Recent Saratoga winners Moscato, Mutasaawy, and No Wunder are among a bevy of jump-racing rising stars nominated to Belmont Park’s $75,000 William Entenmann Novice Stakes on Thursday, Sept. 21.
The 2 1/2-mile Entenmann Memorial kicks off a fall schedule of National Steeplechase Association races restricted to jump-racing newcomers. The Entenmann is followed by the Far Hills Races’ $125,000 Foxbrook Champion Hurdle on Saturday, Oct. 21, and the $75,000 Aflac Supreme Hurdle at the Steeplechase at Callaway on Saturday, Nov. 4.
Bruton Street-US’s Moscato, a good second to novice graduate Show Court in Saratoga Race Course’s Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes on July 26, came back with a dominant performance in Saratoga’s Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes on Aug. 23.
Trained by Jack Fisher, the British-bred Hernando gelding was always close under Sean McDermott and left a good field in his wake through Saratoga’s stretch as he pulled away to a 9 3/4-length victory.
Fisher, the runaway leader in the trainer standings, also nominated Armata Stables’ New Member, who finished third in the Walsh.
Robert A. Kinsley’s No Wunder also was a big winner at Saratoga when he took on more experienced horses in a $70,000 hurdle handicap on Aug. 31 and won by 9 3/4 lengths for trainer Elizabeth Voss.
PathFinder Racing’s Mutasaawy scored his second victory of the summer when he won a Saratoga allowance hurdle on Aug. 16. Trained by Neil Morris, the seven-year-old Tapit gelding had easily won a Parx Racing maiden hurdle on July 11.
A new player entering a talented novice division is Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Lachares, a recent import who had three wins, a second, and four third-place finishes in a busy 2017 season in Ireland. A product of the Wildenstein family’s breeding operation, the Irish-bred four-year-old is trained by Richard Valentine.
Here are the nominees to the $75,000 William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes. The horses’ National Steeplechase Association ratings are in parentheses at the end of their profiles.
Kensington Court. 2012 dk. b. or br. g., Giant’s Causeway—Backseat Driver, by El Corredor. Owner: Oakwood Stable. Trainer: Julie Gomena. Breeder: Paul Pompa Jr. (Ky.) 2016 record: 4-2-1-0, $63,600. 2015 NSA record: 2-0-1-0, $5,750. Went to the sidelines in July 2016 after winning Saratoga allowance hurdle on the lead. Won 2016 Fair Hill maiden hurdle in fifth start over fences. Finished second to three-year-old champion Ice It in Far Hills’ Gladstone and was fifth in Colonial Cup’s Raymond G. Woolfe Memorial in 2015. (120)
Lachares (Ire). 2013 ch. g., Manduro (Ger)—Louve Imperiale, by Giant’s Causeway. Owner: Jacqueline Ohrstrom. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Breeder: Dayton Investments Ltd. (Ire). 2017 NSA record: No starts. Making first U.S. start after impressive debut over fences in Ireland for trainer Ellmarie Holden. After unimpressive flat career at three, product of Wildenstein breeding operation had three hurdle wins, a second, and four thirds in busy 2017 season. (133)
Macnicholson (Ire). 2009 b. g., Definite Article (GB)—Heroic Performer, by Royal Applause (GB). Owner: James S. Carter. Trainer: Jimmy Day. Breeder: D. Shine (Ire). 2017 NSA record: 4-0-1-0, $16,500. 2016 NSA record: No starts. Best of rest when second in Saratoga’s 2017 Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes at 35-1 odds. Finished sixth and placed fifth in Saratoga’s Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes. Lost riders in his first U.S. starts, 2017 Carolina Cup and Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle, both for novices. Looking for first victory since August 2015. (129)
Moscato (GB). 2011 gr. or ro. g., Hernando (Fr)—Alba Stella, by Nashwan. Owner: Bruton Street-US. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Breeder: Miss K. Rausing (GB). 2017 record: 5-3-2-0, $111,000. 2016 NSA record: No starts. Won Saratoga’s 2017 Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes impressively after strong closing second in Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes. After promising start to U.S. career with close second in 2017 Carolina Cup maiden hurdle, won Queen’s Cup maiden by 7 1/4 lengths and Iroquois allowance hurdle by 6 1/2 lengths. (135)
Mutasaawy. 2010 b. g., Tapit—Pretty Proud, by Mr. Greeley. Owner: PathFinder Racing. Trainer: Neil Morris. Breeder: Pretty Proud Syndicate (Ky.). 2017 NSA record: 3-2-1-0, $59,400. Impressed in winning Saratoga allowance hurdle. Broke through at Parx Racing with a dominant victory in a $25,000 maiden hurdle. In only other jumps start, finished second in Fair Hill maiden. (121)
My Afleet. 2011 gr. or ro. g., Afleet Alex—My Own Story, by Lasting Approval. Owners: Jeffrey S. Amling and Merriebelle Stable. Trainer: Mark Beecher. Breeders. Jeffrey S. Amling and Charles Noell. 2017 record: 4-2-1-0, $66,750. 2016 NSA record: No starts. Finished well-beaten fourth in Saratoga’s 2017 Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes. Made a successful jumps debut with 34 1/2-length victory in 2017 Tryon Block House maiden hurdle, then won Virginia Gold Cup allowance hurdle before second in Iroquois’ Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle for novices. Stakes winner on flat finished second in Saratoga’s John’s Call Stakes in final flat start. (128)
New Member (Ire). 2011 b. g., Alhaarth (Ire)—Sincere, by Buhhare. Owner: Armata Stables. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Breeder: Golden Garden Stud. 2017 NSA record: 2-0-0-1, $7,500. Finished well-beaten third in Saratoga’s 2017 Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes. Finished good third in Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes but disqualified for going off-course in tight quarters. Newcomer to American racing had allowance and handicap wins in England last year for trainer Tom Lacey. (128)
No Wunder (GB). 2011 b. g., Rock of Gibraltar (Ire)—Iwunder, by King’s Best. Owner: Robert A. Kinsley. Trainer: Elizabeth Voss. Breeder: Executors of the late J. Ellis (GB). 2017 NSA record: 6-2-1-1, $67,150. 2016 NSA record: No starts. Drew away impressively to win 2017 Saratoga handicap after good second in similar race. Won his maiden victory at 2017 Fair Hill Races after third at Iroquois, then was moved up to sixth in Saratoga’s Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes. (126)
Personal Start. 2011 dk. b. or br. g., Jump Start—Personal Doreen, by Personal Flag. Owner: Magalen O. Bryant. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Breeder: Magalen O. Bryant (Ky.) 2017 record: 2-0-0-1, $6,000. 2016 record: 5-1-0-1, $23,800. Finished third in 2017 Saratoga allowance hurdle. Opened 2017 with third in Tryon Block House allowance hurdle, then stumbled at Iroquois Steeplechase and finished fourth. (114)
Surprising Soul. 2012 b. g., Perfect Soul (Ire)—Elusive Srprise, by Elusive Quality. Owner: Wendy W. Hendriks. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Breeder: Charles Fipke (Ont.) 2017 record: 5-3-0-1, $103,500. 2016 NSA record: 3-0-2-0, $13,200. Advanced to third in Saratoga’s 2017 Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes after victory in Iroquois’ $100,000 Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle. Pulled up in Saratoga’s Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes. Won maiden hurdle at 2017 Aiken Spring easily and won allowance hurdle at Tryon Block House. (129)
Zio Elio. 2013 ch. g., American Lion—Runaway Zia, by Runaway Groom. Owner: Edition Farm. Trainer: Kate Dalton. Breeders: Christopher Shelli, Patrick Morell, and Darby Dan Farm (N.Y.) 2017 record: 4-1-1-0, $31,900. Finished second, beaten a neck, in 2017 Saratoga allowance hurdle, then was fifth in Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes. In debut start over fences, won 2017 Queen’s Cup maiden hurdle, then tired to finish sixth in Parx handicap hurdle. Maiden on the flat at New York tracks. (115)