Trainer Jack Fisher will take aim on Thursday’s $75,000 William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes with three contenders headed by Riverdee Stable’s Gibralfaro, winner of the Tryon Block House allowance hurdle in April.
The 2 1/4-mile Entenmann Memorial will kick off Belmont Park’s Thursday program with a 1:30 post time. Also on the card as the second race is the $175,000 Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1) for the National Steeplechase Association’s championship division.
Irish-bred Gibralfaro was given the summer off after a second-place finish behind rising star Iranistan in the Iroquois Steeplechase’s Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle on May 12. Sean McDermott has the mount.
Fisher, the reigning champion trainer, also will saddle DASH Stable’s Ice It and Riverdee’s City Dreamer, a four-year-old making his first U.S. start. Ice It, the 2015 three-year-old champion, most recently finished fifth in the Marcellus Frost. Darren Nagle gets a first ride on Ice It, and Willie McCarthy will be aboard City Dreamer.
Three Entenmann starters are coming out of Saratoga Race Course’s Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes on Aug. 22. Trainer Elizabeth Voss will saddle Robert A. Kinsley’s No Wunder, who finished a close second to Surprising Soul in Walsh. Leading jockey Jack Doyle has the mount.
Carrington Holdings’ Boss Man, a Saratoga allowance hurdle winner, came back in three weeks to finish third in the 2 3/8-mile Walsh. Trainer Arch Kingsley Jr. will put Michael Mitchell in the saddle.
Gillian Johnston’s Mutasaawy finished fifth in the Walsh as the 9-to-5 favorite after a second in Saratoga’s Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes on July 30. Winner of the Fair Hill Races’ Valentine Memorial ratings handicap over No Wunder, Mutasaawy is trained by Neil Morris and will be ridden for the first time by Barry Foley.
Ricky Hendriks, currently atop the trainer standings by wins and earnings, will saddle Rosbrian Farm’s Detroit Blues, who will be making his first start in more than two years. In his only U.S. jumps start, the British-bred eight-year-old won a Saratoga allowance hurdle. Ross Geraghty will ride.
Irv Naylor’s Indian Hawk will be making his first U.S. start for trainer Leslie Young. Previously trained by Nicky Henderson, Indian Hawk won a novice steeplechase by 10 lengths at Wincanton in England on May 15. Kieran Norris will ride.
Stepping up into novice competition is Belisarius, the front-running winner of a Monmouth Park maiden hurdle on Aug. 9 for trainer Kate Dalton. Owned by Gary Barber, Brous Stable, and Wachtel Racing Stable, Belisarius will be ridden by Bernie Dalton.
Here is the Entenmann Memorial field in post-position order. The horses’ National Steeplechase Association ratings are in parentheses at the end of their profiles.
Gibralfaro. (Ire). 2012 b. g., Dalakhani (Ire)—Ronda, by Bluebird. Owner: Riverdee Stable. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Sean McDermott. Breeder: Sarl Darpat France (Ire). 2018 record: 1-1-1-0, $39,000. Finished second in Iroquois’ Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle for novices. Set pressured pace and won 2018 Tryon Block House allowance hurdle. In final start in England in October 2017, finished third in an allowance hurdle at Bangor-on-Dee. Won an Ascot allowance hurdle in January 2017. (133)
No Wunder (GB). 2011 b. g., Rock of Gibraltar (Ire)—Iwunder, by King’s Best. Owner: Robert A. Kinsley. Trainer: Elizabeth Voss. Jockey: Jack Doyle. Breeder: Executors of the late J. Ellis (GB). 2018 NSA record: 4-0-2-0, $38,700. 2017 NSA record: 8-2-1-1, $67,150. Finished close second Saratoga’s Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes after similar close second in Fair Hill’s Valentine Memorial ratings handicap. Opened 2018 campaign with second in Carolina Cup for novices, then was fifth in Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase. Drew away impressively to win 2017 Saratoga handicap after good second in similar race. Lost his rider in a freak incident in Belmont’s William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes, then was seventh in Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle. (126)
Belisarius (Ire). 2011 b. g., Montjeu—Lasting Chance, by American Chance. Owner: Gary Barber, Brous Stable, and Wachtel Racing Stable. Trainer: Kate Dalton. Jockey: Bernie Dalton. Breeders: Lynch Bages Ltd. And Camas Park Stud (Ire). 2018 NSA record: 4-1-1-2, $31,200. Set all the pace and won 2018 Monmouth Park maiden hurdle by two lengths. Never has finished off the board in four jumps starts. Earned more than $200,000 on the flat. (116)
Mutasaawy. 2010 b. g., Tapit—Pretty Proud, by Mr. Greeley. Owner: Gillian Johnston. Trainer: Neil Morris. Jockey: Barry Foley. Breeder: Pretty Proud Syndicate (Ky.). 2018 NSA record: 5-1-1-0, $40,500. 2017 NSA record: 6-2-1-1, $66,900. Finished lackluster fifth as 9-to-5 favorite in Saratoga’s 2018 Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes. Won Fair Hill’s 2018 Valentine Memorial ratings handicap before second in Saratoga’s Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes as favorite. Finished seventh in 2018 Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase and fell in Iroquois’ Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle. Third in Belmont Park’s 2017 William Entenmann Novice Stakes. (127)
Boss Man. 2010 ch. g., English Channel—Jenny Joy, by Acceptable. Owner: Carrington Holdings. Trainer: Arch Kingsley Jr. Jockey: Michael Mitchell. Breeder: Kinsman Farm (Fla.) 2018 NSA record: 4-2-0-1, $64,500. Finished third in 2018 Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes at Saratoga. Won Saratoga allowance hurdle by front-running 2 1/4 lengths. Graduate of Jason Servis’ flat training operation scored his maiden victory over fences at the 2018 Queen’s Cup. Pulled up in initial start over fences at the Tryon Block House meet. (122)
Detroit Blues (GB). 2010 ch. g., Tobougg (Ire)—Blue Missy, by Swain (Ire). Owner: Rosbrian Farm. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. Breeder: R. W. Huggins (GB). 2018 record: No starts. 2016 NSA record: 1-1-0-0, $39,000. Coming back to the races after missing the 2017 season. Won only U.S. jumps start, a 2016 Saratoga allowance hurdle, after second in Parx flat race for hurdlers. Won maiden hurdle at Fontwell in England in May 2015. (118)
Ice It. 2012 gr. or ro. g., Tapit—Spice Island, by Tabasco Cat. Owner: DASH Stable. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Darren Nagle. Breeder: Qatar Bloodstock (Ky.) 2018 record: 3-0-0-0, $10,000. 2017 record: 6-1-2-1, $100,330. Finished fifth in 2018 Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle at Iroquois Steeplechase. Finished fourth in 2018 Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase after sixth in Carolina Cup. Finished hard-trying second in Far Hills Races’ 2017 Foxbrook Champion Hurdle and Aflac Supreme Hurdle. Won 2017 Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase. Won Far Hills’ Gladstone Hurdle to lock up 2015 three-year-old championship. (127)
Indian Hawk (Ire). 2012 b. g., Westerner—Yorkshire Girl, by Anshan. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Leslie F. Young. Jockey: Kieran Norris. Breeder: Patrick Fennessy (Ire). 2018 NSA record: No starts. Making his U.S. debut in a tough spot. Concluded his career in England with 10-length victory in a steeplechase allowance at Wincanton in May. In previous start, was second as odds-on favorite in a steeplechase allowance at Towcester.
City Dreamer (Ire). 2014 ch. g., Casamento—Cadesia, by Cadeaux Genereux (GB). Owner: Riverdee Stable. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Willie McCarthy. Breeder: Redpender Stud (Ire). 2018 NSA record: No starts. Won two English juvenile hurdles in September 2017 and has been competitive in modest handicap company before joining Fisher stable in summer 2018.