Irv Naylor’s ageless Decoy Daddy will go for the hat trick when he attempts a third straight victory in the $50,000 Temple Gwathmey (Gr. 3), the featured handicap hurdle at the 94th annual Middleburg Spring Races at the Glenwood Park Course on Saturday.
Now 13, the Irish-bred kicked off his perfect three-for-three season last year with a victory in the Temple Gwathmey. He then won the National Hunt Cup (Gr. 3) at the Radnor Hunt Races for a second straight year and the Noel Laing Handicap for a fourth time.
His talents and record earned him the 156-pound highweight in the handicap of Bill Gallo Jr., the National Steeplechase Association’s director of racing. Trained by Cyril Murphy, Decoy Daddy again will be ridden by Carol-Ann Sloan.
Carrying the second highweight at 148 pounds in 2012 Eclipse Award winner Pierrot Lunaire, who is owned by Mary Ann Houghland and trained by Bruce Miller. In his only 2014 start, he finished fourth in the Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1).
Champion trainer Jack Fisher entered a quartet of contenders for the 2 1/2-mile Gwathmey. Heading the group at 146 pounds is Gil Johnston’s Mr. Hot Stuff, winner of the 2013 A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) at Saratoga Race Course. The owner also will be represented by Dahoud, a novice stakes winner in 2012. Four-time champion jockey Paddy Young rides Mr. Hot Stuff, and Darren Nagle will be aboard Dahoud.
Also from the Fisher barn are multiple stakes winner All Together, owned by Sheila Williams and Andre Brewster, and Michael J. Moran’s Staying On, winner of last spring’s Queen’s Cup MPC ‘Chase for novices. Sean McDermott rides All Together, and Jeff Murphy has the mount on Staying On.
The only female in the field will be Clarke Ohrstrom’s Kisser N Run, the 2013 Life’s Illusion Filly and Mare champion who most recently was disqualified from first to second for interference in the 2014 Peapack Stakes at Far Hills, N.J. Robbie Walsh rides for trainer Richard Valentine.
Here are the field for the $50,000 Temple Gwathmey (Gr. 3) in post-position order, with handicap weights in parentheses after the name.
All Together. (144) 2005 b. g., Danzig–Unify, by Farma Way. Owners: Andre W. Brewster and Sheila J. Williams. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Sean McDermott. Breeder: Jayeff B Stables (Ky.). 2014 record: 7-1-3-0, $62,000. Won Virginia Fall’s 2014 W. Gary Baker Memorial, then finished second in International Gold Cup’s David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial (Gr. 3). Finished fourth in Belmont Park’s Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1) after fourths in Saratoga’s A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) and New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1).
Decoy Daddy (Ire). (156) 2002 ch. g., Lord of Appeal–Young Bebe, by M. Double M. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Cyril Murphy. Jockey: Carol-Ann Sloan. Breeder: Charles Persee (Ire). 2014 record: 3-3-0-0, $87,000. Mirrored his 2013 victories with scores in 2014 Temple Gwathmey (Gr. 3), Radnor’s National Hunt Cup (Gr. 3), and Noel Laing Handicap, his fourth win in that race.
Pierrot Lunaire. (148) 2004 b. g., War Chant–Playact (Ire), by Hernando (Fr). Owner: Mary Ann Houghland. Trainer: Blythe Miller Davies. Jockey: Open. Breeder: Skymarc Farm (Ky.). 2014 record: 1-0-0-0, $7,500. In only 2014 start, finished fourth in Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1). Finished fourth in the Grand National (Gr. 1) in his 2013 debut, then was sixth in Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1). Locked up 2012 Eclipse Award with victory in Grand National at Far Hills, N.J., after stunning 48.75-1 win by a nose in Belmont’s Lonesome Glory (Gr. 1).
Bob Le Beau (Ire). (140) 2007 dk. b. or. br. g., Big Bad Bob—Shine Silently, by Bering (GB). Owner: The Fields Stable. Trainer: Elizabeth Voss. Jockey: Gus Dahl. Breeder: Anamoine Ltd. (Ire). 2014 record: 4-0-1-0, $9,450. Finished second in Virginia Fall’s 2014 W. Gary Baker Memorial, then was pulled up in David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial (Gr. 3) at International Gold Cup. Finished sixth in Saratoga’s Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes, his U.S. debut, before losing his rider in Saratoga’s Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes.
Mr. Hot Stuff. (146) 2006 dk. b. or br. g., Tiznow—Sweet Damsel, by Turkoman. Owner: Gil Johnston. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Paddy Young. Breeder: WinStar Farm (Ky.). 2014 record: No starts. Returning to races after winning Saratoga’s 2013 A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) and finishing fourth in New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1). Won Iroquois Steeplechase’s 2013 Marcellus Frost for novices. Maiden flat winner finished third in 2009 Santa Anita Derby (Gr. 1), 15th in the Kentucky Derby (Gr. 1), and eighth in the Belmont Stakes (Gr. 1).
Staying On (Ire). (140) 2005 b. g., Invincible Spirit (Ire)—Lakatoi (GB), by Saddler’s Hall (Ire). Owner: Michael J. Moran. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Jeff Murphy. Breeder: M. H. Dixon (Ire). 2014 record: 5-1-0-1, $39,000. Began 2014 season with win in the Queen’s Cup MPC ‘Chase near Charlotte and then was third in National Hunt Cup (Gr. 3) at Radnor. Finished fifth in Saratoga’s A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) before being pulled up in New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1) and W. Gary Baker Memorial (Gr. 3) at Virginia Fall. Won Belmont’s 2013 William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes.
Kisser N Run. (136) 2008 b. m., Pleasant Tap—Firm Kiss, by Atticus. Owner: Clarke Ohrstrom. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Jockey: Robbie Walsh. Breeders: Charles Arlington and Mike Mareina (Fla.). 2014 record: 4-1-2-0, $47,500. Disqualified from win in Far Hills’ 2014 Peapack Stakes, a race she had won the previous two years. Finished second in Saratoga’s Mrs. Ogden Phipps. Never found her best stride in Iroquois Steeplechase’s Margaret Currey Henley Stakes and finished a distant fourth. Opened 2014 with 6 1/4-length victory in $30,000 Georgia Cup on April 19. Claimed the 2013 Life’s Illusion Filly and Mare Champion award with late-season wins in Peapack and the Steeplechase at Callaway’s Crown Royal.
Dahoud (NZ). (138) 2006 b. g., Scaredee Cat—Aiglette, by Krona. Owner: Gil Johnston. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Darren Nagle. Breeder: M. P. Miller (NZ). 2014 record: 3-0-1-0, $10,200. Finished second in 2014 Crown Royal allowance hurdle at Steeplechase at Callaway after fall at last fence of Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle. In first start since winning 2012 AFLAC Supreme Hurdle at Callaway in Georgia, finished sixth in the 2014 W. Gary Baker Memorial at Virginia Fall. Was Grade 2-placed at Santa Anita Park in 2011.