The 95th running of the Virginia Gold Cup Races was held June 27 at Great Meadow without fans and without wagering. Ten races were contested and a combined $220,000 in purse monies were distributed. The event was streamed live and a full replay has been archived at the website noted above. The fall International Gold Cup is scheduled for Saturday October 24 and initial plans are to have both some spectators and pari-mutuel wagering back in place. Check www.vagoldcup.com for details in coming days.
Here are a series of pictures from the afternoon event.
A view of the course at Great Meadow from the left of Members Hill.
The course before races began. The day featured a mix of sun and clouds with temperatures in the mid 80’s.
A socially distanced riders meeting took place with officials before the first race. Orange flags highlighted the six foot distance between each rider.
The “H” signified hotspots at Great Meadow where facemasks were mandatory. Among those were the winners circle, paddock and stable area.
Riders meeting from a distance.
Emerald Rocket kicked off Gold Cup festivities with a win in the $20,000 VEA Maiden Hurdle.
Plenty of ice was available to greet horses as they made their way off the track.
A NSA photographer snaps a picture in the paddock.
Snap Decision, winner of the $35,000 David Semmes Memorial, makes his way from the course to the winners circle.
Tailgating areas that normally would have been filled with thousands of fans sat empty at the 2020 edition.
Virginia Gold Cup winner Doc Cebu (#1) has the edge over runner-up Codrington College (#6) at one of 23 timber fences the field encountered. Photo by Tod Marks.
The on-site blacksmith was prepared for summer-like temperatures in the mid 80’s.
Steeplethon winner Mercoeur heads back to the stable area after his big victory.
Codrington College received a well deserved shower after his runner-up Gold Cup finish.
Horses gather at the start of the backstretch for a 2 1/8 miles race.