Owner-trainer Dave Washer’s Junood, winner of three claiming races in the spring, returns for a $15,000 open claiming hurdle at Colonial Downs on Saturday, Sept. 18. Three Colonial Downs races, two over National Fences and a training run on the flat, mark the beginning of the National Steeplechase Association’s fall championship season.
Bernie Dalton will be aboard Junood, a 7-year-old Cozzene gelding who was entered for a $15,000 claiming price and will be meeting five opponents in the 2 1/4-mile race over 10 obstacles. He kicked off his 2010 season with a victory in a $10,000 claiming race at the Aiken Spring Races in South Carolina on March 20 and then finished third in the $20,000 Sandhills Cup at the Stoneybrook Steeplechase on April 3.
Placed first in a $15,000 open claimer at the Block House Races in Tryon, N.C., on April 17, Junood completed his spring campaign with a 1 3/4-length victory in a $15,000 claimer at the Tanglewood Cup Steeplechase in Clemmons, N.C., on May 8.
Leading jockey Paddy Young will ride Barracuda Stable’s Eagle Beagle for trainer Ricky Hendriks. He finished second in the Sandhills Cup and won the $25,000 James M. Moran claiming hurdle by 1 3/4 lengths at the Radnor Hunt Races in Malvern, Pa., on May 15. The six-year-old Lemon Drop Kid gelding finished third in a $15,000 claimer at the Saratoga Open House on July 18.
Owner-trainer Karen M. Gray’s Cuse, who finished second in the Saratoga race, was entered for a $10,000 price and will be ridden by Liam McVicar.
Also in the field are Irvin Naylor’s Dubai Sunday, fourth in the Moran at Radnor; owner-trainer Randy Rouse’s One Sea, fourth in a $20,000 claiming hurdle at Colonial on June 13; and Margaret Littleton’s Bethpage Black, who is making his first 2010 start for trainer Julie Gomena.