The Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup on Nov. 19 brings down the curtain on another exciting year of steeplechase racing, and the 47th running of the historic Camden, S.C., race meet will honor the memory of Austin A. Brown.
Known as one of the Great Gentlemen of Steeplechasing, Mr. Brown died on May 4 in Hilton Head Island, S.C. He was 89.
The South Carolina Legislature has declared Nov. 19 as Austin Brown Day across the state, and the Colonial Cup will honor his many contributions to the race meet, Kershaw County, and steeplechase racing.
The meet’s Springdale Turf Club will be adorned with photographs of Mr. Brown and other Great Gentlemen of Steeplechasing. In conjunction with the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the Carolina Cup Racing Association will help to raise contributions for the foundation on race day and through a pre-race golf outing.
Austin Brown indeed was a Gentleman of Steeplechasing and, without question, a Gentleman of the Turf. In recognition of his lifelong devotion to jump racing, he was honored in 2007 with the F. Ambrose Clark Award, which recognizes those who have done the most to promote, improve, and encourage the growth and welfare of American Steeplechasing.
“He was deeply involved in many aspects of our sport for well more than a half-century, and he led with grace and charm,” National Steeplechase Association President Guy J. Torsilieri said at the time of his death.
The Far Hills Race Meeting Association will provide live video streaming of the 96th annual Far Hills Races on Saturday, October 15.
The live event will be available for viewing here at www.nationalsteeplechase.com and on the Far Hills website, www.farhillsrace.org. The streaming will begin shortly before the first race at 1 p.m. and will continue through the last of seven scheduled races. Providing the live video stream will be HCP Sports, a leader in steeplechase-race videography for more than 35 years.
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The Far Hills Race Meeting Association announced today that it will provide live video streaming of the 96th annual Far Hills Races on Saturday, October 15. The Far Hills Races are America’s premier steeplechase event with $700,000 in purses, and its featured race is the $350,000 Grand National (Gr. 1).
The live event will be available for viewing on the Far Hills website, farhillsrace.org, and on the National Steeplechase Association website, nationalsteeplechase.com. The streaming will begin shortly before the first race at 1 p.m. and will continue through the last of seven scheduled races.
Providing the live video stream will be HCP Sports, a leader in steeplechase-race videography for more than 35 years.
“The Far Hills Race Meeting Association is pleased to present live video streaming of our races,” said Far Hills Chairman Guy J. Torsilieri. “Essentially, Far Hills is a sold-out event every year, and we wanted to provide a taste of the race-day experience to our neighbors in central New Jersey and to steeplechase fans across America.
“The video feed will be available internationally, and jump-racing fans in Ireland, England, and Europe will have an opportunity to watch our championship-level races. We’re anticipating international participation in the Grand National, and fans will have a chance to root for their favorites in our premier race,” he said.
The Far Hills Races will inaugurate pari-mutuel wagering in 2017. This year’s event will be conducted under the supervision of the New Jersey Racing Commission to provide Far Hills officials with an idea of what to expect when wagering is available next year.
With his degree from the University of Virginia in hand, Connor Hankin had a vast array of career choices before him. He could have continued his studies toward a graduate degree, or he could have found employment in just about any endeavor that interested him.
Or, he could have taken a gap year or so and worked with horses, a vocation in which he has obvious talents. Riding largely for champion trainer Jack Fisher, he stood second in the jockey standings, and he is regarded by veteran observers as one of the most talented young riders to come along in some time.
All those paths and more were open to him, but he has decided to take the road less traveled. At least temporarily, his steeplechase career ends with the Saratoga Race Course meet. On Sept. 10, he reported to the U.S. Marine Corps base at Quantico, Va., to enter officer candidate school.
“At a certain point, I just feel like doing something to serve my country,” he told Mark Singelais. of the Albany (N.Y) Times Union in early August. “Doing something meaningful is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, and I would regret not doing it. I think it’s the right time at this point.”
Hankin, 22, will undergo a 10-week training regimen at Quantico before his commission as a second lieutenant. After that, he reports for combat training. He hopes to specialize in intelligence, he told Singelais.
American Steeplechasing concluded a successful six-week Saratoga Race Course season with increases in starters, highly competitive racing, and an improved safety record.
In all, nine jump races were run at Saratoga between July 27 and Sept. 1. Despite one less race this year, the number of starters increased 9% to 73 starters. The larger number of starters drove the average field size upward to 8.1 starters per race, compared with 6.7 starters per race in 2015.
National Steeplechase Association President Guy J. Torsilieri praised the work of NSA Director of Racing Bill Gallo Jr. in putting together a successful Saratoga racing program. “I congratulate Bill Gallo on doing an excellent job this summer in Saratoga. It is never an easy task, but he did a fabulous job balancing a very light inventory and carding some very nice competitive racing,” Torsilieri said.
“We are very grateful for the support of our owners and trainers for the vitally important Saratoga meet,” Gallo said. “With their support, we were able to offer races with large betting fields, and the races were very competitive.”
Indeed, four of the nine races were settled by a length or less at the finish line, compared with one race in 2015 with as close as finish. The $70,000 overnight handicap on Aug. 3 featured a stretch-long battle between Dr. Skip and Top Striker, with Clorevia Farm’s Dr. Skip prevailing by a nose on a head bob at the finish line.