Saratoga Race Course’s $65,000 allowance hurdle on Wednesday attracted a field of 10, and among the starters will be three recent imports making their first U.S. starts over fences.
Leading owner Irv Naylor will unveil four-year-old Duke of Medina, a flat winner who won a juvenile hurdle last November for former trainer Harry Wittington. Ross Geraghty will ride the Rock of Gibraltar gelding for trainer Cyril Murphy.
Trainer Ricky Hendriks introduced Rosbrian Farm’s Detroit Blues to America with a flat start at Parx Racing against other hurdlers, and he finished second. Sean McDermott will rider Detroit Blues, who won a maiden hurdle at Fontwell in May 2015.
Ballybristol Farm’s Blue Atlantic started in the other flat division at Parx and picked up a fifth. Trainer Leslie Young will reunite Blue Atlantic with his regular jockey in England and Ireland, Gavin Sheehan, who was aboard for a juvenile hurdle win in November 2014.
The Fields Stable will be represented by Berland, a four-year-old Darley-bred who finished fifth in Saratoga’s opening jumps race, a similar 2 1/16-mile allowance hurdle, on July 27. Trainer Elizabeth Voss named Gus Dahl to ride Berland, who won a juvenile hurdle at Catterick last December.
Carrying the allowance hurdle’s 156-pound highweight are Magalen O. Bryant’s homebred Personal Start and Robert Kinsley’s Unsinkable. Personal Start finished third in a Parx allowance hurdle on July 12, and trainer Richard Valentine again will put Bernie Dalton in the saddle.
Unsinkable threw a tantrum before Saratoga’s July 27 allowance hurdle and was scratched. Leading jockey Jack Doyle will take the Parx flat winner to the starter for Voss.
Trainer Doug Fout will saddle Virginia Lazenby’s Hardrock Eleven and Beverly R. Steinman’s Reporter. Hardrock Eleven won at Saratoga last year and will be ridden by Brendan Crowley. Reporter, a dominant maiden winner at Suffolk Downs on July 9, again will have the services of Kieran Norris.
Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard, in pursuit of his 48th straight year with a Saratoga winner, will saddle Bill Pape’s Castle Hill, a maiden over fences who possesses good speed on the flat. Gerard Galligan takes over the mount on Castle Hill, who lost his rider in a Parx maiden hurdle when a stirrup leather broke.
Completing the field is Luna Stable’s Boogie Feeva, winner of the Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup’s Raymond G. Woolfe Memorial for three-year-olds last November. Willie McCarthy will ride for trainer Todd Wyatt.
Here is the field for the $65,000 allowance hurdle, which will be Wednesday’s first race with a 1 p.m. post time.
Hardrock Eleven. 2010 gr. or ro. g., Rock Hard Ten—Stark Beauty, by Unbridled’s Song. Owner: Virginia Lazenby. Trainer: Doug Fout. Jockey: Brendan Crowley. Breeders: Farm III Enterprises and Off the Hook Partners (Fla.) 2016 record: 3-0-0-0, $6,000. 2015 record: 6-1-1-2, $53,350. Finished fourth in 2016 Marcellus Frost Novice Stakes at Iroquois Steeplechase. Began 2016 with sixth in Carolina Cup, then was pulled up in Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase. Finished third in 2015 International Gold Cup allowance hurdle after win in Saratoga allowance hurdle. Formerly trained by owner’s late brother, David P. Banks, and won an Evangeline Downs optional allowance flat race in 2014. (115)
Boogie Feeva. 2012 dk. b. or br. g., Pomeroy—White Scarf, by Matty G. Owner: Ann Jackson. Trainer: Todd Wyatt. Jockey: Willie McCarthy. Breeder: H & E Ranch (Ariz.) 2016 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $750. 2015 record: 3-1-0-1, $17,875. Began 2016 season with even fifth in Virginia Gold Cup flat race, then was sixth in Radnor Ratings Handicap. Won 2015 Colonial Cup’s Raymond G. Woolfe Memorial after third in Far Hills’ Gladstone for three-year-olds. (110)
Personal Start. 2011 dk. b. or br. g., Jump Start—Personal Doreen, by Personal Flag. Owner: Magalen O. Bryant. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Jockey: Bernie Dalton. Breeder: Magalen O. Bryant (Ky.) 2016 record: 3-1-0-1, $21,850. 2015 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $0. Won 2016 Atlanta Cup maiden hurdle and fell in Marcellus Frost Novice Stakes at Iroquois Steeplechase. Finished third in Parx Ratings Handicap. (116)
Castle Hill. 2012 b. g., Munnings—Push My Luck, by Press Card. Owner: William L. Pape. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Gerard Galligan. Breeders: William and Anne Pape (Pa.). 2016 NSA record: 2-0-0-1, $4,000. Maiden winner on flat finished third in Iroquois maiden hurdle, then lost rider when stirrup leather broke in Parx maiden.
Reporter. 2012 b. g., Yes It’s True—Skirmish, by War Chant. Owner: Beverly R. Steinman. Trainer: Doug Fout. Jockey: Kieran Norris. Breeder: Beverly R. Steinman (Ky.). 2016 record: 3-1-1-0, $21,900. Won 2016 Suffolk Downs maiden hurdle by 9 3/4 lengths in third start over fences. Also had second in jumps debut at Foxfield Spring.
Unsinkable (Ire). 2010 gr. g., Verglas—Heart’s Desire, by Royal Applause (GB). Owner: Robert A. Kinsley. Trainer: Elizabeth Voss. Jockey: Jack Doyle. Breeder: Stephanie Hanly (Ire). 2016 NSA record: 3-1-0-1, $21,500. 2015 NSA record: No starts. Refused to start in Saratoga allowance hurdle and was scratched. Won 2016 Middleburg Spring maiden hurdle and then fell in Virginia Gold Cup allowance hurdle after being forced into wing by loose horse. Finished third in Radnor Hunt Cup allowance hurdle. (116)
Detroit Blues (GB). 2010 ch. g., Tobougg (Ire)—Blue Missy, by Swain (Ire). Owner: Rosbrian Farm. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Jockey: Sean McDermott. Breeder: R. W. Huggins (GB). 2016 NSA record: No starts. In U.S. debut, finished second in Parx flat race for hurdlers. Won maiden hurdle at Fontwell in England in May 2015.
Berland (Ire). 2012 b. g., Cape Cross (Ire)—Ballantrae, by Diktat. Owner: The Fields Stable. Trainer: Elizabeth Voss. Jockey: Gus Dahl. Breeder: Darley (Ire). 2016 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $2,600. In U.S. debut, finished fifth in Saratoga allowance hurdle. Formerly trained by John Ferguson, won juvenile hurdle in his first start over fences in England. (127)
Duke of Medina (Ire). 2012 dk. b. or br. g., Rock of Gibraltar (Ire)—Daruliyya (Ire), by Highest Honor (Fr). Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Cyril Murphy. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. Breeder: Old Long Hill Ballinteskin Stud (Ire). 2016 NSA record: No starts. Flat handicap winner won juvenile hurdle last year at Market Rasen in England.
Blue Atlantic. 2011 b. g., Stormy Atlantic—Bluemamba, by Kingmambo. Owner: Ballybristol Farm. Trainer: Leslie Young. Jockey: Gavin Sheehan. Breeder: Skymarc Farm (Ky.) 2016 NSA record: No starts. Kicked off U.S. return with a fifth in Parx flat race for hurdlers on July 10. Won his first start over fences in late 2014 and had a second in a Wincanton handicap hurdle in April. (122)