Charles C. Fenwick, Jr.'s Doc Cebu vaulted to to the top of the National Steeplechase Association timber horse standings when he drew off to an 11-3/4-length win in the $75,000 International Gold Cup, the fall season's richest race over post and rail fences.
The 3-1/2 mile race is the co-feature of the pari-mutuel Gold Cup meeting at Great Meadow Race Course at The Plains, Va.
The $45,000 winner's check boosted Doc Cebu's timber race earnings for 2017 to $96,600 and gave him an $18,450 lead over the previous pace setter, Irv Naylor's Ebanour.
Doc Cebu's trainer, Jack Fisher, continued his record setting pursuit of purses.
His earnings for the day included $45,000 for Doc Cebu, $24,000 for a first place finish with Bruton Street-US's Preseli Rock in the Steeplethon and $12,600 for a place and show in the allowance hurdle from Lord Justice and Hanno. Schoodic's in the hurdle feature was worth $3,750.
With four race meetings left on the NSA fixture card, Fisher's trainees have banked a record $1.2 million.
Fenwick, a retired champion timber jockey who piloted Ben Nevis to the win in Aintree's Grand National in 1980 and then to a place in the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame, stands to earn a $50,000 bonus of Doc Cebu wins the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup in Unionville on Nov. 5.
The bonus was posted by an un-announced sponsor prior to the Willowdale meeting in May. A double in those two timber races gets the winner 50,000 real dollars and the trainer the same amount of statistical dollars.
Stonelea Stables' Balance The Budget turned a front running performance into a win in the co-featured $75,000, Grade 2 David L. (Zeke) Ferguson Memorial at two miles and a furlong over National Fences.
After opening a lead of as much as 30 lengths, the Julie Gomena trainee was a 9-1/4 length winner with Mark Watts Aboard.
Irv Naylor's Irish-bred Charminster took second with S. Rebecca Sheppard's Curve of Stones third.
At Aiken, S.C...
Pathfinder Racing's Cognashene and veteran rider Bernie Dalton teamed up to take the lead after the last fence and go on to a half length win in Aiken Fall Steeplechase Budweiser Holiday Cup.
The race, a ratings handicap for horses at 110 or lower at 2-1/4 miles over National Fences, attracted seven starters. Cognashene stopped the timer in 4:21-1/5 for the race over a 'good' turf course.
The Budweiser Cup was Dalton's second winning ride of the day.
He opened the day with a 2-1/2-length win in the $25,000 Maiden aboard Wendy Douglas' White Cape for trainer Desmond Fogarty.
The Jack Fisher runaway with the National Steeplechase Association's leading trainer standings continued at the International Gold Cup with wins in the $75,000 Gold Cup and the $40,000 Steeplethon, plus other placings, boosted his total over the $1.2 million mark.
With five race meetings left in 2017, here are the win-place-show standings for the NSA annual awards.
Owners, Purse Money Won:
1. Bruton Street-US, $426,500
2. Mrs. S.K. Johnston, Jr., $408,450
3. Irvin S. Naylor, $355,400
Trainers, Races Won:
1. Jack Fisher, 22
2. Jonathan Sheppard, 11
3. Ricky Hendriks, 10
Trainers, Purse Money Won:
1. Jack Fisher, $1,291,400
2. Elizabeth Voss, $509,200
3. Jonathan Sheppard, $453,700
Riders, Races Won:
1. Darren Nagle, 14
2. Sean McDermott, 13
3. Jack Doyle, 12
Riders: Purse Money Won:
1. Sean McDermott, $672,150
2. Jack Doyle, $571,900
3. Darren Nagle, $546,200
Horses, Purse Money Won:
1. Mr. Hot Stuff, $251,000
2. All the Way Jose, $179,300
3. Moscato, $156,000
Timber Horse Owners, Purse Money Won:
1. Irvin S. Naylor, $160,200
2. Charles C. Fenwick, $100,200
3. Bruton Street-US, $93,900
Timber Horses, Purse Money Won:
1. Doc Cebu, $96,600
2. Ebanour, $68,150
3. Derwins Prospector, $61,200
Fall ‘Chasing Calendar
Nov. 4. Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, Ga., 1 p.m., Total Purses: $170,000, 5 races featuring $75,000 AFLAC Supreme Hurdle (Novice).
Nov. 4. Montpelier Hunt Races, Montpelier Sta., Va., 12:30 p.m., Total Purses: $120,000, 5 races.
Nov. 5. Pennsylvania Hunt Cup, Unionville, Pa. 1:30 p.m., Total Purses: $70,000. 4 races featuring $35,000 Pennsylvania Hunt Cup (Timber).
Nov. 12. Steeplechase of Charleston at Stono Ferry, Hollywood, S.C., 1 p.m., Total Purses: $75,000, 5 races.
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