There are nine races on the Oatlands' point-to-point steeplechasing program Sunday, and eight of them are important in deciding the 1977 Virginia racing championships.
Only the Times-Mirror Cup, the three-mile owner-rider timber race, is devoid of title glamour, Randy Rouse having wrapped up the Seven Corners championship last Saturday at Old Dominion.The Times-Mirror Cup, last of the nine races in this spring series, has nevertheless drawn a strong field for its 11th running.
The First Colony Life opens the card at 1:30 p.m.
Two horses, Charles Owens' High Peak and Kevin Palmer's Kool Kake, are expected to battle to the wire for the First Colony trophy. High Peak has 18 points going into the 1 3/4-mile hurdle event while Kool Kake, the defending champion, has 16. Alfred Knowles' Mr. Jam injured his leg two weeks ago and is out for the season. He had 14 points when hurt.
Two riders, defending titlist Patty Cassel with 17 and challenger Diane Deeds with 15, have a double chance to pick up points for the Virginia lady rider of the year award. Oatlands offers two ladies races, one over timber, the other over hurdles.
Ross Pearce leads the drive for the gentlemen rider of the year with 28 points. Randy Waterman with 25, and Randy Rouse with 23, are close behind. Seven of Sunday's nine races count in this competition.
The most tangled championship race appears in the Virginia timber horse of the year competition, won last year by Flying Boxear.