Clarke Ohrstrom’s Kisser N Run made a strong case for the National Steeplechase Association’s Life’s Illusion Filly and Mare Championship when she scored a 1 3/4-length victory in the $50,000 Crown Royal Stakes, co-feature of the 29th annual Steeplechase at Callaway on Saturday, Nov. 2.
Irv Naylor’s Bittersweetheart finished third in the year’s final stakes race for fillies and mares.
Trained by Richard Valentine and ridden by Robbie Walsh, Kisser N Run secured her second major victory of the fall and ran the Crown Royal’s 2 1/4 miles in 4:12.80 on turf rated as good.
Kisser N Run got her 2013 season back in high gear with a second consecutive victory in the $75,000 Peapack Stakes at the Far Hills Races on Oct. 19. In her two starts immediately before the Peapack, Kisser N Run was unplaced in Saratoga Race Course’s major stakes races for fillies and mares, the $75,000 Mrs. Ogden Phipps Stakes and the $75,000 Mrs. Walter M. Jeffords Stakes.
The five-year-old Pleasant Tap mare had begun her 2013 campaign with two second-place finishes, in the $30,000 Georgia Cup at the Atlanta Steeplechase on April 13 and in the Iroquois Steeplechase’s $50,000 Margaret Currey Henley on May 11, when she was beaten a nose by two-time Crown Royal winner Well Fashioned.
Under pressure from Arcadia Stable’s Opera Heroine, Kisser N Run set the pace for the Crown Royal and opened daylight as Opera Heroine faded in the stretch. Arcadia’s Take Her Tothe Top made a late run with Richard Boucher to take the place spot.
In the co-feature, Where’s the Beef confirmed the form of his maiden victory when he set all the pace in the $75,000 AFLAC Supreme Hurdle for novices and won by a half-length over Bill Pape’s late-running Grand Tier.
The Elkstone Group’s Albany Road finished third, and owner Pape’s Bluegrass Summer took fourth.
Owned and trained by Brian E. Murphy, Where’s the Beef had Willie McCarthy in the saddle as he covered the AFLAC Supreme Hurdle’s 2 1/4 miles in 4:05.20.
Where’s the Beef emerged as a horse to watch when he ran away to an 18 1/4-length score in a $15,000 maiden hurdle at the Foxfield Fall Races in Virginia on Sept. 29.