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?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Photo of the Day

The birch from the fence is scattered as runnes clear it at Lingfield racecourse on November 19, 2013 in Lingfield, England. (Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Foyle Upsets $50,000 International Gold Cup

FOYLE (Douglas Lees Photo)
Merriefield Farm’s Foyle defied his betting odds paying his backers $25.20 for a $2 win waqer and won the $50,000 International Gold Cup by three-quarters of a length at Great Meadow Race Course in The Plains, Va., on Saturday, Oct. 19. Kieran Norris was in the saddle for trainer Bruce Fenwick.

Straight to It, owned by Sheila Williams and Andre Brewster, finished second, and Irv Naylor’s Tax Ruling took third. Foyle, who had been beaten more than 40 lengths by Tax Ruling in Shawan Downs’ Legacy Chase on Sept. 28, bounced back with a stellar performance in the fall season’s richest timber race.

Foyle made a strong outside move in the stretch to gain his first win since his maiden victory at the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup last year. He ran the International Gold Cup’s 3 1/2 miles in 7:21.60 on turf rated as good.

COMPLETE ORDER OF FINISH: 1) Foyle (rider Kieran Norris, owner  Merriefield Farm, trainer H. Bruce Fenwick) $30,000; 2) Straight To It (Mark Beecher, Sheila J. Williams and Andre W. Brewste, Jack Fisher) $9,000; 3) Tax Ruling (James Slater, Irvin S. Naylor, William S. Meister) $5,000; 4) Worried Man (Gustav Dahl, Harold A. Via, Jr., Jack Fisher) $2,500; 5) Aero (Martin Rohan, Alfred C. Griffin, Jr., Doug Fout) $2,000

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pictures Of The Day

Runners take a look at the first fence at Cheltenham racecourse on October 18, 2013 in Cheltenham, England. (Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe)
Ciaran Gethings riding Oscar Davy (L) fall at the last in The Fie & Country North Cotswolds Amateur Riders' Handicap Steeple Chase at Cheltenham racecourse on October 18, 2013 in Cheltenham, England. (Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe)
Joe Tizzard riding Third Intention clear the last to win The Cheltenham Annual Members Novices' Steeple Chase at Cheltenham racecourse on October 18, 2013 in Cheltenham, England. (Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tax Ruling, Six Others Via For $50,000 International Gold Cup

The National Steeplechase Association’s 2013 timber championship will be at stake in the $50,000 International Gold Cup, the richest timber race of the NSA’s fall championship season, on Saturday, Oct. 19.

The feature contest of the 30th annual International Gold Cup meet drew a field of seven, and three starters have a chance to claim the prestigious title.

Undoubtedly the most intriguing member of the field is leading owner Irvin S. Naylor’s Tax Ruling, who was second in the Eclipse Award voting in 2011 after two Grade 1 victories over hurdles.

The 10-year-old Dynaformer gelding made a successful transition to timber racing this past spring and tuned for the International Gold Cup with a victory in Shawan Downs’ Legacy Chase, a timber allowance race on Sept. 28.

Leading timber trainer William Meister named James Slater to ride Tax Ruling, who has $30,000 in earnings from two victories and one second-place finish this year. The International Gold Cup’s $30,000 first-place purse would move him past Grinding Speed, the Virginia Gold Cup winner who leads the timber standings with $46,200.

Tax Ruling is fourth in the timber standings, immediately behind Harold A. “Sonny” Via’s Worried Man, who finished seventh in the Legacy Chase. Most of his earnings came in an upset victory in the Iroquois Steeplechase’s $50,000 Mason Houghland Memorial on May 11. Jack Fisher, last year’s champion trainer, named Gus Dahl to ride.

Also in the mix for the championship is Fisher-trained Straight to It, who is owned by Sheila Williams and Andre Brewster. Straight to It, the 2012 New Jersey Hunt Cup winner, finished second in the Legacy Chase, three-quarters of a length behind Tax Ruling. Mark Beecher, who has won the last two editions of the International Gold Cup, will ride.

The Old Dominion banner is carried Alfred C. Griffin Jr.’s Virginia-bred Aero will be looking for a trip to the winner’s enclosure after two second-place finishes in the International Gold Cup in the past two years. The timber veteran tuned with a third-place finish in the Legacy Chase, his first start of the year. Trainer Doug Fout named Martin Rohan to ride.

Kinross Farm’s Old Timer will be ridden by Christopher Read in the 3 1/2-mile International Gold Cup. Trained by Neil Morris, Old Timer led by seven lengths at the last fence of the Virginia Fall Races’ National Sporting Museum Chronicle Cup on Oct. 5 but was overtaken and finished second.

Bruce Fenwick tapped Kieran Norris to ride Merriefield Farm’s Foyle, who was tenth in the Legacy Chase. George Hundt Jr. will be aboard Lucy Stable’s Justpourit, who will be making his first start for trainer Julie Gomena. Justpourit most recently finished second in the Willowdale Steeplechase in Pennsylvania on May 12.

To see the full card, click here

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Saturday's International Gold Cup To Feature WiFi Wagering

( Photo)
( Saturday’s steeplechase races at Great Meadow will offer pari-mutuel betting in the palms of spectators’ hands.

For the first time, bettors will use smartphones and tablets to wager on horses in six races at the 76th running of the 
International Gold Cup.

The Virginia Gold Cup races in May made history, with the debut of legalized gambling
 at Great Meadow. But, the process moved slowly, as betters lined up for their turns at 20 electronic kiosks.
It took the average bettor about five minutes per wager, according to Gold Cup Executive Director Diane Jones.

Still, spectators stayed in line and wagered a total of $81,000.

“We didn’t know what to expect,” Mrs. Jones said last week. She and others hoped the “handle” would hit $50,000 on May 4.

Early in the year, they planned to have a wireless network and betting via mobile devices. But, the logistical challenges — including a change in the county zoning ordinance — took more time.

Race officials have invested about $80,000 in the secure Wi-Fi network at Great Meadow, which has antenna on the public address system speaker poles, Gold Cup association Chairman William H. Allison explained.

The use of mobile devices should make wagering on the ponies easier and faster Saturday.

To use the system, a bettor must buy a card encoded with a personal identification number and preloaded with $20, $50 or $100.

Bettors may buy cards — with cash only — from roving sales representatives at Great Meadow or, in advance, at the Gold Cup office, which accepts credit cards. (Great Meadow also will have ATMS.)

Logging on to the Gold Cup network at Great Meadow, a bettor will enter his or her PIN to begin the process. Then, the bettor picks the race, the horse(s), the wager and the type of bet.

The system automatically will deduct wagers from the bettor’s account and credit winnings to it. Bettors may claim winnings or unused funds on their cards at Great Meadow kiosks or at the Gold Cup office for up to one year.

But, one must present his or her card to collect.

“We in the steeplechase racing world think this is going to help the sport grow,” Dr. Allison said.

If pari-mutuel at Great Meadow grows, he envisions larger pursues, with more money available to owners of Virginia-bred horses.

Horse racing everywhere has struggled with changing demographics, the recession and competition from casinos and lotteries.

Racing supports hope technology can help turn the tide.

“Gold Cup has taken the first step,” said veteran horseman Mike Pearson, who serves as a consultant to the association. “It has made Virginia breeds preferred (for entry slots) in all races.”

Making more prize money available to Virginia horses could help revive the state’s breeding industry, Mr. Pearson said.

But, it will take a methodical process, with betting from mobile devices as an important development.

“You can’t imagine how much work has gone into this,” Dr. Allison said.
Because the Virginia Gold Cup and International Gold Cup have come under Virginia Racing Commission purview, security and protocol around the course have tightened considerably. Only those with appropriate credentials have access to the jockey, paddock and stable, for example.

The commission requires the measures to ensure nobody could unduly influence the outcome of a race.

Saturday’s races will use 
FastBet Mobile, a platform developed by United Tote, a pari-mutuel contractor affiliated with Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. The system will update odds in real time, as bets get placed. 

The secure network at Great Meadow allows access only to FastBet. Spectators won’t be able to use the network for other browsing.

Any Wi-Fi enabled device — smartphones, tablets and laptops — will work with the system.

United Tote also will have five tents with kiosks at Saturday’s races for those who want to wager that way. Those tents also will provide payouts for those who want to cash in their cards.

Pictures Of The Day

Runners make their way towards the back straight at Huntingdon racecourse on October 15, 2013 in Huntingdon, England. (Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe)
Andrew Tinkler riding Makari clear the last to win The 1st Security Solutions Handicap Hurdle Race at Huntingdon racecourse on October 15, 2013 in Huntingdon, England. (Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe)
Tony McCoy riding Oscar Fortune clears the last to win The 32Red Casino Novices' Hurdle Race at Huntingdon racecourse on October 15, 2013 in Huntingdon, England. (Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Picture Of The Day

Runners clear a flight of hurdles at Exeter racecourse on October 10, 2013 in Exeter, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What Not To Wear

Well, it's fast approaching that time when one needs to select the perfect International Gold Cup outfit.

Have at it, and good luck.

Oh...and don't choose one of these looks. Just sayin'.
Fashion (?) is presented at the Maid In Love show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul 2014 presented by American Express on October 7, 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images Europe)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Move Over Jack Russells, Here Comes The Sheep

. (Nigel Roddis/Getty Images Europe)
A tradition at Gold Cup has long been the wildly popular Jack Russell races.  Popular at horse events around the Piedmont, these feisty little competitors have made it all the way to Washington D.C. for the International Horse Show and New York for the David Letterman Show.

Now, it would be great fun to see the terriers “herd” these future lamb chops over said hurdles, fact is sheep racing is exclusively done in unnamed parts of the Midwestern U.S. of A and in a place called Masham.  Not to be confused with “Mash ‘Em.” Masham is in Northern England in Yorkshire and they celebrate the woolly critters for two day in late September.

Maybe next year.

In fact, now that the Gold Cup has legal pari-mutuel wagering, maybe one could place a couple quid on the outcome of sheep v. terriers?  Just a thought…

For more information on the legal wagering that will take place at the International Gold Cup races, click here.

Pictures Of The Day

McLane Henriks rode Thermostat to victory in the amateur highweight timber race for the second straight year  at the Virginia Fall Races October 6, 2013 at Glenwood Park near Middleburg, VA. (Douglas Lees photo)
Irvin S. Naylor's The Editor (Jeff Murphy) won the allowance timber race at the Virginia Fall Races October 5, 2013 at Glenwood Park near Middleburg, VA. (Douglas Lees photo)
This image that was processed using digital filters, shows a fashionable crowd attending the $6.5 million Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe G1 at Longchamp racecourse near Paris on October 06, 2013. (Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe)
French Jockey Thierry Jarnet riding Treve celebrates after winning the $6.5 million Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe horse race at the Longchamp race track, outside Paris, France, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013. Race favorite Orfevre finished a distant second, followed by Intello and Kizuna in the world’s richest turf contest.(AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Sara E. Collette's Wahoo (Darren Nagle) won the maiden hurdle race for horses owned and trained in Virginia at the Virginia Fall Races Saturday, October 5 at Glenwood Park near Middelburg, VA. (Douglas Lees Photo)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

John Allen riding Gotta Take Care jumps the last hurdle on his way to win the Brendan Drechsler Hurdle during Mosstropper Steeplechase Day at Bendigo racecourse on June 16, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. (Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images AsiaPac)

A spectator wearing an spectacular hat is seen prior to the $1.3 million Prix de Diane G1, one of the most important tests on the flat for three-year-old fillies in France on June 16, 2013.  (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Jockeys and camels race during racing at Stratford-upon-Avon racecourse on June 8, 2013 in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Picture Of The Day

Horses and jockeys jump a fence past the grandstand at Fakenham racecourse during racing at Fakenham on May 7, 2013 in Fakenham, England. (Jamie McDonald/Getty Images Europe)

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Grinding Speed Wins 88th Virginia Gold Cup

(Douglas Lees)
Michael Wharton’s Grinding Speed continued his dominance of the Great Meadow Course when he drew clear in the stretch to a 6 3/4-length victory over Straight to It in the 88th running of the $75,000 Virginia Gold Cup on Saturday, May. 4. Magalen O. Bryant’s Dakota Slew finished third, 5 3/4 lengths farther back, and Merriefield Farm’s Foyle claimed fourth money.

Trained by Alicia Murphy and again ridden by Mark Beecher, Grinding Speed had won last fall’s International Gold Cup on Great Meadows’ timber course. The seven-year-old Maryland-bred Grindstone gelding ran the Virginia Gold Cup’s four miles in 8:50.80 on firm turf.

Irv Naylor’s Herons Well set the early pace, and Straight to It, owned by Sheila J. Williams and Andre Brewster, took over on the final circuit under Willie Dowling. Beecher kept Grinding Speed in midpack through the first two miles and gradually worked his way through the field to challenge Straight to It heading into the final fence. They jumped the final obstacle together, and Grinding Speed pulled away to the finish line. Dowling claimed foul against Grinding Speed, but the Gold Cup stewards disallowed the claim.

The Virginia Gold Cup proved a disappointment for the winners of the first two Maryland timber classics. Moonsox, the My Lady’s Manor winner on April 13, was fifth, and Naylor’s Alfa Beat, the Grand National winner on April 20, was last of seven finishers. Herons Well was pulled up at the final fence.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Final Review: Hat, Sunglasses, Sunscreen and Cash

OK, you’re almost at the finish line (pun intended). Tomorrow is the 88th running of the Virginia Gold Cup and the first to feature pari-mutual wagering just like at a traditional racetrack.

So first off, bring some CASH. Yes, there will be ATMs there, but we wager (pun also intended) that there will be a line and, in the immortal words of Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

You could borrow some cash from one of your friends, but then they would have less cash and you would have to remember who you borrowed it from and that could cause friction and that friction could cause a problem in the friendship and then he/she wouldn’t feel as guilty about flirting with your girl/boyfriend and that might lead to another break-up followed by a future wedding that you won’t get invited to and if you do get invited it will seem weird...need I go on with the rest of your life story gone horribly wrong because you didn’t save three bucks and get cash from your own bank’s ATM BEFORE you came to the Gold Cup?

I didn't think so. Life is complicated, don't bugger it up more by borrowing money from your friends.  There is an ATM on every street corner.  Use it!

Just bring some cash, because placing a wager on a Gold Cup race is going to be fun, and then WATCHING the race after placing a meager bet is way more fun than a) not watching or b) watching with nothing at stake.

(Oh yeah, and buy a program. The new Gold Cup program has all the past performances of the horses so you can make an educated guess about who is going to win...or, at the very least, you will look smart. The program costs $5, so bring some CASH.)

That brings us to sunscreen....yeah, yeah, yeah, we know what you’re thinking, but you’re wrong.  You NEED your sunscreen. It will be sunny. You will be outside all day.  You NEED your sunscreen. Capiche?
Hat. Hats are optional, but they do look cool and they reduce the need for sunscreen.  We recommend the hat for both the men and the women.  Different hats, of course, but hats.

Sunglasses are also a bit of a must. It’s very GREEN at Great Meadow, that green reflects a lot of light. The large amounts of sunny, beautiful light makes you squint. Squinting gives you crow’s feet. Nobody wants crows feet not even the crows who are constantly shopping at Zappos looking to cover up their nasty wrinkled feet.  Crows feet and other wrinkles to your forehead caused by squinting will eventually require botox and cause partial paralysis of your lovely face.  That and botox ain’t cheap.

Sooooooo....wear your sunglasses.

Wear a hat.

Put on the damn sunscreen!

Bring some cash!

(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Pictures Of The Day

A general view of the course during the Phoenix Security Hurdle Race. (Stu Forster/Getty Images Europe)
The Sedgefield Races on May 2, 2013 in Stockton-on-Tees, England. (Stu Forster/Getty Images Europe)
Kentucky Derby morning-line favorite Orb gets washed in the barn area during the morning training for the 2013 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 2, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Weekend Forecast

Any questions?

Field Set For 88th Virginia Gold Cup

ALFA BEAT (#10) (Douglas Lees Photo)
Champion steeplechase owner Irv Naylor will play a strong hand in the $75,000 Virginia Gold Cup when he fields two contenders in a highly competitive field for Saturday’s 88th edition of the four-mile timber classic. Also in the Gold Cup field of nine horses are the winners of several major timber races.

Naylor’s contingent is led by Alfa Beat, an Irish steeplechase stakes winner who pulled away to a five-length victory in the $30,000 Grand National, the second jewel of Maryland’s timber triple crown, on April 20. Billy Meister, who trains Alfa Beat, also will saddle Naylor’s Herons Well, a British-bred import who finished fourth in a division of the John Rush Streett Memorial maiden timber race at the My Lady’s Manor meet in Monkton, Md., on April 13. James Slater will ride Alfa Beat, and Roddy Mackenzie rides Herons Well.

The Naylor contingent will face stiff competition. Nelson & Traveller Stable’s Moonsox won the kickoff race of the Maryland timber triple, the My Lady’s Manor, by 1 3/4 lengths on April 13. Returning to ride Moonsox for trainer Kevin Boniface is Lia McGuirk, who won the My Lady’s Manor in her first sanctioned start.

Reigning champion trainer Jack Fisher (of Saluter fame) entered Straight to It, the 2012 New Jersey Hunt Cup winner who is owned by Sheila J. Williams and Andre Brewster. In his only start of the current season, Straight to It finished second in the My Lady’s Manor. Willie Dowling will ride.

GRINDING SPEED (Douglas Lees Photo)
Michael T. Wharton’s Grinding Speed won the International Gold Cup over the Great Meadow course last fall, and he returns with jockey Mark Beecher, who is coming off a winning ride on Professor Maxwell in the Maryland Hunt Cup on April 27. Alicia Murphy trains Grinding Speed, who was leading the My Lady’s Manor when he fell at the last fence.

Richard Valentine, who sent out Hunt Cup winner Professor Maxwell from his The Plains base, will saddle Magalen O. Bryant’s Dakota Slew and Lucy Stable’s Justpourit in the Gold Cup. Dakota Slew would be making his first start of the season, and Justpourit was fifth in the Grand National at Butler, Md. Robbie Walsh has the mount on Dakota Slew, and George Hundt will be aboard Justpourit.
Trainer Edward Mulligan named Jeff Murphy for a return engagement aboard Holston Hall’s Hot Rize, winner of the $20,000 Middleburg Hunt Cup on April 20.

Maryland-based horseman Bruce Fenwick will saddle Merriefield Farm’s Foyle, who was elevated to the top spot in the Grand National’s Benjamin H. Murray Memorial timber allowance race when the first two finishers were disqualified for going off course. Christopher Read has the mount.

For the first time, the Virginia Gold Cup meet at the Great Meadows course in The Plains will offer pari-mutuel wagering under the supervision of the Virginia Racing Commission.  

Saturday’s program will offer six races with purses totaling $200,000. First post time is 1:30 p.m.

The Field For The 139th Kentucky Derby

(AP Photo/Garry Jones)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Look, Horses! I Wonder Which One Is Going To Win?

Here’s how this goes. Everybody has said, “I went to the Gold Cup and I never saw a horse.” Har-Har. It’s an old joke. Let it go. This year, there is the best reason ever to watch the races: YOUR MONEY.

Yes, this year you can place a legal pari-mutuel wager on the races, so, you might as well pay attention and watch your investment at work. 

There are wide cross sections of groups at the Virginia Gold Cup with various levels of interest.
There is the "horsey" set that actually cares what happens. Usually because they know somebody involved with one of the horses or, better yet, they know one of the horses.

Then there’s the “non-horsey” set who simply finds the racing action fascinating.
Then there is the “interested to be polite” group. They pay attention to the races so as not to offend their host or hostess.

After that you have the “modestly interested” set who will watch a race if they happen to be looking in the right direction when the race starts. And, finally, there is the “don’t care” group.
Now there is a subset of each group, and eventually these subsets morph into the “interested” category.  That subset is comprised of people who may or may not care about watching the actual race until they place an actual wager on said race.

Having a horse to cheer for based on a $1 investment makes the race much more exciting. Mind you, a modes wager won’t make you rich, but it makes those few minutes much more interesting.
Fact is there are six, maybe seven race with purses of $240,000. The Gold Cup is now run for a  $75,000. That’s real money.

People spend a large part of their lives looking for the “right horse” that can jump 23 big immovable obstacles while running four miles. The horses can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $500,000. Trainers spend years and years honing their skills to condition these horses properly, and the jockeys basically risk life and limb.

Now, you can spice it up by wagering on the horse you think will win.

Then you WATCH the race.

It’s pretty simple… 

(Don't forget to bring some cash!)

Virginians Win Maryland Hunt Cup

THE WINNER (LEFT) (Douglas Lees Photo)

For a day with only one race, the Maryland Hunt Cup packs more drama than a week of Law and Order episodes. Run for the 117th time Saturday, the timber classic delivered again.

In his third try at the race, Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Professor Maxwell ran and jumped near the front throughout, emerged with a clear lead from a near-melee at the 21st fence and made it stand up to win by 5 lengths over Sand Box Rules with Guts For Garters third. Virginian Richard Valentine trains the winner, a 14-year-old son of Buckhar bred in Pennsylvania by Hall of Fame trainer Janet Elliot.

The race – and its true plot twist – was about four fences. Four fences jumped without stirrups by the winner and jockey Mark Beecher. An awkward touchdown at the ninth fence sent Beecher out of his irons but still aboard. The Irishman called on a lifetime of riding show jumpers, sat tall and still and navigated – around a turn, over the 10th, 11th, 12th and yes even the mighty 13th – without stirrups. By 14, Beecher was back in the irons and order was restored. His horse kept jumping, gave up the lead to Battle Op over the 17th and 18th, reclaimed it going to the 20th and crossed Tufton Avenue (where he nearly fell last year) with an advantage.

At the tricky, trappy, 21st – the smallest fence on the course – Prospectors Strike balked and lost jockey Justin Batoff. Professor Maxwell didn’t jump it smoothly, but landed running and flew the last and headed to the win – Valentine’s second, Beecher’s first and the first for the Ohrstrom family in decades of trying.

To read the rest of the story at, click here.

Picture Of The Day

Pay not attention to the weather.  Gold Cup weekend will be here soon, and all will be well!
(Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe)
Runners make their way to the start at Windsor racecourse on April 29, 2013 in Windsor, England.
(Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Maryland Grand National

All photos by Douglas Lees.

 The 9th fence at the 111th Grand National in  Butler, Md. Left to right: Brands Hatch (Jackson Roberts, Alfa Beat (James Slater) and Justpourit (George Hundt, Jr.)
The fourth fence at the Grand National.
Terko Service won the Western Plate for owner Frank Bonsal, Jr., trainer Ann Stewart and jockey Nick Carter.
 Grand National winner Alfa Beat (IRE).
Approaching 9th fence of the Grand National Steeplechase eventual third-place finisher Battle Op and Connor Hankin lead the field.  Eventual winner  Alfa Beat and James Slater is 6th from the left.
Foyle and Jamses Slater on their way to victory in the $15,000 Benjamin H. Murray Memorial at the Maryland Grand National.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Picture Of The Day

Tim Donworth riding Zest For Life make their way through 'Joe's Water Splash' to win The Kildare Hunt Club Fr Sean Breen Memorial Chase for the Ladies Perpetual Cup at Punchestown racecourse on April 23, 2013 in Naas, Ireland.  (Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Almost always one of these critters ends up running in the Virginia Gold Cup...

All photos by Douglas Lees.
Amelia McGuirk savors her first win aboard Nelson & Traveller Stable's Moonstruck (Kevin Boniface, trainer) after capturing the $30,000 The My Lady's Manor timber stakes last Saturday in Maryland.

The 10th fence My Lady's Manor, left to right: Sand Box Rules (Diana Gillam, up) - 4th;  Moonsox (Amelia McGuirk), the winner, and Straight To It (Willie Dowling) - 2nd.
Approaching the 13th fence, left to right: Sand Box Rules (Diana Gillam), second place finisher Straight To It, Grinding Speed, third place finisher Bon Caddo, Eye Said Scat Cat and the winner Moonsox.

The finish: Moonstruck and Amelia McGuirk, Straight To It (William Dowling) and Bon Caddo (Christopher Read)
The first division of the John Rish Streett Memorial left to right: Old Timer (Diana Gillam), He's Got Mojo (Martin Rohan), Worried Man (Connor Hankin), Spencer Road (Jackson Roberts) and Mohave Moose (Blair Wyatt).

Happy trainer Neil Morris leads Kinross Farms's Old Timer and Diana Gillam to the winners circle after capturing the John Rish Street Memorial.
John Rush Streett Memorial 2nd division left to right: The winner Ebanour (James Slater) and Raven's Choice(Blair Wyatt) who finished second.
John D. Schapiro Memorial13th fence left to right: Woodmont (Diana Gillam), Prospectors Strike (Justin Batoff), Justpourit (George Jundt, Jr.), the winner Snow Blizzard (Nick Carter) and Haddix (Cormac Farrell).