Edith R. Dixon’s Schoodic, untested in the three-year-old ranks last year, will be tested against more seasoned competitors in the $25,000 Dogwood Classic, the featured allowance hurdle at the second annual Dogwood Classic at Colonial Downs on Saturday, April 5. First post time for the five-race program is 1 p.m.
Bred by his owner, Schoodic took the National Steeplechase Association’s three-year-old title last year with two commanding victories, in the $25,000 Gladstone Stakes at Far Hills, N.J., on Oct. 19 and then the $25,000 Raymond G. Woolfe Memorial at the Colonial Cup on Nov. 23.
In his only two starts over fences, the Tiznow gelding out of Grade 2 winner Aunt Henny, by Hennessy, earned $30,000. Jack Fisher, who co-champion trainer last year, named four-time champion jockey Paddy Young to ride.
Fisher also will saddle his Wait Outside, winner of a maiden claiming hurdle at the Charleston Cup in South Carolina last November. Jeff Murphy has the mount.
Virginia-based trainer Neil Morris will send out Cognashene, who won his maiden victory over fences at Colonial Downs last June and finished the year with a second in the featured Charleston Cup optional allowance in November. Jacob Roberts will ride Cognashene, who is owned by Virginia’s Friendship Farm.
Another Virginia-based trainer, Doug Fout, will saddle Magalen O. Bryant’s Lea Von, winner of a maiden hurdle at the International Gold Cup in The Plains, Va., on Oct. 19 after finishing second to Cognashene at Colonial Downs. Gerard Galligan will be in the saddle.
Frances Hill Myers’ Rudyard K closed out the 2013 season with a victory in a Steeplechase at Callaway maiden claiming hurdle and then a third-place finish in a tough Colonial Cup allowance hurdle on Nov. 23. Richard Boucher has the mount for trainer F. Hill Parker.
Three-time champion owner Irv Naylor will be represented by Top Man Michael, who finished sixth in last year’s Dogwood Classic and then was third in a tough Virginia Gold Cup allowance in May. He was unplaced in a division of Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle and then was pulled up in a Colonial Cup allowance hurdle. Trained by Cyril Murphy, Top Man Michael will be ridden by Ross Geraghty.
Here is the Dogwood Classic field in post-position order:
Wait Outside. 2009 b. g., Dynaformer–Cercatore, by Seeking the Gold. Owner: Kingfisher Farm. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Jeff Murphy. 2013 record: 7-1-1-1, $9,450. 6-1 odds. Won a Charleston Cup maiden claimer to close out the 2013 season. Finished second in a Shawan Downs maiden hurdle.
Schoodic. 2010 b. g., Tiznow—Aunt Henny, by Hennessy. Owner: Edith R. Dixon. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Paddy Young. 2013 record: 2-2-0-0, $30,000. 2-1 odds. Did nothing wrong in his two 2013 victories, daylight scores in Far Hills’ Gladstone Stakes and Colonial Cup’s Raymond G. Woolfe Memorial, on his way to three-year-old championship.
Cognashene. 2007 dk. b. or br. g., Dynaformer—Catch the Ring, by Seeking the Gold. Owner: Virginia’s Friendship Farm. Trainer: Neil Morris. Jockey: Jacob Roberts. 2013 NSA record: 9-1-2-1, $29,200. 4-1 odds. Finished second in Charleston Cup optional allowance after being pulled up in Steeplechase at Callaway’s AFLAC Supreme Hurdle on Nov. 2. Finished an even fourth in the first division of Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle on Oct. 19. Won maiden hurdle at Colonial Downs on June 8.
Lea Von. 2009 dk. b. or br. g., Purim–Magic Lea, by Fabuleux Dancer. Owner: Magalen O. Bryant. Trainer: Doug Fout. Jockey: Gerard Galligan. 2013 record: 2-1-1-0, $12,600. 5-1 odds. Won an International Gold Cup maiden hurdle in Virginia after a second in a similar race at Colonial Downs.
Top Man Michael (Ire). 2009 b. g., Antonius Pius—Top Brex (Fr), by Top Ville (Ire). Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Cyril Murphy. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. 2013 record: 5-0-0-1, $6,000. 2012 NSA record: 2-1-0-0, $15,000. 10-1 odds. Best 2013 effort was a third in a tough Virginia Gold Cup allowance hurdle. Unplaced in division of Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle and pulled up in Noel Laing at Montpelier Hunt Races in the fall. Finished sixth in last year’s inaugural Dogwood Classic. Impressive 2012 Gladstone winner fell at the last fence of the Raymond G. Woolfe Memorial at Camden, S.C., while bidding for the lead. Had a win and second over hurdles in Ireland before being imported.
Rudyard K. 2009 b. g., Kipling—Two Bridges, by Major Impact. Owner: Frances Hill Myers. Trainer: F. Hill Parker. 2013 record: 5-2-0-2, $27,000. 6-1 odds. Easily won Steeplechase at Callaway claiming hurdle before third in Colonial Cup starter allowance hurdle. Collected maiden victory at Block House Races in Tryon, N.C.