Randy Rouse, who has always managed to cause a stir for the Casanova Cup, either by winning (10 times) or getting hurt (two breaks in one leg, one in the other in 1979), has done it again.
The durable Fairfax horseman, who has won the cup with such steady performers as Twin Peaks, Buen Paisano, Quashed, Free Movement and Cousin Wes, will be aboard Cinzano, the celebrated ringer who has been a horse without a country the past three years, Saturday at Spring Hill Farm.
"He's not a big horse," said Rouse, "but he's well-made and fast." Fast is the word for Cinzano, who won nine of 11 races on the flat in Uruguay and set a record of 1 1/4 miles.
"I bought him last year and I've hunted him all season," said Rouse. "He's done well in the field and I think he'll make a good timber horse."
Mark Gerard, a highly respected veterinarian in New York, imported Cinzano, a stakes winner, and a not-so-fast steed named Lebon. One of the horses died of a fractured skull. The surviving horse was registered as Lebon. In September 1977, Lebon won on the flat at Belmont and paid $116 for $2.
A subsequent investigation satisfied authorities that it had been Lebon that had been killed and his identity given to Cinzano. The horse was barred from thoroughbred racing by the Jockey Club and from hunt meets by the National Steeplechase and Hunt Association.
Cinzano, however, was not barred from point-to-point racing, an annual form of spring madness for amatuers that is a cross between a lawn picnic and a cavalry charge.
Casanova, the traditional opener of the Maryland-Virginia point-to-point hurdle race will be 12:30 p.m. The course is on Rte. 602, about six miles southeast of Warrenton, Va.