American Steeplechasing’s stars of tomorrow will be out in force for the $75,000 Marcellus Frost Novice Stakes, a supporting feature of Saturday’s 74th annual Iroquois Steeplechase.
Novices are horses in their first years of competition over fences, and the 2 1/4-mile Marcellus Frost attracted 12 entries.
Rod Moorhead’s All the Way Jose, the 2014 novice champion, will be looking for his first win of the current season after losing his jockey in the $75,000 Queen’s Cup MPC ‘Chase on April 25. Bred and trained by Racing Hall of Fame member Jonathan Sheppard, All the Way Jose will be ridden by champion jockey Willie McCarthy.
Sheppard also entered Stone Farm’s Mandola, winner of a Middleburg Spring optional allowance hurdle on April 18. Kieran Norris will ride.
Stonelea Stable’s Balance the Budget kicked off the 2015 season with an impressive victory in Aiken Spring’s $50,000 Budweiser Imperial Cup (Gr. 3) on March 21. Julie Gomena trains the six-year-old Bellamy Road gelding.
Champion trainer Jack Fisher will play a strong hand in the Marcellus Frost with Petticoats Loose Stable’s Choral Society and Gil Johnston’s pairing of Syros and Iron Works. Syros was a winner at Saratoga Race Course last summer and opened the current season with a closing second in the $75,000 Carolina Cup for novices.
On the same March 28 program, Mrs. Johnston’s Iron Works won a $30,000 Sport of Kings maiden race in his debut over fences. Petticoats Loose Stable’s Choral Society moved to Fisher’s barn after a successful 2014 season and lost his rider in the Queen’s Cup. Four-time champion jockey Paddy Young rides Choral Society, Jack Doyle has the mount on Syros, and Sean McDermott will be aboard Iron Works.
B’More Hopeful Stable’s So Outspoken has spoken loudly on the race course, winning two of three starts this year, including a $25,000 Ratings Hurdle at the Atlanta Steeplechase on April 18, for trainer Jazz Napravnik. Mark Watts has the mount.
Rosbrian Farm’s Long House Saint, who arrived in the United States last fall and promptly won his first two allowance starts at Far Hills and the Colonial Cup for trainer Ricky Hendriks, slipped and fell on the final turn of the Queen’s Cup. David Byrne will ride.
Jimmy Day entered his Manacor and Bruce Smart Jr.’s Bonded. Manacor won a Saratoga allowance hurdle last summer, and Bonded is coming back after nearly two years on the sidelines.
Trainer Brue Miller will unveil Mary Ann Houghland’s Classical Art, winner of two handicap hurdles in England in April.
Here is the field for the $75,000 Marcellus Frost Novice Stakes in alphabetical order.
All the Way Jose. 2010 b. g., Senor Swinger—Maternity Leave, by Northern Baby. Owner: Rodman W. Moorhead III. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Willie McCarthy. Breeder: Jonathan Sheppard (Pa.) 2015 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. 2014 record: 6-3-3-0, $149,700. Lost rider in Queen’s Cup MPC ‘Chase, his 2015 debut. Clinched 2014 novice championship with Foxbrook Champion Hurdle victory. Finished second in Belmont Park’s William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes after winning Saratoga allowance hurdle by 14 1/4 lengths. Close second in earlier Saratoga allowance hurdle. Collected maiden victory at Parx Racing on July 1.
Balance the Budget. 2009 ch. g., Bellamy Road—Every Day Is Good, by El Corredor. Owner: Stonelea Stable. Trainer: Julie Gomena. Jockey: Darren Nagle. Breeder: Liberation Farm & Oratis (Ky.). 2015 record: 1-1-0-0, $30,000. 2014 record: 7-1-1-2, $27,000. Kicked away powerfully to win Aiken Spring’s 2015 Budweiser Imperial Cup (Gr. 3) by 21 lengths. Concluded 2014 season with a third in Aiken Fall’s Budweiser Holiday Cup. Won Shawan Downs maiden hurdle by 5 1/2 lengths on Sept. 27 after close-up fourth in tough Saratoga Race Course allowance hurdle.
Bonded (Ire). 2007 b. g., Oasis Dream (GB)—Lovealoch, by Lomond. Owner: Bruce Smart Jr. Trainer: Jimmy Day. Jockey: Bernie Dalton. Breeders: Michael Woodlock and Seamus Kennedy (Ire). 2014 record: No starts. Won maiden victory over hurdles at 2013 Virginia Gold Cup meet and went to the sidelines after second-place finish in a maiden flat race at Colonial Downs that June.
Choral Society. 2009 gr. or ro. g., Holy Bull—Star Singer, by Awesome Again. Owner: Petticoats Loose Farm. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Paddy Young. Breeder: Mayo West Farm and Liam Benson (Fla.) 2015 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. 2014 record: 6-2-1-1, $39,250. Lost rider in Queen’s Cup MPC ‘Chase, his 2015 debut. Finished second in 2014 Colonial Cup allowance hurdle after distant fifth in Foxbrook Champion Hurdle at Far Hills, N.J. Finished fourth in Belmont Park’s $75,000 William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes on Sept. 18. Won Parx Racing allowance hurdle on July 1 after game victory in tough $25,000 Sport of Kings maiden hurdle at Monmouth Park on June 13.
Classical Art (Ire). 2011 ch. g., Excellent Art (GB)—Ask Carol, by Foxhound. Owner: Mary Ann Houghland. Trainer: Bruce Miller. Jockey: Bernie Dalton. Breeder: J. Dorrian (Ire). Making his U.S. debut in a tough spot. Won two handicap hurdles and finished second by a nose in a third race in England in April.
Fog Island. (138) 2006 b. g., Rossini—Orchid Island, by Broad Brush. Owner: Anne Pape. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Jockey: Darren Nagle. Breeder: Diane Snowden (Ky.). 2015 record: 1-0-0-1, $7,500. 2014 record: 5-0-0-2, $21,250. Pressed early pace in Carolina Cup and held well to finish third, beaten two lengths. Finished third in his final two 2014 starts, Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle and Montpelier’s Noel Laing Handicap. Finished fourth in Saratoga’s Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes after fifth in Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes. Won the 2012 Foxbrook.
Iron Works. 2010 b. gelding, Street Cry (Ire)—Wiscasset, by Kris S. Owner: Gil Johnston. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Sean McDermott. Breeder: Emory A. Hamilton (Ky.) 2015 record: 1-1-0-0, $18,000. 2014 record: No NSA starts. In his debut over fences, won a $30,000 Sport of Kings maiden hurdle at the Carolina Cup on March 28. Maiden on the flat in four starts.
Long House Saint (Ire). 2009 b. g., Antonius Pius—Mintaka (Ire), by Fairy King. Owner: Rosbrian Farm. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Jockey: David Byrne. Breeder: John Duggan (Ire). 2015 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. 2014 NSA record: 2-2-0-0, $44,100. Fell in Queen’s Cup MPC ‘Chase, his 2015 debut. Landed in America and immediately won allowance hurdles at Far Hills, N.J. and Colonial Cup meet in Camden, S.C. Before export, scored maiden victory over fences in August at Kilbeggan Race Course in Ireland.
Manacor (Ire). 2008 b. g., Refuse to Bend (Ire)–Mollyputtheketelon, by Rainbow Quest. Owner: Daybreak Stables. Trainer: Jimmy Day. Jockey: Brendan Brooks. 2014 NSA record: 4-1-2-0, $45,500. Split his time between flat races and the jumps in 2014. Finished fourth in W. Gary Baker Memorial Stakes at Virginia Fall and was second in flat race at International Gold Cup. Won a 2014 Saratoga allowance hurdle after second in the Daniel Van Clief Memorial optional allowance hurdle at the Foxfield Spring Races.
Mandola. 2010 dk. b. or br. g., Bluegrass Cat—Vickey’s Echo, by Clever Trick. Owner: Stone Farm. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Kieran Norris. Breeder: Stone Farm (Ky.) 2015 record: 1-1-0-0, $15,000. 2014 NSA record: 2-1-0-1, $14,500. Began 2015 campaign with victory in Middleburg Spring optional allowance hurdle on April 18. In first start over fences, won an Aiken Fall maiden hurdle by a half-length, then finished third in Charleston Cup optional allowance hurdle. Won $50,000 maiden claimer at Arlington Park in 2013.
So Outspoken. 2010 b. g., Bernardini—Green Door, by Danzig. Owner: B’More Hopeful Racing. Trainer: Jazz Napravnik. Jockey: Mark Watts. Breeders: Austin Paul and Brenda Paul (Ont.) 2015 record: 3-2-0-0, $28,000. Has had a busy spring, finishing fourth in an Aiken Spring maiden hurdle in his debut over fences, followed by a maiden win at Stoneybrook and a Ratings Handicap victory at the Atlanta Steeplechase.
Syros. 2008 b. g., Dynaformer—Meridiana (Ger), by Lomitas (GB). Owner: Gil Johnston. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Jack Doyle. Breeders: Jon and Sarah Kelly (Ky.) 2015 record: 1-0-1-0, $13,500. 2014 NSA record: 9-2-3-2, $90,600. Finished a closing second in the 2015 Carolina Cup. Closed out 2014 with second-place finishes in the Foxbrook Champion Hurdle and AFLAC Supreme Hurdle. Finished fifth in Belmont Park’s $75,000 William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes after win in Saratoga allowance hurdle. Also finished third in Saratoga allowance hurdle on July 23. Won Virginia Gold Cup maiden claimer by more than 30 lengths on May 3, then was second in Jay Trump starter allowance hurdle at the High Hope Steeplechase on May 18. Won a Belmont Park $35,000 claimer on June 15.