The 2010 Saratoga Race Course season kicks off Sunday, July 18, with the annual Open House, a pre-opening event for Saratoga Springs and other Capital Area communities, and steeplechase racing again will be featured on the turf course. Four races over National Fences have been scheduled, and one training flat race also will be run.
Trainer Tom Voss, who ranks second by wins and third by earnings for the 2010 season, entered three potential starters for the featured jump race, a $25,000 allowance race at 2 1/16 miles over National Fences.
His veteran in the contest is Dumbarton Farm’s Easy Red, who will be seeking his first victory of the year following three in-the-money finishes. After finishing third in the $25,000 Tanglewood Cup at Clemmons, N.C., on May 8, the eight-year-old Charismatic gelding finished second to Northern Bay in a $30,000 steeplechase allowance race at Philadelphia Park on June 4. Winner of the 2006 Jennings Handicap on the flat, Easy Red most recently was third in a Penn National Race Course steeplechase allowance race on June 18. Paddy Young, currently the sport’s leading jockey by 2010 wins and earnings, has the mount.
Voss also will saddle wife Mimi’s Farndale, an impressive 9 1/4-length winner in a steeplechase maiden claiming race at Colonial Downs on June 13. Xavier Aizpuru is scheduled to ride the homebred four-year-old Petionville gelding. Completing Voss’ entry is Percy Bolton’s Arch Hero, who most recently finished fifth behind Northern Bay in the Philadelphia Park allowance race.
Trainer Ted Mulligan will send out Ellen Clark’s Final Straw, a 2 3/4-length winner of a maiden race on May 15 at the Strawberry Hill Races, held at Colonial Downs, in his first start over fences. Jeff Murphy has the mount on the four-year-old Giant’s Causeway gelding.
Carl Rafter will be aboard Move Up Stable’s Quiet Approval, who will be seeking to move up from a victory in the Milfern Cup, a Sport of Kings maiden race for novice steeplechase horses, at the Radnor Hunt Races on May 15. Trained by Kathy McKenna, the four-year-old Quiet American gelding finished sixth in the Philadelphia Park allowance race on June 4.
Another maiden winner in the Saratoga allowance race is Wantan, a five-year-old Argentine-bred gelding owned by Gone Away Farm and trained by Ted Thompson. Bernie Dalton will ride Wantan, who finished third in the 2008 Montevideo Stakes, a Group 1 race in Uruguay.
Also on Sunday’s program are two $20,000 Sport of Kings maiden hurdle races, a $15,000 open claiming hurdle, and a training flat race that attracted several stakes winners.