"All I could think about was last year," said an elated Roy (Tennessee) Graham as he stood in the winner's circle today and accepted the Ricacho Cup for bringing home Boca Bird first in the three-mile feature of the Fairfax Hunt's point-to-point meeting at Belmont Plantation.
Last year Boca Bird was leading by 15 lengths as he approacherd the final fence and seemed sure to win the race and wrap up the Seven Corners Challenge Trophy.
But down he went and No Answer won.
Today, for two turns around the Fairfax course, the Bird stayed far off the dazzling pace set by 18-year-old Roger Smithwick on Machu Pichu.
Helix made his move with Boca Bird three fences from home and took the lead. "I was surprised but the Bird wasn't," Graham said.
Boca Bird went ahead over the final timber fence and won by five lengths, with Helix two lengths ahead of Machu Pichu. Misty Beethoven rounded out the field.
Earlier in the meeting, watched by about 5,000, Randy Rouse's Cinzano, scratched from the timber race, showed his versatility by winning the open hurdles by 25 lengths under rider Don Yovanovich.
Charles (Chick) Owens' Cultivating wrapped up the First Colony series by winning its fourth race of the season.