Mike DuPont's Hami overtook Portobello III going into the next-to-last jump and maintained its advantage to win the Dell Cup and put its owner into the lead for the Seven Corners Challenge Trophy.
Unfortunately, the three-mile race over the modified Virginia Gold Cup course was marred by the breakdown of Randy Rouse's Free Movement.
"It happened on the second turn of the course. I don't know just where. I didn't think it was anything serious but by that fence (the 15th) I knew it was. I got off him right then," Rouse said.
The injury to the classy Independence gelding, a winner of both its starts this spring, leaves Rouse with only Cousin Wes fit to tackle the remaining five races of the spring season.
The victory for Hami, making only its second start of the season, moved DuPont into the lead for the Seven Corners title by a half-point over Rouse. Roy Graham, whose Boca Bird has been sidelined by a leg injry, is third with five points. "Bird" will resume light training this week and will be back in action in a couple of weeks, according to Graham.
Portobello III's showing today was fantastic, considering that it was the first start over timber in almost three years for the 1973 Virginia Gold Cup winner. He fenced well, leading from the third through the 14th, but could'nt match Hami's speed down the stretch.
HAnother highlight of a fine day of racing before the Warrenton point-to-point crowd of 2,000 was the maiden victory of Sabinus over timber in the co-featured Warrenton Hunt steeplechase.
"He was a different horse than he was last week at Blue Ridge," said Sabinus' rider and trainer Burce Fenwick. "He couldn't keep up there at two miles over the hurdles. He just lost his speed. But today he went three miles with ease."