With one race left in the Maryland Steeplechase Association Governor’s Cup Series, sponsored by Farm Credit, it seems the final awards standings have mostly been decided. After the Howard County Cup races on May 7, Welcome Here Farm’s Serene Harbor remains in the lead for the Open Timber championships with nine points. Raven’s Choice (Ann Jackson), Guts For Garters (Stewart Strawbridge) and Senior Senator (Irvin Crawford, II) are all tied for second place with 8.5 points. None of these horses are slated to run in this Sunday’s Potomac Hunt Races.
Winning the Howard County Hunt Cup Open Timber was James Slater aboard Black Pond. Trained and owned by Michael Leaf, the 8-year-old gelding stalked the leader and last year’s winner Grand Manan (ridden by Fritz Boniface, owned by Donald Reuwer, Jr. and trained by William Meister) for much of the race. Slater moved him ahead after the last fence to win by two lengths.
After winning the Alda Clark Plate Novice Timber at Howard County last weekend, Golden Slammer has moved into the lead for the Novice Timber championship. The 11-year-old gelding is owned by Upland Partners and trained by Todd McKenna. Golden Slammer was ridden to victory by Forrest Kelly at Howard and has 12 points in the overall standings. West Is Best (Achsah O’Donovan) is in second with eight points and is not running at Potomac.
Trainer Todd McKenna’s win at Howard with Golden Slammer moved him even farther ahead in the Trainer standings. He now has 30 points with Todd Wyatt in second with 20.5 points. Neither McKenna nor Wyatt have horses running at Potomac.
In the jockey standings, Mark Beecher remains in the lead for Timber Rider (36 points), Overall Leading Rider (42 points) and Leading Amateur Rider (33 points). He is also skipping Potomac, as is Annie Yeager, who is in second place in all three rider standings. Yeager has a commanding lead in the Leading Lady Rider standings (33 points) with no possible way for any other lady jockey to catch her.
Monstaleur and Charge, both owned by Black and Blue Stables, remain tied for the Maryland Heavyweight Timber championship with 6.5 points each. Drift Society, ridden by Connor Hankin, and Church Music, ridden by Brett Owings both have 8.5 points this season to top the Amateur Apprentice Timber Horse and Rider championship.
Ivan Dowling, Mark Beecher and Annie Yeager remained tied for the Voss Amateur Flat Race series with six points each.
The Howard County Cup Races and Maryland Junior Hunt Cup shook up the standings in the junior categories. Colin Smith, who won the Jack Mobberley Pony Field Masters Chase Small Ponies division at Howard and took home two wins at the Junior Hunt Cup, has moved into first place in the Overall Leading Pony Rider standings with 31.5 points. Teddy Davies, who led the standings for most of the series has moved into second with 27.5 points. Both junior jockeys will be at Potomac racing for the series title!
In the Leading Junior Small Pony Rider standings, it is Davies in first with 21.5 points with Smith in second (15 points). Smith is not entered at Potomac with any small ponies so it looks like this year’s Small Pony Rider title will go to Davies.
Abigail Murphy and Brooke Leatherman have been battling it out all season for the Medium Pony Rider titles. Right now Murphy is in the lead with 24 points, with Leatherman in second place (16 points). Leatherman narrowly beat out Murphy at Howard to win the Jack Mobberley Pony Field Masters Chase Medium Ponies division. Both riders are slated to ride in the Medium Pony flat race this weekend at Potomac.
Tommy Fenwick still has the lead in the Large Pony Rider standings with 18 points. He won at the Junior Hunt Cup but skipped Howard and is not on the Potomac list. Gretchen Eisenberg, who won the Jack Mobberley Pony Field Masters Chase Large Pony race at Howard, is in second place with 11 points and is entered at Potomac.
Daisy Fenwick, who added yet another win to her season at the Junior Hunt Cup, remains in the lead of the Junior Horse Rider standings (18 points). Brooke Leatherman is in second with 10 points and Paige Seiple is in the lead for the Junior Rider non-TB Horse standings with 12 points.
A complete list of Governor’s Cup series standings can be found at marylandsteeplechaseassociation.com here: http://www.marylandsteeplechaseassociation.com/trophies-and-awards/standings/ Standings questions and protests can be filed up until 5pm on Thursday through the Governor’s Cup Chief Steward J.W.Y Martin, MFH at Jwymfh@aol.com.
The Howard County Cup races also held two Foxhunter Timber races, The Harwood for members of any club on Thoroughbreds or non-Thoroughbreds, and The Founders’ Cup, for Howard County-Iron Bridge Hounds members on non-Thoroughbreds. HCIBH member Lauren Faulkner won The Harwood riding Dale Proctor’s Aaron’s Pick. Catherine Frederick of Carrollton Hounds came in second overall but won the non-TB section of this race. The Founders’ Cup was won by Victoria Kaminski riding her own Kodiak.
So who will be at Potomac this weekend? Entries for the flat, hurdles, timber and pony races are full and can be seen here through Central Entry: http://www.centralentryoffice.com/Annual/2016/Overnights/Potomac%20Hunt%20Races%205-15-2016%20Overnight.pdf
Virginia Gold Cup
Although not in Maryland or part of the Governor’s Cup Series, many Maryland entries were among those at the Virginia Gold Cup on May 7 with the big win going to PA/MD owner Irvin Naylor. Gustav Dahl rode Naylor’s Ebanour to win the $100,000 Virginia Gold Cup Timber Stakes by a margin of 6 1/4. The Irish-bred gelding is trained by Cyril Murphy and won the My Lady’s Manor earlier this season. Naylor and Murphy teamed for a win earlier in the day with Charminster taking home the $75,000 David Semmes Memorial (Grade II) Hurdle Stakes. Jack Doyle was on board for the win.
The Gold Cup wasn’t Dahl’s only win of the day as he rode Royal Bench, owned by Atlanta Hall Racing LLC and trained by Elizabeth Voss, to win the $45,000 Allowance Hurdle. Another win for Maryland was Connor Hankin riding Bruton Street-US’ Lemony Bay in the $40,000 Steeplethon. Trained by Jack Fisher, the English-bred won by five lengths.
Curve of Stones, ridden by Barry Foley, won the $40,000 Sport of Kings Maiden Hurdle for owner S. Rebecca Shepard and trainer David Bourke. Barry Foley was in the winners circle again later in the day with Lawrence G. McDade’s Rodie, trained by Susan Cooney, in the $30,000 Maiden Flat race. Jonathan Sheppard trained Rum Tum Tugger to win the $50,000 Secretariat Stakes Flat Stakes for owner Lake Lonely Racing with Willie McCarthy in the irons. Middle Road, ridden by Paddy Young, owned by Magalen O. Bryant and trained by Leslie Young finished first in the $30,000 Maiden Flat. Jeff Murphy rode Willisville to win the $35,000 Virginia Bred or Sired Flat for owner/trainer Jean Rofe.