Clarke Ohrstrom’s Kisser N Run, who launched her run to last year’s National Steeplechase Association filly and mare championship with a Far Hills victory, returns for a shot at a third straight victory in Saturday’s $75,000 Peapack Stakes.
The Peapack kicks off the richest race program on the annual NSA schedule with a 1 p.m. post time.
Trained by Richard Valentine, the six-year-old Pleasant Tap mare subsequently won last November’s Crown Royal Stakes at the Steeplechase at Callaway to take the Life’s Illusion Filly and Mare Championship.
She began the current season with a win in the Georgia Cup in April and most recently finished second in Saratoga Race Course’s Mrs. Ogden Phipps Stakes on Aug. 7. Robbie Walsh will be in the saddle.
Kisser N Run’s principal opponent will be Irv Naylor’s Bittersweetheart, winner of the Iroquois Steeplechase’s Margaret Currey Henley on May 10. Trained by Leslie Young, the seven-year-old mare finished third in Saratoga’s Mrs. Walter M. Jeffords Stakes on Aug. 28. Paddy Young will ride.
Jennifer H. Pitts’ Bau Bai Gold impressed when she cut all the pace and won a Foxfield Fall maiden hurdle for fillies and mares in her first start over fences on Sept. 28. Ross Geraghty has the mount. Owner-trainer Jonathan Sheppard’s E C’s Favorite finished third in that race and will be ridden in the Peapack by leading jockey Willie McCarthy.
Riverdee Stable’s Lillehammer, third in the 2012 Peapack, will take for another shot at the 2 1/8-mile race over National Fences. She most recently finished sixth in the Mrs. Phipps, her only start this year, and Bernie Dalton will ride.
Here is the Peapack field:
Brief Holiday. 2008 b. m., Harlan’s Holiday—Essa Brilha (Brz), by Roi Normand. Owner: Elizabeth Barr. Trainer: Fenneka T. Bentley. Jockey: Sean McDermott. 2014 NSA record: 1-0-1-0, $1,800. 10-1 odds. In first start over fences, finished second in a Virginia Fall open maiden claiming hurdle, beaten three-quarters of a length on Oct. 4.
Bittersweetheart (GB). 2007 b. m., Storming Home (GB)—Cruz Santa, by Lord Bud (Ire). Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Leslie Young. Jockey: Paddy Young. 2014 record: 3-1-0-1, $39,000. 2013 NSA record: 2-0-0-1, $5,000. 4-1 odds. Moved into the top rank of her division with victory in Iroquois Steeplechase’s $50,000 Margaret Currey Henley Stakes on May 11, then finished third in Saratoga’s Mrs. Walter M. Jeffords Stakes on Aug. 28. Began 2014 with fourth-place finish in $30,000 Georgia Cup at Atlanta Steeplechase on April 19. Finished third in Steeplechase at Callaway’s 2013 Crown Royal Stakes after eighth in Peapack Stakes at Far Hills, her U.S. debut.
Bau Bai Gold. 2010 dk. b. or br. f., Sightseeing—Lynx of Gold, by Forest Wildcat. Owner: Jennifer H. Pitts. Trainer: Jazz Napravnik. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. 2014 record: 1-1-0-0, $12,000. 8-1 odds. In first start over fences, won a Foxfield Fall maiden hurdle for fillies and mares by 13 1/4 lengths. Her best finish in a lackluster flat career was a fourth at the Fair Grounds in January when ridden by the trainer’s sister, top jockey Rosie Napravnik.
Ivy Mills. 2010 b. f., Broken Vow—Threadneedle, by Dynaformer. Owner: Michael J. Moran. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Sam Jones. 2014 record: 1-0-0-1, $2,000. 15-1 odds. Finished third in her first start over fences in an open maiden hurdle at Shawan Downs on Sept. 27. Won a Monmouth Park maiden flat race last year.
Hiwasee Gem. 2007 b. m., Cetewayo–Northern Wood, by Northern Baby. Owner-trainer: Janet Elliot. Jockey: Gerard Galligan. 2014 record: 2-1-0-0, $12,000. 2013 record: No starts. 15-1 odds. Co-bred by owner-trainer and looking to break through in a very tough spot. Won off in a Carolina Cup maiden hurdle and was pulled up in the Georgia Cup.
E C’s Favorite. 2010 ch. f., English Channel—Marie J, by Mr. Prospector. Owner-trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Willie McCarthy. 2014 NSA record: 1-0-0-1, $2,000. 10-1 odds. Finished third in Foxfield Fall’s filly-mare maiden hurdle in her first start over fences. Won a starter optional claimer on the flat at Delaware Park on Sept. 10.
Kisser N Run. 2008 b. m., Pleasant Tap—Firm Kiss, by Atticus. Owner: Clarke Ohrstrom. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Jockey: Robbie Walsh. 2014 record: 3-1-1-0, $34,000. 2013 record: 6-2-2-0, $95,400. 9-5 odds. Finished second in Saratoga’s Mrs. Ogden Phipps on Aug. 7, beaten 3 3/4 lengths. Never found her best stride in Iroquois Steeplechase’s Margaret Currey Henley Stakes and finished a distant fourth. Opened 2014 with 6 1/4-length victory in $30,000 Georgia Cup on April 19. Claimed the 2013 Life’s Illusion Filly and Mare Champion award with late-season wins in Far Hills’ Peapack Stakes and the Steeplechase at Callaway’s Crown Royal.
Missteria. 2008 b. m., Dance With Ravens—Cozy Lace, by Cozzene. Owner-trainer: Michael Leaf. Jockey: Kieran Norris. 2014 NSA record: 3-0-0-0, $1,000. 2013 NSA record: 2-1-0-0, $9,000. 15-1 odds. In most recent start over fences, finished fourth in Shawan Downs claiming hurdle on Sept. 27. Also was fourth in Block House claimer on May 3. Stumbled at last fence of Far Hills’ Peapack Stakes and lost her rider.
Lillehammer. 2008 b. f., North Light (Ire)—Desert Dad, by Exploit. Owner: Riverdee Stable. Trainer: Kate Dalton. Jockey: Bernie Dalton. 2014 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. 2013 record: 4-1-0-1, $17,250. 10-1 odds. In only 2014 start, finished sixth in Saratoga’s Mrs. Ogden Phipps Stakes on Aug. 7. Went to the sidelines after fifth in last year’s Mrs. Phipps. Easily won maiden victory at Colonial Downs in June 2013. Finished second in Steeplechase at Callaway’s Crown Royal Stakes and third in Far Hills’ Peapack Stakes in 2012.
Casablanca Lily (Ire). 2008 ch. m., Hurricane Run (Ire)–Lady Prominence, by Darshaan (GB). Owner: Robert A. Kinsley. Trainer: Elizabeth Voss Murray. Jockey: Gus Dahl. 2014 record: 3-0-0-0, $2,500. 2013 record: 6-0-0-1, $5,865. 15-1 odds. Finished fourth in filly-mare maiden hurdle at Fair Hill, Md., on May 24 after sixth in Iroquois Steeplechase’s Margaret Currey Henley two weeks earlier. Lost rider in Foxfield Spring maiden hurdle when encountered interference from another horse. Finished sixth in Steeplechase at Callaway’s 2013 Crown Royal.