A flawless week at Saratoga Race Course continued Wednesday for trainer Arch Kingsley Jr. and jockey Michael Mitchell when Carrington Holdings’ Boss Man bossed around the field in a $65,000 allowance hurdle.
Two days earlier, the trainer-jockey combination had scored a victory with Mark W. Buyck’s Show Court in the $175,000 A. P. Smithwick Memorial Handicap (Gr. 1).
Show Court showed late speed, but Boss Man was on the lead except for a bit more than a furlong after the next-to-last of eight fences, when Mitchell gave the eight-year-old English Channel gelding a brief break before taking over again as the field of six neared the homestretch for the final time.
Boss Man easily repelled a late move by Serendipity Stables’ Dark Gemini and won by 2 1/4 lengths. Peggy Steinman’s First Friday, who stalked Boss Man’s pace and led over the last fence, finished third, and Whitman’s Poetry was fourth.
While Show Court went off at long odds and paid $30.20 for a $2 win ticket, Boss Man was no secret after his maiden victory over good company on April 28 at the Queen’s Cup Steeplechase, which is directed by Carrington Holdings’ Bill and Carrington Price. Boss Man, the third betting choice behind 9-to-5 Whitman’s Poetry and 5-to-2 Dark Gemini, paid $7.90 to win.
Mitchell put Boss Man on the lead at the drop of the flag, with First Friday right behind him. Whitman’s Poetry and Dark Gemini, both trained by Jack Fisher, tarried toward the back of the field.
Boss Man and Mitchell appeared intent on setting all the pace, but Barry Foley pushed First Friday to the front after the next-to-last fence. Trained by Doug Fout, First Friday opened 1 1/2 lengths on Boss Man as they broke away from the rest of the field entering the far turn.
Mitchell shifted Boss Man to the outside, and they drove to the lead nearing the top of the lane. First Friday did not give up without a fight, but he was beginning to tire and losing ground in midstretch.
Willie McCarthy put Dark Gemini into a drive through the stretch, and they cleared First Friday while making no impression on the winner, who was gearing down through the final strides. Dark Gemini, a maiden winner at the Fair Hill Races in May 2017, finished six lengths ahead of First Friday.
Boss Man, who was pulled up in inaugural start over fences at the Tryon Block House meet on April 14, ran the 2 1/16-mile distance in 3:52.73 on firm turf. Before his new career over jumps, Boss Man was trained by Jason Servis and previously won a Monmouth Park turf allowance in June 2016.
Boss Man was bred in Florida by Kinsman Farm, owned by prominent breeder George Steinbrenner Jr., who was best known as the owner of the New York Yankees from 1973 until his death in 2010. Steinbrenner was popularly known as “The Boss” during his Yankees tenure.