A beautiful day at the Block House Races

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, April 17, 2018

COLUMBUS — Trainer Richard Valentine saddled two winners for 72nd annual Block House Races meet at the Green Creek Race Course in Columbus.

Valentine took home to Camden the Carter P. Brown Memorial and the Tryon Riding & Hunt Club ratings Handicap Hurdle trophies from Saturday’s meet.

“He eventually might make a timber horse,” said Valentine of the tall gray gelding, Bob’n For Silver, who won the first race of the day.

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The gelding is by Bob and John, out of Smart Silver by Two Smart. Shane Crimin rode the horse 2 1/8 miles over brush hurdles to win over the number five horse by a neck. Bob’n For Silver was in the lead over the last fence and held back Etched in Time as they thundered across the finish line.

The first race was a maiden claiming race for 4 year-olds and up, with a $15,000 purse. Bob’n For Silver carried 156 pounds in his first win.

Though Valentine was not sure about how his gray horse would run, he did say his other horse, Life Said, should “run well.”

Run well he did, winning the 2 1/4 miles over National Fences in the third race. The seven-year-old bay gelding is by Successful Appeal, out of Elizaveta by Quiet American.

Shane Crimin was also aboard Life Said, with 148 pounds in the saddle pad.

The featured Block House allowance race went to the European bred horses this Saturday, with Irish bred Gibralfaro taking home the $35,000 win in his first United States start. Trainer Jack Fisher saddled the 6-year-old bay gelding with 148 pounds to run the 2/ 1-8 miles of hurdle fences with Sean McDermott in the irons. The bay won over Lord Justice by a neck with a time of 3:55 2/5 on firm turf.

Jack Fisher also saddled Lord Justice — also an Irish bred gelding. Jack Doyle piloted the gelding carrying 148 pounds.

Ross Geraghty rode French bred Sixty Five to third position five lengths behind the front-runners. The five-year-old bay gelding carried 152 pounds.

Etched in Time ran second to Bob’n For Silver in the first race, with Blue Jean Baby hitting the board as third. Last Shani won the Cannon Harmon Memorial winning over Sunset District in second with the number three horse, Jarir, showing.

The fifth and final race of the day began with a false start. One bay horse broke across the starting line and galloped a quarter mile before the starter could call the horses back for a second try in the Dr. John Bradshaw Memorial, 1 ½ mile on the flat. Eight-year-old Overwhelming took home the wining share of the $25,000 purse for the allowance race.

The day was perfect for a terrific crowd who turned out to enjoy the 70-degree weather. Rain held off until Sunday, making for a firm track and enough breeze to keep it from being too hot.

Jockeys and trainers both praised the venue and the course. Jockey Sean McDermott, who won the Top Jockey Award Saturday said it was a great course.

“The hurdles up hill are in a great position,” McDermott said.