MIDDLEBURG, VA., OCT. 5 -- Sponsorships are down, but enthusiasm is up for the 36th running of the Virginia Fall Races today at Glenwood Park. The Hunter Championship of America finals will get underway at noon, followed by the first of nine sanctioned races at 1:30 p.m.
According to Director of Racing W. Gary Baker, the event has gone from a two-day meet to one day because of the lack of sponsors, a problem experienced by many steeplechase meets on the Eastern and Southern circuits this season.
Nevertheless, the Chronicle Cup and the Daniel Sands Cup -- the meet's traditional timber and hurdle features, respectively -- will go on as planned. More than 100 entries have registered, necessitating the splitting of two races. As further incentive, the race committee is awarding seasons to popular stallions in addition to the prize money.
Headlining the three-mile, $10,000 Chronicle Cup is W. Gary Baker's Glyn, trained by Don Yovanovich and the leading timber horse on the Virginia point-to-point circuit last year. His chief competitors are Tucuquere, Capital K, Keene Turn and Aristoskip.
The 2 1/8-mile, $15,000 Daniel Sands Cup is an optional claiming hurdle that has attracted 12 horses of note. Fairfax winner Go Go Gordon promises to figure in the race. Double Barrel, Butt Jesse and Talkin' Butter, all Sport of Kings Challenge series hopefuls, also are worth watching.
Three flat races and assorted maiden and open claiming races complete Saturday's card. Proceeds will benefit Loudoun Memorial Hospital in Leesburg.