After establishing a 20 length lead in the $7,500 Ledyard Amateur Timber race, Fieldview, owned by Irv Naylor, inexplicably put on the brakes ar the last obstale, tossing jockey Darren Nagle into the fence. Justpoutit (number 2) went on to the win. Later in the day Naylor and Nagle teamed up to win the day's featured race, the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup, with Patriot's Path.
Horse racing is never predictable, especially racing over fences. The 76th running of the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup on Sunday, November 7 was no exception, with plenty of excitement on the four race card.
"Today was certainly an up and down day," said Irvin S. Naylor, owner of Patriotís Path, winner of the $35,000 Pennsylvania Hunt Cup. "The first race, we had Fieldview who was up by twenty some lengths and for some reason that no person has any idea in the world, he jammed on his brakes at the last fence, dismounted his rider very hard against the rails and just walked away. Nobody has any idea in the world why that darned horse stopped, jammed his brakes on like that."
Fieldviewís unexpected stop after leading most of the race and the fall of rider Darren Nagle left the door open for Gus Brown on Justpoutit, owned by Anna Stable and trained by Richard Valentine.
Brown had not been pushing hard in the later stages of the three-mile race. "No sense in chasing a wasted cause," Brown said after his win in the $7,500 Lewis C Ledyard -Amateur Highweight Timber race "I didnít think heíd stop, my horse almost stopped there too."
Justpourit is a new horse for Anna Stables, and still new to timber. "He still wants to do things differently than a timber horse would," Brown said.
Even though Naylor was out of luck in the first race, the featured race of the day was a different matter. In the $35,000 Pennsylvania Hunt Cup four-mile timber stakes, Nagle rode Naylorís Patriotís Path in the pack while Jody Petty on Merriefield Farmís Bon Caddo set the pace from the starting line.
At one point, Bon Caddo started to open up a longer lead on the rest of the field, but he never got completely away from them. As they moved toward the stretch the gap narrowed, and at the last fence Patriotís Path took over the lead, leaving Bon Caddo to settle for second place.
"The last race is where Patriotís Path dug in to beat a very good horse, Bon Caddo," Naylor said. "Bon Caddo has a good kick at the end. For Patriotís Path to beat him in that last half a furlong was really something. Darren gave Patriotís Path the best ride Darrenís given any of my horses this year. It was really exceptional."
The other timber race on the card was the Arthur O. Choate, Jr. Memorial, where GíDay GíDay, owned by Magalen O. Bryant and ridden by Carl Rafter, won over a field of nine starters.
This was another race where the winner came from out of the pack after Comanche Station with Jody Petty, and Paddy Young on Wazee Moto were the horses out front over the majority of the course.
The final race of the day was the Athenian Idol flat race, where Brendan Heeney on Jacobís Little Bro crossed the finish line first with lengths to spare, but was disqualified for going off course. That gave the trophy to Our Diva, ridden by Paul Madden and owned by Equivine Farm.
Pony Hunt Cup
In addition to the sanctioned races, the day was also the stage for the Pennsylvania Pony Hunt Cup, run in three divisions for small and medium ponies; large ponies and non-Thoroughbreds; and Thoroughbred horses.
In the Thoroughbred division, fifteen-year-old Mary Motion on Orphington, wrapped up her junior racing career with a win. "He was a bit strong today but thatís like he usually is," Motion said. "I never doubted him. Heís won every race so far."
While she will no longer be able to race as a junior, Motion plans to keep racing. "Iíll be taking Orphington in the fox hunters timber," she said. "The two trainers that I ride for, Neil Morris and Jack Fisher, theyíll just guide me from there."