The most intense competition of the Virginia point-to-point circuit is expected for the First Colony Life Challenge Trophy, a series of nine races over hurdles for owner-riders.
Going into Sunday's race at Middleburg's Glenwood Park, two horses are within three points of the leader, John Branscome's Yellow Boy. Two others are only five points behind.
Jay Barr's Pill Mill, consistent all spring, is in second place with eight points. David Moyes' Joanne's Brother is third with seven. Joe Gillet's Blue Barbizon and Charles Fleishman's Royal Greed are tied for fourth. All except Royal Greed are entered in Sunday's two-mile race.
Charles (Chick) Owens' Cultivating, a three-time winner of the trophy and a strong favorite again this year, ruptured a tendon in his left foreleg on the final fence at the Blue Ridge race and was destroyed.
Post time for the first of eight races on the Middleburg Hunt's card is 1 p.m.
A field of seven is entered in the Roedown Cup, the three-mile feature on the Marlborough Hunt's eight-race program at the steeplechase course on Roedown Farm in Davidsonville, Md., Saturday. In the open hurdles race, Irish Reports is a strong favorite for the winner's share of the $750 purse. Post time is 1 p.m.