Irv Naylor, last year’s record-setting owner, kicked his 2016 season into high gear on Saturday with three victories at the Stoneybrook Steeplechase, including the featured $25,000 Sandhills Cup optional allowance hurdle with Jack Frost.
Trained by Cyril Murphy, Jack Frost secured his first U.S. victory with a half-length score in the 2 3/8-mile race over National Fences at the Raeford, N.C., course. The Elkstone Group’s Albany Road set the pace under Jack Doyle, and jockey Ross Geraghty moved Jack Frost to the lead at the last fence.
Noble Stables’ Candy Man Can, a winner at the Aiken Spring Steeplechase, finished third, and 2015 Sandhills Cup winner Forgotten Man finished fourth. Jack Frost, who was bred in England by Queen Elizabeth II, completed the distance in 4:31.60 on turf rated as firm.
Naylor won the first race, a $20,000 maiden hurdle, with Deficit, trained by Murphy and ridden by Geraghty. The Irish-bred, a handicap winner in England, was making his first U.S. start and won by 2 3/4 lengths.
Two days before Stoneybrook, Naylor acquired Takepointsandrun, who won the $20,000 Ratings Handicap for trainer Billy Meister. Darren Nagle rode the winner to a neck victory.