Friday, April 30, 2010
Trained by Jack Fisher of Saluter fame, Arthur W. “Nick” Arundel’s Seeyouattheevent comes into the Virginia Gold Cup from a two-length victory over Rainbows for Luck in the $20,000 Middleburg Hunt Cup in Middleburg, Va., on April 17. Erin Go Bragh finished third in that race.
In his final start of 2009, Seeyouattheevent had won the International Gold Cup by 3 1/2 lengths over the Great Meadow course. Willie Dowling, who rode the nine-year-old Event of the Year gelding in the Middleburg Hunt Cup, again will be aboard for the Virginia Gold Cup.
Gregory S. Bentley’s Rainbows for Luck also returns in the Virginia Gold Cup, in which all starters carry 165 pounds.
Fisher (pictured), the reigning National Steeplechase Association champion trainer, also will send out Arcadia Stable’s Bubble Economy (below right), winner of the Virginia Gold Cup and International Gold Cup in 2008 and second in those races last year. Ridden by champion jockey Paddy Young, the 11-year-old Rakeen gelding rallied powerfully to finish second by a head in the $30,000 My Lady’s Manor on April 10.
Irvin Naylor’s Patriot’s Path (above left) comes into the Virginia Gold Cup from a fifth-place tune-up in the Grand National at Butler, Md., on April 17. Winner of last year’s Mason Houghland Memorial at the Iroquois Steeplechase, the ten-year-old Carnivalay gelding is trained by Desmond Fogarty, and Darren Nagle has the mount.
Also entering the Virginia Gold Cup is H. Bruce Fenwick’s Bon Caddo, Magalen O. Bryant’s Erin Go Bragh (NZ), EMO Stables’ He’s a Conniver, Conrad Somers’ J. Alfred Proofrock, Diane Gilliam’s Artist’s Stroke, Gregory Bentley’s Rainbows For Luck, Joseph Davies’ Fort Henry (IRE) and Keystone Thoroughbreds’ Meet at Eleven (IRE).
(NZ) = New Zealand – country of origination.
(IRE) = Ireland – country of origination.
To read more from Steeplechase Times, click here.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Secondly, the taped-up face is gonna scare people...kids, your friends, your date, your spouse, Homeland Security, you name it.
Bad idea, OK?
Finally, your tan lines are going to make you look like a Haloween pumpkin.
Get back in your closet and try again.
You've only got three more days to figure this out!
Friday, April 23, 2010
Subsequently, each and every year we encourage you to turn around and revel in the splendor that is equine. It’s not that hard – there’s an audio clue.
When you hear the long-time voice of steeplechase racing, Will O’Keefe (the Al Michael's of jump racing), say “They’re off!” simply turn around and look for large animals being ridden by smallish men and women in colorful shirts. How hard is that?
If you do this and you see small animals with large ears being ridden by who-knows-who wearing a bright yellow vest (courtesy of VDOT?), you have managed to land yourself at some other race.
REPEAT: You are not at the Virginia Gold Cup.
If you see carts or anything that looks like carts being pulled by these large eared animals, you have made several wrong turns one of which may have involved your passport and an international flight. In this case, Pakistan…a very far cry from The Plains, VA on the first Saturday of May!
We don’t know where you might be based on these photos, but we know where you are not…
You may see some things that might make you think you’re at the Gold Cup, but look a little closer (note the soccer game in the background) and you will see some tell tale signs to the contrary.
So check those directions, don’t forget your tickets and come enjoy the day.
And, remember to turn around and look at the horses. You’ll be glad you did.
That really is perfect, not too hot, not too cold, not too much sun. Like we said – perfect.
Now considering the whimsical nature of Mother Nature and the vagaries of predicting what she may cast down upon us on any given day, you may be wondering why would even mention the weather forecast some eight days out.
Scattered about out there in the great realm of potential Gold Cup attendees is a little known sub-group of “fair weather” Gold Cuppers. Yes, this group doesn’t buy tickets until they see the forecast for the first Saturday in May.
While this is not the recommended approach as we believe the Gold Cup is like football – rain or shine – and all the different weather makes for different experiences from year-to-year. That said, we understand why this group wants to wait until the all clear is given dopplerwise.
So, my weather forecast focused friends, get moving.
It has plenty of the trappings that might remind you of Gold Cup including sponsors, VIP Tents and tickets of all prices.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
So we know the Jack Russell races that happen at the Gold Cup are truly great fun. If you haven’t made your way over to the paddock to see them or looked up from the tailgate long enough to spy them on the jumbotron, you need to check them out.
With that as preface, we may have just discovered another lively racing addition to an already crowded Gold Cup Saturday agenda.
How about hamster racing?
You can check it out Saturday, April 24 at the Petco in Warrenton, VA where the Hamster Ball Derby will be taking place. According to a Petco press release from last October, Petco’s all over the country are hosting derbies – some 950 locations.
According to Petco’s release, last year’s race drew more than 12,000 racing hamsters and their cheering pet parents. Using hamster balls as their vehicles, hamsters will race down eight-foot tracks in heats of four en route to the finish line for a chance at derby glory.
Evidently, this has been going on for a while…
Of course, Petco is quick to point out that they can hook you up with your own Hamster O’ War or Secrehamsterait so you can become a patron of this ever growing sport. Not only can they get you a racing hamster they can also get you one of those plastic balls that they race in as well.
To be sure your hamster is ready to race, Petco also provides a five week training schedule to get your rodent ready for race day…a sample week goes like this: Tuesday, 15 supervised minutes in ball on Super Pet Hamtrac. Yes, the key word is “supervised.” Apparently Hamtrac is like a Nordic Track for the little critters.
Moving along, Wednesday – rest. Thursday – 15 minutes in the ball on the track. Friday – rest. You get the picture.
Oh, and remember on race day, provide plenty of clean water and food for you hamster. Add sunblock to the list and it’s a good strategy for you on Gold Cup day as well.
For more info complete with a training video, click here.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Yes, you have one…look in the back of the cabinet…way back there. Move the food processor and the blender…Hey, what’s that sticky stuff on the blender (margarita, daiquiri, who knows?)…yuck, gross.
There's the mixer, right where you left it.
Get it out and get to work because the Gold Cup is having a Cake Walk Contest with none other than Food Network star Duff Goldman of Ace of Cakes!
Look this is serious, Chef Duff is not just a television star, he’s also a baker and food artist who has been described as both audacious and creative (by somebody else, not us.) He owns a cake shop in Baltimore called Charm City Cakes. His work has also been featured on the Food Network Challenge, Iron Chef America, Oprah , and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Goldman's bakery shop is unusual in that blow torches, as well as power tools such as grinders and drills, are used to help form the underlying supports of the unique edible creations. With his crew, Goldman has done unusual cakes such as a likenesses of Elvis, a smoking volcano, a three-dimensional German Shepherd, as well as a replica of a CAT scan machine, a jeep, and an edible Wrigley Field.
Needless to say, you’ve got some work to do.
The Contest is limited to the first 30 contestants that have submitted the online application form with payment and illustration/picture of the cake being entered. Applications will be accepted starting on April 1, 2010 at 9:00 AM EST.
You can get your entry forms by clicking here.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
The six-year-old gelding is owned by Jim and Melinda Carter’s Randelston Farm and is trained by Virginia-based conditioner Jimmy Day.
Young said he thought Saturday's ideal weather conditions were a factor in the victory. The past two years, the race was run in wet conditions.
"It's always nice to get a second chance," Young said. "Not that I think I did anything wrong in the fall, but I do think there were things I could have done better."
Spy in the Sky closed a gap of several lengths over the final 14 fences of the course and cruised home ahead of Divine Fortune and Major Malibu by a five-lengths margin. Major Malibu had jumped to an early lead.
"It's a shorter track, so more speed. I said to Jimmy during the week, if he runs hard, I don't think he's going to get beat."
Spy in the Sky, the son of 1995 Kentucky Derby winner Thunder Gulch, has won at the highest level of U.S. Steeplechasing. He broke through last year when he swept from off the pace for a 10 1/4-length triumph at Saratoga Race Course.
(Photo by Tracy Glantz/The State)