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Show Court and jockey Michael Mitchell surge toward the lead between Surprising Soul and New Member (NYRA photo by Chelsea Durand)

Mark W. Buyck Jr.’s Show Court, sent to the start at surprisingly long 6-1 odds, burst to the lead at the top of Saratoga Race Course’s homestretch, quickly drew clear from his opponents, and won Wednesday’s $75,000 Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes by a comfortable 1 3/4 lengths.

Bruton Street-US’s Moscato ran a strong race while pressing Surprising Soul on the lead and finished second, while Armata Stables’ New Member crossed the finish line third.

Wendy Hendriks’ Surprising Soul finished fourth but was placed third when Saratoga’s stewards disqualified New Member for going off course after the last of eight fences. New Member, bidding on the inside, appeared to shy from Surprising Soul and jumped over a beacon marking the inside of the course.

Trained by Arch Kingsley Jr., Irish-bred eight-year-old Show Court ran the Kiser’s 2 1/16 miles in 3:47.72 on turf rated as good. The fourth betting choice, Show Court was a classic wagering overlay and paid $14.20 to win.

The Kiser marked a winning return over fences for jockey Michael Mitchell, who won the Carolina Cup aboard Show Court on April 1 but was seriously injured four weeks later when his mount fell and kicked him at the Queen’s Cup Steeplechase. Mitchell returned to ride Show Court to a narrow victory on the flat at Parx Racing on July 8.

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The jumpers headed to Parx in Bensalem, Pa., on July 11 for three parimutuel races -- two maiden hurdles and a ratings handicap -- in the first meet since Fair Hill completed the spring season and just two weeks before racing heads north to Saratoga Springs, NY. In the opening maiden contest, Kinross Farms' Mutin, 7-2, whose last win came two years ago at Saratoga on the flat, defeated 22-1 Buck Benny by several lengths. Ross Geraghty was aboard for trainer Richard Valentine. In the other action, trainer Neil Morris and jockey Darren Nagle teamed up to strike gold for two different owners, winning with Donna T. Rogers' Dapper Dan, $3.30-1, by 2 over even-money favorite Al, and with PathFinder Racing's Mutasaawy by 7, in the other maiden. In the ratings handicap, jockey Willie McCarthy took a bad spill aboard Bruton Street-US' Bishop's Castle, suffering multiple injuries including an arm laceration, collapsed lung, and broken ribs. According to the rider's fiance, Sara Katz, McCarthy should be out of the hospital within the week. Tod Marks has the race-day photo recap.

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