Riverdee Stable’s Down Royal turned back a late challenge from Alshibaa to win the Steeplechase of Charleston’s featured $25,000 allowance hurdle for three-year-olds by a neck on Sunday as the National Steeplechase Association concluded its 2017 season.
Hudson River Farms’ Snuggling, disqualified from a victory in Far Hills’ Gladstone Stakes on Oct. 21, finished third, 8 1/4 lengths behind Ballybristol Farm’s Alshibaa. What Gives finished fourth, a neck farther back in a field of eight.
Trained by Kate Dalton and ridden by husband Bernie Dalton, Down Royal completed the race’s 2 1/4 miles in 4:31 on firm turf at Stono Ferry Race Course in Hollywood, S.C.
Burning Approval set the pace past the last fence, but Down Royal overtook him in the run-in and resisted the late move by Leslie Young-trained Alshibaa, ridden by Sean McDermott.
An Alphabet Soup filly bred by the Daltons, Down Royal was bothered by Snuggling in the Gladstone, was forced to the far outside, and finished willingly to be third under the wire. Far Hills’ stewards displaced Snuggling from the winner’s circle to third, and Down Royal was advanced to second.