Allen Smith of Middleburg guided Fair Cast, owned by Diane and Joe Fiore, to his second victory in the open jumper division at the Upperville Horse Show here today. But his odds of winning the $15,000 Grand Prix Sunday are listed at 20 to 1.
Handicapper Peter Doubleday, the only full-time professonal horse show announcer to follow the tour, says, "I feel that he's got just as good a chance as the others. But the atmosphere and pressure on Sunday will be different. I feel the more seasoned veterans will come out on top."
Smith, 26, of Middleburg, gained recognition at the Middleburg Show last summer when he guided Old Hebe, an aged chestnut, to victory. He also disagreed with Doubleday.
"Fair Cast beat all the other horses twice already," he said. "If the weather's good and the footing's good, I think we'll win, with a lot of luck." w
Doubleday also gave his predictions for the rest of the field.
Favorites at 2 to 1 are Melanie Smith, of Stonington, Conn., on Calypso -- recently second in the World Cup in Baltimore -- and Terry Rudd of New Hope, Pa., on Fat City, currently leading in money on the circuit ($21,000).
Last year's winner, veteran Rodney Jenkins of Orange, Va., on Second Balcony, is listed at 4 to 1. "He was leading rider last week to Devon and won the Jumper Stake," Doubleday said.
Listed at 5 to 1 is Bernie Traurig of Hartland, Wis., riding either Edenvale or South Side. "His horses are fresh, and despite what most trainers feel, I think the riders who go every week do better, he said."