All eight steeplechasers named for the Virginia Gold Cup will parade to the post here Saturday in the 55th renewal of the four-mile race over 22 timber jumps.
A crowd of close to 20,000 is expected for the Gold Cup, the premier event on the eight-race card that opens at 1:30 p.m. with the Stratford-on-Avon maiden hurdles race. The Gold Cup is scheduled to go off at 4.
The course is in excellent condition, according to race officials, and the record number of entries for the program have held up remarkably well. Only three scratches have been received for the William Rochester Memorial, the cofeatured, two-mile hurdle handicap for the $5,000 Porsche-Audi award.
The gates to Broadview, the beautiful course off the Warrenton bypass at the junction of Rtes. 29-211 and 15, will open at 10 a.m.
W. Wallace Lanahan Jr.'s Sam Son Of A Gun, the 1979 winner of the Gold Cup, will be out to score the first back-to-back victories in the race since the legendary Leeds Don completed an unprecedented triple in 1967.
Owner Lanahan could retire the Cup with a victory by "Sam" Saturday, his Semington having won in 1976. Charlie Fenwick, the Maryland rider who won the British Grand National in March, will have the ride on the 7-year-old Hagley gelding. They warmed up for the race with a victory in the My Lady's Manor steeplechase three weeks ago.
Joy Slater, the 26-year-old Unionville, Pa., rider who made history at Glyndon, Md., last Saturday by winning the Maryland Hunt Cup with Cancottage, would also become the first woman to win the Gold Cup if she is successful with Foxbrook Farm's Double Antix.
Art Dom, second to Navy Davy in the 1978 Gold Cup and third in last Saturday's Hunt Cup, will be ridden by John Bosley IV and will have strong backing. Young Bill Myers will be aboard his father's Fot Time, the speedy Maryland-bred gelding from Upper Marlboro. Robert Sloan will have the ride on Kathleen Crompton's Knight Spot, a winner of the Middleburg Bowl and the Leeds Manor on the point-to-point circuit.