TOP TIMBER HORSES CLASH IN VA GOLD CUP

Bon Caddo (l) (Douglas Lees)

Bon Caddo and Delta Park, who won two stops on the spring timber-racing calendar, will confront each other as well as 2010 International Gold Cup winner He’s A Conniver in the 86th running of the $75,000 LivingSocial Virginia Gold Cup at Great Meadow Race Course in The Plains on Saturday, May 7.

The rich timber classic, which attracted a field of seven, highlights an afternoon of steeplechase racing at Great Meadow, with first post time at 1:30 p.m. for the six-race program.

Merrifield Farm’s Bon Caddo enters the four-mile Virginia Gold Cup from a front-running victory in the $35,000 My Lady’s Manor at Monkton, Md., on April 16. The veteran timber runner will seek to improve on second-place finishes in last year’s Virginia Gold Cup and International Gold Cup, also run on the Great Meadow course. Trainer Dawn Williams named Blair Wyatt to ride the ten-year-old Bon Point gelding.

Arcadia Stable’s Delta Park closed well to win the $20,000 Middleburg Hunt Cup by 2 1/4 lengths on April 23. The seven-year-old Johannesburg gelding had prepared for his Virginia victory with a fourth-place finish behind Bon Caddo in the My Lady’s Manor. Xavier Aizpuru returns in the saddle for trainer Jack Fisher.

He’s A Conniver (Douglas Lees)
The Middleburg Hunt Cup’s second-place finisher, He’s a Conniver, will be seeking his second straight win on the Great Meadow course. Owned by EMO Stables, He’s a Conniver won last fall’s International Gold Cup by 2 1/4 lengths over Bon Caddo. In the Middleburg race, He’s a Conniver set the pace but tired after the final fence. Jody Petty, the regular jockey of He’s a Conniver, has the mount.

Rosbrian Farm’s More Fascination will attempt to continue his comeback in the Virginia Gold Cup. The eight-year-old Dynaformer gelding finished a good second in the My Lady’s Manor, his first start in nearly two years. Trainer Tara Elmore named champion jockey Paddy Young to ride.

Completing the field are NoGo Stable’s Yin Yang, who will be ridden by Willie Dowling; Gum Tree Stables’ Uppercut, with Darren Nagle aboard; and Augustin Stables’ Radio Flyer, who will be ridden by Robbie Walsh.