Lee Pokoik’s Roller Rolls On, winner of the year’s only hurdle race for three-year-olds, heads a cast of 10 for Saturday’s opening race on the $900,000 Far Hills Races program, the $50,000 Gladstone Stakes.
Because of its purse and stature, the 2 1/8-mile Gladstone will be a strong determining factor in deciding the year’s champion three-year-old. Some three-year-olds go on to greater glory. The 2010 three-year-old champion, Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Demonstrative, won the Grand National (Gr. 1) four years later and was voted the 2014 Eclipse Award as North America’s steeplechase champion.
Roller Rolls On, bred by the owner, collected his first career victory at Shawan Downs on Sept. 29 when Barry Foley guided him to a half-length victory in a $20,000 maiden hurdle restricted to three-year-olds. Trainer Doug Fout gave Foley a return call on the Lemon Drop Kid gelding.
The second-place finisher in the Shawan race, Snowie Hill, honors the memory of Frances Snowden “Snowie” Hill Myers, the late mother of owner-trainer-breeder F. Hill Parker. A full sister to NSA novice and female champion Get Ready Set Goes, Snowie Hill will be ridden by Richard Boucher.
Trainer Jimmy Day named Paul O’Neill to ride S. Bruce Smart Jr.’s Hepcat, who finished third in the Shawan race. Also coming out of the Shawan race are Gillian Johnston’s Knockholt, who was fourth; Riverdee Stable’s Flushed, fifth; Edition Farm’s Sim Card, sixth; Bruton Street-US’s Leopold, seventh; and Sanna Neilson’s Benevolentdictator, eighth.
Ricky Hendriks, currently atop the trainer standings with Jack Fisher, will send out Caldbeck, who formerly was trained by Gordon Elliott. Fourth in his only hurdle start on heavy ground in Ireland, Caldbeck will be ridden by Jack Kennedy.
Here is the field for the Gladstone in post-position order.
Knockholt. 2015 b. g., Temple City—Vickey Jane, by Royal Academy. Owner: Gillian Johnston. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Sean McDermott. Breeder: Barry Hay (Ky.). 2018 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $1,000. Maiden claimer winner at Tampa Bay Downs made first career start over fences in 2018 Shawan Downs maiden hurdle for three-year-olds and finished fourth after tracking pacesetters.
Flushed. 2015 ch. g., Cape Blanco (Ire)—Warm Glow, by Sky Classic. Owner: Riverdee Stable. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Jack Doyle. Breeder: Jonathan Sheppard (Pa.). 2018 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $800. Maiden on flat finished fifth in first start over fences at 2018 Shawan Downs meet.
Leopold. 2015 ch. g., Eye of the Leopard—Lady Melesi, by Colonial Affair. Owner: Bruton Street-US. Trainer: William Dowling. Jockey: Willie McCarthy. Breeder: Calumet Farm (Ky.) 2018 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $0. Maiden winner at two made first jumps start in 2018 Shawan Downs maiden hurdle for three-year-olds and finished seventh.
Benevolventdictator. 2015 b. g., Giant’s Causeway—The Right Pew, by Pulpit. Owner-trainer: Sanna Neilson. Jockey: Gerard Galligan. Breeder: Alex G. Campbell Thoroughbreds. 2018 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $0. In first start over fences, never was a factor and finished eighth in Shawan Downs maiden hurdle for three-year-olds.
Snowie Hill. 2015 b. f., Run Away and Hide—Ready to Goes, by Lord Avie. Owner-trainer: F. Hill Parker. Breeder: F. Hill Parker (Oh.) 2018 NSA record: 1-0-1-0, $3,600. Finished second in first start over fences, a 2018 maiden hurdle for three-year-olds at Shawan Downs. Full sister to Get Ready Set Goes, stakes-winning champion novice and female in 2016. Had two wins over state-bred fillies in the spring at Cincinnati’s Belterra Downs and was third in Vivacious Handicap for state-bred fillies and mares in August at Belterra. Filly’s name honors owner-trainer-breeder’s mother, Frances Snowden Hill Myers, the breeder of Get Ready Set Goes who died in 2014.
Roller Rolls On. 2015 b. g., Lemon Drop Kid—Classofsixtythree, by Include. Owner: Lee Pokoik. Trainer: Doug Fout. Jockey: Barry Foley. Breeder: Lee Pokoik (Ky.) 2018 NSA record: 1-1-0-0, $12,000. In first start over fences, shadowed pace in 2018 Shawan Downs maiden hurdle for three-year-olds, led over the last fence, and fended off challenge to win by a half-length.
Sim Card. 2015 b. g., Simmard—Runaway Zia, by Runaway Groom. Owner: Edition Farm. Trainer: Kate Dalton. Jockey: Bernie Dalton. Breeder: Edition Farm (N.Y.). 2018 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $600. In first start of 2018 and first start over fences, finished sixth in Shawan Downs maiden hurdle for three-year-olds.
Caldbeck (GB). 2015 b. g., Dark Angel (Ire)—Geesala (Ire), by Barathea (Ire). Owner: Rosbrian Farm. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Jockey: Jack Kennedy. Breeder: Kilshannig Stud (GB). 2018 NSA record: No starts. Maiden on flat made first start over hurdles at Ballinrobe Racecourse in Ireland in September 2018 and finished fourth.
Lonely Weekend. 2015 b. g., Tiznow—Weekend Party, by A.P. Indy. Owner: Riverdee Stable. Trainer: Todd Wyatt. Jockey: Eric Poretz. Breeder: Wertheimer et Frere (Ky.) 2018 NSA record: No starts. Maiden flat winner at Laurel Park on muddy track finished sixth in $20,000 claimer at Monmouth Park in June.
Hepcat. 2015 dk. b. or br. g., Bluegrass Cat—Officer Pepper, by Officer. Owner: S. Bruce Smart Jr. Trainer: Jimmy Day. Jockey: Paul O’Neill. Breeder: Daybreak Stables (W.Va.) In first start over fences, led before last in 2018 Shawan Downs maiden hurdle for three-year-olds and faded slightly to finish third, beaten 3 1/4 lengths.