Nine nominated to Pennsylvania Hunt Cup

An accomplished group of timber-racing veterans has been nominated to the 84th running of the historic Pennsylvania Hunt Cup, the final timber classic on the 2018 National Steeplechase Association schedule, on Sunday, Nov. 4.

Armata Stables’ Grand Manan, trained in Maryland by Billy Meister, appears to be rounding back into form with a third-place finish in the New Jersey Hunt Cup on Oct. 20. In his prior race, the front-runner had finished fifth in the Radnor Hunt Cup on a very soft race course that did not suit his running style.

In 2016, the nine-year-old Giant’s Causeway gelding won the International Gold Cup and Genesee Valley Hunt Cup by open lengths, and he was second to champion Doc Cebu in last year’s International Gold Cup.

Also nominated from the New Jersey Hunt Cup at Far Hills was Upland Partners’ Mystic Strike, who finished fifth for trainer Todd McKenna.

The Genesee Valley Hunt Cup, run on Oct. 13, yielded three nominees for the four-mile Pennsylvania Hunt Cup. Black and Blue Stable’s Monstaleur, trained and ridden by Forrest Kelly, finished second behind Doc Cebu.

Frank Bonsal Jr’s Stand Down sustained his first career defeat when third in the 3 1/2-mile Genesee Valley Hunt Cup in western New York. The six-year-old trained by Joe Davies had won his first two starts in the spring. Keystone Thoroughbreds’ Be Great, also trained by McKenna, finished fourth.

Gordonsdale Farm’s Canyon Road, second in Virginia Fall’s National Sporting Library & Museum Cup on Oct. 13, was nominated to the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup by trainer Christopher Kolb.

Trainer Kathy Neilson nominated two contenders owned by leading timber owner Irv Naylor, Super Saturday and Aquies. Super Saturday finished fifth in the National Sporting Library, and Aquies had two placings in timber allowance races at Winterthur and Willowdale this past spring.

Also nominated was owner-trainer Jason Cole’s Jeffery G., who most recently finished fourth in a Genesee Valley maiden timber race.

Here are the nominees to the 84th annual Pennsylvania Hunt Cup in alphabetical order.

Aquies. 2012 b. g., Artie Schiller—Quies, by Quiet American. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Kathy Neilson. Breeders: Mr. and Mrs. M. Roy Jackson (Ky.) 2018 record: 4-0-2-2, $9,300. 2017 record: 4-1-1-2, $15,700. Finished third in 2018 Willowdale timber allowance after second a week earlier in similar race at Winterthur. Finished third in My Lady’s Manor 2018 John D. Schapiro Memorial and second in Grand National’s Western Run Plate. Won 2017 Willowdale maiden timber and was third in Fair Hill novice timber.

Be Great. 2007 b. g., Gulch—Classic Ingrid, by Regal Classic. Owner: Keystone Thoroughbreds. Trainer: Todd McKenna. Breeder: Equivine Farm (Pa.) 2018 record: 1-0-0-0, $1,500. 2017 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. Finished sixth in Genesee Valley Hunt Cup, a race he won in 2015. In only 2017 start, fell at the 15th fence of Willowdale amateur apprentice timber race.

Canyon Road. 2009 ch. g., Service Stripe—Observe, by Patton. Owner: Gordonsdale Farm. Trainer: Christopher Kolb. Breeder: Gordonsdale Farm (W.Va.) 2018 record: 3-0-1-0, $8,450. 2017 record: 4-0-1-0, $6,600. 2016 record: 5-2-0-1, $25,250. Finished second in Virginia Fall’s 2018 National Sporting Library & Museum Cup after fourth in Shawan Downs’ ‘Legacy Chase. Pulled up in 2018 Radnor Hunt Cup on soft turf.

Grand Manan. 2009 b. g., Giant’s Causeway—Manoa, by Seeking the Gold. Owner: Armata Stables. Trainer: William Meister. Breeders: Stuart S. Janney III and Phipps Stable (Ky.). 2018: 4-0-0-1, $6,200. 2017 record: 5-0-3-0, $28,500. 2016 record: 4-3-0-0, $82,950. Finished third in 2018 New Jersey Hunt Cup after fifth in Radnor Hunt Cup on very soft ground. Pulled up in 2018 Middleburg Hunt Cup, then lost rider while leading Willowdale Steeplechase. Closed 2016 season with back-to-back front-running victories in the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup and International Gold Cup.

Jeffery G. 2007 ch. g., Awad—Search for Reality, by Regal Search. Owner-trainer: Jason L. Cole. Breeder: Jason L. Cole (Pa.). 2018 record: 2-0-0-0, $1,350. 2017 record: No starts. Coming back after missing the 2017 season and finished fifth in a division of the John Rush Streett maiden timber and fourth in Genesee Valley maiden timber.

Monstaleur. 2007 ch. g., Meadow Monster—Taleur, by Stalwars. Owner: Black and Blue Stable. Trainer: Forrest Kelly. Breeders: Dr. James E. Bryant and Linda P. Davis (Va.). 2018 record: 4-0-1-2, $14,900. 2017 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. Finished second in 2018 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. Was third in 2018 Grand National and Willowdale Steeplechase, then fifth in Brown Advisory Legacy Chase at Shawan Downs. Pulled up in 2017 Willowdale Steeplechase, his only start that year. Closed ground for dead-heat win in 2016 Willowdale Steeplechase.

Mystic Strike. 2009 b. h., Smart Strike—Mystic Rhythms, by Citidancer. Owner: Upland Partners. Trainer: Todd McKenna. Breeder: Peter Vegso Racing (Fla.). 2018 record: 4-0-2-1, $17,600. 2017 record: 2-2-0-0, $27,000. Finished second in 2018 Radnor Hunt Cup and Winterthur Bowl after third in My Lady’s Manor. Finished fifth in New Jersey Hunt Cup. Barely beaten and then placed first in 2017 Radnor Hunt Cup.

Stand Down (Ire). 2012 b. g., Yeats (Ire)—Quadrennial, by Un Desperado. Owner: Frank Bonsal Jr. Trainer: Joseph G. Davies. Breeder: Mrs. E. Costelloe (Ire). 2018 record: 3-2-0-1, $21,200. Sustained first career defeat when third in Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. Won first two career starts by open lengths, beginning with 2018 Grand National timber allowance and then Willowdale allowance timber.

Super Saturday. 2009 gr. or ro. g., Any Given Saturday—Lady Aloma, by Cozzene. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Kathy Neilson. Breeder: Walton Breeders (Ky.) 2018 record: 4-1-0-1, $31,100. 2017 record: 6-0-1-1, $13,400. 2016 record: 5-0-1-0, $4,550. Finished fifth in 2018 National Sporting Library & Museum Cup. Won 2018 Middleburg Hunt Cup, then was third in the Virginia Gold Cup and fourth in Radnor Hunt Cup. Finished second in 2017 New Jersey Hunt Cup and third in Steeplechase at Callaway timber allowance.

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