There were two significant results in the 56th running of the Virginia Gold Cup here today: a favorite, Juggernaut II, won by eight lengths, and all 10 horses who went to the post in the four-mile, 22-jump timber classic finished.
It was a fitting victory for John. R. S. Fisher's 12-year-old chestnut gelding, who has won just about every other major timber race in his long career. Two years ago, Juggernaut II lost the big prize here by a neck to Sam Sun Of A Gun in a disputed finish.
Today, before a Braodview crowd of about 14,500, Jack Fisher, 17-year-old son of the owner, left no doubt as to the winner, pulling away in the stretch. Paul's Trumpet finished second, two lengths ahead of Prince Saran, who beat St. Dennis by a neck.
It was the first time since 1975, when Chapel Street was the only finisher, that a favorite had won the race. It also was one of the few times in memory that all who started survived.
The late scratch of Randy Waterman's two highly regarded entries, Pidou II (sore shins) and Private Gary (resting), made Juggernaut an off-the-board favorite.
Fisher was content to hold the French-bred jumper slightly off the pace set successively by Laughing Dragon, Still In All and Prince Saran for almost 3 1/2 miles. going behind the hill into the 21st fence, Juggernaut II made his move, pulling two lengths ahead by the next and final jump.
Juggernaut II won its only other start of this year, the Middleburg Hunt Cutp, two weeks ago.