Virginia Lazenby’s Hardrock Eleven, riding a two-race winning streak, has been nominated for a chance to extend his skein in the $100,000 Foxbrook Champion Hurdle on Saturday, Oct. 15 at the Far Hills Races.
The Foxbrook is limited to novices,or horses in their first seasons of racing over fences. It is one of the supporting stakes races offered on the Far Hills program, which offers $700,000 in purses and is headlined by the $350,000 Grand National (Gr. 1).
In all, 11 were nominated to the 2 1/2-mile Foxbrook. Trained by Doug Fout, Hardrock Eleven won an allowance hurdle at Saratoga Race Course on Sept. 1 and came back three weeks later to take Belmont Park’s $75,000 William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths.
Also nominated to the Foxbrook from the Entenmann Memorial were Gil Johnston’s Miguel Grau, who finished second, and third-finisher Special Skills, owned by Sheila Williams and Northwood Stables.
Richard Valentine, the trainer of Miguel Grau, also nominated Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Class Cherokee.
Champion trainer Jack Fisher, who trains Special Skills, also nominated DASH Stable’s Ice It, who finished sixth in the Entenmann. Ice It won last fall’s Gladstone for three-year-olds at Far Hills.
Representing Rosbrian Farm in the nominations are two newcomers to American jump racing, Swansea Mile and Hisaabaat. Swansea Mile finished fourth in Belmont’s $150,000 Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1) on Sept. 22, and Hisaabaat was fifth. Both are trained by Ricky Hendriks.
Irv Naylor’s Foxbrook nominee All That Rules won High Hope’s featured optional allowance hurdle by 16 3/4 lengths on May 22 for trainer Cyril Murphy.
Trainer Elizabeth Voss nominated Robert Kinsley’s Lyonell and The Fields Stable’s Berland. Lyonell won a Radnor maiden hurdle in May, and Berland is looking for his first U.S. victory after winning as a three-year-old in England last year.
Completing the nominees in owner-trainer Bill Pape’s Castle Hill, who is trained by Racing Hall of Fame member Jonathan Sheppard.
Here are the 11 nominees for the $100,000 Foxbrook Champion Hurdle in alphabetical order. The number in parentheses at the end of each profile is the horse’s National Steeplechase Association rating.
All That Rules (GB). 2009 b. g., Galileo (Ire)—Alba Stella (GB), by Nashwan. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Cyril Murphy. Breeder: Miss K. Rausing and Balmerino Bloodstock (GB). 2016 record: 1-1-0-0, $15,000. 2015 record: 3-0-1-0, $4,500. Won High Hope’s featured optional allowance hurdle by 16 3/4 lengths to open 2016 season. Finished second in Colonial Cup split Ratings Handicap to conclude 2015 season. Disqualified from win in Montpelier handicap for going off course. (123)
Berland (Ire). 2012 b. g., Cape Cross (Ire)—Ballantrae, by Diktat. Owner: The Fields Stable. Trainer: Elizabeth Voss. Breeder: Darley (Ire). 2016 NSA record: 2-0-0-0, $5,850. In U.S. debut, finished fifth in Saratoga allowance hurdle, then fourth in similar Saratoga race. Formerly trained by John Ferguson; won juvenile hurdle in his first start over fences in England. (123)
Castle Hill. 2012 b. g., Munnings—Push My Luck, by Press Card. Owner: William L. Pape. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Breeders: William and Anne Pape (Pa.). 2016 NSA record: 4-0-1-1, $18,950. Maiden winner on flat finished third in Iroquois maiden hurdle, then lost rider when stirrup leather broke in Parx maiden. Finished second and fourth in Saratoga allowance hurdles.
Class Cherokee. 2010 dk. b. or br. g., Cherokee Boy—Class Excells, by Class Secret. Owner: Jacqueline Ohrstrom. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Breeder: Mede Cahaba Stable and Stud (Va). 2016 record: 2-0-0-1, $9,750. 2015 record; 4-1-0-0, $17,500. Finished third in Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase, then sixth in Marcellus Frost Novice Stakes at Iroquois Steeplechase. Closed out 2015 season with victory in a Ratings Handicap at Montpelier Hunt Races after fourth-place finishes at Virginia Fall and Virginia Gold Cup. (115)
Hardrock Eleven. 2010 gr. or ro. g., Rock Hard Ten—Stark Beauty, by Unbridled’s Song. Owner: Virginia Lazenby. Trainer: Doug Fout. Breeders: Farm III Enterprises and Off the Hook Partners (Fla.) 2016 NSA record: 6-2-1-0, $101,700. 2015 record: 6-1-1-2, $53,350. Won 2016 William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes after winning Saratoga allowance hurdle for second straight year. Finished fourth in 2016 Marcellus Frost Novice Stakes at Iroquois Steeplechase, then stayed well for second in Saratoga allowance hurdle. Began 2016 with sixth in Carolina Cup, then was pulled up in Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase. Formerly trained by owner’s late brother, David P. Banks, and won an Evangeline Downs optional allowance flat race in 2014. (121)
Hisaabaat (Ire). 2008 b. g., Dubawi—Phariseek, by Rainbow Quest. Owner: Rosbrian Farm. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Breeder: Ballylinch Stud (Ire). 2016 record: 1-0-0-0, $6,000. Finished fifth in 2016 Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1) after year-long absence. Finished third in Irish allowance hurdle in August 2015 after unplaced finish in rich Guinness Galway Handicap Hurdle. (152)
Ice It. 2012 gr. or ro. g., Tapit—Spice Island, by Tabasco Cat. Owner: DASH Stable. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Breeder: Qatar Bloodstock (Ky.) 2016 record: 2-1-1-0, $34,500. 2015 record: 3-1-0-0, $18,600. Won 2016 Georgia Cup optional allowance hurdle impressively, then second in Marcellus Frost Novice Stakes at Iroquois Steeplechase. Won Far Hills’ Gladstone Hurdle to lock up 2015 three-year-old championship. Fell on the flat in Colonial Cup’s Raymond G. Woolfe Memorial. (118)
Lyonell (Ger). (116) 2011 b. g., Montjeu (Ire)—Lysuna, by Monson. Owner: Robert A. Kinsley. Trainer: Elizabeth Voss. Breeder: Gestut Hof Ittlingen (Ger). 2016 NSA record: 2-1-0-1, $22,000. Won Radnor maiden hurdle in May 2016 after third at Virginia Gold Cup in his hurdles debut. Won a flat handicap in Germany last year.
Miguel Grau. 2010 b. g., City Zip—Zuri Ridge, by Cox’s Ridge. Owner: Gil Johnston. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Breeder: Sea Horse Breeders (Ky.) 2016 record: 5-1-1-1, $40,850. 2015 record: 6-1-1-1, $34,200. Finished second in Belmont’s 2016 William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes. Won Suffolk Downs Ratings Handicap by 9 3/4 lengths, then finished fifth in Saratoga overnight handicap. Finished fourth in 2016 Georgia Cup optional allowance hurdle, then third in Virginia Gold Cup allowance hurdle. (120)
Special Skills. 2010 dk. b. or br. g., Bernstein—Kentucky Whisper, by Southern Halo. Owner: Sheila Williams and Northwood Stables. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Breeder: Sierra Farm (Ky.) 2016 record: 6-1-1-2, $79,750. 2015 record: 3-2-0-0, $45,000. Sandwiched win in 2016 Saratoga handicap between third in similar race and Belmont’s William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes. Finished second in 2016 Carolina Cup, then fourth in Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase. Pulled up in Fair Hill’s Valentine Memorial. Closed his 2015 season with two victories, a maiden win at Suffolk Downs and an allowance hurdle score at the International Gold Cup. (125)
Swansea Mile (Ire). 2010 b. g., Dylan Thomas (Ire)—Hurry Up Helen, by In the Wings (GB). Owner: Rosbrian Farm. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Breeder: W. Kane (Ire). 2016 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $7,500. Finished fourth in Belmont Park’s Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1) in U.S. debut. Won at Kempton in April after two wins in July 2015 for former stable. Failed to meet reserve and was bid in at approximately $25,300 at 2016 Goffs UK National Hunt sale in August.