On an afternoon that featured several runaway victories, Move Up Stable’s Quiet Approval made a big move up with an eight-length victory in the featured $25,000 allowance hurdle at the Saratoga Open House on Sunday, July 18. The Open House, an annual preview of the racing season for residents of Saratoga Springs and nearby communities, showcased four National Steeplechase Association races over National Fences and a training flat race.
Quiet Approval, trained by Kathy McKenna and ridden by Carl Rafter, proved much the best in the 2 1/16-mile race, winning in 4:14 4/5 on firm turf. Gone Away Farm’s Wantan finished second under Bernie Dalton, and Mimi Voss’ Farndale took third in a field of five.
Quiet Approval, a four-year-old Ontario-bred gelding by Quiet American, fulfilled the promise he had shown in his first two starts over fences. He finished second in his first outing in a maiden special weight race at the Foxfield Spring Races in Virginia on April 24, and he then won the Milfern Cup for maidens at the Radnor Hunt Races in Malvern, Pa., on May 15. In his start before the Saratoga race, he had finished sixth in a Philadelphia Park allowance race on June 4.
The victory moved Rafter within striking distance of 2009 champion jockey Paddy Young, who was shut out on the Saratoga Open House card. Rafter now has 11 victories in 2010, two behind Young, who leads the purse-earnings category by more than $100,000.
In the two 20,000 Sport of Kings maiden hurdle races on the program, Darren Nagle rode Caves Farm’s Grantor to a five-length victory, and Danielle Hodsdon took the second division with Parker’s Pride, owned by Hudson River Farms and trained by Jonathan Sheppard. Bernie Dalton was aboard Miss Crown for an 8 3/4-length victory in a $15,000 claiming hurdle and on Dalucci for a 7 1/2-length score in the training flat race, which does not count in the standings.