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Almarmooq Wins the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup

This Is Horse Racing

Jumping Around… Catching Up With Steeplechasers

Almarmooq certainly wasn’t destined for this from the start, but the 8-year-old Dynaformer gelding became a stakes winner when he outlasted five others in the $35,000 Pennsylvania Hunt Cup timber stakes Nov. 1. Racing for Irv Naylor, trainer Kathy Neilson and jockey Gerard Galligan, Almarmooq built a short lead between the final two fences and then held off a hard-charging Cornhusker to win by a neck with Aero third.

It was the veteran’s third timber score, after breaking his maiden at Genesee in 2013, winning an allowance race at the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup last fall and stepping up another level this fall. Neilson paid credit to recent wet weather and her horse’s tenacity in the 4-mile race’s late stages.