Steeplechase Preview: Nine races at Virginia Fall

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Nine? Nine. Saturday’s Virginia Fall Races go nine races deep with hurdle, timber and flat races slated for stately Glenwood Park in Middleburg, Va. Former race chairman Gary Baker, whose memorial race drew a deep field of 10, would be proud. 

Post time for the day is 1 p.m. Find out more at Virginia Fall Races and check out entries at National Steeplechase Association

First. $15,000 optional claiming hurdle going 2 1/8 miles. Eleven are signed for this and they span everything from grizzled vets to relative newcomers. Easy Reach is probably the favorite and will prove tough to catch around the meandering course. 

Sean: Easy Reach, Casual Creeper, Arrow’s Conquest.
Joe: Casual Creeper, Easy Reach, Arrow’s Conquest.
Tom: Easy Reach, Call Me Sonny, Casual Creeper.


Second. $35,000 National Sporting Library Chronicle Cup timber stakes.
Tough group here. Cornhusker and Moonsox slugged it over the course in April with the former taking it by 6 1/2 lengths. Rematch.

Sean: Cornhusker, Moonsox, Seer.
Joe: Cornhusker, Moonsox, Brother Sy.
Tom: Cornhusker, Moonsox, Seer.

Third. $40,000 Gary Baker Memorial. It’s a stakes for horses who have never won an open stakes and drew a strong field – as this condition always does. Newcomer Able Deputy drops in for Irv Naylor and Cyril Murphy, veteran All Together gets class relief, Dahoud returns from a layoff, Forgotten Man had a flat prep, Powerofone goes for Sheppard. Fascinating race.

Sean: Able Deputy, All Together, Staying On.
Joe: Able Deputy, All Together Powerofone.
Tom: All Together, Dahoud, Able Deputy.


Fourth. $15,000 maiden timber.
Classy hurdler Country Cousin seeks his first timber win and will be double tough.

Sean: Country Cousin, Hear Comes Badness, Lea Von.
Joe: Country Cousin, Lea Von, Sumo Power.
Tom: Country Cousin, Lea Von, Golden Slammer.


Fifth. $20,000 maiden hurdle for 3- and 4-year-olds.
Welcome to the game, kids. Nine look for their first jump win including one for Eddie “Arlington Million” Graham

Sean: Class Cherokee, Kingofalldiamonds, Overwhelming.
Joe: Western Exchange, Kingofalldiamonds, Overwhelming.
Tom: Class Cherokee, Western Exchange, Overwhelming. 


Sixth. $20,000 maiden hurdle for 5-year-olds and up.
Nice field of 10 represent some of the top stables in the game. Stakes horses on the flat, Tahoe Lake and Sal The Barber eye a jump win.

Sean: Sal The Barber, Tahoe Lake, Three Hundred.
Joe: Jake’s Mandate, Tahoe Lake, Sal The Barber.
Tom: Sal The Barber, Three Hundred, Beamer.


Seventh. $10,000 maiden claimer over hurdles.
Crowded field of 10 with varied backgrounds and experience levels. Pick one.

Sean: Quadant, Got What, East Bound Train.
Joe: Tiz Relevant, Brief Holiday, Portamento.
Tom: Tiz Relevant, Got What, East Bound Train.


Eighth. $10,000 maiden claimer over hurdles.
Crowded field of 10 with varied backgrounds and experience levels. Pick one. There’s even a horse named Skunk. We hope he’s got a white stripe somewhere.

Sean: In Todd We Trust, Hallam, Radical Chic.
Joe: In Todd We Trust, Skillet Glacier, Yes It’s Showtime.
Tom: Radical Chic, Hallam, Yes It’s Showtime.


Ninth. Training flat for Virginia-breds with six in the program.
It’s a rematch of Foxfield for some as Prima Facie looks to rebound.

Sean: Prima Facie, Wolerton, Wahoo.
Joe: Fall Colors, Prima Facie, Wolverton.
Tom: Wolverton, Fall Colors, Prima Facie.

The handicappers (well, Joe and Tom anyway) probably should have rebooted and started a new tally for the fall season as Sean leads with 47 wins on the year, five more than Joe and six more than Tom though Tom made some headway with a big weekend last week.