Steeplechase racing’s newest competitors will kick off the Far Hills Races festivities on Saturday in the $50,000 Gladstone Stakes for three-year-olds. First post time in 1 p.m. at the central New Jersey course.
The 2 1/8-mile Gladstone will play a crucial role in determining the National Steeplechase Association’s three-year-old championship.
First Friday, bred and owned by NSA Chairman Beverly R. Steinman, won Shawan Downs’ $20,000 maiden hurdle for three-year-olds on Sept. 23.
Never far off the pace, the Artie Schiller gelding made a strong move at the next to last fence and drew clear to a 1 3/4-length victory on the Maryland course. First Friday is trained by Doug Fout, who also prepared Miss Steinman’s Perfect Union for a victory in the 2014 Gladstone and the NSA’s three-year-old championship. Jack Doyle will ride.
Finishing second in the Shawan race was Ann Jackson’s homebred Flash Jackson, who set the pace at Shawan and was passed after the last fence. The Maryland-bred is trained by Todd Wyatt, and Ross Geraghty has the mount.
Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard nominated Hudson River Farms’ Snuggling, who was bred by the owner and trainer. The Cape Blanco gelding finished third at Shawan, 3 1/4 lengths behind Flash Jackson.
Gerard Gallign has the mount on Snuggling, a half brother to multiple stakes winner Parker’s Project, also owned by Hudson River Farms and trained by Sheppard.
Finishing fourth at Shawan was Bonnie Rye Stable’s Menacing Dennis, a Greatness gelding trained by Julie Gomena. Mark Watts will ride.
Here is the field for the Gladstone in post-position order.
Flash Jackson. 2014 b. g., Get Stormy—Riveting, by Petionville. Owner: Ann Jackson. Trainer: Todd Wyatt. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. Breeder: Ann Biggs Jackson (Md.) Finished second in Shawan Downs’ 2017 maiden hurdle for three-year-olds. Unplaced in two previous starts on the flat.
Snuggling. 2014 b. g., Cape Blanco (Ire)—Let’s Canoodle, by Oh Say. Owner: Hudson River Farms. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Gerard Galligan. Breeders: Hudson River Farms and Jonathan Sheppard (Pa.). 2017 NSA record: 1-0-0-1, $2,000. Finished third in Shawan Downs’ 2017 maiden hurdle for three-year-olds. Half brother to stakes winner Parker’s Project.
Down Royal. 2014 gr. or ro. g., Alphabet Soup—Miss Crown, by High Yield. Owner: Trainer: Kate Dalton. Jockey: Bernie Dalton. Breeders: Bernard and Kate Dalton (N.Y.) 2017 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $0. Fell at next to last fence in 2017 Shawan Downs maiden hurdle for three-year-olds.
Britain. 2014 b. g., Tiznow—Lacadena, by Fasilyev. Owner: Eve Ledyard. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Jockey: Michael Mitchell. Breeder: Bobby Flay Thoroughbreds (Ky.) 2017 NSA record: No starts. Making first run over fences after third in Saratoga $20,000 maiden claimer. Tiznow has been successful as a sire of steeplechase horses.
What Gives. 2014 b. g., Spring At Last—All the Words, by Allen’s Prospect. Owner: Larry Knight Jr. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Sean McDermott. Breeders: Rebecca B. Davis and Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Bowman (Md.). 2017 NSA record: No starts. Making first start over fences after eight flat starts. Won $16,000 maiden claimer at Laurel Park in June 2017.
Menacing Dennis. 2014 ch. g, Greatness—Soldier Girl, by Lost Soldier. Owner: Bonnie Rye Stable. Trainer: Julie Gomena. Jockey: Mark Watts. Breeders: Tom McCrocklin and Frank Mermenstein (Fla.) 2017 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $1,000. In first start over fences, finished fourth in Shawan Downs’ 2017 maiden hurdle for three-year-olds. Had 11 prior starts and won $50,000 maiden claimer at Tampa Downs in January 2017.
First Friday. 2014 b. g., Artie Schiller—Vente, by Dynaformer. Owner: Beverly R. Steinman. Trainer: Doug Fout. Jockey: Jack Doyle. Breeder: Beverly R. Steinman (N.Y.) 2017 NSA record: 1-1-0-0, $12,000. Won Shawan Downs’ 2017 maiden hurdle for three-year-olds by 1 3/4 lengths. Unplaced in two previous starts on flat at Laurel Park.
Burning Approval. 2014 dk. b. or br. g., Wilburn—On Approval, by Put It Back. Owners: Brian E. Murphy and Tara Murty. Trainer: Brian E. Murphy. Jockey: Darren Nagle. Breeder: Marablue Farm. 2017 NSA record: No starts. Started in Tryon Block House flat race and was disqualified to fifth from fourth for interference. Won $17,500 maiden claimer at Chicago’s Hawthorne Race Course in December 2016.
Alshibaa (Ire). 2014 dk. b. or br. g., New Approach—Amjaad, by Dansili (GB). Owner: Ballybristol Farm. Trainer: Leslie Young. Jockey: Paul Townend. Breeder: Shadwell Estate Co. (Ire). 2017 NSA record: No starts. Making his first U.S. start and first start over fences. Won minor Skeffinton Handicap at Leicester on the flat in June 2017.