MONTPELIER STATION, Va.--Assistant trainer Keri Brion saddled two winners for Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard at the Montpelier Hunt Races on Nov. 2, including Anticipating in the co-featured $30,000 Montpelier Cup.
Attracting, bred, co-owned and trained by Sheppard and ridden by Darren Nagle, won the third race, the $15,000, 2 3/8 miles Battleship maiden claiming hurdle, by 1 1/4 lengths over Dream Verse, trained by Elizabeth Voss.
"That was great," said Brion in an interview following the race. "He ran fourth at Foxfield earlier this year. He probably needed that race. We thought he'd like the course here."
Sheppard has had a great year and, with 19 wins, stands second to Jack Fisher in both Trainer Races and Money Won categories.
Fisher has 36 wins from 135 starts, and with 40 less starts, Sheppard has 19 winners, and Brion was asked what contributed to his success.
"We have a really good group that works seven days a week," said Brion. "And we work really hard for a great man."
"Vincent Bonnani bought a little piece of Attracting," said Sheppard. "He's a nice guy, and he lives in Saratoga. He's quite a steeplechasing aficionado. He always goes to Far Hills."
"ATTRACTING is just a 4-year-old," said Sheppard. "He's been running on the flat. This was just his third start over fences, and that was his first win."
"We'll put him away for the winter," said Sheppard. "He'll have four to six weeks of not being ridden and then we'll start back with him. Quite often, we hunt some of the younger jumpers. That's fun for the girls, and the horses enjoy it."
Sherry L Fenwick's Anticipating, ridden by Nagle, won the $30,000, 2 3/8 miles Montpelier Cup for maidens by a nose over Decisive Triumph, trained by Mark Beecher.
"Anticipating is another homebred," said Sheppard. "I had his dam and his grand-dam. He was a useful horse on the flat."
Fenwick bought Anticipating before his first race, and the 4-year-old ran second twice and third once in six starts on the flat before finishing third in his first start over fence at Middleburg in a maiden race on Oct. 12.
"He's a nice enough young horse," said Sheppard. "He'll have the winter off now."
Arch Kingsley saddled the first two winners at Montpelier, Tolaga Bay, ridden by Skylar McKenna, in the first 1 mile Training Flat race and Aydoun (Ire), ridden by Archie Macauley, in the $20,000, 2 3/8 mile Madison Plate ratings handicap. Both are owned by Mark Buyck, Jr.,
"I'd never ridden him before," said McKenna of Tolaga Bay. "My friend rode him and said he was a nice horse."
"I was playing hockey until 10 o'clock last night," said McKenna. "I didn't want to, but I had to."
"It ever gets old," said Kingsley of winning. "It's been a while since I stood in the winner's circle. I'm glad I could find it."
Todd Wyatt saddled Kristian Strangeway's I Am Not Here (Ire), ridden by Jack Doyle, to win the $15,000 Constitution Maiden Hurdle by 5 lengths over Summer Vow, trained by Ricky Hendriks.
"This horse has a bit of back form," said Doyle. "He jumped lovely. He was traveling easy all the way."
With that win and another the next day at the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup, Doyle moved ahead of Mikey Mitchell by one win in Rider Races won, with 20 wins from 90 rides.
Mitchell leads in Rider Money won with $683,550 from 19 wins out of 81 starts, over Doyle with $580,750.
Eve's City, owned by Magalen Bryant, trained by Doug Fout and ridden by Ross Geraghty, won the $25,000 Marion duPont Scott Memorial filly and mare allowance by 1 3/4 lengths over Down Royal, trained by Kate Dalton.
"She's a nice little filly," said Geraghty. "She's only 3. I sat behind the leader, and then I gave her a smack and she moved up. She was a little green in front."
Cyril Murphy saddled Irv Naylor's Amschel (GB), ridden by Graham Watters, to win the $40,000, 2 1/2 mile Noel Laing Hurdle Handicap by 3 1/4 lengths over Rosbrian Farm's Stooshie (Ire), trained by Hendriks and ridden by Doyle.
All the Way Jose led the way through much of the race but faded to sixth in his last race before being retired after a sterling career of five wins, including a win in the Gi Lonesome Glory Handicap, six seconds and five thirds from 37 starts for the 10-year-old who was bred and trained by Shepherd for owner Buttonwood Farm.
attracting, bred, owned and trained by Sheppa