Tuesday, Jun. 4, 2024

Irish Prince Picks Up A Genesee Valley Victory

Jody Petty returns to New York to collect the Hunt Cup. 

As far back as Jody Petty can recall, every time he makes the trip to western New York for the Genesee Valley Hunt Races, he’s made the journey home with at least one victory to his credit.

So Petty keeps returning to the Geneseo, N.Y., course annually, and he’ll likely be coming back again next year after winning the fall meet’s premier race, the $25,000 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup, on Oct. 10.

PUBLISHED
WORDS BY
102309Chasing.jpg

ADVERTISEMENT

Jody Petty returns to New York to collect the Hunt Cup. 

As far back as Jody Petty can recall, every time he makes the trip to western New York for the Genesee Valley Hunt Races, he’s made the journey home with at least one victory to his credit.

So Petty keeps returning to the Geneseo, N.Y., course annually, and he’ll likely be coming back again next year after winning the fall meet’s premier race, the $25,000 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup, on Oct. 10.

Riding Augustin Stables’ Irish Prince, Petty took the lead in the field of three and started out “nice and casual,” but Irish Prince gave the crowd a thrill at the first fence, standing off and sailing over with his knees tucked under his nose.

Petty’s mount continued to jump well in front as the fences passed, but Irvin S. Naylor’s Hot Springs (William Dowling) and Lucy Goelet’s Twill Do (Jake Chalfin) galloped around together and remained within striking distance.

“I expected Willie’s horse to be tough, so I dragged them around the backside [on the final lap],” Petty said. “But when I checked behind me, there was no one there.”

Hot Springs had bobbled at fence 15 and lost his rider, while Twill Do appar-ently tired in his solitary effort to catch the winner, who proceeded to increase his lead through the swale and all the way to the finish line.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I was surprised that I had that much horse left,” Petty said of his 15-length lead. “This is a big, open course with good sized fences. It’s a hard 31⁄2 miles, which is as it should be.”

Irish Prince is a horse who knows success, though, having started his timber career two years ago with four wins totaling $102,000, more than any other timber horse has won in a single season. Sanna Hendriks trains Irish Prince, a son of Prince Of Praise.

The other sanctioned race of the day, the maiden timber, may have been the beginning of a Petty-like winning tradition for amateur Justin Batoff. He topped his first sanctioned race aboard Prospectors Strike, a horse he co-owns with the other partners of Long Ball Stable.

Batoff, who began riding three years ago while a student at Johns Hopkins University (Md.), admitted the fences were the biggest that he’s raced over thus far.

“I’ve never seen coops that size, but my horse fenced really well,” he said.

William Meister’s Big Bad Joe (Chalfin) took the early lead in the five-horse field, with Prospectors Strike, Sara Collette’s Genghis (Nick Carter), and Keystone Thoroughbreds’ Matinicus Rock (Todd McKenna) tucked in behind. Daniel R. Baker’s Beseennotheard (James Stierhoff) kept his distance.
 
Big Bad Joe lost Chalfin at fence 3, however, giving Prospectors Strike the lead. After the first mile of the 3-mile race, Matinicus Rock started to make his move and briefly took the lead of the first three, with Beseennotheard continuing to trail. But the winner regained the lead by the second time around the backside, and he headed into the last fence 4 lengths in front.

Prospectors Strike, who’s trained by Jack Fisher, won comfortably, while a game Matinicus Rock, who had dropped to third after almost unseating his rider, fought back to take the second slot from Genghis.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I stayed with the pace [set by the early leader],” Batoff noted. “They pushed me at one point, but I sent my horse on, and he responded very well.”

Todd McKenna scored another big amateur win in the unsanctioned novice timber on Keystone Thoroughbreds’ Meet At Eleven.

A field of six horses headed out over the 3-mile course of modified timber, led by John D. Ball’s Kamonte (Chalfin) for the first mile. But Donna T. Rogers’ Big Breeze (Nick Carter) began moving up and challenged the leader for the next half-mile. Meet At Eleven, Artist’s Stroke (Diana Gillam) and Cavanobles (James Watrous) were well back.

The initial moderate pace was to McKenna’s liking for his green horse, but as the speed picked up, he decided to try to stay with the two horses battling at the front.

“On the backside I thought my horse would spit the bit out, but then he saw them just close enough, and he flattened out and went after them,” McKenna said. “My horse picked it up another notch. I thought, ‘Well, it’s mostly downhill to the finish, so I’ll let him roll.’ ”

In the meantime, Big Breeze continued on the front to the last fence, but Meet At Eleven flew down the hill and through the swale, ticking off great chunks of territory to overtake the leader in the stretch and clinch victory by 5 lengths.

Categories:

ADVERTISEMENT

EXPLORE MORE

Follow us on

Sections

Copyright © 2024 The Chronicle of the Horse