The Monday Report for Aug. 8, featuring the field for the Mrs. Ogden Phipps Stakes at Saratoga Race Course and the reopening of Colonial Downs, is available here. The web address is: https://www.nationalsteeplechase.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/MR8-5-19w.pdf
The first two finishers from the Margaret Currey Henley Stakes and a 2016 dual champion will be part of a competitive field for Saratoga Race Course’s $75,000 Mrs. Ogden Phipps Stakes for fillies and mares on Wednesday.
Owner-trainer Jonathan Sheppard’s Wigwam Baby made all the pace in the Iroquois Steeplechase’s Henley for fillies and mares on May 11 and won by 1¼ lengths. In her previous start, she finished sixth in a $25,000 open ratings handicap at the Cup Runneth Over meet at Camden, S.C. on April 6.
No stranger to Saratoga, she finished second in the 2017 Mrs. Phipps. Gerard Galligan will ride the eight-year-old Langfuhr mare, who was bred in Pennsylvania by Racing Hall of Fame member Sheppard and Bill Pape.
Shadowfax Stable’s Down Royal closed ground in Iroquois’ stretch to finish second in the Henley, her only start over fences this year for trainer Kate Dalton. Returning to the saddle after a fall at the Fair Hill Races will be Bernie Dalton.
A five-year-old by Alphabet Soup, Down Royal was bred by the Daltons in New York. She came to hand early for the Camden-based couple and looked to be headed for victory in the 2017 Gladstone Stakes for three-year-olds at the Far Hills Races. But she sustained serious interference, finished third, and was placed second. She won her maiden victory in her next start.
Wigwam Baby and Down Royal started in divisions of Parx Racing’s flat races for hurdlers on July 1, with Wigwam Baby finishing fourth in her heat while Down Royal was ninth in her division.
Both carry 111 ratings in the National Steeplechase Association’s rankings of all winners over hurdles. Carrying the 112 top rating in the Mrs. Phipps field is Get Ready Set Goes, who is attempting to reset her career for trainer F. Hill Parker.
The Monday Report for July 29, featuring the victories of Winston C in Saratoga Race Course’s $150,000 A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) and Redicean in Saratoga’s Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes, is available here. The web address is: https://www.nationalsteeplechase.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/MR7-29-19w.pdf
Hudson River Farms’ Winston C, making a big class jump in only his second American start, powered to the lead entering Saratoga Race Course’s stretch and won Thursday’s $150,000 A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) by a widening 3½ lengths.
Foxtrot NH Racing Partnership’s Vosne Romanee, making his first run in the U.S., kept pace with Winston C into midstretch and finished second, three-quarters of a length ahead of Sonny Via’s late-running longshot Hinterland. Riverdee Stable’s Gibralfaro finished fourth, another 4½ lengths farther back. All three are trained by Jack Fisher.
Winston C represented a hometown win and another virtuoso victory by the master of Saratoga, Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard. Hudson River Farms is owned by Edward Swyer, an Albany developer and longtime steeplechase owner.
Sheppard’s streak of winning at least one Saratoga race each meet ended in 2015 after 47 years, but Saratoga’s bettors know never to dismiss his chances.
Although Winston C had been beaten in his first U.S. start, finishing third in the Iroquois Steeplechase’s Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle for novices on May 11, he went off as the 3.35-to-1 close second favorite in a packed, talent-filled field of 12 for the 2 1/16-mile Smithwick on Saratoga’s inner turf course.
Sharon Sheppard’s Redicean, a recent arrival in the United States, launched a sustained drive in Saratoga Race Course’s stretch that carried him to a three-quarters of a length victory over another newcomer, Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Arch My Boy, in Wednesday’s $75,000 Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes.
The target of late money, Redicean went off as the 3.25-to-1 favorite in a field of nine members of the National Steeplechase Association’s rising-stars division. He paid $8.50 to win after drifting down from 7-to-1 as the horses entered Saratoga’s inner turf course.
Trained by Leslie Young, the five-year-old Great Britain-bred gelding ran the Kiser’s 2 1/16 miles in 3:48.05 under Thomas Garner.
Arch My Boy was followed to the finish line by Virginia Lazenby’s Help From Heaven, who finished third, 4 ½ lengths behind Arch My Boy and 1 ½ lengths ahead of Bruton Street-US’s Lord Justice in fourth.
The Monday Report for July 22 is now available here. This issue features the fields for this week’s Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes and A. P. Smithwick Memorial Stakes (Gr. 1), Cite’s victory in Sunday’s allowance hurdle at Saratoga, and an excerpt from Patrick Smithwick’s Racing Time: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Liberation. The web