A year ago, For Goodness Sake won the emotion-laden Iris Ann Coggins Memorial Stakes with injured jockey Paddy Young listed as his trainer.
The Irish-bred mare returns on Saturday as a favorite to score a repeat victory in the $50,000 Iris Ann Coggins Memorial, the featured hurdle race on a jam-packed, nine-race program for the 49th edition of the Fair Hill Races.
Always a popular Memorial Day Weekend attraction in northern Maryland, the Fair Hill Races will have full fields across the board, with pari-mutuel wagering under the supervision of the Maryland Racing Commission on all races. First post time is 1 p.m.
The 2 1/4-mile Coggins Memorial drew a full field of 11 after scratches. The program also will feature a highly competitive edition of the $40,000 Valentine Memorial ratings handicap and two divisions of a Sport of Kings maiden hurdle, each carrying $30,000 purses. In all, Fair Hill purses total $210,000.
Young, now the owner of For Goodness Sake, was seriously injured in a fall at the Radnor Hunt Races a week before last year’s Fair Hill Races, and the five-time champion jockey lay in a hospital with a life-threatening head injury.
In the ensuing year, he has made significant progress in his recovery, and he attended this year’s Radnor event with his wife, Leslie, also a trainer.
For the Coggins Memorial, For Goodness Sake will be ridden by Willie McCarthy, who was in the irons for last year’s 2 3/4-length victory.
The six-year-old Yeats mare enters the Coggins Memorial with strong credentials. In her first start this year, she finished a good third, beaten only a length, in the Margaret Currey Henley Stakes at the Iroquois Steeplechase on May 12.
Young also is the owner-trainer of French-bred Sbarazzina, a seven-year-old mare who will be making her first U.S. after three career starts in England in 2016.
Trainer Richard Valentine will saddle Check Mark Stables’ Willow U, a seasoned competitor who defeated males in a Virginia Gold Cup allowance hurdle on May 5. Shane Crimin will ride.
Racing Hall of Fame member Jonathan Sheppard, currently leading the trainer standings by wins, will send out his Pram and Riverdee Stable’s Wigwam Baby. Pram won the Life’s Illusion Stakes at the Carolina Cup on March 31 and was fifth in the Henley. Darren Nagle, the 2017 champion jockey by wins, has the mount.
Sean McDermott was named aboard Wigwam Baby, who fell in the Henley.
Ricky Hendriks, who leads the trainer standings by purse earnings, will saddle Eve Ledyard’s Quarla and Rosbrian Farm’s Tay Lane. Michael Mitchell rides Quarla, a maiden winner at the Foxfield Spring Races on April 28, and Ross Geraghty will be aboard Tay Lane, a maiden winner in Ireland last year.
Here is the field for the $50,000 Iris Ann Coggins Memorial after scratches with program betting odds. The horses’ National Steeplechase Association ratings are in parentheses at the end of their profiles. Maidens are not assigned ratings.
Pram. 2011 dk. b. or br. m., Stroll—My Papoose, by Northern Baby. Owner: Bill Pape. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Darren Nagle. Breeders: Jonathan Sheppard and Bill Pape (Pa.) 2018 record: 2-1-0-0, $34,000. 2017 record: No starts. 2016 NSA record: 1-1-0-0, $12,000. Odds: 6-1. Came back after missing 2017 season to win Life’s Illusion Stakes at 2018 Carolina Cup, then was well-beaten fifth in Iroquois Steeplechase’s Margaret Currey Henley. In first start over fences, won a 2016 Aiken Fall maiden hurdle by more than 11 lengths. (110)
Quarla. 2011 b. m., Mr. Greely—Peep Show, by Silver Deputy. Owner: Eve Ledyard. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Jockey: Michael Mitchell. Breeder: Gainesway Thoroughbreds (Ky.). 2018 record: 1-1-0-0, $12,000. Odds: 10-1. Won maiden venture over fences at 2018 Foxfield Spring. Claimed for $10,000 at 2017 Meadowlands flat meet. (107)
For Goodness Sake (Ire). 2012 b. m., Yeats (Ire) —Muschana, by Deploy. Owner-trainer: Paddy Young. Jockey: Willie McCarthy. Breeder: Aylesfield Farms Stud (Ire). 2018 record: 1-0-0-1, $5,000. 2017 NSA record: 5-1-1-0, $36,400. Odds: 5-2. Finished third, beaten a length, in Iroquois Steeplechase’s 2018 Margaret Currey Henley. Finished fifth in Saratoga’s 2017 Mrs. Odgen Phipps Stakes, then seventh in Far Hills’ Peapack Stakes and fifth in Montpelier’s Noel Laing Handicap. Won Fair Hill’s 2017 Iris Coggins Memorial with Paddy Young, seriously hurt a week earlier, as trainer. Ran fifth in Margaret Currey Henley at Iroquois Steeplechase, her U.S. debut. Maiden hurdle winner in England was competitive over fences and on flat while trained by Warren Greatrex. (115)
Lady Yeats (GB). 2011 b. m., Yeats (Ire)—Oblique (Ire), by Giant’s Causeway. Owner: Marilyn S. Ketts. Trainer: Lilith Boucher. Jockey: Kieran Norris. Breeder: Biddestone Stud (GB). 2018 record: 2-0-0-0, $1,600. 2017 record: 3-0-0-0, $7,500. 2016 NSA record: 2-0-0-1, $3,000. Odds: 15-1. Began 2018 with fifth-place finishes in Carolina Cup’s Life’s Illusion Stakes and Tryon Block House ratings handicap. 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. (109)
Willow U. 2011 b. m., Utopia (Jpn)—Overextended (Fr), by Entrepreneur. Owner: Check Mark Stables. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Jockey: Shane Crimin. Breeder: Andy Beadnell (N.Y.) 2018 record: 1-1-0-0, $27,000. 2017 record: 1-0-0-1, $7,500. 2016 record: 5-2-0-1, $41,000. 2015 NSA record: 1-0-1-0, $3,600. Odds: 4-1. Scored game victory in open allowance hurdle at 2018 Virginia Gold Cup. Finished third in 2017 Carolina Cup, her only start that year. Won 2016 Springdale Stakes. (115)
Bullet Star. 2014 dk. b. or br. f., Bullet Train (GB)—Ptarmigan, by Unbridled Jet. Owner: Beverly R. Steinman. Trainer: Doug Fout. Jockey: Bernie Dalton. Breeder: Magalen O. Bryant (Ky.). 2018 record: 2-1-0-0, $12,000. 2017 record: 1-0-0-0, $1,200. Odds: 15-1. 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. (107)
Tay Lane (Ire). 2012 b. mare, Scorpion—San Diego, by Leading Counsel. Owner: Rosbrian Farm. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. Breeder: Mrs. P. Madden (Ire). 2017 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $0. Odds: 10-1. Pulled up in Far Hills’ 2017 Peapack Stakes. In busy 2017 season in Ireland, won maiden hurdle at Tipperary in May and finished third in an allowance hurdle at Sligo. (114)
Case of Hope. 2013 b. m., Wilburn—Round Girl, by Dehere. Owner: Estate of Iris Coggins. Trainer: Molly Hannum. Jockey: Graham Watters. Breeder: Dr. William D. Baxter (Ky.). 2018 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $0. Odds: 20-1. In first start over fences, finished seventh in Radnor maiden hurdle. Flat career includes maiden claiming win at Penn National Race Course.
Wigwam Baby. 2011 b. m., Langfuhr—Tepee Tot, by Waquoit. Owner: Riverdee Stable. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Sean McDermott. Breeders: Bill Pape and Jonathan Sheppard (Pa.) 2018 record: 2-0-0-0, $1,200. 2017 NSA record: 4-0-1-1, $22,250. 2016 record: 2-1-0-0, $16,500. Odds: 8-1. Finished sixth in Life’s Illusion Stakes at 2018 Carolina Cup, then fell in Margaret Currey Henley Stakes. 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. (110)
Dawn Wall. 2013 b. m., Not For Love—Guelph, by Sky Classic. Owner: The Fields Stable. Trainer: Elizabeth Voss. Jockey: Jack Doyle. Breeder: Mimi Voss (Md.). 2018 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. 2017 record: 2-0-0-0-1, $3,600. Odds: 15-1. In first 2018 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.
Sbarazzina (Fr). 2011 b. m., Walk In The Park—Sainte Parfaite, by Septieme Ciel. Owner-trainer: Paddy Young. Jockey: Eddie Keating. Breeder: Therese Bouche (Fr). 2018 record: No starts. Odds: 20-1. Making first U.S. start. Was unplaced in three starts in England in 2016.