CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.--Adding two wins at Foxfield Fall Races on Sept. 29 to a win in the feature at Shawan Downs, Jonathan Sheppard and two of his long-time owners had a very good weekend.
Ed Swyer's Hudson River Farms won two races, the timber featured race at Shawan Downs and a maiden race at Foxfield, and Kevin Galbraith's KMSN Stable won a maiden race at Foxfield.
"After losing two of my biggest owners, it means a lot to me to win three races for two owners who have stayed with me for many years," said Sheppard.
Jack Doyle, who rode Sheppard's three winners, added two additional wins, one on Saturday and another on Sunday, to win five of the 12 races offered over the weekend.
"We had three fillies to run in the $20,000 Filly and Mare Maiden Hurdle at Foxfield, but trainers were only allowed to enter two, so Inverness was entered as trained by my assistant trainer, Keri Brion," said Sheppard.
"Keri has a good relationship with the owner, Kevin Galbraith, and she's worked with that filly a lot," said Sheppard.
AS SHEPPARD wasn't at Foxfield, Brion did in fact saddle both winners that day, and she did a good job and got a win as a trainer.
Inverness, owned by Kevin Galbraith's KMSN Stable, settled mid pack, went to the lead three fences out and drew off to win by 6 3/4 lengths.
Sheppard's other two, Buttonwood Farms's Samurai Song and Kostantinova, owned by Bruno Schickendanz, a big time owner of flat horses in Canada who is new to jump racing, were both first time starters over fences and both acquitted themselves well, finishing third and fifth respectively in the eight horse field.
Inverness, a 5-year-old mare who has placed second and third in stakes races despite retaining her maiden status, has now graduated from the maiden ranks and can concentrate on allowance and stakes races.
Hudson River Farm's Skydiving won the $30,000 Sport of Kings Maiden Hurdle by 1 3/4 lengths.
"I bred Skydiver, and Ed came in and bought half of him," said Sheppard.
After winning a maiden race on the flat at Presque isle last year, Skydiving began to run over fences in 2018 and has now broken his maiden in his fourth start over jumps.
In addition to those three wins, Sheppard has his good young horse Iranistan back racing, and he finished a very close second in a flat race at Shawan Downs as a prep for Far Hills.
Toddd Wyatt saddle Mrs. S.K. Johnston's Be Counted, also ridden by Doyle, to win the $15,000 Maiden Claiming Hurdle and Doug Fout saddled Beverly Steinman's Speed Ahead to win the Va-bred Training Flat race.