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Rochester wins his maiden point to point run

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  • Rochester wins his maiden point to point run

    [4/2/08 See update at bottom]

    Since no one else will likely mention it I just have to Props to getting the heads up from Patricia

    This weekend (3/15) is the Warrenton Hunt Point to Point at the Airlie Race Course (Virginia) and it marks the return - and the maiden timber start - of a great old horse that I've been a fan of for years: Rochester

    Last seen running for his 5th time at Keeneland in the Fifth Third Elkhorn Stakes (G3-t) in 2006 at the age of 10 the George Strawbridge Jr. runner had a legion of fans. Multiple graded stakes winner he has since retiring from racing for a second career as a point to point runner for Augustin Stables. Some of those looks back:

    2004 "Epicentre Rumbles to Elkhorn Victory"

    The 8-year-old Rochester, ridden by Cornelio Velasquez, rallied from ninth place in the 1 1/2-mile turf race to be second, a neck in front of Art Variety.
    2005 photos when Rochester won the G3 Sycamore for the 3rd time with Gary Steven's up

    TB Times 10-7-05 "Rochester ends long drought with third Sycamore win"

    "I can't explain it. He's a bit of a freak I guess," trainer Jonathan Sheppard said. "Some horses are like people. He's made his own rules, really. He's been running well in big races but he hadn't actually won one in quite a while, so I'm very happy for his reputation to be able to have a good win like this, particularly at a big track like Keeneland."

    "I wish they were all that fun to ride," Gary Stevens said. "He's nine years old and has just about as much experience here as I do. He was happy with his position today and picked it up on his own. He made my job easy."
    He is starting in the 8th PP of the Sixth Race: Novice Timber. About 3 miles over Timber - at approx 3:00 PM EST.

    Now 12-yrs old but wise as they get he hopefully will do well. If anyone goes to the race be sure to wish him well.

    Another runner is likely a big favorite: Straight Gin the former Marylou Whitney/Nick Zito Preakness runner. Lightly used in point to point racing (his 4th career after flat racing, dressage, and show jumping) he appears in Race 7 (The Springs Valley) in PP #7 an Open Timber race. Distance of About 3 miles over Timber - going off at abount 3:30 PM EST.
    Last edited by Glimmerglass; Apr. 2, 2008, 12:12 PM. Reason: Wrong year cited for the BH article; updated following switch with maiden run

  • #2
    From what I hear, Straight Gin is most likely not running at Warrenton and running instead at the Foxhall Chase. You want some names...look there. Buck Jakes, Swayo, Welter Weight, etc...all the old AND new timber horses will be there.

    I'm hoping to wiggle my way out of a review session for law school in order to try to make it up there. It's going to be a GREAT time. I enjoyed it two years ago.


    • #3
      Wicked cool. I'll take pix. I KNEW I recognized that name but couldn't place it. Cool cool cool.
      * www.huntersrest.net -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.


      • Original Poster

        HR that would be great to see pics of the 'old man' doing a timber course!

        I dropped Bill Finley at ESPN an email regarding his maiden run. This is a perfect "poster child" for what folks have been talking about with progressive careers for race horses. A little fox hunting and point to point racing after a solid graded-stakes winning career on dirt and grass. While he might not be the next McDynamo over fences he put most 'chasers initial careers on the track to shame


        • #5
          Rochester did not run; Ricky Hendriks says he'll start at Piedmont next week.
          * www.huntersrest.net -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.


          • #6
            If my camera cooperates with me, I plan to take some pics from the Foxhall today. I'll post them when I get home. I'm hoping the weather hasn't deterred too many participants.


            • #7
              Thanks for all the jump racing updates!

              Pix from Foxhall would be great!

              The Entry List read like a Who's Who!!!!

              Looking forward to Rochester's jumping debut!


              • #8
                Unfortunately, my camera was against me. However, there were several photographers there, and one I know has a website. I'll post when he uploads them.

                I can't remember which team won the fast-times, but it was a team from Elkridge. Straight Gin looked in good form, and was on a quite fast team, however, there were some FAST teams out today. The most impressive of the fast times were friends of mine. An app/draft cross, a TB, and a TB/Hanoverian who came in 7th!!! They were FLYING, and it was super comical to watch the app/draft almost overtake the group of race horses in front of him.

                I'm patiently (ok, maybe not so patiently) awaiting the opening of the big timber and sanctioned season.


                • Original Poster

                  Many thanks on the update with Rochester and Straight Gin.

                  Per the Central Office site Straight Gin at Foxhall Farm Trophy Team Chase the result in not yet available


                  • #10
                    They only posted partial results to Foxhall up on Central Entry. Further, I don't believe the posted results to be accurate, as the team listed as the winners of the optimum time division actually ran in the Fast time division. Neither was the fourth place team listed in the optimum.

                    Maybe I missed something, but I'm 99.99% sure they ran the fast times.


                    • Original Poster

                      As spied by those with skills best suited for the National Security Agency, thanks Patty

                      After the scratch from the Warrenton point to point, Rochester will now make his maiden start Sunday March 30th at the Cheshire Foxhounds Point-to-Point Meeting - Unionville, PA in the 4th race. The Miles Valentine Memorial Novice Timber. About 3 miles over Timber off at approx 2:00 p.m. EST

                      Rochester is listed as being the 11th of a field 15 which includes youngster and fellow stable mate, South Monarch.

                      (with only 1 horse listed overnight in the 6th race that looks like it might be a bit short; while the 7th has 20 entires listed)


                      • Original Poster

                        As passed along to me - the good news!

                        Rochester won his maiden start in his new career as a point to point runner:

                        pdf March 30, 08 DVA Cheshire Foxhounds Point-to-Point Meeting results

                        Location: The Plantation Field, Unionville, Pennsylvania
                        Race: The Miles Valentine Memorial Novice Timber (race 4 on card)
                        Distance: About 3 miles over timber
                        Final Time: 6:22
                        Winner: Rochester, b. g. 1996, by Green Dancer - Central City (GB), by Midyan.
                        Owner: Augustin Stables (George Strawbridge Jr.)
                        Trained by Sanna N. Hendriks
                        Jockey: Jody Petty

                        Who knows maybe he'll be in NSA races by the fall .....


                        • #13
                          Not to mention, Straight Gin won the 8th race at Orange County this past weekend.


                          I wasn't there, but just saw the results. He beat out two time MD Hunt Cup winner, Bug River.

                          Also, from the Foxhall, some pictures! (also with pictures from other recent meets)


                          (all photos courtesty and copyright of/to Zane Gorove)


                          • Original Poster

                            I've been behind in citing that Rochester subsequently won his 2nd and 3rd starts. As such the old man who showed his class and grit on the turf is at present tied for 1st as the Leading Horse in America for both Races Won Over Fences and Timber Horse Races Won with 3!

                            [Eclipse and NSA series runner, Good Night Shirt, is classified as a Hurdle Horse]

                            Rochester's 2nd win was April 26th at the Foxfield Races Charlottesville, VA and 3rd was one week later at the Winterthur Races, DE May 4th - where he took The Winterthur Bowl in front of a crowd of 20,000.

                            Great to see him rise to the top again

                            (Image 3-yrs ago with Gary Steven's up on Rochester)