The brightest members of the National Steeplechase Association’s rising stars division will line up Thursday for Belmont Park’s $75,000 William Entenmann Novice Stakes. The 2 1/2-mile Entenmann opens the Belmont card with a 1:30 p.m. post time and will be followed by the Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1), the afternoon’s second race.
The Entenmann features three winners at the recent Saratoga Race Course meet and a spring stakes winner in the novice division, which is limited to horses in their first seasons of competition over fences.
Trainer Jack Fisher will saddle two Entenmann starters, Bruton Street-US’s Moscato and Armata Stables’ New Member. A good second to novice graduate Show Court in Saratoga’s Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes on July 26, Moscato came back with a dominant performance in Saratoga’s Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes on Aug. 23. Sean McDermott will ride.
Fisher will put top Irish jockey Danny Mullins in the saddle of New Member, who finished third in both the Kiser and the Walsh.
Jack Doyle will be aboard Robert A. Kinsley’s No Wunder, who won a Saratoga hurdle handicap by 9 3/4 lengths on Aug. 31. Trained by Elizabeth Voss, the Rock of Gibraltar gelding also was a good second to Grade 1 winner Choral Society in an Aug. 9 handicap after an unplaced effort in the Kiser.
PathFinder Racing’s Mutasaawy comes into the Entenmann Memorial from a victory in a Saratoga allowance hurdle on Aug. 16. Darren Nagle, currently leading the jockey standings, has the mount for trainer Neil Morris.
Wendy Hendriks’ Surprising Soul will try to get his season back on track after he finished fourth in the Kiser and was pulled up in the Walsh. Trainer Ricky Hendriks named Ross Geraghty to ride Canadian-bred Surprising Soul, winner of the Iroquois Steeplechase’s Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle in May.
A new player entering a talented novice division is Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Lachares, a recent import who had three wins, a second, and four third-place finishes in a busy 2017 season in Ireland. A product of the Wildenstein family’s breeding operation, the Irish-bred four-year-old is trained by Richard Valentine and will be ridden by Shane Crimin.
Bernie Dalton will be aboard Edition Farm’s Zio Elio, who finished fifth in the Walsh after a close second in a Saratoga allowance hurdle on Aug. 2. The New York-bred is trained by Kate Dalton.
Oakwood Stable’s Kensington Court returns to the races after more than a year’s absence. Trained by Julie Gomena, the Giant’s Causeway gelding went to the sidelines after a runaway victory in a Saratoga allowance hurdle last year. Mark Watts will ride.
Here is the field for the $75,000 William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes. The horses’ National Steeplechase Association ratings are in parentheses at the end of their profiles.
No Wunder (GB). 2011 b. g., Rock of Gibraltar (Ire)—Iwunder, by King’s Best. Owner: Robert A. Kinsley. Trainer: Elizabeth Voss. Jockey: Jack Doyle. Breeder: Executors of the late J. Ellis (GB). 2017 NSA record: 6-2-1-1, $67,150. 2016 NSA record: No starts. Drew away impressively to win 2017 Saratoga handicap after good second in similar race. Won his maiden victory at 2017 Fair Hill Races after third at Iroquois, then was moved up to sixth in Saratoga’s Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes. (126)
New Member (Ire). 2011 b. g., Alhaarth (Ire)—Sincere, by Buhhare. Owner: Armata Stables. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Danny Mullins. Breeder: Golden Garden Stud. 2017 NSA record: 2-0-0-1, $7,500. Finished well-beaten third in Saratoga’s 2017 Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes. Finished good third in Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes but disqualified for going off-course in tight quarters. Newcomer to American racing had allowance and handicap wins in England last year for trainer Tom Lacey. (128)
Lachares (Ire). 2013 ch. g., Manduro (Ger)—Louve Imperiale, by Giant’s Causeway. Owner: Jacqueline Ohrstrom. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Jockey: Shane Crimin. Breeder: Dayton Investments Ltd. (Ire). 2017 NSA record: No starts. Making first U.S. start after impressive debut over fences in Ireland for trainer Ellmarie Holden. After unimpressive flat career at three, product of Wildenstein breeding operation had three hurdle wins, a second, and four thirds in busy 2017 season. (133)
Surprising Soul. 2012 b. g., Perfect Soul (Ire)—Elusive Srprise, by Elusive Quality. Owner: Wendy W. Hendriks. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. Breeder: Charles Fipke (Ont.) 2017 record: 5-3-0-1, $103,500. 2016 NSA record: 3-0-2-0, $13,200. Advanced to third in Saratoga’s 2017 Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes after victory in Iroquois’ $100,000 Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle. Pulled up in Saratoga’s Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes. Won maiden hurdle at 2017 Aiken Spring easily and won allowance hurdle at Tryon Block House. (129)
Mutasaawy. 2010 b. g., Tapit—Pretty Proud, by Mr. Greeley. Owner: PathFinder Racing. Trainer: Neil Morris. Jockey: Darren Nagle. Breeder: Pretty Proud Syndicate (Ky.). 2017 NSA record: 3-2-1-0, $59,400. Impressed in winning Saratoga allowance hurdle. Broke through at Parx Racing with a dominant victory in a $25,000 maiden hurdle. In only other jumps start, finished second in Fair Hill maiden. (121)
Moscato (GB). 2011 gr. or ro. g., Hernando (Fr)—Alba Stella, by Nashwan. Owner: Bruton Street-US. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Sean McDermott. Breeder: Miss K. Rausing (GB). 2017 record: 5-3-2-0, $111,000. 2016 NSA record: No starts. Won Saratoga’s 2017 Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes impressively after strong closing second in Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes. After promising start to U.S. career with close second in 2017 Carolina Cup maiden hurdle, won Queen’s Cup maiden by 7 1/4 lengths and Iroquois allowance hurdle by 6 1/2 lengths. (135)
Zio Elio. 2013 ch. g., American Lion—Runaway Zia, by Runaway Groom. Owner: Edition Farm. Trainer: Kate Dalton. Jockey: Bernie Dalton. Breeders: Christopher Shelli, Patrick Morell, and Darby Dan Farm (N.Y.) 2017 record: 4-1-1-0, $31,900. Finished second, beaten a neck, in 2017 Saratoga allowance hurdle, then was fifth in Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes. In debut start over fences, won 2017 Queen’s Cup maiden hurdle, then tired to finish sixth in Parx handicap hurdle. Maiden on the flat at New York tracks. (115)
Kensington Court. 2012 dk. b. or br. g., Giant’s Causeway—Backseat Driver, by El Corredor. Owner: Oakwood Stable. Trainer: Julie Gomena. Jockey: Mark Watts. Breeder: Paul Pompa Jr. (Ky.) 2016 record: 4-2-1-0, $63,600. 2015 NSA record: 2-0-1-0, $5,750. Went to the sidelines in July 2016 after winning Saratoga allowance hurdle by more than 14 lengths on the lead. Won 2016 Fair Hill maiden hurdle in fifth start over fences. Finished second to three-year-old champion Ice It in Far Hills’ Gladstone and was fifth in Colonial Cup’s Raymond G. Woolfe Memorial in 2015. (120)