Lonesome Glory Award winner Mr. Hot Stuff and the rival who finished two noses behind him in last year’s Grand National (Gr. 1), All the Way Jose, will clash again Saturday in the $75,000 Temple Gwathmey Handicap (Gr. 2), the featured race of the 98th annual Middleburg Spring Races at Glenwood Park.
The Temple Gwathmey, elevated to Grade 2 status this year, will anchor a seven-race program that also includes the $30,000 Middleburg Hunt Cup over timber. First post time at the Northern Virginia course is 1 p.m.
Gillian Johnston’s Mr. Hot Stuff, trained by Jack Fisher, claimed the Lonesome Glory Award as 2017’s leading steeplechase earner when he surged to a nose victory in the $400,000 Grand National at the Far Hills Races in October. The 12-year-old veteran will carry the Temple Gwathmey’s 158-pound highweight.
Third in the 2009 Santa Anita Derby (Gr. 1) and unplaced in the Kentucky Derby (Gr. 1) and Belmont Stakes (Gr. 1), Mr. Hot Stuff made a successful transition to jump racing and won the 2013 A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) and the 2015 Temple Gwathmey. He was third last year at Glenwood. Hadden Frost will be in the saddle.
Trained by Racing Hall of Fame member Jonathan Sheppard, Buttonwood Farm’s All the Way ran gamely in the Grand National and finished third, less than a foot behind Mr. Hot Stuff. In his preceding start, All the Way Jose had won Belmont Park’s Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1).
He carries 156 pounds in the handicap, and his regular jockey, Darren Nagle, will ride.
Also at 156 pounds is Irv Naylor’s Sempre Medici, a promising hurdler in Ireland and England before being imported after his 2016 season. He missed last season, and trainer Cyril Murphy named Barry Foley to ride the French-bred in his U.S. debut.
Naylor, the National Steeplechase Association’s champion owner in six of the last eight years, also will be represented by Jamarjo, trained by Leslie Young. The consistent Irish-bred won last year’s National Hunt Cup (Gr. 3) at the Radnor Hunt Races and was fourth in the Grand National. Kieran Norris has the riding assignment on Jamarjo, who carries 148 pounds.
Zanjabeel, a five-year-old who is one of the sport’s emerging stars, will go after his first graded stakes win in the 2 1/2-mile Temple Gwathmey. He was purchased by Rosbrian Farm and Wendy and Ben Griswold after winning Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle. Two weeks later, he won the Aflac Supreme Hurdle, also for novices, at the Steeplechase at Callaway.
He started the year with a second in the Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1) at the Carolina Cup on March 31. Trainer Ricky Hendriks named Ross Geraghty to ride Zanjabeel, who carries 150 pounds.
Fisher, the sport’s leading trainer for the last six years, also will saddle Edith Dixon’s Schoodic and Sonny Via’s Hinterland, who finished third and fourth, respectively, in the Colonial Cup. Willie McCarthy will be aboard Schoodic, and Sean McDermott rides Hinterland.
Here is the field for the $75,000 Temple Gwathmey by post position. The horses’ handicap weights are in parentheses at the end of their profiles.
Zanjabeel (GB). 2013 b. g., Aussie Rules—Grain Only, by Machiavellian. Owners: Rosbrian Farm and Ben and Wendy Griswold. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. Breeder: Kirsten Rausing (GB). 2018 record: 1-0-1-0, $27,000. 2017 NSA record: 2-2-0-0, $120,000. Finished second in 2018 Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1). Drew away to a 4 3/4-length victory in Far Hills’ 2017 Foxbrook Champion Hurdle, his U.S. debut for former owners and trainer Gordon Elliott. For current owners, won Steeplechase at Callaway’s Aflac Supreme Hurdle by 2 3/4 lengths. Made mixture of flat and hurdle starts in 2017, with handicap hurdle win in June and a flat win in July. (150)
All the Way Jose. 2010 b. g., Senor Swinger—Maternity Leave, by Northern Baby. Owner: Buttonwood Farm. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Darren Nagle. Breeder: Jonathan Sheppard (Pa.) 2017 record: 7-2-1-3, $179,300. 2016 NSA record: 3-0-0-0, $7,500. 2015 record: 3-0-0-0, $3,750. Won 2017 Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1). Finished third in Grand National (Gr. 1), beaten two noses. Won Fair Hill’s $40,000 Valentine Memorial ratings handicap by 15 1/4 lengths, then lost rider in A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) and was third in New York Turf Writers (Gr. 1). Novice champion in 2014. (156)
Hardrock Eleven. 2010 gr. or ro. g., Rock Hard Ten—Stark Beauty, by Unbridled’s Song. Owner: Virginia Lazenby Racing Stable. Trainer: Kate Dalton. Jockey: Bernie Dalton. Breeders: Farm III Enterprises and Off the Hook Partners (Fla.) 2017 NSA record: 5-0-0-0, $10,300. 2016 NSA record: 7-2-1-0, $105,700. Opened 2017 with fourth in Tryon Block House handicap, was pulled up in Virginia Gold Cup’s David Semmes Memorial (Gr. 2), and finished fourth in Fair Hill’s Valentine Memorial ratings handicap. Tired to finish fourth in Saratoga handicap and was fifth in a similar race. Won 2016 William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes after winning Saratoga allowance hurdle for second straight year. Formerly trained by owner’s late brother, David P. Banks, and won an Evangeline Downs optional allowance flat race in 2014. (138)
Mr. Hot Stuff. 2006 dk. b. or br. g., Tiznow—Sweet Damsel, by Turkoman. Owner: Gil Johnston. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Hadden Frost. Breeder: WinStar Farm (Ky.) 2017 record: 5-1-0-1, $251,000. 2016 record: No starts. Claimed Lonesome Glory Award as 2017’s leading earner with gutsy win in Grand National (Gr. 1) at Far Hills, N.J. Finished fifth in Belmont Park’s 2017 Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1). Finished third in 2017 Temple Gwathmey Handicap (Gr. 3) after missing 2016 season, then was pulled up in Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1) and seventh in New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1). Won 2015 Temple Gwathmey (Gr. 3). Won the 2013 A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) at Saratoga. (158)
Lyonell (Ger). 2011 b. g., Montjeu (Ire)—Lysuna, by Monson. Owner: Robert A. Kinsley. Trainer: Elizabeth Voss. Jockey: Jack Doyle. Breeder: Gestut Hof Ittlingen (Ger). 2017 record: 4-1-2-1, $47,900. 2016 NSA record: 2-1-0-1, $22,000. Won Far Hills Races’ 2017 Appleton rating handicap by 5 1/2 lengths, then was third in Montpelier’s Noel Laing Handicap. Opened 2017 season with second in Middleburg Spring ratings handicap, then was second in Iroquois allowance hurdle. (140)
Mercoeur (Fr). 2011 gr. or ro. g., Archange d’Or (Ire)—Erivia, by Kendor. Owner: Michael A. Smith. Trainer: Leslie Young. Jockey: Shane Crimin. Breeder: Ambrose Dupont (Fr). 2017 record: 4-2-1-0, $54,550. 2016 record: 4-1-0-2, $19,500. Won Montpelier’s 2017 Noel Laing after fourth in Far Hills’ 2017 Foxbrook Champion Hurdle. Won 2017 Radnor conditioned allowance hurdle after second in Tryon Block House allowance hurdle. Scored maiden hurdle victory at 2016 Montpelier Hunt Races. (140)
Hinterland (Fr). 2008 b. g., Poliglote (GB)—Queen’s Place, by Diamond Prospect. Owner: Harold A. “Sonny” Via Jr. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Sean McDermott. Breeder: Eric Aubree and Christian Bresson (Fr). 2018 record: 1-0-0-0, $7,500. 2017 record: 2-0-1-0, $36,000. Opened 2018 with fourth in Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1). Finished distant second in 2017 Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1), then was seventh in Belmont Park’s Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1). Finished second in 2015 Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1), his second U.S. start after seventh in Saratoga’s New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1). (144)
Jamarjo (Ire). 2007 b. g., Marju—Athlumney Lady, by Lycius. Owner; Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Leslie Young. Jockey: Kieran Norris. Breeder: Frank Dunne (Ire). 2017 record: 4-1-1-0, $56,400. 2016 record: 5-1-1-2, $55,500. Won Radnor’s National Hunt Cup (Gr. 1) easily after second in Foxfield Spring’s 2017 Daniel Van Clief Memorial optional allowance hurdle. Finished fourth in Grand National (Gr. 1) at Far Hills, N.J. (148)
Sempre Medici (Fr). 2010 b. g., Medicean—Sambala, by Danehill Dancer. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Cyril Murphy. Jockey: Barry Foley. Breeders: Myriam Bollack, Noel Forgeard, and E.A.R.L. du Haras de Pierrepont (Fr). 2017 NSA record: No starts. Competed at top level in England and Ireland for trainer Willie Mullins before being imported. Easily won trials preceding the 2016 Champion Hurdle, in which he was pulled up after the next-to-last fence. Female-line descendant of foundation mare Best in Show, by Traffic Judge. (156)
Schoodic. 2010 b. g., Tiznow—Aunt Henny, by Hennessy. Owner: Edith R. Dixon. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Willie McCarthy. Breeder: Edith R. Dixon (Ky.) 2018 record: 1-0-0-1, $15,000. 2017 record: 5-1-0-0, $50,750. Opened 2018 campaign with closing third in Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1). Won 2017 David Semmes Memorial (Gr. 2) at Virginia Gold Cup after fall in Temple Gwathmey (Gr. 3), then was a dull fifth in Radnor’s National Hunt Cup (Gr. 3), a race he won in 2016. Finished seventh in 2017 A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) and fourth in David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial. (144)