Andre Brewster’s Selection Sunday, most recently second in Saratoga’s steeplechase opener, returns Wednesday for a $65,000 allowance hurdle at the New York track and a chance to be the betting selection. Post time is 12:25 p.m., and former steeplechase jockey Jimmy Duggan will provide expert commentary on TVG.
Under the care of leading trainer Jack Fisher, Selection Sunday won his jumps debut, a $25,000 maiden hurdle at the Radnor Hunt Races in Pennsylvania on May 17. He finished second in his second start, a Monmouth Park optional allowance hurdle on June 13, before his second-place finish in the Saratoga allowance hurdle on July 23.
Sam Jones has the mount Selection Sunday for the allowance hurdle, which extends the distance to 2 3/8 miles from the 2 1/16 miles of the July 23 race.
Fisher also will saddle Gil Johnston’s Syros, who finished third in the July 23 race at Saratoga. Jack Doyle takes over the mount on the six-year-old Dynaformer gelding, who notched a flat win in a $35,000 claiming race at Belmont Park on June 15.
Also coming out of the Saratoga steeplechase opener is Rosbrian Farm’s Wantan, who finished fifth. The Argentine-bred nine-year-old won a Virginia Gold Cup starter allowance on May 3 and then finished second in Fair Hill’s Valentine Memorial, a starter handicap stakes, on May 24. Reigning champion jockey Paddy Young again will ride for trainer Ricky Hendriks.
Willie McCarthy, currently leading the jockey standings but winless through the first half of the Saratoga jumps schedule, will be aboard Bill Pape’s Tropic Sea for trainer Jonathan Sheppard. In his only 2014 start, the six-year-old Artie Schiller gelding won a maiden hurdle at the High Hope Races in Lexington on May 18.
Virginia-based trainer Richard Valentine will saddle Rose Marie Bogley’s Labonte and Clarke Ohrstrom’s Umbraggio. Labonte, who was taken down by a fallen horse in a Monmouth Park optional allowance hurdle on June 13, will be ridden by Kieran Norris, while Robbie Walsh has the mount on maiden Umbraggio.
Completing the field is Armata Stable’s Catch the Blues, who will be looking to catch his third straight victory. A maiden winner at Fair Hill, Catch the Blues subsequently won a Delaware Park flat race on June 28. Ross Geraghty, currently second in the jockey standings, will ride for trainer Todd Wyatt.
Here is the field for the $65,000 allowance hurdle in post-position order:
Tropic Sea. 2008 b. g., Artie Schiller—Tropic Rhythm, by Dynaformer. Owner: Bill Pape. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Willie McCarthy. 2014 record: 1-1-0-0, $9,000. 2013 NSA record: 4-0-0-0, $1,850. In only 2014 start, won a maiden hurdle at the High Hope Steeplechase in Lexington on May 18. Never hit the board in four starts over fences last year.
Catch the Blues. 2010 b. g., Bluegrass Cat—Catch a Warning, by Caveat. Owner: Armata Stable. Trainer: Todd Wyatt. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. 2014 record: 2-1-0-1, $7,500. Started jumps career with a well-beaten third at the Virginia Gold Cup on May 3 and then came back three weeks later to win a maiden hurdle at the Fair Hill Races in Maryland. Most recently won maiden race on flat at Delaware Park on June 28.
Umbraggio. 2008 b. g., Aldebaran—Leoia, by Engrillado. Owner: Clarke Ohrstrom. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Jockey: Robbie Walsh. 2014 record: 4-0-1-0, $6,550. Finished fourth in a maiden hurdle at Parx Racing on July 1 after second in maiden hurdle at the Radnor Hunt Races on May 17. Had three wins on the flat last year after missing 2012 racing season.
Lebonte. 2008 b. g., A.P. Indy–Wife for Life, by Dynaformer. Owner: Rose Marie Bogley. Trainer: Richard L. Valentine. Jockey: Kieran Norris. 2014 record: 2-0-0-0, $0. 2013 record: 4-1-0-0, $12,000. Taken down by fallen horse in Monmouth Park optional allowance hurdle on June 13. In only previous 2014 start, finished distant eighth in Iroquois’ $75,000 Marcellus Frost Novice Stakes. Won maiden victory over fences at Iroquois last year. Finished year with seventh-place finish in Colonial Cup allowance hurdle.
Syros. 2008 b. g., Dynaformer—Meridiana (Ger), by Lomitas (GB). Owner: Gil Johnston. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Jack Doyle. 2014 NSA record: 5-1-1-2, $21,600. 2013 record: 3-0-0-1, $3,250. Finished third in Saratoga allowance hurdle on July 23 and gets a new jockey. Won Virginia Gold Cup maiden claimer by more than 30 lengths on May 3 after third in Atlanta maiden claimer, then was second in Jay Trump starter allowance hurdle at the High Hope Steeplechase on May 18. Won a Belmont Park $35,000 claimer on June 15.
Wantan (Arg). 2005 dk. b. or br. g., Pure Prize–Water Proof, by Turkoman. Owner: Rosbrian Farm. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Jockey: Paddy Young. 2014 NSA record: 4-1-1-1, $29,000. 2013 record: 2-0-1-0, 6,500. Finished fifth in Saratoga allowance hurdle on July 23. Claimed from Atlanta Steeplechase race in which he finished third, then won Virginia Gold Cup starter handicap on May 3. Finished good second in Fair Hill’s Valentine Memorial starter handicap and prepped with even effort on the flat at Delaware Park.
Selection Sunday. 2009 b. g., Harlan’s Holiday—Ntombi, by Quiet American. Owner: Andre Brewster. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Sam Jones. 2014 record: 3-1-2-0, $32,100. 2013 NSA record: No starts. Finished second in Saratoga allowance hurdle on July 23. In first career start over fences, drew away to a six-length victory in a $25,000 Sport of Kings maiden hurdle at the Radnor Hunt Races on May 17, then was well-beaten second in Monmouth Park optional allowance hurdle. Had two wins on the flat in New York.