the card the novice timber race was run in two divisions, both won by Marylanders. In the first division Irvin S. Naylor’s Irish-bred Henry San (Bethany Baumgardner) was rated near the pace that was set by Achsah O’Donovan’s West is Best (Mark Beecher) and William Wofford’s Ruling Force (Jeff Murphy). These three jumped the last abreast, but upon landing Henry San found his best stride and won going away by 2 lengths over Ruling Force. West is Best finished third. The winner was trained by Ann Stewart. The second division was won by Winsome Stable’s recent purchase, Tiz Relevant. Mark Beecher sent him to the front immediately and was never seriously challenged. Magalen O. Bryant’s Adios Diablo (Kieran Norris) posed a mild threat in the final quarter mile, but Tiz Relevant was the better horse this day and won by 5 lengths.
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