Winners of the National Steeplechase Association’s three most recent Grade 1 races are among the eight nominees to Belmont Park’s $175,000 Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1) on Thursday, Sept. 30.
Mandy and George Mahoney’s Rosbrian Farm owns all or part of two Grade 1 winners. Rosbrian is the sole owner of Optimus Prime, winner of Saratoga Race Course’s New York Turf Writers Cup Handicap (Gr. 1) on Aug. 23. The six-year-old French-bred is trained by Ricky Hendriks.
Pennsylvania-based Hendriks also trains Zanjabeel, winner of the $200,000 Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1) on May 12 for Rosbrian and Wendy and Ben Griswold. Optimus Prime and five-year-old Zanjabeel share a National Steeplechase Association rating of 148.
Rosbrian and the Griswolds also own Clarcam, an accomplished steeplechase horse who won the biggest race of his career, Thetote.com Galway Plate Steeplechase, on Aug. 1 as he brought down the curtain on his overseas career.
Trained by Gordon Elliott, who formerly trained Zanjabeel, Clarcam made his U.S. debut in the New York Turf Writers but lost all chance when he stumbled on landing after the third from last fence and his jockey briefly lost her left iron. Based on his stellar overseas career, Clarcam carries the 155 top current rating.
Mark W. Buyck Jr.’s Show Court, winner of Saratoga’s A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) on July 30, is coming back in the 2 1/2-mile Lonesome Glory after a fourth-place finish in the New York Turf Writers. Trained by Arch Kingsley Jr., Show Court is rated at 133.
Trainer Richard Valentine nominated Magalen O. Bryant’s homebred Personal Start, winner of the Virginia Gold Cup’s David Semmes Memorial (Gr. 2) on May 5. The Jump Start gelding finished fourth in the Smithwick Memorial and was scratched from the New York Turf Writers.
Reigning champion trainer Jack Fisher, who like Hendriks and Kingsley had two Saratoga winners this summer, nominated Sonny Via’s Hinterland and Edith Dixon’s Schoodic. Hinterland most recently finished sixth in Middleburg Spring’s Temple Gwathmey Handicap (Gr. 2) on April 21.
Schoodic finished ninth in the Temple Gwathmey and came back in three weeks to finish a closing second in an Iroquois Steeplechase ratings handicap.
The winner of the Iroquois handicap, Greg Ryan’s Three Kingdoms, was nominated to the Lonesome Glory by trainer Julie Gomena. The Irish-bred scored his first U.S. victory in the three-mile ratings handicap.
Here are the nominees to the $175,000 Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1) in alphabetical order. The horses’ National Steeplechase Association ratings are in parentheses at the end of their profiles.
Clarcam (Fr). 2019 b. g., Califet (Fr)—Rose Beryl, by Lost World. Owner: Rosbrian Farm and Wendy and Ben Griswold. Trainer: Gordon Elliott. Breeder: Jean Michel & Dominique LeBreton. 2018 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $0. Lost all chance in 2018 New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1) when he stumbled at the third from last fence and his jockey lost an iron. In final overseas start, won €250,000 Galway Plate Steeplechase by six lengths at 33-to-1 odds. Unplaced in two previous 2018 starts, 11th in Guinness Handicap and in Randox Health Topham Steeplechase. Durable steeplechaser would be making his 49th career start and seeking his 11th win. (155)
Hinterland (Fr). 2008 b. g., Poliglote (GB)—Queen’s Place, by Diamond Prospect. Owner: Harold A. “Sonny” Via Jr. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Breeder: Eric Aubree and Christian Bresson (Fr). 2018 record: 2-0-0-0, $9,500. 2017 record: 2-0-1-0, $36,000. Opened 2018 with fourth in Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1), then finished sixth in Temple Gwathmey Handicap (Gr. 2). Finished distant second in 2017 Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1), then was seventh in Belmont Park’s Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1). Finished second in 2015 Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1), his second U.S. start after seventh in Saratoga’s New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1). (130)
Optimus Prime (Fr). 2012 b. g., Deportivo—Diluvienne, by Kaldoun. Owner: Rosbrian Farm. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Breeder: Haras de Plasence (Fr). 2018 NSA record: 1-1-0-0, $105,000. In his U.S. debut, won Saratoga Race Course’s 2018 New York Turf Writers Cup Handicap (Gr. 1). In final overseas start, finished fourth in Pertemps Swindon Hurdle Handicap at Haydock in May. Began 2018 with an allowance steeplechase win and then was second at 25-to-1 in €115,000 Ryanair Novice Steeplechase at Ireland’s Punchestown Racecourse in April. Previously trained by Dan Skelton. (148)
Personal Start. 2011 dk. b. or br. g., Jump Start—Personal Doreen, by Personal Flag. Owner: Magalen O. Bryant. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Breeder: Magalen O. Bryant (Ky.) 2018 record: 3-2-0-0, $98,750. 2017 record: 6-1-1-2, $46,750. Finished fourth in Saratoga’s 2018 A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1). Won Virginia Gold Cup’s 2018 David Semmes Memorial (Gr. 2) by eight lengths after victory in Carolina Cup novice stakes. Won 2017 International Gold Cup allowance hurdle by eight lengths. Finished third in 2017 Saratoga allowance hurdle, then was second in Shawan Downs handicap and fourth in Virginia Fall’s Randolph D. Rouse Memorial Handicap. (131)
Schoodic. 2010 b. g., Tiznow—Aunt Henny, by Hennessy. Owner: Edith R. Dixon. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Breeder: Edith R. Dixon (Ky.) 2018 record: 3-0-1-1, $21,300. 2017 record: 5-1-0-0, $50,750. Just missed when second by a neck in 2018 Iroquois Steeplechase ratings handicap. Opened 2018 campaign with closing third in Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1), then was ninth in Temple Gwathmey Handicap (Gr. 2). Won 2017 David Semmes Memorial (Gr. 2) at Virginia Gold Cup, then was a dull fifth in Radnor’s National Hunt Cup (Gr. 3), a race he won in 2016. (130)
Show Court (Ire). 2009 b. g., Vinnie Roe—Sparking Gem, by Revoque. Owner: Mark W. Buyck Jr. Trainer: Arch Kingsley Jr. Breeder: Grange Stud (Ire). 2018 record: 3-1-0-0, $118,250. 2017 NSA record: 5-2-1-0, $112,000. Won Saratoga’s 2018 A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) by a length, then was fourth in New York Turf Writers Cup Handicap (Gr. 1). Finished sixth in Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1) after chasing winning pacesetter. Finished sixth in Saratoga’s 2017 New York Turf Writers Cup after winning Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes. Won 2017 Carolina Cup by seven lengths. (133)
Three Kingdoms (Ire). 2009 ch. g., Street Cry (Ire)—Chan Tong, by Hampstead. Owner: Colvin G. Ryan. Trainer: Julie Gomena. Breeder: Darley (Ire). 2018 record: 1-1-0-0, $21,000/ 2017 NSA record: 2-0-0-0, $0. Won 2018 Iroquois Steeplechase rating handicap. In first U.S. start, finished 10th in New York Turf Writers (Gr. 1), then lost jockey in Montpelier’s Noel Laing Handicap. Unplaced in England and Ireland in 2016-2017 for then-trainer Dermot Weld. Finished fourth in 2016 Guinness Kerry National Steeplechase before unplaced finish in 2017 Naas Supporters Hurdle. (129)
Zanjabeel (GB). 2013 b. g., Aussie Rules—Grain Only, by Machiavellian. Owners: Rosbrian Farm and Ben and Wendy Griswold. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Breeder: Kirsten Rausing (GB). 2018 record: 3-1-2-0, $160,500. 2017 NSA record: 2-2-0-0, $120,000. Won 2018 Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1) by five lengths after second-place finishes in 2018 Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1) and Temple Gwathmey Handicap (Gr. 2). Won Far Hills’ 2017 Foxbrook Champion Hurdle, his U.S. debut for former owners and trainer Gordon Elliott. For new owners, won Steeplechase at Callaway’s Aflac Supreme Hurdle by 2 3/4 lengths. (148)