The National Steeplechase Association’s fall championship season kicks off at Belmont Park on Thursday, Sept. 18, with the $150,000 Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1). Also on the program will be the $75,000 William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes.
Two other Grade 1 races grace the fall season: the $250,000 Grand National at Far Hills, N.J., on Oct. 18 and the $100,000 Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup at Camden, S.C. , on Nov. 15. In all, the fall championship season offers more than $2-million in purses for National Steeplechase Association horsemen.
The Lonesome Glory, to be run at 2 1/2 miles, launched the championship surge of Mary Ann Houghland’s Pierrot Lunaire in 2012, and last year’s winner, Magalen O. Bryant’s Gustavian, was in the hunt for last year’s title to the season-ending Colonial Cup.
The Entenmann will start a fall run of novice races leading to the year’s championship. Also scheduled for jump racing’s newcomers are the $100,000 Foxbrook Champion Hurdle at Far Hills and the $50,000 AFLAC Supreme Hurdle at the Steeplechase at Callaway in Georgia on Nov. 1.
Also at stake will be the Life’s Illusion Filly and Mare title, with two stakes races likely to play a role in deciding the championship. The female performers will be in action in Far Hills’ $75,000 Peapack Stakes and the $50,000 Crown Royal Stakes at Callaway.
Timber action will be plentiful. On the stakes schedule are the $35,000 National Sporting Library and Museum Cup at the Virginia Fall Races in Middleburg on Oct. 4; the $25,000 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup in Geneseo, N.Y., on Oct. 11; the $50,000 New Jersey Hunt Cup at Far Hills on Oct. 18; the $60,000 International Gold Cup in The Plains, Va., on Oct. 25; and the $35,000 Pennsylvania Hunt Cup in Unionville on Nov. 2.