118th Running of Maryland Hunt Cup

Guts for Garters, an Irish bred by Presenting was purchased by Stewart Strawbridge and some partners in the summer of 2011.  Guts for Garters ran 37 times in Ireland with 2 wins and 9 seconds.  Stewart Strawbridge’s Guts for Garter who took 3rd place in last years Maryland Hunt Cup will be attempting to return in the 118th running of the Maryland Hunt Cup on April 26th.  He will run in the Grand National the weekend prior to help prepare him for the big timber.  Sanna Neilson who won the race as a rider in 1991 and 1993 and as a trainer in 2007 trains Guts for Garter.

The 118th running of the $75,000 Maryland Hunt Cup has attracted 22 early nominees, including two-time winner Twill Do and Merriefield Farm’s two timber champions, Foyle and Bon Caddo. The historic Hunt Cup, the culmination of Maryland’s timber-racing triple crown, will be run on Saturday, April 26, at Glyndon.

Early nominations for the four-mile race over 22 fences closed March 11 for a $25 fee. Supplementary nominations for $500 can be made when entries are taken on Tuesday, April 22. Hunt Cup nominees frequently prepare for the concluding race of the Maryland timber triple in the preceding legs, the My Lady’s Manor on April 12 and the Grand National on April 19. The three-mile My Lady’s Manor and the Grand National at 3 1/4 miles each carry $30,000 purses.

Lucy Goelet’s Twill Do would be attempting to retire the Maryland Hunt Cup trophy with his third victory. He scored a dramatic victory in the 2012 Hunt Cup when he came back to overtake Battle Op and win by three-quarters of a length. Trained by Billy Meister, Twill Do was ridden by James Stierhoff in his 2010 and 2012 victories as well as last year’s fourth-place finish. Northwoods Stable’s Battle Op also was an early nominee to this year’s Hunt Cup.

Foyle, who took the 2013 timber title with a late-season surge that included victories in the International Gold Cup and Pennsylvania Hunt Cup, will be attempting the Maryland Hunt Cup for the first time. Bon Caddo, the 2011 timber champion, finished third in the Hunt Cup in 2012 and fifth last year. Bruce Fenwick trains both Merriefield Farm nominees.

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