Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Arch My Boy, a late-running second in Saratoga Race Course’s Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes on July 24, will attempt to advance to the winner’s circle on Wednesday when he meets a highly competitive field for Saratoga’s $75,000 Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes.
Post time will be 12:50 p.m., and members of the National Steeplechase Association’s rising-stars division will stretch out to 2 3/8 miles from the Jonathan Kiser’s 2 1/16-miles.
Now trained by Richard Valentine, four-year-old Arch My Boy was advancing on winner Redicean at the finish line in the Kiser. Kieran Norris gets a return call on Arch My Boy, who won his final two overseas starts by a combined 39 lengths.
Valentine kept his options open and also nominated Arch My Boy to Thursday’s $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1). Also nominated to the 2 3/8-mile race was Belisarius, who finished 10th in Saratoga’s A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) on July 25.
Owned by Gary Barber, Brous Stable, and Wachtel Racing Stable, Belisarius is trained by Kate Dalton and will be ridden by her husband, veteran jockey Bernie Dalton.
Graham Watters has a return call on Irv Naylor’s Chief Justice, a four-year-old who closed well to be fourth in the Iroquois Steeplechase’s Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle for trainer Cyril Murphy.
Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard will saddle KMSN Racing Stable’s Sportswear, winner of an Iroquois allowance hurdle on May 11. Undefeated over fences, Sportswear would have been among the Kiser favorites but developed a temporary lameness on the morning of the race. Gerard Galligan will ride.
Leading trainer Jack Fisher will send out Sheila Williams’ and Northwoods Stable’s Storm Team and Gill Johnston’s Cite. Storm Team, fifth in the Kiser, will be ridden by Jack Doyle, while Willie McCarthy has a return call on Cite, winner of a Saratoga allowance hurdle on July 17.
Completing the field is Rosbrian Farm’s Veneer of Charm, who finished eighth in the Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase for novices on April 27 in his only 2019 start over fences. Trainer Ricky Hendriks named leading jockey Michael Mitchell to ride.
Here is the field for the $75,000 Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes in post-position order. The horses’ National Steeplechase Association ratings are in parentheses at the end of their profiles.
Storm Team. 2014 ch. g., Candy Ride (Arg)—Stormy Dixie, by Stormy Atlantic. Owner: Sheila Williams and Northwoods Stable. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Jack Doyle. Breeder: Colts Neck Stables (Ky.). 2019 record: 4-1-0-1, $34,000. 2018 record: 5-1-1-2, $30,120. Finished fifth in Saratoga’s 2019 Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes. Faded to eighth in 2019 Marcellus Frost at Iroquois Steeplechase after third in Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase. Kicked off 2019 season with three-length win in Carolina Cup allowance hurdle. Won a maiden hurdle at 2018 Foxfield Fall and was second in Callaway flat race. Finished third in Monmouth Park maiden hurdle after being pulled up in Radnor maiden hurdle. (122)
Belisarius (Ire). 2011 b. g., Montjeu—Lasting Chance, by American Chance. Owner: Gary Barber, Brous Stable, and Wachtel Racing Stable. Trainer: Kate Dalton. Jockey: Bernie Dalton. Breeders: Lynch Bages Ltd. And Camas Park Stud (Ire). 2019 NSA record: 3-0-1-0, $13,500. 2018 NSA record: 6-2-1-2, $106,200. Never was in contention in Saratoga’s 2019 A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) and finished 10th. In 2019 debut, finished second in Temple Gwathmey Handicap (Gr. 2), then was ninth in Iroquois’ Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle for novices. Won 2018 Foxbrook Champion Hurdle by 6¼ lengths. Set all the pace and won 2018 Monmouth Park maiden hurdle by two lengths. (130)
Cite. 2013 b. g., Blame—Cross, by Mighty. Owner: Gill Johnston. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Willie McCarthy. Breeders: Claiborne Farm and Adele B. Dilschneider (Ky.) 2019 record: 4-1-0-0, $42,500. 2018 record: 4-1-1-0, $29,400. Won 2019 Saratoga allowance hurdle. Began 2019 with two fourth-place finishes at Carolina Cup and Middleburg Spring before fall at Iroquois Steeplechase. Won 2018 Iroquois maiden hurdle after second in his jump-racing debut in a maiden hurdle at the Queen’s Cup. (120)
Veneer of Charm (Ire). 2014 b. g., Fast Company (Ire)—Nova Tor (Ire), by Trans Island (GB). Owner: Rosbrian Farm. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Jockey: Michael Mitchell. Breeder: P. Burns (Ire). 2019 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, 0. 2018 NSA record: 2-0-0-0, $6,750. Opened 2019 with eighth in Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase. Finished sixth in Far Hills’ 2018 Foxbrook Champion Hurdle division, then was fifth in Aflac Supreme Hurdle at Steeplechase at Callaway. Scored 33-1 upset victory in 2018 Cheltenham Festival handicap hurdle but failed to retain that form and finished well-beaten sixth in an allowance hurdle in his final overseas start. (123)
Sportswear (GB). 2015 b. g., Fankel (GB)—Casual Look, by Red Ransom. Owner: KNSN Stable. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Gerard Galligan. Breeder: W. S. Farish (GB). 2019 record: 2-2-0-0, $48,000. Undefeated over fences after maiden score at 2019 Middleburg Spring and allowance victory at Iroquois. Failed as a flat horse for top trainers Chad Brown and Neil Howard. (121)
Arch My Boy (GB). 2014 b. g., Archipenko—Fairy Slipper (GB), by Singspiel (Ire). Owner: Jacqueline Ohrstrom. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Jockey: Kieran Norris. Breeder: Wood Farm Stud (GB). 2019 NSA record: 1-0-1-0, $27,000. Came on late to be second in Saratoga’s 2019 Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes, his U.S. debut. Won his final two starts in England by a combined 39 lengths. Scored maiden hurdle victory at Fakenham by nine lengths and then won off by 30 in an allowance hurdle at Huntingdon in April. (141)
Chief Justice (GB). 2015 b. g., Acclamation—Freedom Pass, by Gulch. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Cyril Murphy. Jockey: Graham Watters. Breeder: G. B. Partnership (GB). 2019 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $5,000. In U.S. debut for former trainer Gordon Elliott, closed well to be fourth in Iroquois Steeplechase’s 2019 Marcellus Frost Novice Stakes. Won his send-off race, a quality handicap race at Aintree on Grand National day. Tested at Cheltenham in Fred Winter Handicap and finished in midpack. Won three straight races as a three-year-old in 2018. (133)