The Virginia Gold Cup Races are set for Saturday May 4th in The Plains, Virginia, just north of Warrenton. Here is a preview piece on the event, part of which appeared on the NSA website and was written by Don Clippinger.
Entries are out for the 94th running of the Virginia Gold Cup Races at Great Meadow in The Plains on Saturday May 4th!
A total of nine races are on tap including the $100,000 Gold Cup four mile timber event. Six jump races will kick off the card followed by a trio of flat races which have all drawn large fields. Gold Cup Day annually draws the largest crowd on the NSA circuit, topping out at 70,000 fans. The race program offers $420,000 in purses and features races over timber, hurdles, and mixed obstacles. First post time is 12:30 p.m. Wagering is available on the entire card including the Kentucky Derby simulcast.
The Virginia Gold Cup’s signature race, the $100,000 Virginia Gold Cup, drew a strong
list of nominees that included two-time timber champion Doc Cebu. Owned by Charles Fenwick Jr., Michael Hankin, and Charles Noell, Doc Cebu clinched his timber-racing title the last two seasons at Great Meadow with victories in the International Gold Cup, and he will attempt the Virginia Gold Cup’s four miles for the first time in his career. Also for the first time, he will be coming into a race after being unplaced in his prior start. He struck the top rails of the next-to-last fence of the My Lady’s Manor on April 13 and stumbled on landing, dislodging jockey Hadden Frost.
The Virginia Gold Cup nominees include the first two finishers in the My Lady’s Manor, Keystone Thoroughbreds’ winner Mystic Strike and Blair Wyatt’s Witor, who finished 1¼ lengths back. Todd McKenna trains Mystic Strike, winner by disqualification of the 2017 Radnor Hunt Cup, and Todd Wyatt trains Witor for his wife. Also on the My Lady’s Manor program, Frank Bonsal Jr.’s Stand Down finished second in the John D. Schapiro Memorial amateur apprentice timber race. The Virginia Gold Cup nominee had won the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup in his previous start.
Le Chevalier, shown here winning the Orange County Point-to-Point this spring, was runner-up to Zanclus a year ago and is in this year’s field as well.
The Virginia Gold Cup’s hurdle feature, the $75,000 David Semmes Memorial (Gr. 2), attracted a nomination for Rosbrian Farm’s New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1) winner Optimus Prime. In his most recent start, the French-bred demolished a quality field in the International Gold Cup’s David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial (Gr. 2). Nominated to the 3 ¼-mile Winterthur Bowl were 2016 timber champion Two’s Company and last year’s winner, Kings Apollo.
Accountable, shown winning his second straight Old Dominion Turf Championship last fall, is one of 11 entered in the day’s final race — a $35,000 Virginia-Bred or Sired Flat at 1 1/4 miles. The first two flat races, both allowance flats with $40,000 purses, attracted fields of 14 and 13 respectively.
Fans across the state will be able to wager the spring Gold Cup races in Off Track Betting centers foe the first time ever. The four VA-Horseplay OTBs in Richmond, Henrico, Chesapeake and Collinsville will simulcast the action as will Colonial Downs Racetrack in New Kent.
For a complete list of entries visit www.centralentryoffice.com or www.nationalsteeplechase.com. For ticket info, visit vagoldcup.com.