Because of soft course conditions, Monmouth Park has canceled today’s two steeplechase races.
The Monday Report for June 17, featuring jump racing at Monmouth Park on Friday, is now available here. The web address is: https://www.nationalsteeplechase.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/MR6-17-19w.pdf
Jump racing moves to the Jersey Shore and beautiful Monmouth Park on Friday with a $35,000 ratings handicap featuring a well-matched field of 10 and an oversubscribed $30,000 maiden hurdle.
The 2 1/16-mile maiden hurdle will kick off the card at the historic Oceanport track with a 1:15 p.m. post time, and the ratings handicap at 2 3/8 miles will be the third race at approximately 2:10 p.m.
Carrying the ratings handicap’s 158-pound highweight are Sonny Via’s Hinterland and Carrington Holdings’ Boss Man. Trained by Jack Fisher, Hinterland finished second in the Fair Hill Races’ Valentine Handicap on May 25. Michael Mitchell, currently leading the jockey standings, has the mount.
Boss Man made his 2019 debut in the Iroquois Steeplechase’s Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle, and he appeared a bit overeager in the early phases of the novice stakes before tiring to finish seventh. A Saratoga Race Course allowance winner last summer, Boss Man won Belmont Park’s William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes in September.
Trainer Arch Kingsley Jr. named Barry Foley to a return engagement aboard the Florida-bred from the late George Steinbrenner’s Kinsman Stable breeding operation.
Sharing a 156-pound assignment are Virginia Lazenby’s Help From Heaven and Rosbrian Farm’s Veneer of Charm. Trained by Kate Dalton, Help From Heaven finished a close second in the Marcellus Frost after leading at the final fence. Ross Geraghty will ride.
Veneer of Charm is looking for his first victory since arriving from Ireland last the fall. He most recently finished eighth in the Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase on April 27. Gerard Galligan will ride for trainer Ricky Hendriks, who also entered his Indigo Heart, fifth in the Valentine Memorial. Archie Macauley will ride Indigo Heart.
A July 25 reception at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame will celebrate the publication of Racing Time: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Liberation by Patrick Smithwick, who has been aptly described as the chronicler of the American steeplechase mind.
The date and the setting are both significant and appropriate. A few hours before the 5:30 p.m. book signing and reading by the author, Saratoga Race Course will feature the $150,000 A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1), a top-rated steeplechase race.
The race is named for Patrick Smithwick’s father, Paddy Smithwick, who was the focus of the author’s first book, Racing My Father, in 2006. The reception across Union Avenue from the race course will be held in the area containing Paddy Smithwick’s Hall of Fame plaque.
Not far away are the Hall of Fame plaques of Paddy Smithwick’s brother, trainer D. Michael “Mikey” Smithwick, and trainer Tom Voss. Mikey Smithwick appears in Racing Time and Patrick Smithwick’s second work, Flying Change, winner of the prestigious Tony Ryan Book Award for 2012.
Racing Time is dedicated to the memory of Voss, Patrick Smithwick’s best friend, who died suddenly in January 2014. He was inducted into Thoroughbred racing’s Hall of Fame in 2017.
Racing Time is in part the story of their friendship and the love that exists between men who first encountered each other as boys in Maryland’s horse country and maintained those ties through adulthood, with the common bond of the horse and shared experiences.
It’s also about loss, the wrenching abyss when a loved one is taken away without warning and without a chance to bid farewell.
National Steeplechase Association racing shifts to the pari-mutuel tracks this month with a visit to Monmouth Park on June 21 and continues through Labor Day with racing programs at Parx Racing, Saratoga Race Course, and Colonial Down in Virginia.
In all, the 15 racing dates encompass 22 scheduled races and will offer $1,165,000 in purses to NSA horsemen.
The Colonial Downs dates, new with the reopening of the New Kent race course in August, will spotlight jump racing with 10 races on the meet’s five Saturday programs.
The summer begins at the New Jersey Shore at beautiful, historic Monmouth Park, which has been revitalized with the addition of sports gaming. The Friday afternoon program will feature a $30,000 maiden hurdle and a $35,000 ratings handicap for horses ranked at 125 or lower.
Horsemen getting ready for Saratoga’s jump race will have an opportunity at Parx Racing on Monday, July 1, in a $25,000 allowance flat race for hurdlers. In the past, this race has been split when the entry box overflows.
Saratoga, the epicenter of Thoroughbred racing each summer, will open earlier this year to accommodate construction adjacent to Belmont Park on Long Island. The first steeplechase race at the Saratoga Springs, N.Y., landmark will be a $65,000 allowance hurdle on Wednesday, July 17.