A top-shelf group of 14, including two representing overseas interests, have been nominated to the $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup Handicap (Gr. 1), Saratoga Race Course’s premier jump race, on Thursday, Aug. 24.
Representing overseas interests are Mighty Acorn Stables’ Casino Markets and owner-trainer David Dunne’s Colla Pier. Trained by Emma Lavelle in England’s Wiltshire horse country, Casino Markets consistently has been running over the larger steeplechase fences there. He was third in Sandown’s Bet365 Josh Giffords Steeplechase on April 29 and unplaced in the Betfred Summer Plate Handicap on July 22.
Colla Pier, an eight-year-old mare who has been racing at smaller Irish courses, has two wins this year. Her owner-trainer, based in County Meath, was a professional jockey and rode in the U.S.
Among the nominees are the defending New York Turf Writers winner, The Fields Stable’s Portrade, and this year’s A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) winner, Rosbrian Farm’s Swansea Mile.
Trained by Ricky Hendriks, Swansea Mile won the 2 1/16-mile Smithwick Memorial by two lengths, and Elizabeth Voss-trained Portrade faded to fourth after setting the early pace.
Also nominated to the New York Turf Writers from the Smithwick Memorial were Robert A. Kinsley’s Modem, who was making his first U.S. start for trainer Voss and closed for second, and Flying Elvis Stable’s Diplomat, the third finisher for trainer Kate Dalton.
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- 08/09/2017in NewsPetticoats Loose Farm’s Choral Society returned to the scene of his greatest triumph and won Saratoga Race Course’s $70,000 hurdle handicap on Wednesday. Winless since upsetting the 2015 A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1), the Florida-bred Holy Bull gelding took over at the last of nine fences and turned back a late challenge by Robert A. Kinsley’...
Choral Society hits high note at Spa
Meriwether Hudson Morris' Choral Society, who captured the G1 AP Smithwick in a stunning 16-1 upset of Demonstrative, Divine Fortune, Bob Le Beau, and Diplomat two years ago at the Spa, returned to the scene of that great victory to score in last Wednesday's overnight handicap. The near-white son of Holy Bull had enough left to hold off Bob Kinsley's No Wunder, with Darren Nagle in the saddle for trainer Jack Fisher. Back in 2015, Choral Society was ridden by The Champ, Paddy Young, who has returned home to continue his recovery from traumatic head injuries suffered at the Radnor Races in Pennsylvania in May. Tod Marks has the photo recap of the Aug. 9 feature.