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Portrade set all the pace in winning the 2016 New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1) at Saratoga Race Course. (Tod Marks photo)

Jump racing moves to the race tracks in July with two afternoons of racing for steeplechase horses at Parx Racing outside Philadelphia and the start of Saratoga Race Course’s rich program of races.

The summer action begins at Parx on Sunday, July 9, with a $25,000 flat race that is limited to horses who have finished in the top three in a sanctioned steeplechase race. If sufficient entries are received on June 30, the race will be split into two divisions with $25,000 pots in each.

Two days later, the National Fences will go up on the Bensalem, Pa., turf course for two scheduled jump races. An overnight handicap hurdle at 2 1/16 miles will carry a $35,000 purse. That race is limited to horses with National Steeplechase Association ratings of 120 or lower. Also at 2 1/16 miles will be a $30,000 Sport of Kings maiden hurdle.

Later in July, the action swings to Saratoga Race Course and the start of a 10-race schedule of jump races with scheduled purses of $765,000. An early highlight of the program at the New York Racing Association track is the $150,000 A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1). The 2 1/16-mile Smithwick moves to the first full week of Saratoga’s season and will be staged on Thursday, July 27.

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My Goodness: For Goodness Sake wins the last prize of spring season

Jockey Willie McCarthy called it the most emotional win of his career, and with good reason. In a script straight out of Hollywood, Amy Taylor's For Goodness Sake upset a top field that included top mares Sarah Joyce and One Lucky Lady in the $50,000 Coggins Memorial at Fair Hill. It wasn't just an upset, it was kismet. The mare is trained by Leslie and Paddy Young and as fans know by now, Paddy remains hospitalized with serious injuries suffered in a fall at Radnor on May 20. Following the race, a visibly moved McCarthy proclaimed, "this is for Paddy," and phoned in the trophy presentation to The Champ's hospital room. While it was hard for the rest of the nine-race card to come close to that kind of drama, it was packed with plenty of excitement worthy of its own highlight reel. Trainer Elizabeth Voss teamed up with jockey Jack Doyle to win four races, two on the flat and two over hurdles, while Rod Moorhead's All The Way Jose, who lost a heartbreaker at Nashville two weeks earlier, avenged that loss for trainer Jonathan Sheppard and jockey Keri Wolfsont in the $40,000 Valentine Ratings Handicap. Mark Beecher, once again, proved he's money-in-the-bank over timber by coming from off the pace aboard Boogie Biz -- sporting a 1 for 35 lifetime record -- at 6.60 to 1 to beat Coastal Moon and recent Willowdale winner Aquies. Tod Marks has the recap.

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SOME FACTS ABOUT JUMP RACING IN NORTH AMERICA

$6,140,000

NSA PURSES IN 2016

498 HORSES

RAN IN 2016

+1,000,000

SPECTATORS EACH YEAR

12 STATES

HOST STEEPLECHASE RACES

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