Ben Nevis II and Sam Son of a Gun, two big names in steeplechasing, will participate in area point-to-point races this weekend.
Ben Nevis II, retired since his British Grand National victory at Aintree in 1980, will make his first start on Virginia turf Saturday when he runs in the Meeting House Mountain Plate, the 1 1/2-mile flat race that closes the Old Dominion Hounds' nine-race card at the Ben Venue course on Rte. 211.
Owned by Redmond Stewart and ridden throughout his career by Charley Fenwick, the 14-year-old will be handled by Bruce Fenwick on Saturday.
Post time is 1 p.m. for the first race, with Randy Waterman's 1980 timber champion Champerty leading a field of five in the featured Old Dominion Hunt Cup.
Sam Son of a Gun, who last year became one of the top timber horses in the area, will begin a five-race quest for the new Maryland timber championship. The first race will be Saturday's running of the My Lady's Manor at Monkton.
A panel of experts will select an open and novice champion on the basis of Saturday's race, the Grand National at Butler, the Maryland Hunt Cup at Glyndon and a pair of timber races in the two-day Fair Hill meeting in May. The open champion will win $6,000, the novice champion $4,000.
Sam Son of a Gun, the 1979 Virginia Gold Cup winner, will face the 1980 Gold Cup winner, Tong, and five others in the three-mile My Lady's Manor. Post time for the opening novice race is 3:30 p.m.