The Monday Report for Aug. 19, featuring the outlook for Wednesday’s Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes and Thursday’s New York Turf Writers Cup Handicap (Gr. 1) is available here. The web address is: https://www.nationalsteeplechase.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/MR8-19-19w.pdf
Hudson River Farms’ Winston C, who won going away in Saratoga Race Course’s A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1), will carry the 154-pound highweight for Thursday’s $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup Handicap (Gr. 1), the signature steeplechase race of the New York showcase track.
Trained by Racing Hall of Fame member Jonathan Sheppard, the Irish-bred drew clear of his competition to win the Smithwick by a widening 3½ lengths on July 25. The five-year-old had a three-win streak in England and was suggested to the Sheppard team by jockey Thomas Garner, who was named to ride Winston C in the 2 3/8-mile on Saratoga’s inner turf course.
The Rip Van Winkle gelding will be lining up against a familiar field. Every member of the New York Turf Writers cast also was entered for the Smithwick, and eight of them started. The Fields Stable’s Portrade, winner of the 2016 New York Turf Writers, was on the also-eligible list and did not start.
Sheppard, whose streak of at least one win at each Saratoga meet ended in 2016 after 47 years, also will saddle Buttonwood Farm’s All the Way Jose, who finished fifth in the Smithwick at 2 1/16 miles. Winner of Belmont Park’s Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1) in 2017, he will be ridden by Gerard Galligan.
Jack Fisher, who is galloping away with the year’s training titles, will take three shots at the Saratoga winner’s circle. Sonny Via’s Hinterland ran evenly in the Smithwick and finished third, 4¼ lengths behind Winston C. Willie McCarthy will ride the French-bred veteran.
Jack Doyle rode the winners of both Colonial Downs steeplechase races on Saturday, closing well with Riverdee Stable’s Snowie Hill in the $30,000 maiden hurdle for fillies and mares before picking up the mount and a victory aboard Silverton Hill’s Bodes Well in the $20,000 ratings handicap. Snowie Hill, a full sister to 2016 novice
Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Arch My Boy, a late-running second in Saratoga Race Course’s Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes on July 24, will attempt to advance to the winner’s circle on Wednesday when he meets a highly competitive field for Saratoga’s $75,000 Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes.
Post time will be 12:50 p.m., and members of the National Steeplechase Association’s rising-stars division will stretch out to 2 3/8 miles from the Jonathan Kiser’s 2 1/16-miles.
Now trained by Richard Valentine, four-year-old Arch My Boy was advancing on winner Redicean at the finish line in the Kiser. Kieran Norris gets a return call on Arch My Boy, who won his final two overseas starts by a combined 39 lengths.
Valentine kept his options open and also nominated Arch My Boy to Thursday’s $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1). Also nominated to the 2 3/8-mile race was Belisarius, who finished 10th in Saratoga’s A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) on July 25.
Owned by Gary Barber, Brous Stable, and Wachtel Racing Stable, Belisarius is trained by Kate Dalton and will be ridden by her husband, veteran jockey Bernie Dalton.
Graham Watters has a return call on Irv Naylor’s Chief Justice, a four-year-old who closed well to be fourth in the Iroquois Steeplechase’s Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle for trainer Cyril Murphy.
Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard will saddle KMSN Racing Stable’s Sportswear, winner of an Iroquois allowance hurdle on May 11. Undefeated over fences, Sportswear would have been among the Kiser favorites but developed a temporary lameness on the morning of the race. Gerard Galligan will ride.
Hudson River Farms’ Winston C, impressive winner of Saratoga Race Course’s A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1), heads 13 nominees to Thursday’s $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup Handicap (Gr. 1), the signature steeplechase race of the New York showcase track. Trained by Racing Hall of Fame member Jonathan Sheppard, the Irish-bred pulled away from
Bruton Street-US’s Snap Decision snapped away from front-running Zanzi Win after the final fence on Saratoga Race Course’s backstretch and romped home to a 38 1/2-length decision in Wednesday’s $65,000 allowance hurdle.
Jockey Willie McCarthy repeatedly looked back for competition and, detecting none, allowed the well-bred Hard Spun five-year-old to gallop home to the easiest of victories. Trained by Jack Fisher, Snap Decision went off as the 7-to-5 favorite and paid $4.80 to win.
Eve Ledyard’s Go Get the Basil, making his first start for trainer Jonathan Sheppard, battled on under Gerard Galligan to claim the place, a neck ahead of Lee Pokoik’s Roller Rolls On in third. Armata Stables’ Zanzi Win, making his first U.S. start for trainer Ricky Hendriks, finished fourth in a field of eight.
Snap Decision, bred by the Phipps Stable and formerly trained by Claude R. “Shug” McGaughey III, is no stranger to the New York tracks and won two races on the flat early in his racing career. But he lacked sufficient speed to compete meaningfully in New York Racing Association optional claimers.