Rod Moorhead’s All the Way Jose, the National Steeplechase Association’s 2014 novice champion, will attempt to get the current season off to a strong start when he meets a tough field for the $75,000 Queen’s Cup MPC ‘Chase, the feature race of the 20th annual Queen’s Cup Steeplechase near Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday.
The six-race program also will feature a $30,000 Sport of Kings maiden hurdle and a new race for 2015, a $20,000 ratings hurdle, in which Broxbourne heads the field. The ratings hurdle, an innovation for the 2015 National Steeplechase Association season, assigns weights based on a performance rating of each horse by a three-member panel.
Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard bred All the Way Jose and sold him to new owner Moorhead, an investment banker who banked almost $150,000 with his one-horse stable. A maiden hurdle winner in July, he clinched his title with a victory in the Foxbrook Champion Hurdle at Far Hills, N.J. Reigning champion jockey Willie McCarthy has the riding assignment.
One of All the Way Jose’s chief competitors will be Edith R. Dixon’s homebred Schoodic, the National Steeplechase Association’s 2013 three-year-old champion who won Saratoga Race Course’s Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes last summer. Regular jockey Paddy Young, a four-time champion, will be in the saddle.
Schoodic is trained by champion trainer Jack Fisher, who also entered Andre Brewster’s Selection Sunday and Petticoats Loose Farm’s Choral Society. Selection Sunday, who ran powerfully to win the Charleston Cup optional allowance hurdle last November, will be ridden by newcomer Danny Mullins, a veteran Irish jockey who made a strong initial impression with two wins and two second-place finishes at the Atlanta Steeplechase on April 18.
Choral Society won at Monmouth Park and Parx Racing last summer when trained by Cyril Murphy and will be making his first appearance for Fisher. Sean McDermott has the mount.
Not to be overlooked is Rosbrian Farm’s Long House Saint, who is undefeated in the United States with two victories last fall after being imported over the summer. Trainer Ricky Hendriks tapped Darren Nagle to ride the Irish-bred.
Dogwood Stable’s Street Fight enters the Queen’s Cup from a second straight second-place finish in Aiken Spring’s $50,000 Budweiser Imperial Cup (Gr. 3). Trainer Arch Kingsley named Bernie Dalton to ride.
Completing the field are The Fields Stable’s Portrade, a handicap winner in Ireland before his arrival in the U.S., and Rock Ford Stables’ Sporty, fifth in the $75,000 Carolina Cup for trainer Julie Gomena on March 28. Gus Dahl rides Portrade for trainer Elizabeth Voss, and Kieran Norris will be aboard Sporty.
Here is the field for the $75,000 Queen’s Cup MPC ‘Chase.
Long House Saint (Ire). 2009 b. g., Antonius Pius—Mintaka (Ire), by Fairy King. Owner: Rosbrian Farm. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Jockey: Darren Nagle. Breeder: John Duggan (Ire). 2014 NSA record: 2-2-0-0, $44,100. Landed in America and immediately won allowance hurdles at Far Hills, N.J. and Colonial Cup meet in Camden, S.C. Before export, scored maiden victory over fences in August at Kilbeggan Race Course in Ireland.
Street Fight. 2009 b. g., Street Sense–Reportedly, by Silver Deputy. Owner: Dogwood Stable. Trainer: Arch Kingsley Jr. Jockey: Bernie Dalton. Breeder: Kinghaven Farms (Ont.) 2015 record: 1-0-1-0, $9,000. 2014 record: 1-0-1-0, $9,000. Started 2015 with a repeat second-place finish in Aiken Spring’s Budweiser Imperial Cup (Gr. 3). Ran a powerful race to win maiden debut over fences at Aiken Fall in 2013, then was eighth in Colonial Cup allowance hurdle.
Portrade (Ire). 2009 b. g., Trade Fair (GB)—Portorosa, by Irish River (Fr). Owner: The Fields Stable. Trainer: Elizabeth Voss. Jockey: Gus Dahl. Breeder: Keene Bloodstock (Ire). 2014 NSA record: No starts. In final starts in Ireland, won Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle at Listowel and then was second in a handicap hurdle at Tipperary.
Schoodic. 2010 b. g., Tiznow—Aunt Henny, by Hennessy. Owner: Edith R. Dixon. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Paddy Young. Breeder: Edith R. Dixon (Ky.) 2014 record: 6-2-0-1, $67,500. Pulled up at eighth fence of 2014 Foxbrook Champion Hurdle at Far Hills, N.J. Scored impressive win in Saratoga’s Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes before finishing seventh in Belmont Park’s William Entenmann Novice Stakes on Sept. 18. Pulled up in Saratoga’s Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes on July 24 after being jostled in tight company. Three-year-old champion of 2013 lost his first race over fences when third in Iroquois Steeplechase’s 2014 Marcellus Frost Novice Stakes.
All the Way Jose. 2010 b. g., Senor Swinger—Maternity Leave, by Northern Baby. Owner: Rodman W. Moorhead III. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Willie McCarthy. Breeder: Jonathan Sheppard (Pa.) 2014 record: 6-3-3-0, $149,700. Clinched 2014 novice championship with Foxbrook Champion Hurdle victory. Finished second in Belmont Park’s William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes after winning Saratoga allowance hurdle by 14 1/4 lengths. Close second in earlier Saratoga allowance hurdle. Collected maiden victory at Parx Racing on July 1.
Selection Sunday. 2009 b. g., Harlan’s Holiday—Ntombi, by Quiet American. Owner: Andre Brewster. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Danny Mullins. Breeder: Dr. John A. Chandler (Ky.) 2014 record: 7-2-2-1, $57,600. Completed 2014 season with easy victory in Charleston Cup optional allowance hurdle. Finished third in $50,000 Far Hills allowance hurdle on Oct. 18 after sixth in Belmont Park’s $75,000 William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes a month earlier. Finished second in Saratoga allowance hurdle on July 23, then was well-beaten fourth in similar race on Aug. 18. In first career start over fences, drew away to a six-length victory in a $25,000 Sport of Kings maiden hurdle at the Radnor Hunt Races on May 17, then was well-beaten second in Monmouth Park optional allowance hurdle. Had two wins on the flat in New York.
Sporty. 2007 dk. b. or br. g., Smarty Jones—Byzantine, by Quiet American. Owner: Rock Ford Stables. Trainer: Julie Gomena. Jockey: Kieran Norris. Breeder: Nursery Place (Ky.) 2015 record: 1-0-0-0, $3,000. 2014 record: 4-0-0-2, $13,500. Began 2015 with fifth in Carolina Cup for novices. Finished fourth in Carolina Cup before third in Iroquois Steeplechase’s Marcellus Frost Stakes and in Saratoga’s Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes. Fell after being bothered in Saratoga’s Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes, his final start of the year.
Choral Society. 2009 gr. or ro. g., Holy Bull—Star Singer, by Awesome Again. Owner: Petticoats Loose Farm. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Sean McDermott. Breeder: Mayo West Farm and Liam Benson (Fla.) 2014 record: 6-2-1-1, $39,250. Finished second in 2014 Colonial Cup allowance hurdle after distant fifth in Foxbrook Champion Hurdle at Far Hills, N.J. Finished fourth in Belmont Park’s $75,000 William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes on Sept. 18. Won Parx Racing allowance hurdle on July 1 after game victory in tough $25,000 Sport of Kings maiden hurdle at Monmouth Park on June 13.