EMO Stable's Racey Dreamer wired a talented field including Sur La Tete to win Saturday's $100,000 Mellon National Hunt Cup (NSA-I), second leg of the Steeplechase Triple Crown, at the Radnor Hunt Races in Malvern, Pa.Trained in Virginia by Doug Fout and ridden by Matt McCarron, the 5-year-old took the lead at the outset and set a quick pace while fighting off repeated challenges and won by three-quarters of a length over Serazzo (Chip Miller). Sur La Tete, who won the series' first leg at Atlanta April 10, finished third. The winner covered the 2 3/8 miles in 4:19 3/5.Just a few months removed from running on the flat, Racey Dreamer was considered an outsider in the field of eight though he had won two races impressively this spring. Running style and competition seemed to compromise the son of Belmont Stakes winner A.P. Indy who was facing several more experienced rivals. He was pressed throughout while setting a quick pace, and stayed in front when the tempo increased on the backstretch. Mauritania made a run. Serazzo kept pace. Sur La Tete launched a bid. At the top of the stretch, all four were in the fight and Serazzo got within a neck after the last fence but drew no closer.For McCarron, the win kept alive his Triple Crown bid. He was aboard Sur La Tete for the Atlanta win. "The horse has the heart of a giant, just kept fighting," said McCarron. "He had every chance to cave in. He gave me absolutely everything he had. I honestly thought Serazzo had dead aim on me, but my horse kept digging in."Fout bought Racey Dreamer from New Jersey trainer Alan Goldberg last fall, based on breeding alone and has been pleasantly surprised ever since."All the horse has done is gotten better," said Fout, who won his second grade I of the season. "That was a super race, all great horses. It was just our day."
The Triple Crown continues with the $100,000 Meadow Brook Cup (gr. I) at Belmont Park June 3. McCarron won three races on the day, as did trainer Sanna Hendriks including Pleasant Parcel in the Radnor Hunt Cup timber stakes.