A pair of Virginia-breds scored wins October 22nd at Great Meadow during the 10 race International Gold Cup card. Six steeplechase races were conducted followed by four flat events.
Cryptos’ Holiday (#5) edged past Hooping in deep stretch to win the $35,000 Old Dominion Turf Championship. The flat race, restricted to Virginia-bred or sires horses, was the final event of the Gold Cup program.
The 3 year old Doug Fout trainee earned his first lifetime win in his sixth start. Cryptos’ Holiday’s first start was a runner-up finish in the 2015 Jamestown Stakes and he followed that with another second at Laurel in a maiden special weight race. After being put away for the winter and beyond, he returned to action June 11th and has made three additional starts since. The winner, bred by the Lazy Lane Farms LLC, is by Harlan’s Holiday out of Cryptos’ Best by Cryptoclearance.
Virginia-bred Zanclus captured the three mile, $40,000 Steeplethon earlier in the card. The lightly raced 6 year old Xenodon gelding pushed his ’16 bankroll to the $52,000 mark with the triumph.
Locally owned and bred by Sara Collette, the 6 year old Neil Morris trainee is a different horse now than when he began racing in the fall of 2014. After struggling in his first two starts at Foxfield and Great Meadow, Zanclus was idle for 1 1/2 years until this spring, when he made a triumphant return to the turf April 30th at Foxfield. After back-to-back seconds, he wired the field in the day’s third race and was never really challenged, crossing 15 lengths in front.
Trainer Morris and rider Kieran Norris stole the show at The Plains. Morris had four wins including three straight steeplechase race scores, while Norris had five wins up top — three in jump races including Zanclus’s, and two in flat events.
In other post-steeplechase race action, Irish-bred Hoppala (inside) won the $30,000 VHBPA Allowance Flat. The 3 year old son of Acclamation beat 10 others including Virginia-bred Free Union, who finished third.