Bruton Street-US’s Scorpiancer swept to the lead approaching the final fence of Far Hills’ $100,000 Foxbrook Champion Hurdle and drew clear to a three-length victory over Irv Naylor’s Jack Frost on Saturday in the fall’s richest race for novices.
Connor Hankin rode Scorpiancer to his first stakes victory, and it was the first stakes win for the Irish-bred, who is owned by the Hankin family stable and trained by Jack Fisher.
Edith Dixon’s Schoodic, also trained by Fisher, finished third, two lengths behind Jack Frost, who was making his first U.S. start for trainer Cyril Murphy.
Gil Johnston’s Syros, also trained by Fisher, set the early pace in company with Long House Saint, who took over the lead on the second run down Far Hills’ backstretch. As the leader began to tire, Jack Frost challenged for the lead under Ross Geraghty.
But Scorpiancer was moving fastest of all under Hankin, a University of Virginia senior, and powered to the lead and won going away. The Foxbrook was the first stakes win for the young rider, who noted that he usually rides in timber races.
He said that, with a strong cast in the Foxbrook, he was not certain what to expect from Scorpiancer, who raced in England until April. Scorpiancer answered all the questions and raised his U.S. earnings above $75,000. He also won a Ratings Handicap in September at Shawan Downs in Maryland.