The Virginia Gold Cup will take place Saturday without spectators for the first time in its 95-year history due to COVID-19 restrictions. With only essential personnel allowed on the race grounds at Great Meadow, fans are encouraged to watch the races on a free livestream.
With $220,000 in purse money up for grabs, 106 horses are currently entered to compete in one of 10 races. Racing starts at 12:30 p.m. with the first of two Virginia Equine Alliance Maiden Hurdle races and concludes nearly five hours later with the second of two Waiver Maiden Claiming Hurdle races.
The main event is the Virginia Gold Cup, a four-mile timber race that requires stamina and ability. Andi’amu and Doc Cebu highlight a quality field of horses for the signature race, scheduled for 3 p.m.
Andi’amu won the 2019 Gold Cup by three lengths and recently placed first in the 2020 Middleburg Hunt Cup. Doc Cebu -- International Gold Cup champion in 2017 and 2018 -- finished second to Andi’amu at the Middleburg Hunt Cup and placed fourth at last year's Gold Cup.
Andi’amu and Doc Cebu will be challenged by Schoodic, winner of the 2019 International Gold Cup, along with Lemony Bay, Super Saturday, Curve of Stones, Storm Team and Codrington College. Super Saturday finished third at the 2019 Gold Cup.
A virtual tailgate, hat and trivia contests will be held along with racing throughout the day. Fans can learn more at facebook.com/vagoldcup. The livestream is available at nsa.network.video/, starting at 12:15 p.m.
Virginia Gold Cup schedule
The Virginia Equine Alliance Maiden Hurdle, 12:30 p.m.
The Virginia Equine Alliance Maiden Hurdle, 1 p.m.
The Steeplethon, 1:30 p.m.
Ratings Handicap Hurdle, 2 p.m.
The David Semmes Memorial, 2:30 p.m.
The Virginia Gold Cup, 3 p.m.
Maiden 2 1/8 Miles (Hurdle), 3:30 p.m.
Ratings Handicap Hurdle, 4 p.m.
Waiver Maiden Claiming Hurdle, 4:30 p.m.
Waiver Maiden Claiming Hurdle, 5 p.m.