NSA champion trainer Jack Fisher took the first two spots in the $75,000 Queen’s Cup MPC ‘Chase for novices on Saturday when Selection Sunday came home 2 1/2 lengths clear of stablemate Schoodic at the 20th annual Queen’s Cup Steeplechase at Brooklandwood Race Course near Charlotte. Street Fight finished third.
Jockey Danny Mullins, a recent arrival from Ireland, continued to play a hot hand when he won two races for the second straight week. He also won the $20,000 Ratings Hurdle Handicap aboard Hiwasse Gem for owner-trainer Janet Elliot.
Owned by Andre Brewster, Selection Sunday was making his first 2015 start after a dominant victory in last November’s Charleston Cup optional allowance hurdle. He ran the 2 3/8 miles of the Queen’s Cup in 4:30.60 on turf rated as good.
Dogwood Stable’s Street Fight, trained in Camden by Arch Kingsley and ridden by Camden’s Bernie Dalton, was third. Dalton had a winner in the day’s second chase, the $20,000 Sonitrol Verified Security Chase aboard Ginobi, trained by Nancy Ruch.
The afternoon’s card also included the Trugreen Future Champions Turf Race on the flat which was won by No Wunder for trainer Elizabeth Voss who had Gustav Dahl in the irons. Finishing second in that race was Sally Brown, named for the former Camden resident of the same name, which is trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Jonathan Sheppard.
Orchestra Leader in tune at Foxfield: S. Bruce Smart’s Orchestra Leader drew away Saturday to a five-length victory in the $25,000 Daniel Van Clief Memorial optional allowance hurdle, the featured race of the 38th annual Foxfield Spring Races in Charlottesville, Va. Arrakis finished second, and Forgotten Man took third in the 2 1/8-mile race over National Fences.
Trained by Jimmy Day and ridden by Brendan Brooks, Orchestra Leader ran the distance in 4:05.80 on turf rated as good.
Making his first start of the year, Orchestra Leader returned to the winner’s circle for the first time since his score in a Block House claiming hurdle last May. The Van Clief was his third victory over fences since being imported after a brief racing career on the flat in Ireland in 2011.
Raven’s Choice declared winner in Maryl;and Hunt Cup:
Raven’s Choice declared winner in Maryl;and Hunt Cup:In an unprecedented disqualification, Raven’s Choice was declared the winner of the 119th Maryland Hunt Cup on Saturday when Imperial Way finished first by a half-length but was disqualified because a 20-pound weight slipped from his saddle pad during the course of the challenging four-mile race.
Owned by Mrs. Cary W. Jackson and trained by Todd Wyatt, Raven’s Choice finished six lengths clear of Stewart Strawbridge’s Guts For Garters, who was bidding for his second straight Hunt Cup victory, after finishing a nose ahead of hard-luck Imperial Way last year.Under the rules of racing, the jockey must weigh in following the race with the same weight as when going to the saddling area.
Spencer Road was placed third, and early pacesetter Joshua G. finished fourth in a field of 11. Mark Beecher continued his leading position in the timber jockey ranks and rode his second Hunt Cup winner in three years. The race over 22 fences was run in 9:25 on turf raced as good.