All of the inside scoop on Virginia's biggest day of Steeplechase racing -- the Virginia Gold Cup. Hey, 50,000 of your closest friends can't be wrong! Do you have your tickets yet?

Sunday, May 8, 2011


By Joe Clancy/Steeplechase Times

Merriefield Farm's Bon Caddo sidestepped a calamity at the second fence on the way to victory in Saturday's Virginia Gold Cup timber stakes, taking over from Uppercut at the third-last and holding off a mild bid from Radio Flyer in the $75,000 timber stakes.

(Douglas Lees)
The race changed dramatically when He's A Conniver fell at the second of 23 fences. More Fascination and Delta Park reacted to the fall and lost their jockeys at the same fence – leaving just three competitors.

He's A Conniver about to crash land the 2nd fence. (Douglas Lees)
Uppercut assumed command, followed by Bon Caddo and Radio Flyer and the order remained basically unchanged until the final turn. With the others closing in, Uppercut pulled up with an injury and left the fight to Bon Caddo and Radio Flyer. Bon Caddo rolled home with his second win of 2011 for trainer Dawn Williams.

Bon Caddo (Douglas Lees)
The win capped a big day for Wyatt, a Maryland resident with long Virginia roots. Her father Randy won the Gold Cup in 1983 and her husband Todd trained maiden hurdle winner Raven's Choice to start the day. Bon Caddo matched Private Attack at the top of the timber division and erased a narrow runner-up effort to Bubble Economy last year.

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