Adam Newman’s Diplomat, a Grade 1 steeplechase winner in 2017, has excelled in a new discipline and won the Thoroughbred Makeover’s field hunter division on Saturday at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.
He was trained to his championship by Sara Katz, who also is a licensed steeplechase jockey.
The Kitten’s Joy gelding, bred approximately 20 miles away from the Horse Park by one-time steeplechase owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey, was one of approximately 450 Thoroughbreds transitioning into new competitive careers at the Thoroughbred Makeover.
Also competing were 2017 Lonesome Glory Award winner Mr. Hot Stuff and 2015 Eclipse Award winner Dawalan, who did not advance in their divisions. Mr. Hot Stuff was entered as a show jumper, and Dawalan as a show hunter and dressage competitor.
Under Katz’s guidance, Diplomat concluded the first day of competition on Thursday in the lead for the field hunter title and maintained his advantage on Saturday to secure the championship.
Eight well-matched timber specialists have been nominated to the $40,000 National Sporting Library and Museum Cup, the featured post-and-rail race of the 65th annual Virginia Fall Races at Middleburg’s Glenwood Park on Saturday, Oct. 12.
The 3¼-mile race will have no lack of horses who like to set the pace or to be close to it.
Kinross Farm’s Just Wait and See set all the pace in the Willowdale Steeplechase on May 12 under very wet conditions and won by six lengths. Before that start, the Irish-bred trained by Richard Valentine had finished third in steeplethons over mixed obstacles at the Middleburg Spring Races at Glenwood and at the Virginia Gold Cup.
Also coming out of the Willowdale Steeplechase is Blair Wyatt’s Witor, who was fourth after finishing second in the My Lady’s Manor. The German-bred is trained by the owner’s husband, Todd Wyatt.
Armata Stables’ Grand Manan almost always is on the pace, and he ran third in the Brown Advisory Legacy Chase on Sept. 28. Before that start, the Billy Meister-trained 10-year-old had finished second in a Willowdale timber allowance to Kiplin Hall’s Katnap, who is also nominated to the National Sporting Library.
Trained by Willie Dowling, Katnap won the Willowdale race by more than 40 lengths after unplaced finishes in the steeplethons at Glenwood and the Virginia Gold Cup.
Dolly Fisher’s Schoodic, a Grade 2 winner over hurdles who has made a successful transition to timber racing, heads a talented group of nominees to the $30,000 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup on Saturday, Oct. 12. First post time will be 1 p.m. for the 91st sanctioned running of the historic race meet in Geneseo, N.Y.
Adam Newman’s Diplomat is performing well in the Thoroughbred Makeover at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. Here’s a report from the Retired Racehorse Project: Sara Katz is no stranger to either the field hunter division — she finished fourth last year — or training steeplechase horses for what is often their third career. This
The Monday Report for Sept. 30, featuring racing at Shawan Downs and Foxfield Fall, is now available here. The web address is: https://www.nationalsteeplechase.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/MR9-30-19w.pdf
Jack Doyle continued his relentless climb up the 2019 jockey standings when he won Foxfield Fall’s three hurdle races on Sunday and raised his weekend total to five victories. Doyle had opened the racing program at Charlottesville, Va., with a victory aboard Gill Johnston’s Be Counted in a $15,000 maiden claiming hurdle for trainer Todd