Pleasant Woodman set all the pace and turned back a challenge from Rudyard K to win the $75,000 Marcellus Frost Novice Stakes by a neck at the Iroquois Steeplechase on Saturday, May 10.
Winner of the season-opening Budweiser Imperial Cup (Gr. 3) at the Aiken Spring Steeplechase on March 22, Pleasant Woodman put on a display of his high cruising speed and delivered the victory for Nashville resident Virginia Lazenby and Farm D’Allie Racing Stables.
Trained by Doug Fout and ridden by Gerard Galligan, Pleasant Woodman completed the Marcellus Frost’s 2 1/4 miles in 4:12.60 on firm turf at Percy Warner Park near Nashville. Finishing third was Schoodic, who previously had been undefeated over fences.
Irv Naylor’s Bittersweetheart scored a significant upset when she bested a field of stakes winners in the $50,000 Margaret Currey Henley for fillies and mares. With champion jockey Paddy Young riding for his wife, trainer Leslie Young, the seven-year-old British-bred mare took command on the final turn and won by 1 1/2 lengths.
Arcadia Stable’s Take Her Tothe Top finished second, followed by Arcadia’s Opera Heroine. Both are trained by current leading trainer Jack Fisher. Kisser N Run, the reigning Life’s Illusion Filly & Mare champion, finished fourth in a full field of 11.
Bittersweetheart, who had finished fourth to Kisser N Run in the Atlanta Steeplechase’s Georgia Cup on April 19, notched her first career stakes win. She ran the Margaret Currey Henley’s 2 1/4 miles in 4:13.
Elizabeth Voss Murray, who took over training duties after the January death of her father, prominent Maryland horseman Tom Voss, collected her first stakes victory when Robert A. Kinsey’s Tempt Me Alex overtook Easy Reach at the final fence of the $35,000 Bright Hour Stakes and won by 4 1/2 lengths.
Tempt Me Alex, third in Foxfield Spring’s Daniel Van Clief Memorial allowance hurdle on April 26, was ridden by Willie McCarthy, who later won the George Sloan and John Sloan Sr. Sport of Kings maiden hurdle aboard Walk on Water Stable’s Mystery Jack, trained by Desmond Fogarty. Finishing second, 3 3/4 lengths back, was Lazenby’s Dreamin Fool.