Ronan McGuigan on his Capall Zidane — winner of last week's Brook Ledge and the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix — claimed the blue in the $10,000 Brook Ledge Open Welcome on Wednesday, May 27, at HITS-on-the-Hudson II, in a fast-paced class that had the top ten going double-clear, and the top seven with times less than two seconds apart.
McGuigan said of the class, and his win, "It was a nice, flowing course, which suited my horse. There were no alternative turns, so everybody basically rode the same track. It was just a matter of how fast you could gallop — my horse is very fast across the ground."
Julie Welles was the first to move on to the jump-off on Twan, owned by Stephex Stables and Missy Clark, with a clear round, in a time of 32.947, setting the first Great American Time To Beat. Next, Addison Gierkink on Full Monty, owned by Kadley Holdings LLC, shaved a fraction off that time to finish clear in 33.229 to take over the lead.
McGuigan took to the ring two trips later and, in a speedy, clean ride, carved one-and-a-half seconds off Gierkink's time, to complete the round in what held up as the fastest on the course, 31.770 seconds. Despite the large field of contenders still to go, none could beat his mark.
Taking another turn in the ring, Welles went 11th on Ramses du Lavillon, owned by McLain Ward & Missy Clark. With a clear round, just shy of McGuigan's blistering time, Welles finished in 32.637 to claim second place, which was not trumped by the final three competitors. Welles also claimed fourth place on Twan.
"Ramses was super in the first round,” Welles said. His stride gets so open in the big ring."
Of the four in the jump-off that had faults, each tripped at least one rail out of its cups, while two others knocked down two rails and one rider saw three hit the dirt, but everyone rode the course quickly and within the time allowed.
$10,000 Brook Ledge Open Welcome - HITS-on-the-Hudson II
Place Horse Owner Rider Prize Round 1 Faults JO Faults JO Time
1 Capall Zidane Ronan McGuigan Ronan McGuigan $2,800 0 0 31.770
2 Ramses du Lavillon McLain Ward & Missy Clark Julie Welles $1,800 0 0 32.637
3 Coberlina Orchard Farm Peter Lutz $1,250 0 0 32.860
4 Twan Stephex Stables / Missy Clark Julie Welles $900 0 0 32.947
5 Full Monty Kadley Holdings LLC Addison Gierkink $800 0 0 33.229
6 Balotan The Coverboy Group Amanda Flint $700 0 0 33.653
7 Quattro Queen Juan Torres Judy Garofalo Torres $600 0 0 33.744
8 Amadeus David Hopper Darragh Kerins $400 0 0 35.145
9 Temptation Sharon Milchovich Michael Desiderio $375 0 0 37.135
10 Chapeau Blythe Masters Ronan McGuigan $375 0 0 39.994