Members of the steeplechase community and guests from flat racing came together for an afternoon of good company, interesting conversation, and handicapping at the Go Jump Racing Saratoga Hospitality Tent at trackside on Wednesday.
Among the features of the first Hospitality Tent in Saratoga Race Course’s At the Rail Pavilion was a new video by HCP Sports that explains jump racing and includes interviews with several steeplechase participants, including Dogwood Stable founder Cot Campbell, who attended the event with his wife, Anne.
“The Go Jump Racing Hospitality Tent was a huge success,” said Bill Price, chair of the National Steeplechase Association’s Promotion and Growth Task Force. “We had several new faces with many familiar faces, and they were all having a great time. We introduced our sport to several new people, and we have something to build upon for next year.” The Hospitality Tent was supported by the National Steeplechase Foundation and the NSA.
Racing is a collegial sport in which competitors are often good friends, and that is particularly true in jump racing. Engaged in a warm conversation in the Hospitality Tent were Jacqueline Ohrstrom, owner of reigning Eclipse champion Demonstrative, and Bill Pape, whose Divine Fortune was the 2013 Eclipse champion.
Their horses, long engaged in a rivalry for supremacy in jump racing, are due to clash again in Thursday’s $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup Handicap (Gr. 1) on Saratoga’s inner turf course. Demonstrative is the 156-pound highweight in a field of 10, and Divine Fortune is second in the weights at 150. The New York Turf Writers is Saratoga’s first race with a 1 p.m. post time.