Jockey Michael Mitchell hit the accelerator after the next-to-last fence of Saratoga Race Course’s $48,000 allowance hurdle, and Robert V. LaPenta’s Fast Car zoomed away to a comfortable 6½-length victory on Wednesday.
Trained by Jack Fisher, who has won all three of Saratoga’s jump races so far this summer, Fast Car put away Sherry Fenwick’s pacesetter Anticipating early in the stretch, opened two lengths at the furlong pole, continued to draw away from the field, and was allowed to gallop home through the final 20 yards.
Global Freedom, last year’s three-year-old champion and the stronger half of a favored Rosbrian Farm entry, finished well to grab the place spot, three-quarters of a length ahead of Anticipating. Petticoats Loose Farm’s Gaye Breeze finished fourth, 3½ lengths farther back.
A maiden winner at the Virginia Gold Cup meet on June 27, Fast Car went off as the 4.30-to-1 second betting choice and paid $10.60 to win after running the entry-level allowance hurdle’s 2 1/16 miles in 3:49.41 on firm turf.
For the first mile and a half, Mitchell and the racy-looking Fast Car had the entire field in their view as they galloped at the back of the eight-horse field.
Today’s allowance hurdle is Saratoga Race Course’s first race with a 12:50 p.m. post time, and the race can be watched on the New York Racing Association’s website. Here is a guide to watching the races live, researched by National Steeplechase Association General Manager Peter McGivney. A NYRA Bets account is required to watch live
Colonial Downs will present three steeplechase races on a special Sunday program on Aug. 2. The New Kent, Va., track scheduled the Sunday card after its opening-day program on July 27 was canceled because of excessive heat.
Three maiden hurdles with full fields and also-eligible lists will be run beginning at 3:30 p.m. The first two races are for maidens four-years-old or older, and the third race is for maiden fillies and mares. Here is a link to the entries.
The races will be run under NSA rules with no pari-mutuel wagering. A link to watch the races will be available on the National Steeplechase Association website.
As a result of the scheduling change, the two steeplechase races originally scheduled for Monday, Aug. 3, will not be run. Colonial Downs intends to run three steeplechase races on Monday, Aug. 10.
Due to a forecast of excessive heat, Colonial Downs has canceled its opening-day program for Monday, July 27, when two steeplechase races were to be run. The New Kent, Va., track has rescheduled the canceled date for Sunday, Aug. 2, and three steeplechase races will be carded on that program. As a result, no steeplechase
A well-matched field of eight maiden hurdle winners will line up Wednesday for Saratoga Race Course’s $48,000 allowance hurdle at 2 1/16 miles. The race will kick off the Saratoga program with a 12:50 p.m. post time.
Rosbrian Farm will send out the entry of 2019 three-year-old champion Global Freedom and Sixty Five, both trained by Ricky Hendriks.
Global Freedom locked up his three-year-old title with a victory in Far Hills’ Gladstone Stakes for Irish trainer Gordon Elliott before his transfer to Hendriks.
In his 2020 debut, Global Freedom lost all chance in a Virginia Gold Cup ratings handicap when he stumbled on landing at an early fence while leading and dislodged his jockey. Darren Nagle takes over the mount on the Maxios gelding.
Gerard Galligan will be aboard Sixty Five, who would be making his first start over fences in two years. Hendriks gave him a tightener with an unplaced finish in a Laurel Park turf race on July 18.
In his first start over fences, Runnymoore Stable’s Critical Data pulled away to a 2¼-length victory in a Middleburg Spring maiden hurdle on June 13 for trainer Richard Valentine. Kieran Norris has a return call aboard the Irish-bred, who finished fifth in Colonial Downs’ Virginia Derby (Gr. 3) on the flat last August.
Bruton Street-US’s Moscato closed relentlessly through Saratoga Race Course’s stretch to catch Optimus Prime in deep stretch and fought his way to a three-quarter-length victory in Thursday’s $100,000 A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1).
Ridden by Michael Mitchell and trained by Jack Fisher, Moscato scored his second graded stakes victory of the pandemic-compressed jump racing season, after an 11-length romp in Middleburg Spring’s $50,000 Temple Gwathmey Handicap (Gr. 3) on June 13.
Benefiting from late money, Moscato went off as the Smithwick’s 1.70-to-1 favorite, narrowly ahead of Rosbrian Farm’s Optimus Prime at 1.95-to-1, and paid $5.40 to win. The Smithwick win gave Bruton Street and Fisher a sweep of Saratoga’s opening-week jump races after Snap Decision scored a deceptively easy 1 ½-length victory in Wednesday’s Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes.
Wendy Hendriks’ Surprising Soul, a Grade 1 winner last fall for trainer Ricky Hendriks, went to the early lead and set the pace despite nearly stumbling over the third fence. Jockey Ross Geraghty quickly righted Surprising Soul, and they continued to set the pace ahead of Sharon Sheppard’s Redicean and jockey Thomas Garner.