Leaping Frog came from behind in its usual manner to catch front-running Straight and True at the final jump and win the inaugural running of the $12,500 Albermarle before a Foxfield steeplechase meeting of 7,500.
"I finally got him rolling going down the hill and we started picking up the others one by one," said winning jockey Jerry Fishback. "That's the way he likes to run."
Picking up the others meant passing such standout steeplechasers as Straight and True, Don Panta and Jive. Straight and True led from the second jump until the last and lost the race only by a nose. Don Panta, a winner at Warrenton in the spring, ran third by 1 1/2 lengths. The always-dangerous Jive won at Saratoga in August.
Jacasaba, the other starter in the Blue ribbon field of five, was pulled up.
Leaping Frog and Don Panta each carried 156 pounds, to 148 for Straight and True. The extra weight bothered Don Panta in the 95 degree heat, but not Leaping Frog, the Chaddsford five-year-old whose grandsire was War Admiral.
Bred in Virginia by W. M. Hackman, the little bay gelding won the third time in six starts this year. In its last outing, in the New York Turf Riders handicap at Saratoga, Leaping Frog was top weighted and ran third. Two weeks earlier it had won the prestigious Lovely Night Steeplechase at Saratoga.