To celebrate its 85th anniversary running, the Fair Hill Spring Races will offer a two-day doubleheader, with a twilight racing program on Friday and its traditional pari-mutuel program of Saturday featuring the $50,000 Iris Coggins Memorial and the $40,000 Valentine Memorial.
First post time for the Friday program is 4 p.m., and admission is free. The six-race Saturday program kicks off at 1 p.m. Pari-mutuel wagering will be offered only on Saturday.
Friday’s card will feature two timber races, highlighted by a bulging field for a $25,000 race for novices, or horses new to timber racing. Heading a field of 13 for the three-mile race is Dolly Fisher’s Schoodic, a graded stakes winner over hurdles who already has won his two timber starts.
The nine-year-old Tiznow gelding won the John Rush Streett timber maiden at My Lady’s Manor on April 13 and then dominated the Iroquois Steeplechase’s Mason Houghland Memorial by 16¾ lengths on May 11. Leading trainer Jack Fisher, the owner’s son, tapped top jockey Michael Mitchell to ride.
Fisher also will saddle Hyggelig Haven’s Political Theatre, winner of the other maiden division, named in memory of Racing Hall of Fame trainer Tom Voss. Hadden Frost has the mount.
Trainer Leslie Young will send out Fat Chance Farm’s Flaming Sword for his second sanctioned career start. In his initial U.S. race, the five-year-old Irish-bred won a Grand National timber allowance by 6¾ lengths. Aaron Sinnott will ride.
Nancy A. Reed’s homebred Awesome Adrian was awesome in winning a Willowdale Steeplechase maiden timber race by 17¼ lengths on May 12 after finishing third to Schoodic in the John Rush Streett division. Eddie Keating will ride for trainer Kathy Neilson.
Hurdle horses take the stage on Saturday, and The Fields Stable will have the horses to beat in the Iris Coggins Memorial for fillies and mares.
Dawn Wall pulled a 17.80-to-1 upset when she won last year’s Coggins Memorial as a maiden. Now six, the Maryland-bred Not For Love mare will be making her first start over fences since last year’s race. Trainer Elizabeth Voss named Sean McDermott to ride.
Voss also will saddle the likely race favorite, Sarah Joyce, a multiple stakes winner who most recently finished third, beaten two lengths, in the Iroquois Steeplechase’s Margaret Currey Henley Stakes, a race that the Irish-bred had won in the previous two years. Jack Doyle will ride the seven-year-old.
Also in the field is Joseph F. Fowler’s Down Royal, who finished second in the Henley. Trainer Kate Dalton named husband Bernie Dalton to ride. Owner-trainer Bethany Baumgardner will ride her Mavourneen, who finished fourth in the Henley.
Details of the 2¼-mile Coggins Memorial field are below.
Belisarius, who ran an atypically dull race in the Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1) on May 11, will be looking to make amends in the Valentine Memorial Handicap, also at 2¼ miles.
Owned by Preakness Stakes (Gr. 1)-winning owner Gary Barber with Brous Stable and Wachtel Stable, Belisarius won a division of the Far Hills Races’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle last October and was second in the Temple Gwathmey Handicap (Gr. 2) on April 20.
Before his ninth-place finish in the Nashville race, Belisarius had never been worse than third over fences. Bernie Dalton again will ride for his wife.
Also looking to get back on track is Mark W. Buyck Jr.’s Grade 1 winner Show Court, who was pulled up in the Temple Gwathmey. Winner of last summer’s A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) at Saratoga Race Course, Show Court is trained by Arch Kingsley Jr. and will be ridden by Barry Foley.
Here is the field for the Iris Coggins Memorial in post-position order. The horses’ National Steeplechase Association ratings are in parentheses at the end of their profiles.
Furiosa. 2014 dk. b. or br. m., Mizzen Mast—Katara, by Pulpit. Owner: Clarke Ohrstrom. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Jockey: Thomas Garner. Breeder: Clarke Ohrstrom (Ky.) 2019 record: 3-0-0-1, $2,600. Finished ninth in Iroquois Steeplechase’s 2019 Margaret Currey Henley. Finished third in maiden hurdle at 2019 Foxfield Spring meet after sixth in similar race at The Cup Runneth Over meet.
Down Royal. 2014 gr. or ro. m., Alphabet Soup—Miss Crown, by High Yield. Owner: Joseph F. Fowler. Trainer: Kate Dalton. Jockey: Bernie Dalton. Breeders: Bernard and Kate Dalton (N.Y.) 2019 record: 1-0-1-0, $9,000. 2018 record: 3-0-1-2, $13,400. 2017 NSA record: 3-1-1-0, $24,000. Finished second in Iroquois Steeplechase’s 2019 Margaret Currey Henley. Began 2018 with second in Carolina Cup allowance hurdle, then was third in similar races at Middleburg Spring and Iroquois. Awarded second place in Far Hills’ 2017 Gladstone Stakes after sustaining interference from first finisher, then won a Charleston allowance hurdle. (111)
Bullet Star. 2014 dk. b. or br. m., Bullet Train (GB)—Ptarmigan, by Unbridled Jet. Owner: Beverly R. Steinman. Trainer: Doug Fout. Jockey: Barry Foley. Breeder: Magalen O. Bryant (Ky.). 2019 record: 1-0-0-1, $2,500. 2018 record: 3-1-0-0, $14,000. 2017 record: 1-0-0-0, $1,200. Led early in 2019 Daniel Van Clief Memorial and finished third. Finished fifth in Fair Hill’s 2018 Iris Coggins Memorial. Began 2018 with maiden victory at Georgia Steeplechase, then was pulled up in Margaret Currey Henley at the Iroquois Steeplechase. Finished fifth in career debut on flat at 2017 International Gold Cup. Her dam was champion steeplechase female in 2010. (105)
Amnicalola. 2013 b. m., Arch—Copelan’s Angel, by Copelan. Owner: Gil Johnston. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Michael Mitchell. Breeder: Christiana Stables LLC (Ky.). 2019 record: 2-1-0-0, $12,000. 2017 NSA record: 4-0-2-0, $9,700. Returned after missing 2018 season to win a maiden hurdle at The Cup Runneth Over meet, then was pulled up in the Iroquois Steeplechase’s Margaret Currey Henley. Finished fourth in Margaret Currey Henley Stakes at 2017 Iroquois after seconds in maiden hurdles for fillies and mares at the Atlanta Steeplechase and Carolina Cup. (106)
Sarah Joyce (Ire). 2012 b. m., The Carbon Unit—The Real Thing, by Traditionally. Owner: The Fields Stable. Trainer: Elizabeth Voss. Jockey: Jack Doyle. Breeder: Thistle Bloodstock (Ire). 2019 record: 1-0-0-1, $5,000. 2018 record: 2-1-0-1, $34,000. 2017 record: 5-2-0-1, $57,250. Finished third in Iroquois Steeplechase’s 2019 Margaret Currey Henley. Scored game victory in 2018 Margaret Currey Henley after third in Life’s Illusion Stakes at Carolina Cup. Impressive winner of 2017 Margaret Currey Henley, 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)
Mavorneen. 2010 ch. m., Langfuhr—Rowdy, by Malibu Moon. Owner-trainer: Bethany Baumgardner. Jockey: Bethany Baumgardner. 2019 record: 2-0-1-0, $7,000. 2018 record: 3-2-0-0, $27,000. Ran solid race to be second in 2019 Daniel Van Clief Memorial at Foxfield Spring, then was fourth in Iroquois Steeplechase’s Margaret Currey Henley. Closed 2018 season with back-to-back wins in Foxfield Fall maiden hurdle and Montpelier allowance hurdle. (111)
Go As You Please. 2015 b. f., Paddy O’Prado—Well Fashioned, by Cozzene. Owner: Beverly R. Steinman. Trainer: Doug Fout. Jockey: Graham Watters. Breeder: Magalen O. Bryant (Ky.) 2019 record: 2-0-0-0, $1,000. 2018 record: 1-0-1-0, $5,400. Opened 2019 with fourth in Foxfield Spring maiden hurdle, then was 10th in Iroquois Steeplechase’s 2019 Margaret Currey Henley. In only other career start, finished second in 2018 International Gold Cup maiden hurdle for fillies and mares.
Dawn Wall. 2013 b. m., Not For Love—Guelph, by Sky Classic. Owner: The Fields Stable. Trainer: Elizabeth Voss. Jockey: Sean McDermott. Breeder: Mimi Voss (Md.). 2018 record: 2-1-0-0, $30,000. 2017 record: 2-0-0-0-1, $3,600. Won Fair Hill’s Iris Coggins Memorial in final 2018 jumps start. Finished eighth in Virginia Gold Cup open maiden hurdle. Began career with sixth in Foxfield Fall maiden hurdle for females. Foal of two-time female champion Guelph, who also was the novice champion in 2005.