The Fields Stable’s Bob Le Beau, winner of last year’s New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1), returns to Saratoga Race Course on Thursday as the 158-pound highweight for the $125,000 A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1).
Bob Le Beau will be making his 2016 debut over fences after winning a Parx Racing flat race for hurdlers on July 10. The 9-year-old Irish-bred gelding is trained by Elizabeth Voss and will have the services of leading jockey Jack Doyle.
Bob Le Beau finished third in last year’s Smithwick Memorial and won Belmont Park’s Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1) after his New York Turf Writers victory.
Facing Bob Le Beau will be formidable field of nine opponents that includes 2014 Eclipse Award winner Demonstrative, a two-time winner of the New York Turf Writers, in 2012 and his championship season. The 9-year-old Elusive Quality gelding carries 156 pounds.
In his only start over fences this year, Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Demonstrative finished fifth in the $200,000 Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1) in Nashville on May 14. Bernie Dalton will ride for trainer Richard Valentine.
Amy Taylor Rowe’s Maserati is riding a three-race winning streak over fences that extends back to last fall. In his most recent start, the Brazilian-bred romped to victory in the $45,000 Valentine Memorial Ratings Handicap in Fair Hill, Md., on May 28. Gavin Sheehan, an emerging top jockey in England and Ireland, will ride for trainer Leslie Young.
Jack Fisher, the National Steeplechase Association’s reigning champion trainer, entered a talented trio for the 2 1/16-mile Smithwick Memorial over eight fences. Edith Dixon’s Schoodic comes into the Smithwick from a victory in the National Hunt Cup (Gr. 3) at the Radnor Hunt Races in Pennsylvania on May 21. Leading Irish jockey Danny Mullins visits Saratoga and has the mount.
Bruton Street-US’s Scorpiancer, second in the Valentine Memorial, will be ridden by Connor Hankin, and Sean McDermott has the mount on Woodslane Farm’s Overwhelming, a Saratoga allowance winner last summer who finished fifth in the National Hunt Cup. Schoodic and Scorpiancer carry 148 pounds, and Overwhelming carries 144.
Trainer Julie Gomena and jockey Mark Watts won the Saratoga jumps opener on Wednesday with Kensington Court, and they will seek a double with Stonelea Farm’s Balance the Budget, winner of the Carolina Cup for novices in April.
Here is the field for the A. P. Smithwick Memorial. The horse’s weight assignment is at the end of each profile.
Spirit of Shankly (GB). 2008 ch. g., Sulamani (Ire)—Lago d’Oro (GB), by Slip Anchor (GB). Owner: Thistledown Farm. Trainer: Leslie Young. Jockey: Paddy Young. Breeder: Mrs. S. M. Newell (GB). 2016 NSA record: No starts. Allowance winner in England finished third in division of Parx Racing flat race for hurdlers on July 10. (146)
Maserati (Brz). 2015 record: 2-2-0-0, $30,000. 2009 bk. b. or br. g., Point Given—Lady Celina (Brz), by Roi Normand. Owner: Amy Taylor Rowe. Trainer: Leslie Young. Jockey: Gavin Sheehan. Breeder: Fazenda Mondesir (Brz). 2016 record: 2-2-0-0, $72,000. 2015 NSA record: 2-2-0-0, $30,000. Won 2016 Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase and Fair Hill’s Valentine Memorial Ratings Handicap. Won Virginia Fall’s 2015 Bon Nouvel allowance hurdle after maiden win at Queen’s Cup. Also won Suffolk Downs flat race for hurdlers. (144)
Schoodic. 2010 b. g., Tiznow—Aunt Henny, by Hennessy. Owner: Edith R. Dixon. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Danny Mullins. Breeder: Edith R. Dixon (Ky.) 2016 record: 3-1-2-0, $48,900. 2015 record: 4-0-2-2, $58,000. Won Radnor’s 2016 National Hunt Cup (Gr. 3) Finished second in 2016 David Semmes Memorial (Gr. 2) and Middleburg Spring Ratings Handicap. Finished second in 2015 New York Turf Writers (Gr. 1) and third in Belmont Park’s William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes and in Foxbrook Champion Hurdle at Far Hills, N.J. (148)
Rudyard K. 2009 b. g., Kipling—Two Bridges, by Major Impact. Owner: Armata Stables. Trainer: Todd Wyatt. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. Breeder: Frances Hill Myers (Oh.) 2016 record: 2-0-0-1, $5,000. 2015 record: No starts. Finished third in Middleburg Spring’s 2016 Temple Gwathmey Handicap (Gr. 3), then fell in Radnor’s National Hunt Cup (Gr. 3). Coming back after a year’s absence. Won 2014 Saratoga allowance hurdle in final 2014 start. (142)
Overwhelming. 2010 b. g., Hard Spun—Oh What a Windfall, by Seeking the Gold. Owner: Woodslane Farm. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Sean McDermott. Breeder: Phipps Stable (Ky.) 2016 record: 3-0-0-0, $4,250. 2015 record: 6-3-1-0, $136,300. Pulled up in Middleburg Spring’s 2016 Temple Gwathmey Handicap (Gr. 3), then was sixth in David Semmes Memorial (Gr. 2) at Virginia Gold Cup. Finished fifth in Radnor’s National Hunt Cup (Gr. 3). Won Steeplechase at Callaway’s 2015 AFLAC Supreme Hurdle. Won Belmont’s William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes, then fell in the David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial (Gr. 3) at the International Gold Cup. (144)
Balance the Budget. 2009 ch. g., Bellamy Road—Every Day Is Good, by El Corredor. Owner: Stonelea Stable. Trainer: Julie Gomena. Jockey: Mark Watts. Breeder: Liberation Farm & Oratis (Ky.). 2016 record: 1-1-0-0, $45,000. 2015 record: 7-1-1-0, $37,250. 2014 record: 7-1-1-2, $27,000. Kicked off 2016 season with victory in $75,000 Carolina Cup, a novice stakes. Finished fourth in Colonial Cup Ratings Handicap to conclude 2015 season. Set pace in International Gold Cup’s 2015 David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial (Gr. 3) and faded to finish sixth. Finished second in Shawan Downs Ratings Handicap after being pulled up in Saratoga’s Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes. Kicked away powerfully to win Aiken Spring’s 2015 Budweiser Imperial Cup (Gr. 3) by 21 lengths. (142).
Scorpiancer (Ire). 2009 b. g., Scorpion (Ire)—Janebailey, By Silver Patriarch. Owner: Bruton Street-US. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Connor Hankin. Breeder: Mary O’Connor (Ire). 2016 record: 3-0-2-0, $19,000. 2015 NSA record: 2-2-0-0, $75,000. Finished second in Middleburg Spring’s 2016 Temple Gwathmey Handicap (Gr. 3), then fourth in Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1). Finished second in Fair Hill’s Valentine Memorial Ratings Handicap. Won 2015 Foxbrook Champion Hurdle. (148)
Bob Le Beau (Ire). 2007 dk. b. or. br. g., Big Bad Bob—Shine Silently, by Bering (GB). Owner: The Fields Stable. Trainer: Elizabeth Voss. Jockey: Jack Doyle. Breeder: Anamoine Ltd. (Ire). 2016 NSA record: No starts. 2015 NSA record: 5-3-0-0, $220,250. 2014 record: 4-0-1-0, $9,450. Won Belmont Park’s 2015 Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1) by a half-length after runaway victory in New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1). Finished fourth in Saratoga’s A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) on Aug. 6. Opened 2015 with win in National Hunt Cup (Gr. 3) at Radnor Hunt Races. Won Parx flat race for hurdlers for second straight year on July 10. (158)
Portrade. 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). 2016 record: 1-0-0-0, $1,800. 2015 record: 2-0-0-0, $2,500. 2014 NSA record: No starts. Opened 2016 with fifth in Fair Hill’s Valentine Memorial Ratings Handicap. Finished fourth in Radnor’s 2015 National Hunt Cup (Gr. 3) after fall in Queen’s Cup MPC ‘Chase for novices. In final 2014 starts in Ireland, won Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle at Listowel and then was second in a handicap hurdle at Tipperary. (142)
Demonstrative. 2007 b. g., Elusive Quality—Loving Pride, by Quiet American. Owner: Jacqueline Ohrstrom. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Jockey: Bernie Dalton. Breeder: Gainsborough Farm (Ky.) 2016 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $8,000. 2015 NSA record: 5-1-0-2, $112,500. 2014 record: 6-3-1-1, $362,500. Finished fifth in 2016 Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1), a race he won in 2013 and 2015. Concluded 2015 season with third in Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1) after ninth in Grand National (Gr. 1). Finished third in the A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) before being pulled up in New York Turf Writers Cup Handicap (Gr. 1). Secured 2014 Eclipse Award with consecutive Grade 1 victories in New York Turf Writers, Lonesome Glory Handicap, and Grand National. Also won 2012 New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1) and Colonial Cup (Gr. 1). Was 2010 three-year-old champion. (156)