Darren Nagle’s magical season continued Saturday when he won Shawan Downs’ principal timber and hurdle races on warm, sunny afternoon in suburban Baltimore.
The 30-year-old Irish-born jockey pulled a significant upset with another well-timed ride aboard Kiplin Hall’s Rodriguez in the $25,000 Brown Advisory Legacy Chase over timber. Always close to the pace after Class Indian surrendered a massive early lead, Rodriguez was overtaken by Armata Stables’ Cornhusker at the last fence of the 3 1/8-mile race.
But William Dowling-trained Rodriguez found another gear in the run-in of the right-handed course and won going away. Worried Man finished third in a field of 10, and Straight to It was fourth.
A 10-year-old High Chaparral gelding, Irish-bred Rodriguez scored his first win since a maiden timber win at the Virginia Fall meet last October.
A race earlier in the $25,000 Sodexo ratings handicap, Nagle put Welcome Here Farm’s Second Amendment on the lead early, and the homebred National Anthem gelding turned away all challengers while winning in 3:36.40.
Magalen O. Bryant’s Personal Start made a strong late bid and finished second, approximately two lengths behind the winner, and Indy’s Legacy finished third.
Nagle entered the Shawan program with a two-race lead in the jockey standings after winning Thursday’s Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1) aboard All the Way Jose, and he opened another notch with the two wins. He now has 14 victories and a three-race bulge in the standings.
Buttonwood Farm’s All the Way Jose, ideally positioned throughout Thursday’s $150,000 Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1), surged to the lead at the eighth fence on Belmont Park’s backstretch and turned back a challenge by Modem to win by 1 1/4 lengths.
Robert A. Kinsley’s Modem finished second for the third time in his three American starts by holding off a challenge from Rosbrian Farm’s Swansea Mile by a neck. English invader Casino Markets finished fourth.
Sent to the starter as the 3.35-to-1 second betting pick behind 1.95-to-1 Modem, All the Way Jose paid $8.70 to win after running the Lonesome Glory’s 2 1/2 miles in 4:33.37 on a firm inner turf course.
Bred and trained by Racing Hall of Fame member Jonathan Sheppard, All the Way Jose was 2014’s novice champion, but he never quite lived up to his early promise—until this year.
He aced Fair Hill’s Valentine Memorial Handicap by 15 lengths under Sheppard assistant Keri Brion, and he finished third in the New York Turf Writers Cup Handicap (Gr. 1) in his first trip with Nagle, who leads this year’s jockey standings.
When the flag dropped in the Lonesome Glory, All the Way Jose went to the front from the inside post, and Nagle then allowed Irv Naylor’s veteran Charminster to set a modest pace while retaining the inside position.
“The plan coming in was to jump him off, sit him where he was comfortable on or close to the lead, and it worked out nicely because he got to sit and carry along with him stalking nicely for the first part of the race,” Sheppard said. “He jumped great.”
Charminster led to the backstretch the second time, but began to slow at the eighth fence, where All the Way Jose punched to the lead. After the last, All the Way Jose had a two-length lead, and Nagle dropped his hands to give his mount a break around the turn.
At the three-sixteenths pole, Nagle asked All the Way Jose to pick up the pace as Modem and Jack Doyle closed ground on them. While retaining his inside position, Nagle urged All the Way Jose to the finish while holding Modem safe.
Tryon International Equestrian Center has assured National Steeplechase Association officials that it will redouble its efforts with partner Tryon Riding and Hunt Club to assure a top-quality race meet at the North Carolina property next spring at the Tryon Block House Steeplechase.
TIEC informed the NSA in early September that it was canceling its inaugural fall race meet, which had been scheduled for Sept 30.
“TIEC officials told us that they had made every effort to prepare for their first fall meet, but they recognized that the many logistical issues would prevent them from putting on a first-class event,” said NSA President Guy J. Torsilieri.
“Rather than stage a race meet that did not meet its standards, TIEC decided to cancel and prepare for next spring’s races. Obviously, we are disappointed for our program and for our horsemen,” Torsilieri said. “But we have to respect TIEC’s decision and support its efforts to build toward another outstanding meet at their lovely new course next spring. TIEC is determined to have a top-quality fall meet, and we will provide all the support that we can toward achieving that goal.”
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