The National Steeplechase Association’s rising-stars division will be in the spotlight on Wednesday when a packed field of 11 lines up for Saratoga Race Course’s $75,000 Jonathan Kiser Novices Stakes.
The 2 1/16-mile race over National Fences will be Saratoga’s first race, with a 12:50 p.m. first post time.
The Kiser will feature two starters who are making their U.S. debuts. Richard Valentine will saddle Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Arch My Boy, who arrives on American shores after two runaway victories over hurdles in England.
The five-year-old won a maiden hurdle by nine lengths in March and then devastated a low-level allowance hurdle by 30 lengths at Huntingdon Race Course in April. Kieran Norris will ride.
Sharon Sheppard’s Redicean is trained by Leslie Young and will be break from the inside under Thomas Garner. The Medicean five-year-old most recently finished 11th in the Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr in April after five flat starts that included two victories.
Kate Dalton will send out Help From Heaven and Belisarius. Virginia Lazenby’s Help From Heaven finished second by a neck in the Iroquois Steeplechase’s Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle for novices on May 11 and will be ridden by Ross Geraghty.
Owned by Gary Barber, Brous Stable, and Wachtel Stable, Belisarius opened the season with a good second in the Temple Gwathmey Handicap (Gr. 2) before a disinterested ninth in the Marcellus Frost. Coming in for the mount is English jump jockey Sam Twiston-Davies.
Also coming out of the Marcellus Frost is Carrington Holdings’ Boss Man, the winner of a Saratoga allowance hurdle last summer. Trained by Arch Kingsley Jr., the Florida-bred also won Belmont Park’s William Entenmann Novice Stakes last fall. The English Channel gelding finished seventh in the Marcellus Frost and will have leading Irish jockey Danny Mullins in the saddle.
Leading trainer Jack Fisher will saddle a trio of starters for the Jonathan Kiser, including Storm Team, who was eighth in the Marcellus Frost for Sheila Williams and Northwoods Stable. Jack Doyle will ride the Candy Ride five-year-old.
Also coming out of Fisher’s powerhouse stable are Bruton Street-US’s Lord Justice, four-length winner of a ratings handicap on the Iroquois card, and Rather Be Racing’s Our Legend, who won a Fair Hill allowance hurdle on May 25. Michael Mitchell, currently leading the jockey standings, will ride Lord Justice, and Willie McCarthy has the call on Our Legend.
KMSN Stable’s Sportswear will be attempting to extend his unbeaten streak over fences for Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard. The four-year-old by Frankel scored his maiden victory at Middleburg Spring in April and then prevailed over an experienced field in an Iroquois allowance hurdle. Gerard Galligan, who was aboard for both victories, will ride.
Making his first start over fences this year will be Irv Naylor’s Elucidation, who also has no blemishes on his jumps record. He won at Shawan Downs last September and then scored in an International Gold Cup allowance hurdle. Darren Nagle, who rode the five-year-old Oasis Dream gelding in both victories, will ride.
Completing the field is Heather and Peter Austin’s Corky Lemon, who comes into the Kiser from two victories. He won a maiden hurdle at the Queen’s Cup for owner-trainer Nancy Ruch in April and then prevailed in a Radnor Hunt Races allowance hurdle for new trainer Mark Beecher. Sean McDermott has the mount.
The Kiser is named for the two-time champion steeplechase jockey who died in a non-racing accident in 2000. Here is the field for the $75,000 Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes. The horses’ National Steeplechase Association ratings are in parentheses at the end of their profiles.
Redicean (GB). 2014 b. g., Medicean (GB)—Red Halo, by Galileo (Ire). Owner: Sharon E. Sheppard. Trainer: Leslie Young. Jockey: Thomas Garner. Breeder: Cheveley Park Stud (GB). 2019 NSA record: No starts. Making his first start in U.S. after respectable career in England. Departed with 11th in Scottish Champion Hurdle in April. (141)
Help From Heaven. 2012 ch. g., Divine Park—Harlan Helper, by Friends Lake. Owner: Virginia Lazenby Racing Stable. Trainer: Kate Dalton. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. Breeders: Brereton C. Jones and Jimmy Blanton (Ky.) 2019 record: 2-0-1-1, $21,000. 2018 record: No starts. Just beaten when second in Iroquois Steeplechase’s Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle for novices. Finished third in Queen’s Cup ratings handicap, his first start in more than 2½ years. Won Saratoga allowance hurdle in August 2016 and went to sidelines. Two-time winner on flat in Louisiana. (123)
Boss Man. 2010 ch. g., English Channel—Jenny Joy, by Acceptable. Owner: Carrington Holdings. Trainer: Arch Kingsley Jr. Jockey: Danny Mullins. Breeder: Kinsman Farm (Fla.) 2019 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $0. 2018 NSA record: 7-3-0-1, $113,250. In first 2019 start, was eager early in Iroquois Steeplechase’s Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle and finished seventh. Finished fourth in 2018 Aflac Supreme hurdle after being pulled up in Far Hills Foxbrook Champion Hurdle division. Won Belmont Park’s William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes after third in Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes at Saratoga. Won Saratoga allowance hurdle by front-running 2 1/4 lengths. Graduate of Jason Servis’ flat training operation scored his maiden victory over fences at the 2018 Queen’s Cup. (125)
Storm Team. 2014 ch. g., Candy Ride (Arg)—Stormy Dixie, by Stormy Atlantic. Owner: Sheila Williams and Northwoods Stable. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Jack Doyle. Breeder: Colts Neck Stables (Ky.). 2019 record: 3-1-0-1, $31,000. 2018 record: 5-1-1-2, $30,120. Faded to eighth in 2019 Marcellus Frost at Iroquois Steeplechase after third in Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase. Kicked off 2019 season with three-length win in Carolina Cup allowance hurdle. Won a maiden hurdle at 2018 Foxfield Fall and was second in Callaway flat race. Finished third in Monmouth Park maiden hurdle after being pulled up in Radnor maiden hurdle. (122)
Corky Lemon. 2014 ch. g., Denis of Cork—Lemon Drop Chick, by Lemon Drop Kid. Owners: Heather and Peter Austin. Trainer: Mark Beecher. Jockey: Sean McDermott. Breeder: James Casey (W.Va.) 2019 record: 3-2-0-0, $45,600. Won 2019 Queen’s Cup maiden hurdle for former owner-trainer and then beat experienced field in Radnor. (121)
Lord Justice (Ire). 2013 b. g., Zoffany (Ire)—Roselita, by Sadler’s Wells. Owner: Bruton Street-US. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Michael Mitchell. Breeder: Whisperview Trading (Ire). 2019 record: 2-1-0-0, $21,000. 2018 NSA record: 3-1-1-1, $43,800. 2017 NSA record: 2-0-2-0, $12,600. Opened 2019 with seventh in Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase, then won Iroquois ratings handicap by four lengths. Won 2018 Iroquois Steeplechase’s allowance hurdle after close second in Block House allowance hurdle, then finished third in Saratoga’s Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes. (128)
Elucidation (Ire). 2014 b. g., Oasis Dream (GB)—Mimalia, by Silver Hawk. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Cyril Murphy. Jockey: Darren Nagle. Breeder: Niarchos Family (Ire). 2019 NSA record: No starts. 2018 record: 3-2-0-0, $45,000. Showed promise in fall of 2018 with maiden hurdle win at Shawan Downs and allowance hurdle victory at International Gold Cup. (121)
Our Legend (Ire). 2015 b. g., Finsceal Fior—Thrift, by Green Desert. Owner: Rather Be Racing. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Willie McCarthy. Breeder: Micheal D. Ryan (Ire). 2019 NSA record: 2-1-0-0, $20,500. Departed Ireland with victory at Navan in March 2019, finished fourth in U.S. debut at Iroquois, and then won Fair Hill hurdle for four-year-olds. (122)
Sportswear (GB). 2015 b. g., Fankel (GB)—Casual Look, by Red Ransom. Owner: KNSN Stable. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Gerard Galligan. Breeder: W. S. Farish (GB). 2019 record: 2-2-0-0, $48,000. Undefeated over fences after maiden score at 2019 Middleburg Spring and allowance victory at Iroquois. Failed as a flat horse for top trainers Chad Brown and Neil Howard. (121)
Belisarius (Ire). 2011 b. g., Montjeu—Lasting Chance, by American Chance. Owner: Gary Barber, Brous Stable, and Wachtel Racing Stable. Sam Twiston-Davies. Trainer: Kate Dalton. Breeders: Lynch Bages Ltd. And Camas Park Stud (Ire). 2019 NSA record: 2-0-1-0, $13,500. 2018 NSA record: 6-2-1-2, $106,200. In 2019 debut, finished second in Temple Gwathmey Handicap (Gr. 2), then was ninth in Iroquois’ Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle for novices. Won 2018 Foxbrook Champion Hurdle by 6¼ lengths. Set all the pace and won 2018 Monmouth Park maiden hurdle by two lengths. Never has finished off the board in five jumps starts. (132)
Arch My Boy (GB). 2014 b. g., Archipenko—Fairy Slipper (GB), by Singspiel (Ire). Owner: Jacqueline Ohrstrom. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Jockey: Kieran Norris. Breeder: Wood Farm Stud (GB). 2019 NSA record: No starts. Won his final two starts in England by a combined 39 lengths. Scored maiden hurdle victory at Fakenham by nine lengths and then won off by 30 in an allowance hurdle at Huntingdon in April. (142)