Every time he wins another race, Randy Rouse establishes another record as the oldest trainer ever to win a Thoroughbred race in North America.
The owner-trainer, now 99, bested his own record in April when he sent out Hishi Soar to win the Daniel Van Clief Memorial optional allowance hurdle at Foxfield Spring. Hishi Soar returns to Charlottesville, Va., on Sunday for the featured optional allowance hurdle at the 38th annual Foxfield Fall Races. First post time is 1:30 p.m.
The nine-year-old Theatrical gelding, to be ridden by Barry Foley, will meet a highly competitive field for the 2 1/8-mile race over National Fences.
Trainer Jimmy Day will saddle Bruce Smart Jr.’s veteran Orchestra Leader, who finished second in the Van Clief after picking up second money in Aiken Spring’s Budweiser Imperial Cup optional allowance hurdle. He most recently finished fourth in a Saratoga handicap on Aug. 31 and will be ridden by Keri Brion.
Leading owner Irv Naylor’s recent import Lake Champlain made his first U.S. start in the Saratoga handicap and finished seventh, beaten 5 1/2 lengths. Trained by Cyril Murphy, he will have his first race-meet start at Foxfield with Carol-Ann Sloan again in the saddle.
Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard will saddle his As You Like It, an easy maiden winner at Foxfield Spring. The Shakespeare gelding will be ridden by Gerard Galligan.
Here is the field for Foxfield Fall’s featured $25,000 optional allowance hurdle. The horses’ National Steeplechase Association ratings are in parentheses at the end of each profile.
Kingofalldiamonds. 2010 dk. b. or br. g., Giant’s Causeway—Queenofalldiamonds, by Kingmambo. Owner: Noble Stables. Trainer: Neil R. Morris. Jockey: Darren Nagle. Breeder: Live Oak Stud (Fla.). 2016 NSA record: 3-0-0-2, $6,000. 2015 record: 2-0-0-0, $2,550. Finished third in 2016 Georgia Cup optional allowance hurdle, then fell over fallen horse in Virginia Gold Cup allowance hurdle. Finished third in Radnor Ratings Handicap. Had two fifth-place finishes in 2015 at Middleburg Spring and Virginia Gold Cup. Won maiden victory in 2014 at Middleburg Spring. (112)
As You Like It. 2012 b. g., Shakespeare—Fiddle, by Pine Bluff. Owner-trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Gerard Galligan. Breeder: Allison Hill Roulston (Fla.) 2016 NSA record: 3-1-1-0, $18,360. 2015 record: No NSA starts. Non-winner on flat made transition to steeplechase racing and won his debut at Foxfield Spring with a 5 3/4-length victory before second in High Hope optional allowance hurdle. Finished sixth in Saratoga allowance hurdle. (111)
Orchestra Leader. 2009 b. g., Van Nistelrooy—Magic of Life, by Seattle Slew. Owner: S. Bruce Smart Jr. Trainer: Jimmy Day. Jockey: Keri Brion. Breeder: Strategy Bloodstock (Ky.) 2016 record: 5-0-2-0, $15,150. 2015 record: 8-1-5-1, $52,000. 2014 record: 6-1-0-2, $12,500. Finished second in 2016 Aiken Spring’s Budweiser Imperial Cup optional allowance hurdle and Daniel Van Clief Memorial before being pulled up in High Hope’s optional allowance hurdle. Finished fourth in Monmouth Park Ratings Handicap and fourth in Saratoga handicap. (117)
Buckrail. 2012 ch. g., Kitten’s Joy—Phloxy, by Alphabet Soup. Owner: Susan Y. Granville. Trainer: Kevin Boniface. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. Breeder: Susan Y. Granville (Md.) 2016 NSA record: 2-0-0-0, $0. Finished fifth and was placed fourth in a Virginia Gold Cup maiden flat race and was pulled up in Radnor allowance hurdle. Finished seventh in Parx Ratings Handicap. (109)
Lake Champlain (Ire). 2012 b. g., Manduro (Ger)—Fantasy Girl, by Marju. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Cyril Murphy. Jockey: Carol-Ann Sloan. Breeder: Windflower Overseas Holdings (Ire). 2016 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $0. Finished seventh in U.S. debut, a Saratoga handicap. Had two wins over hurdles at three and was unplaced this year over fences and on the flat overseas. (116)
Hishi Soar. 2007 dk. b. or br. g., Theatrical (Ire)—Go On Baby, by With Approval. Owner-trainer: Randolph D. Rouse. Jockey: Barry Foley. Breeder: Kaleem Shah (Ky.) 2016 record: 1-1-0-0, $15,000. 2015 record: 3-0-0-1, $3,500. 2014 record: 2-1-0-0, $6,000. Won 2016 Daniel Van Clief Memorial at Foxfield Spring to make his 99-year-old owner the oldest trainer to saddle a U.S. winner. Finished third in 2015 Virginia Fall Ratings Handicap after fourth in Foxfield Fall optional allowance hurdle. (115)
Cognashene. 2007 dk. b. or br. g., Dynaformer—Catch the Ring, by Seeking the Gold. Owner: Pathfinder Racing. Trainer: Neil Morris. Jockey: Kieran Norris. Breeder: Sam-Son Farm (Ont.) 2016 record: 4-0-0-1, $3,000. 2015 record: No starts. 2014 record: 4-0-0-2, 6,750. In comeback race, finished third in Aiken Spring allowance hurdle, then was pulled up in Stoneybrook Ratings Handicap. Finished fourth in Willowdale claiming hurdle. Lost rider in Daniel Van Clief Memorial. (107)
Bodie Island. 2008 dk. b. or br. g., Kafwain—Sweet Carolina, by Deputy Minister. Owner: The Elkstone Group LLC. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Jockey: Open. Breeder: The Elkstone Group LLC (Ky.) 2016 record: 4-0-0-1, $3,000. 2015 record: No starts. Pulled up in 2016 David Semmes Memorial (Gr. 2) at Virginia Gold Cup, then finished third in High Hope optional allowance hurdle. Finished eighth twice in Saratoga handicaps. (115).
Hooping. 2010 b. g., Malibu Moon—Long N Lanky, by Cozzene. Owner: Debra E. Kachel. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. Breeder: Hickory Tree Farm (Va.) 2016 NSA record: 3-0-0-0, $1,000. 2015 record: 7-1-2-0, $14,400. Finished fourth in 2016 Aiken Spring allowance hurdle, then was pulled up in Willowdale claiming hurdle. Claimed from 2015 Fair Hill maiden hurdle and won maiden claimer at Foxfield Fall. (103)
Bau Bai Gold. 2010 dk. b. or br. m., Sightseeing—Lynx of Gold, by Forest Wildcat. Owner: Jennifer H. Pitts. Trainer: Jazz Napravnik. Jockey: Willie McCarthy. Breeder: Damchu Stables (Pa.). 2016 record: 3-0-0-0, $0. 2015 NSA record: 6-1-2-1, $35,500. 2014 record: 2-1-0-0, $15,000. Set pace briefly at start of 2016 Carolina Cup and was pulled up, then refused to start in Daniel Van Clief Memorial and High Hope optional allowance hurdle. Finished good second in Far Hills’ 2015 Peapack Stakes. Won the Charles S. Bird optional allowance hurdle at Aiken Spring to open 2015 season. Finished third in this race last year. (115)