05/06/2017 6:22PM

Ebanour wins Virginia Gold Cup for second time


The 10-year-old Ebanour, making his first start since completing a solid 2016 campaign with a stakes victory in November, fired fresh Saturday to win the $100,000 Virginia Gold Cup for the second time at Great Meadow Race Course in The Plains, Va.

Ridden by Gus Dahl for trainer Cyril Murphy and owner Irv Naylor, Ebanour, a son of Indian Ridge, was last of five early in the four-mile race over timber fences, contested over soft turf. Ebanour began his rally with two fences remaining, took the lead from Lemony Bay after the last obstacle, and won by 1 1/2 lengths. Hot Rize, a 13-year-old who won the Virginia Gold Cup in 2014, finished third, three-quarters of a length behind the runner-up. The winning time was 9:49 flat.

In the Grade 2, $75,000 David Semmes Memorial, a 2 1/8-mile race over National Fences, the 7-year-old Schoodic, ridden by five-time champion jockey Paddy Young, defeated last year’s Semmes winner, Charminster, by two lengths. Smenon was third after setting the early pace. The winning time was 3:47.80.

Renown, making his return to the races after winning the Grade 3 Sycamore at Keeneland last fall, won the $50,000 Secretariat by 3 1/4 lengths over stablemate Mr. Singh. Both horses are trained by Elizabeth Voss for Merriebelle Stable. The winning time for 1 1/2 miles on the flat was 2:57.40.

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