Horses rarely get the chance to win the same allowance race twice, but Virginia Lazenby’s Hardrock Eleven will have that opportunity on Thursday as Saratoga Race Course winds up its 2016 schedule of steeplechase racing.
Last year in the same race limited to nonwinners of two hurdle races, Hardrock Eleven prevailed as a maiden by 4 1/4 lengths over 2 3/8 miles. The Rock Hard Ten gelding, now six, scales back on Thursday to 2 1/16 miles, the distance at which he finished second in a Saratoga allowance hurdle on Aug. 17.
Apprentice jockey Brendan Crowley will be in the irons for trainer Doug Fout, who also will saddle owner Beverly R. Steinman’s homebred entry of Reporter and Secret Reward. A seven-year-old mare by Eurosilver, Secret Reward finished second in Saratoga’s Mrs. Ogden Phipps Stakes on Aug. 11. Reporter was fifth in the Aug. 17 allowance hurdle. Ross Geraghty was named on both halves of the entry.
Ballybristol Farm’s Blue Atlantic finished third in the Aug. 17 allowance and will be looking for a breakthrough win in the U.S. after a racing career in England. Paddy Young will ride for his wife, trainer Leslie Young.
Time is running out for Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard to keep alive his 47-year streak of at least one Saratoga victory each season. He will saddle Bill Pape’s maiden Castle Hill, who was fourth in a similar allowance last Wednesday and swings back with Gerard Galligan in the irons.
Leading owner Irv Naylor will be represented by Osmoz, a maiden winner over hurdles at Parx Racing in July. Carol-Ann Sloan rides for Naylor’s principal trainer, Cyril Murphy.
Trainer Richard Valentine will saddle Check Mark Stables’ Willow U and The Elkstone Group’s Albany Road. Willow U was third in the Mrs. Phipps and will be ridden by Bernie Dalton. Valentine is taking the blinkers off Albany Road, who will have Gus Dahl in the saddle for the first time.
Sue Sensor’s Cash Crop, a maiden winner at last November’s Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup meet, will be ridden by Willie McCarthy. Trained by Arch Kingsley Jr., Cash Crop most recently won on the flat in a turf claimer at Suffolk Downs on Aug. 7.
Completing the field is Luna Stable’s Boogie Feeva, who will be ridden by leading jockey Jack Doyle. Trained by Todd Wyatt, Boogie Feeva won the Colonial Cup’s Raymond G. Woolfe for three-year-olds last November.
Here is the field for the 2 1/16-mile allowance hurdle. The National Steeplechase Association rating for each starter is in parentheses at the end of the horse’s profile.
Reporter. 2012 b. g., Yes It’s True—Skirmish, by War Chant. Owner: Beverly R. Steinman. Trainer: Doug Fout. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. Breeder: Beverly R. Steinman (Ky.). 2016 record: 4-1-1-0, $24,500. Won 2016 Suffolk Downs maiden hurdle by 9 3/4 lengths in third start over fences. Passed tiring horses to finish fifth in Saratoga allowance hurdle. (111)
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: 3-0-0-1, $7,250. Maiden winner on flat finished third in Iroquois maiden hurdle, then lost rider when stirrup leather broke in Parx maiden. Finished fourth in Saratoga allowance hurdle. (No rating)
Boogie Feeva. 2012 dk. b. or br. g., Pomeroy—White Scarf, by Matty G. Owner: Ann Jackson. Trainer: Todd Wyatt. Jockey: Jack Doyle. 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)
Osmoz. 2012 dk. b. or br. g., Birdstone—Wichitoz, by Affirmed. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Cyril Murphy. Jockey: Carol-Ann Sloan. Breeder: Wertheimer et Frere (Ky.) 2016 record: 2-1-0-0, $19,000. Won Parx maiden hurdle in July after fifth in High Hope maiden. Made two starts on the flat in California for Racing Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella, with a fourth as his best showing. (111).
Blue Atlantic. 2011 b. g., Stormy Atlantic—Bluemamba, by Kingmambo. Owner: Ballybristol Farm. Trainer: Leslie Young. Jockey: Paddy Young. Breeder: Skymarc Farm (Ky.) 2016 NSA record: 1-0-0-1, $6,500. Kicked off U.S. return with a fifth in Parx flat race for hurdlers on July 10, then finished third in Saratoga allowance hurdle. Won his first start over fences in late 2014 and had a second in a Wincanton handicap hurdle in April. (122)
Albany Road. 2007 ch. g., Mr. Greeley—Jane’s the Name, by Trempolino. Owner: The Elkstone Group. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Jockey: Gus Dahl. Breeder: Gainesway Thoroughbreds (Ky.) 2016 record: 4-0-1-0, $6,600. 2015 record: No starts. 2014 record: 6-0-0-3, $22,450. Came back after long absence to set pace in 2016 Sandhills Cup optional allowance hurdle at Stoneybrook Steeplechase and held on for good second. Pulled up in Virginia Gold Cup allowance hurdle, then finished fourth in Parx Ratings Handicap and seventh in Saratoga allowance hurdle. (117)
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 NSA record: 4-0-1-0, $17,700. 2015 record: 6-1-1-2, $53,350. Finished fourth in 2016 Marcellus Frost Novice Stakes at Iroquois Steeplechase, then stayed well for second in Saratoga allowance hurdle. 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)
Willow U. 2011 b. m., Utopia (Jpn)—Overextended (Fr), by Entrepreneur. Owner: Check Mark Stables. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Jockey: Bernie Dalton. Breeder: Andy Beadnell (N.Y.) 2016 record: 3-1-0-1, $21,500. 2015 NSA record: 1-0-1-0, $3,600. A $35,000 flat claim from win at Saratoga in 2015 broke through for maiden victory at 2016 Carolina Cup, then was fifth in Margaret Currey Henley at Iroquois Steeplechase. Finished third in Saratoga’s Mrs. Odgen Phipps. (107)
Cash Crop. 2011 b. g., Distorted Humor—Cotton Blossom, by Broken Vow. Owner: Mrs. George Sensor. Trainer: Arch Kingsley Jr. Jockey: Willie McCarthy. Breeder: Brushwood Stable (Ky.) 2016 NSA record: 2-0-0-0, $3,750. 2015 record: 6-1-0-1, $24,300. Finished third in 2016 Carolina Cup, then fell in Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase. Broke through for a victory on home course at the 2015 Colonial Cup in his sixth start over fences. Claimed from owner-breeder for $25,000 after modest career on flat. (115)
Secret Reward. 2009 ch. m., Eurosilver—Vente, by Dynaformer. Owner: Beverly R. Steinman. Trainer: Doug Fout. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. Breeder: Beverly R. Steinman (Ky.) 2016 NSA record: 3-1-1-0, $28,000. 2015 record: 2-0-1-1, $8,600. Finished second in Saratoga’s Mrs. Ogden Phipps Stakes. Won her 2016 debut in maiden hurdle for fillies and mares at Foxfield Spring in Virginia, then was fourth in Margaret Currey Henley at Iroquois Steeplechase. Finished third in 2015 Margaret Currey Henley. (108)