Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Demonstrative, who capped a successful Saratoga Race Course season with his second victory in the New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1), heads a group of nine nominees to Belmont Park’s $150,000 Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1) on Thursday, Sept. 18.
Also nominated to the 2 1/2-mile race was 2013 Eclipse Award winner Divine Fortune, who would be attempting to come back from a lackluster performance in Saratoga’s A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1).
The Lonesome Glory is likely to play a major role in the battle for this year’s Eclipse and the Lonesome Glory Champions Award, presented to the year’s leading earner in National Steeplechase Association competition. Also on the Sept. 18 program is the $75,000 William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes at 2 1/4 miles.
Trained by Richard Valentine, Demonstrative ran a winning race in the $100,000 Smithwick on July 31 only to be beaten a nose after a stretch battle with Makari. The seven-year-old Elusive Quality gelding came back 25 days later to take the $150,000 New York Turf Writers by a half-length. Demonstrative also won the 2012 edition of Saratoga’s premier steeplechase race.
Bill Pape’s Divine Fortune began his 2014 campaign with a dominant victory on May 10 in the $150,000 Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1), in which 2013 winner Demonstrative finished sixth. But 11-year-old Divine Fortune was pulled up in the Smithwick after stalking the early pace.
Divine Fortune is trained by Racing Hall of Fame member Jonathan Sheppard, who nominated four others to the Lonesome Glory. His pairing of Barnstorming and Italian Wedding finished second and third, respectively, in the New York Turf Writers.
Pape’s Bluegrass Summer, last year’s novice champion, most recently finished third in Saratoga’s $75,000 Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes on Aug. 14. Parker’s Project, owned by Edward Swyer’s Hudson River Farms, would be making his first start since winning the 2012 Marcellus Frost Stakes (Gr. 2) at Nashville’s Iroquois Steeplechase.
Jack Fisher, who notched three Saratoga victories to open daylight atop the 2014 trainer standings, nominated Andre W. Brewster’s All Together, who finished fourth in both the Smithwick and the New York Turf Writers.
Irv Naylor, currently the NSA’s leading owner by purse earnings, nominated For Non Stop, who finished third in the Calvin Houghland Iroquois and sixth in the New York Turf Writers. Cyril Murphy trains the Irish-bred.
Completing the nominees is Gregg Ryan’s Spy in the Sky, who was taken for $30,000 from a Saratoga optional claiming hurdle after finishing third. New York flat trainer George Weaver entered the claim for long-time steeplechase horseman Ryan.
Here are the nine nominees for the $150,000 Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1).
All Together. 2005 b. g., Danzig–Unify, by Farma Way. Owner: Andre W. Brewster. Trainer: Jack Fisher. 2014 record: 4-0-2-0, $21,500. 2013 NSA record: 7-1-3-0, $104,100. 2012 record: 6-0-0-3, $29,000. Finished fourth in Saratoga’s A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) and New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1) after two second-place finishes in starter hurdles this past spring. Ran strong second in 2013 New York Turf Writers after win in Saratoga optional allowance claimer for a $30,000 tag. Novice champion in 2010.
Barnstorming. 2006 b. g., Thunder Gulch—Soul of the Cat, by Stravinsky. Owner-trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. 2014 record: 3-0-1-0, $27,000. 2013 record: 7-1-2-0, $93,500. 2012 record: 2-0-0-1, $8,000. Closed for second in Saratoga’s $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1) on Aug. 25. Showed nothing and finished ninth in Saratoga’s A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) on July 31. Tired and fell in Stoneybrook Steeplechase’s Sandhills Cup in North Carolina on April 5. Finished second in 2013 Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1). Won Saratoga’s 2013 Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes.
Bluegrass Summer. 2008 gr. or ro. g., Purge—Rose of Summer, by El Prado (Ire). Owner: Bill Pape. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. 2014 record: 2-0-0-1, $11,250. 2013 NSA record: 6-3-0-0, $99,600. Finished third in Saratoga’s Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes after fourth in Jonathan Kiser Novice. Assured himself the 2013 novice championship when he held off late challenge to win first division of Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle of Oct. 19. Ended year with fourth in the AFLAC Supreme Hurdle at the Steeplechase at Callaway.
Demonstrative. 2007 b. g., Elusive Quality–Loving Pride, by Quiet American. Owner: Jacqueline Ohrstrom. Trainer: Richard Valentine. 2014 record: 3-1-1-0, $112,500. 2013 record: 5-1-0-1, $131,000. Won Saratoga’s New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1) on Aug. 25 after unlucky second in A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) on July 31. In only other 2014 start, finished sixth in Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1), a race he won in 2013. Also won 2012 New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1). Was 2010 three-year-old champion.
Divine Fortune. 2003 ch. g., Royal Anthem–My Tombola, by Northern Fling. Owner: William Pape. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. 2014 record: 2-1-0-0, $90,000. 2013 record: 7-2-1-1, $207,000. 2012 record: 7-1-3-0, $113,500. 2011 record: 4-1-1-0, $64,000. Eclipse Award winner in 2013 pulled up in Saratoga’s A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) after blazing to 3 1/4-length score in Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1) in Nashville on May 10. Secured Eclipse with brilliant victory in Grand National (Gr. 1) at Far Hills, N.J., in October. Concluded season with fourth in Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1) after being harried on the lead.
For Non Stop (Ire). 2005 b. g., Alderbrook–Lost Link, by Shernazar (Ire): Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Cyril Murphy. 2014 record: 3-1-0-1, $34,500. 2013 NSA record: No starts. Tired to finish sixth in Saratoga’s New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1) on Aug. 25. Finished third in Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1) on May 10. In first U.S. start, ran away to a 27 1/2-length victory in the Sandhills Cup, an allowance hurdle at the Stoneybrook Steeplechase in North Carolina on April 5. Had extensive racing career in England, where he earned more than $230,000, including $52,826 last year. Finished second in the Ryanair Festival Trophy Steeplechase at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival.
Italian Wedding. 2005 b. g., Alphabet Soup–Effervescent, by Citidancer. Owner-trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. 2014 record: 4-0-0-1, $24,000. 2013 record: 5-1-1-2, $133,000. Defending New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1) winner finished third this year. Ran sixth in Saratoga’s A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) on July 31. Finished fifth in the Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1) on May 10 after being pulled up in the Temple Gwathmey (Gr. 3) at Middleburg Spring on April 19.
Parker’s Project. 2006 dk. b. or br. g., Parker’s Storm Cat–Let’s Canoodle, by Oh Say. Owner: Hudson River Farms. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. 2014 record: No starts. 2013 record: No starts. Sheppard-bred would be making first start in more than two years, since victory in Iroquois Steeplechase’s Marcellus Frost Stakes (Gr. 2), his only start that year. Finished 2011 with a victory in the National Steeplechase Association J. P. Morgan Chase Hurdle at Saratoga.
Spy in the Sky. 2004 ch. g., Thunder Gulch—Monaassabaat, by Zilzal. Owner: Gregg Ryan. Trainer: George Weaver. 2014 NSA record: 3-0-0-1, $6,500. 2013 NSA record: 7-0-1-0, $25,100. Claimed for $30,000 from Saratoga optional claimer in which he finished third. Faded to seventh in A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) on July 31. Drought continued when pulled up in Temple Gwathmey on April 19. Won 2012 A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) at 25-1 and 2009 New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1) at 20-1.