Ballybristol Farm’s Andi’amu put his superior speed to good use and scored an easy 7¼-length victory Saturday in the Virginia Fall Races’ $40,000 National Sporting Library and Museum Cup.
Trained by Leslie Young, the Virginia Gold Cup winner never was asked for a maximum effort by jockey Jack Doyle and pulled away effortlessly from Irv Naylor’s Super Saturday and Blair Wyatt’s Witor over the final quarter-mile of the 3 ¼-mile National Sporting Library.
Super Saturday finished second under Gerard Galligan, and Witor was third under Paul O’Neill. The timber race’s fourth entrant, Kinross Farm’s Just Wait And See, was scratched. Andi’amu ran the distance in 6:59 3/5 on firm turf.
Doyle moved Andi’amu to the lead at the start and established a comfortable two-length advantage over Witor, with Super Saturday close behind in third. Andi’amu galloped under Doyle’s light restraint and put in efficient jumps over the Virginia Fall fences.
Approaching the final fences, O’Neill and Galligan asked their mounts for additional run and gained slightly on Andi’amu, who remained on a long rein. Super Saturday moved into second before the final fence, but Andi’amu’s superior speed carried him well ahead of his opponents.
Doyle checked under his right arm nearing the stretch and kept Andi’amu at a steady gallop approaching the last fence. They jumped the last without incident, and Doyle gave one final look over his right shoulder before easing Andi’amu to the finish line and an easy victory.
The National Sporting Library was Andi’amu’s fifth straight victory, dating back to a second-place finish in the Noel Laing Handicap at Montpelier nearly two years ago. He raced over steeplethon mixed obstacles last year and scored wins at Middleburg Spring and the Virginia Gold Cup.
Now nine, the French-bred came back this year with a 5 ¾-length victory in the Middleburg Hunt Cup on April 20 and won the Virginia Gold Cup by three lengths on May 4.