Sharon Sheppard’s Redicean, a recent arrival in the United States, launched a sustained drive in Saratoga Race Course’s stretch that carried him to a three-quarter-length victory over another newcomer, Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Arch My Boy, in Wednesday’s $75,000 Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes.
The target of some late money, Redicean went off as the Kiser’s 3.25-to-1 favorite in a field of eight members of the National Steeplechase Association’s rising-stars division and paid $8.50 to win after drifting down from 7-to-1 as the horses entered Saratoga’s inner turf course.
Trained by Leslie Young, the five-year-old Great Britain-bred gelding ran the Kiser’s 2 1/16 miles in 3:48.05 under Thomas Garner.
Arch My Boy was followed to the finish line by Virginia Lazenby’s Help From Heaven, who finished third, 4½ lengths behind Arch My Boy and 1½ lengths ahead of Bruton Street-US’s Lord Justice in fourth.
Carrington Holdings’ Boss Man, ridden by top Irish jockey Danny Mullins, went to the lead immediately and set a sensible pace over the first 1¼ miles. The Florida-bred approached the last fence with a short lead, but Sheila Williams’ and Northwoods Stable’s Storm Team quickly stormed to the front at the last fence, located at the end of Saratoga’s backstretch.
Redicean also was positioned to make a run, with Garner advancing him into the fourth spot after jumping the last fence.
Arch My Boy made a sharp move on the turn under Kieran Norris and grabbed the lead early in the stretch. Help From Heaven, who like Storm Team had shadowed Boss Man, also loomed as the furlong pole approached.
Under steady pressure from Garner, Redicean eased to the front at the furlong pole and held off a dead-game Arch My Boy before gaining a clear advantage in the final sixteenth and scoring his first hurdle win in 17 months.
Young, who acquired Redicean in May for owner Sheppard, said she was confident that the newcomer’s flat speed would serve him well on Saratoga’s turf. In addition to three straight wins in juvenile hurdles in the 2017-2018 overseas season, he had won two flat handicaps last December on artificial surfaces at Wolverhampton and Lingfield.