Originally posted on Nationalsteeplechase.com on 4/28/2023, Written by Tod Marks
Home to presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe, as well as the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va., nestled in the Eastern foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, will host the new-and-improved Foxfield meet.
Over the past several years, the facility has undergone major improvements to the course and grounds, created new partnerships with charitable organizations, de-emphasized the consumption of alcoholic beverages, and made a commitment to becoming a good neighbor to the community.
The Foxfield card consists of six races worth a record $180,000, anchored by the $60,000 Daniel Van Clief Memorial Sport of Kings stakes at 2 1/8 miles, the distance of all hurdle races over the course. The rest of the card features four hurdles races – a $15,000 maiden claimer; two $25,000 handicaps for horses rated at 110 or less; and a $30,000 maiden special weights event. There’s also a $20,000 maiden race over timber at 3 miles.
A field of six is set to contest the Van Clief. Trainer Cyril Murphy, who won the 2022 edition with Irv Naylor’s Chief Justice, returns with Naylor’s Scorpion’s Revenge, a precocious seven-year-old who has captured three of his six career starts. Scorpion’s Revenge quickly advanced to novice stakes competition last year, winning the Jonathan Kiser at Saratoga and finishing third in the Michael G. Walsh after being rank early.
Leipers Fork Steeplechasers’ Fast Vision, trained by leading conditioner Leslie Young, was victorious in last Saturday’s Alfred Hunt Steeplethon at Middleburg, Va., and was third to the impressive Welshman in November’s Aflac Supreme novice stakes at Callaway Gardens.
Long on experience, Riverdee Stable’s City Dreamer is a three-time NSA novice stakes winner and stakes placed in open competition. In 35 career starts, the Jack Fisher-trainee has earned more than a quarter-million dollars.
In a career that has seen him go back and forth on the flat and over jumps, Upland Flats Racing and John Lewis’ West Newton, trained by Ricky Hendriks, began 2023 in dramatic fashion, taking a 120 handicap at Aiken after relinquishing the lead while striking a wing traveling over the final fence, then reasserting himself to win going away.
William Russell’s Animal Kingston, trained by Neil Morris, hasn’t been off the board in seven NSA starts, including wins in a 110 and 115 handicap, and a close third to City Dreamer and Historic Heart in the 2021 Aflac Supreme novice stakes.
Tom Rice and Ashwell Stable’s Booby Trap began his jump racing career in 2021 with two straight scores, in maiden and allowance competition, then followed those up with a second in the William Entenmann and a third in the Foxbrook Champion, both novice stakes. He got back on track in his final start of 2022, romping in a 120 handicap at Callaway Gardens for trainer Leslie Young.
Post time at Foxfield is 12:30 p.m. For full entries click here.