Owner-trainer F. Hill Parker’s Get Ready Set Goes, the dual female and novice champion in 2016, has been nominated for a shot at getting her career back on track in the $40,000 Life’s Illusion Stakes, a supporting race of the 86th annual Carolina Cup Races in Camden, S.C., on Saturday.
The two-mile race is limited to fillies and mares and is named for the Virginia Guest’s 1975 Eclipse Award winner who is the only female to receive Thoroughbred racing’s top award in the steeplechase category.
Ohio-bred Get Ready Set Goes swept both titles by purse earnings in 2016, but she never came close to the winner’s circle in her two 2017 starts. She finished fifth in the Carolina Cup for novices and then was shut down for the year after finishing sixth in the Iroquois Steeplechase’s Margaret Currey Henley Stakes in May.
She will be challenged in the Life’s Illusion by the classy Henley winner, The Fields Stable’s Sarah Joyce. Trained by Elizabeth Voss, Sarah Joyce subsequently finished third in Saratoga Race Course’s Mrs. Ogden Phipps Stakes and sixth in the Far Hills Races’ Peapack Stakes on Oct. 21.
Riverdee Stable, managed by Sean Clancy, nominated two contenders to the Life’s Illusion. Wigwam Baby, trained by Jonathan Sheppard, finished third in the Peapack. Down Royal sustained interference in Far Hills’ Gladstone Stakes and was placed second. Trained by Kate Dalton, she came back to win a Charleston allowance hurdle for three-year-olds.
Here are the Life’s Illusion nominees in alphabetical order. The horses’ National Steeplechase Association ratings are in parentheses at the end of their profiles.
Down Royal. 2014 gr. or ro. f., Alphabet Soup—Miss Crown, by High Yield. Owner: Riverdee Stable. Trainer: Kate Dalton. Breeders: Bernard and Kate Dalton (N.Y.) 2017 NSA record: 3-1-1-0, $24,000. Awarded second place in Far Hills’ 2017 Gladstone Stakes after sustaining interference from first finisher, then won a Charleston allowance hurdle. Fell at next to last fence in 2017 Shawan Downs maiden hurdle for three-year-olds. (111)
Get Ready Set Goes. 2012 ch. f., Run Away and Hide—Ready to Goes, by Lord Avie. Owner-trainer: F. Hill Parker. Breeder: Frances Hill Myers (Oh.). Champion, novice and female, 2016. 2017 record: 2-0-0-0, $4,500. 2016 record: 4-3-1-0, $94,500. Began 2017 with fifth in Carolina Cup, then was sixth in Margaret Currey Henley at Iroquois Steeplechase. Reigned as 2016 female champion after winning Saratoga’s Mrs. Ogden Phipps Stakes and Far Hills’ Peapack Stakes, and also seized novice title by earnings. In first starts over fences, finished second in Atlanta allowance hurdle limited to females and then won High Hope open maiden hurdle. Won on flat in Ohio-bred filly race in 2015. (117)
Lady Yeats (GB). 2011 b. m., Yeats (Ire)—Oblique (Ire), by Giant’s Causeway. Owner: Jacqueline Ohrstrom. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Breeder: Biddestone Stud (GB). 2017 record: 3-0-0-0, $7,500. 2016 NSA record: 2-0-0-1, $3,000. Finished fourth in Far Hills’ 2017 Peapack Stakes. Lost rider in 2017 Margaret Currey Henley at Iroquois Steeplechase, then was fourth in Saratoga’s Mrs. Ogden Phipps. Won an allowance hurdle at Catterick Bridge in England to open her 2016 season. (113)
Pram. 2011 dk. b. or br. m., Stroll—My Papoose, by Northern Baby. Owner: Bill Pape. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Breeders: Jonathan Sheppard and Bill Pape (Pa.) 2017 record: No starts. 2016 NSA record: 1-1-0-0, $12,000. In only start over fences, won a 2016 Aiken Fall maiden hurdle by more than 11 lengths. (105)
Pure Deal. 2012 dk. b. or br. m., Purim—Make a Deal, by Private Terms. Owner: Beverly R. Steinman. Trainer: Doug Fout. Breeder: Nuckols Farm (Ky.) 2017 record: 4-1-0-1, $18,300. 2016 record: 5-0-1-2, $11,600. Won maiden victory at 2017 Foxfield Spring, then was fifth in Far Hills’ Peapack Stakes and third in Montpelier female allowance hurdle. (107)
Sarah Joyce (Ire). 2012 b. m., The Carbon Unit—The Real Thing, by Traditionally. Owner: The Fields Stable. Trainer: Elizabeth Voss. Breeder: Thistle Bloodstock (Ire). 2017 record: 5-2-0-1, $57,250. 2016 NSA record: 3-0-1-0, $6,000. Impressive winner of 2017 Margaret Currey Henley at Iroquois Steeplechase, then fourth as even-money favorite in Fair Hill’s Irish Coggins Memorial. Finished third in Saratoga’s 2017 Mrs. Ogden Phipps and was sixth in Far Hills’ Peapack Stakes. Won 2017 debut in Queen’s Cup ratings handicap. (116)
Waveless (GB). 2013 b. m., Three Valleys—Wemyss Bay, by Sadler’s Wells. Owner-Trainer: Amy Taylor Rowe. Breeder: Juddmonte Farms (GB). 2017 record: 2-1-0-0. $12,000. Won her career debut at Foxfield Fall, defeating stablemate and eventual female champion Lady Blanco by 2 3/4 lengths, before losing rider in a Charleston allowance hurdle. (107)
Wigwam Baby. 2011 b. m., Langfuhr—Tepee Tot, by Waquoit. Owner: Riverdee Stable. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Breeders: Bill Pape and Jonathan Sheppard (Pa.) 2017 NSA record: 4-0-1-1, $22,250. 2016 record: 2-1-0-0, $16,500. In first start over fences since May 2016, finished second in Saratoga’s 2017 Mrs. Ogden Phipps for fillies and mares, then was third in Far Hills Races’ Peapack Stakes. Pulled up in Charleston allowance hurdle. (112)