Two champions and an impressive stakes winner will square off Saturday in the $50,000 Margaret Currey Henley Stakes, a co-feature of the 75th annual Iroquois Steeplechase at Percy Warner Park.
Michael Moran’s Ivy Mills sealed her 2015 title with a victory in the Springdale Stakes at the Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup meet last November. She is trained by champion trainer Jack Fisher, and Sean McDermott.
Champion owner Irv Naylor, whose horses won two stakes races at last Saturday’s Virginia Gold Cup, will be looking to extend his hot streak with 2014 female champion Bittersweetheart and One Lucky Lady, winner of the 2015 Peapack Stakes at Far Hills, N.J.
Bittersweetheart, trained by Leslie Young, won the 2014 Henley. She missed the 2015 season and will be ridden by five-time champion jockey Paddy Young. Ross Geraghty has the mount on One Lucky Lady for trainer Cyril Murphy, who trained both of Naylor’s stakes winners at the Virginia Gold Cup.
Here is the field for the $50,000 Margaret Currey Henley. Each horse’s National Steeplechase Association rating is in parentheses at the end of their profile.
Bittersweetheart (GB). 2007 b. m., Storming Home (GB)—Cruz Santa, by Lord Bud (Ire). Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Leslie Young. Jockey: Paddy Young. Breeder: Silvano Scanu (GB). 2015 record: No starts. 2014 record: 4-2-0-1, $84,000. Coming back after missing 2015 season. Female champion in 2014 after being placed first in Far Hills’ Peapack Stakes. Won Iroquois Steeplechase’s 2014 Margaret Currey Henley Stakes, then finished third in Saratoga’s Mrs. Walter M. Jeffords Stakes. (113)
One Lucky Lady (GB). 2008 b. m., Lucky Story—One For Philip, by Blushing Flame. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Cyril Murphy. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. Breeder: Ken Knox (GB). 2016 record: 1-1-0-0, $18,000. 2015 NSA record: 2-1-1-0, $35,400. Won 2016 Middleburg Spring Ratings Handicap. Won her U.S. debut, Far Hills’ 2015 Peapack Stakes, and finished second in Colonial Cup’s Springdale Stakes. Former member of Nicky Henderson’s yard completed her overseas career with a victory in a Kempton handicap hurdle in April. (123)
Willow U. 2011 b. m., Utopia (Jpn)—Overextended (Fr), by Entrepreneur. Owner: Check Mark Stables. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Jockey: Jack Doyle. Breeder: Andy Beadnell (N.Y.) 2016 record: 1-1-0-0, $12,000. 2015 NSA record: 1-0-1-0, $3,600. A $35,000 flat claim from win at Saratoga in 2015 broke through for maiden victory at 2016 Carolina Cup. In first start over fences, finished second in Aiken Fall maiden hurdle for females. (107)
See Trouble. 2011 dk. b. or br. m., Sightseeing—Leioa (Arg), by Engrillado. Owner: Clarke Ohrstrom. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Jockey: Barry Foley. Breeder: Clarke Ohrstrom (Ky.). 2016 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. 2015 record: 5-1-2-0, $29,500. Pulled up in 2016 Atlanta Steeplechase allowance hurdle for fillies and mares. Won maiden victory at Fair Hill Races in Maryland in May 2015. (97)
Wigwam Baby. 2011 b. f., Langfuhr—Tepee Tot, by Waquoit. Owner: Bill Pape. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Gerard Galligan. Breeders: Bill Pape and Jonathan Sheppard (Pa.) 2016 record: 1-1-0-0, $15,000. 2015 record: 4-1-1-0, $21,800. Opened 2016 with win in Atlanta allowance hurdle for fillies and mares. Finished fifth in Colonial Cup’s 2015 Springdale Stakes. Scored her maiden victory over fences by 3 1/2 lengths against a tough field in Montpelier allowance hurdle on Nov. 7. Three-time winner on flat made her jumps debut in Shawan Downs maiden hurdle and finished a closing second. (104)
Secret Reward. 2009 ch. m., Eurosilver—Vente, by Dynaformer. Owner: Beverly R. Steinman. Trainer: Doug Fout. Jockey: Kieran Norris. Breeder: Beverly R. Steinman (Ky.) 2016 record: 1-1-0-0, $12,000. 2015 record: 2-0-1-1, $8,600. Won her 2016 debut in maiden hurdle for fillies and mares at Foxfield Spring in Virginia. Finished third in 2015 Margaret Currey Henley. (107)
Dino Mite (GB). 2011 b. f., Doctor Dino—Compose, by Anabaa. Owner: Rosbrian Farm. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Jockey: Michael Byrne. Breeder: J. Cunningham (GB). 2016 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. 2015 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $900. Pulled up in 2016 Georgia Cup optional allowance hurdle. Promising import had three hurdle victories in spring of 2015 and was fourth in handicap hurdle. (115)
Barbara’s Smile. 2011 ch. m., Curlin—Credenza, by Lord Carlos. Owner: Over Creek Stables. Trainer: Julie Gomena. Jockey: Mark Watts. Breeders: Kingswood Farm, David Egan, and Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings (Ky.) 2016 record: 2-0-0-2, $4,500. 2015 record: 3-1-0-0, $12,600. Began 2016 with thirds in Aiken Spring Ratings Handicap and Atlanta allowance hurdle for fillies and mares. Finished eighth in Colonial Cup’s 2015 Springdale Stakes. Won Aiken Fall maiden hurdle for fillies. Raced on the flat and was claimed for $12,500 at Aqueduct in December 2014. (98)
The Grange. 2010 b. m., Broken Vow—Cool Reception, by Deputy Minister. Owner: Riverdee Stable. Trainer: Kate Dalton. Jockey: Bernie Dalton. Breeder: Ward C. Pitfield (Ky.) 2015 record: 3-1-0-0, $25,000. Finished seventh in Colonial Cup’s 2015 Springdale Stakes after winning Far Hills open maiden hurdle. Finished fourth in her debut over jumps in a Shawan Downs maiden hurdle. (114)
Ivy Mills. 2010 b. f., Broken Vow—Threadneedle, by Dynaformer. Owner: Michael J. Moran. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Sean McDermott. Breeder: Lazy Lane Farms (Va.) 2015 record: 4-2-1-0, $37,000. 2014 record: 2-0-0-2, $9,500. Won Colonial Cup’s Springdale Stakes to clinch 2015 female championship. Finished second in Montpelier allowance hurdle for fillies and mares on Nov. 7after fourth in Far Hills’ Peapack Stakes. Won her maiden victory over fences at Foxfield Fall on Sept. 27. (111)