Handicappers would have had a hard time deciding whether Debra Kachel’s multiple winner Love Colony (Ivan Dowling) or Will Russell’s Forest Bell (Jeff Murphy) should have been favorite in the $2,000 Woodley Cup VHBPA Virginia-bred race. Last fall Love Colony had won three races in the Old Dominion series, but had been upset in the championship race at Great Meadow by Forest Bell.

At Blue Ridge, Forest Bell proved that his win at Great Meadow was not a fluke. Murphy sent him to a wide lead, and Love Colony could not do anything but watch Forest Bell cruise home from second place. The Simon Hobson trained runner won by at least ten lengths. Celtic Venture’s Rockmani (Jacob Roberts) was third.

Forest Bell, by Forestry, out of Mambo Bell by Kingmambo was bred in Virginia by the late Edward P. Evans.

Full order of finish: 1) FOREST BELL (Jeff Murphy, Simon Hobson, Will Russell) $1,200; 2) LOVE COLONY (Ivan Dowling, Ricky Hendriks, Debra E. Kachel) $400; 3) ROCKMANI (Jacob Roberts, Charles J. McCann, Celtic Venture Stable) $220; 4) LONESOME (Carl Rafter, Julie Gomena, Bill Backer) $100; 5) DITCH (Bruce Daley, Mrs. D. M. Smithwick, Mary Fleming Finlay) $80; 6) FINNEAS (Suzanne Stettinius; Jazz Napravnik, Jalin Stable); 7) PROTOCOL CHIEF (John Delaney, Randy Rouse); 8) RED BAND (Devon Donnan, Stephen Pollard, Eric J. Myer).

(Photos by Douglas Lees)
Hobson and Murphy