Jump racing returns to New England on Saturday with two competitive races as part of the summer racing festival at historic Suffolk Downs in East Boston. A $30,000 Ratings Handicap and a $30,000 Sport of Kings maiden hurdle both attracted large, competitive fields with also-eligibles.
Saturday’s races are the first of three scheduled steeplechase events at Suffolk. Jump racing is scheduled to return there on Aug. 6 and Sept. 3.
The Ratings Handicap, popular in England and Ireland but introduced to the United States only last year, assigns weights according to the ratings of three expert handicappers under the supervision of National Steeplechase Association Director of Racing Bill Gallo Jr.
Saturday’s 2 1/16-mile race is limited to horses with ratings between 115 and 95, and three contenders in a field of 11 enter with 115 ratings. Beverly Steinman’s Perfect Union ships to Massachusetts from trainer Doug Fout’s Virginia barn after a 12-length victory in a Ratings Handicap at the High Hope Steeplechase in Lexington, Ky., on May 22. Kieran Norris rides.
Dyna’s Vow, owned by Amy Taylor Rowe and trained by Leslie Young, finished third in a Queen’s Cup Ratings Handicap near Charlotte, N.C., on April 30. Paddy Young, last year’s champion jockey, has the mount.
Apprentice jockey Carol-Ann Sloan will be aboard Irv Naylor’s Tubal for trainer Kevin Tobin. Tubal finished second in an Iroquois Steeplechase Ratings Handicap on May 14. Both Perfect Union and Dyna’s Vow carry 158 pounds, and Tubal carries 153 with the rider’s apprentice allowance.
Leading trainer Jack Fisher entered two contenders, Michael J. Moran’s Ivy Mills and DASH Stable’s Time Out. Ivy Mills, the NSA’s 2015 female champion, finished third in Iroquois’ Margaret Currey Henley for fillies and mare. Time Out broke into the win column in a Fair Hill Races maiden claiming hurdle on May 28.
Ivy Mills carries 157 pounds and will be ridden by Sean McDermott, while reigning champion apprentice jockey Connor Hankin will be aboard Time Out, who carries 148 pounds.
Also at 157 pounds is Noble Stables’ Candy Man Can, who kicked off the year with a victory in an Aiken Spring hurdle and was fourth in the Iroquois Ratings Handicap. Willie McCarthy rides for trainer Neil Morris.
Here is the field for the $30,000 Ratings Handicap. The current ratings are in parentheses at the end of each profile.
Time Out. 2012 b. g., Tiznow—Caroline’s Gold, by Touch Gold. Owner: DASH Stable. Trainer: Jockey: Connor Hankin. Breeder: WinStar Farm (Ky.) 2016 record: 2-1-0-0, $13,200. Won a $25,000 maiden claimer at 2016 Fair Hill Races after fifth in Radnor maiden hurdle. (105)
Tubal. 2010 b. g., Shakespeare–Lady Nadine, by Alzao. Owner Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Kevin Tobin. Jockey: Carol-Ann Sloan. Breeder: Lady Olivia of North Cliff (Va.). 2016 record: 3-0-1-2, $17,300. 2015 record: 4-1-1-1, $43,750. Finished third in 2016 Iroquois Ratings Handicap. Finished third in 2016 Carolina Cup, then second in 2016 Georgia Cup optional allowance hurdle. Won maiden hurdle impressively at 2015 Virginia Gold Cup, finished second in Fair Hill Ratings Handicap, and was fourth in a Saratoga allowance hurdle. (115)
Ivy Mills. 2010 b. f., Broken Vow—Threadneedle, by Dynaformer. Owner: Michael J. Moran. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Sean McDermott. Breeder: Lazy Lane Farms (Va.) 2016 record: 1-0-0-1, $5,000. 2015 record: 4-2-1-0, $37,000. 2014 record: 2-0-0-2, $9,500. Finished third in 2016 Margaret Currey Henley. Won Colonial Cup’s Springdale Stakes to clinch 2015 female championship. Finished second in Montpelier allowance hurdle for fillies and mares on Nov. 7after fourth in Far Hills’ Peapack Stakes. Won her maiden victory over fences at Foxfield Fall on Sept. 27. (114)
Candy Man Can. 2011 ch. g., Lemon Drop Kid–Snow Cone, by Cryptoclearance. Owner: Noble Stables. Trainer: Neil Morris. Jockey: Willie McCarthy. Breeder: Live Oak Stud (Fla.) 2016 NSA record: 4-1-0-1, $20,500. 2015 record: 1-0-1-0, $3.600. Won $25,000 maiden hurdle at Aiken Spring to open 2016 season and then was third in Sandhills Cup optional allowance hurdle and fourth in Daniel Van Clief Memorial. Also fourth in Iroquois Ratings Handicap. (114)
Stalled. 2011 dk. b. or br. f., Jump Start–Push My Luck, by Press Card. Owner: Bill Pape. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Gerard Galligan. Breeders: Bill Pape and Jonathan Sheppard (Pa.). 2015 record: 2-1-0-1, $14,000. 2014 NSA record: 2-0-0-0, $0. Broke through for an 18 3/4-length victory in a 2015 Carolina Cup maiden hurdle for fillies and mares, then finished third in a Queen’s Cup Ratings Hurdle. (95)
Miguel Grau. 2010 b. g., City Zip—Zuri Ridge, by Cox’s Ridge. Owner: Gil Johnston. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Jockey: Jack Doyle. Breeder: Sea Horse Breeders (Ky.) 2016 record: 2-0-0-1, $6,250. 2015 record: 6-1-1-1, $34,200. Finished fourth in 2016 Georgia Cup optional allowance hurdle, then third in Virginia Gold Cup allowance hurdle. Finished third in a 2015 Saratoga allowance hurdle, then was seventh in Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle. First-year hurdler broke through for a 10 1/2-length victory in a Parx maiden hurdle after second at Iroquois Steeplechase. (112)
Perfect Union. 2011 dk. b. or br. g., Purim—Blue Northern, by Top Account. Owner: Beverly Steinman. Trainer: Doug Fout. Jockey: Kieran Norris. Breeder: Nelson E. Clemmons (Ky.). 2016 record: 2-1-0-0, $12,750. 2015 record: 6-0-2-1, $21,950. 2014 record: 3-1-1-1, $21,500. Won 2016 High Hope Ratings Handicap by 12 lengths. Began 2016 with sixth in Daniel Van Clief Memorial at Foxfield Spring. Finished sixth in Belmont’s 2015 William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes, then was pulled up in Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle. Three-year-old champion of 2014 after winning Far Hills’ Gladstone. (115)
Tafawuk. 2009 b. g., Nayef—Yaqeen (GB), by Green Desert. Owner: Blythe Miller Davies. Trainer: Joseph G. Davies. Jockey: Gus Dahl. Breeder: Shadwell Farm (Ky.) 2016 NSA record: 1-1-0-0, $9,000. Won a Willowdale claiming hurdle in first 2016 start over fences. Won 2015 Radnor maiden claimer and was claimed by current owner. (107)
Dyna’s Vow. 2011 dk. b. or br. g., Broken Vow—Dyna’s Greeley, by Dynaformer. Owner: Amy Taylor Rowe. Trainer: Leslie Young. Jockey: Paddy Young. Breeder: Clifford Grum (Ky.) 2016 record: 2-0-0-1, $2,500. 2015 NSA record: 2-1-0-1, $26,000. Finished third in Ratings Handicap at 2016 Queen’s Cup, then was pulled up in Marcellus Frost Novice Stakes at Iroquois Steeplechase. Began jump-racing career with third at Virginia Fall Races and then won at International Gold Cup. (115)
Catch the Blues. 2010 b. g., Bluegrass Cat—Catch a Warning, by Caveat. Owner: Todd J. Wyatt Stables. Trainer: Todd Wyatt. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. Breeder: Mary A. Sullivan (Ky.) Coming back after nearly two years on sidelines, finished third in Willowdale claiming hurdle. (105)
Takepointsandrun. 2010 ch. g., Point Given–Town Queen, by Williamstown. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: William Meister. Jockey: Darren Nagle. Breeders: Carl Hurst, Fred Bradley, and William Bradley (Ky.). 2016 record: 3-2-0-0, $24,000. Kicked off 2016 campaign with win in Aiken Spring allowance hurdle, then won Stoneybrook Steeplechase Ratings Handicap after private sale. Went off course in Iroquois Ratings Handicap. Claimed from breeders at Churchill Downs in September 2015 and won first start over fences at Aiken Fall. (112)