Robert A. Kinsley’s Tempt Me Alex, under a well-timed ride by Jack Doyle, overtook Ice It in the stretch and edged away to a 1 1/2-length victory in the Iroquois Steeplechase’s $75,000 Marcellus Frost Novice Stakes on Saturday. The Marcellus Frost was the first of four stakes races on the Iroquois program.
Trained by Elizabeth Voss, Tempt Me Alex ran the Marcellus Frost’s 2 1/4 miles in 4:24.60 on firm ground. DASH Stable’s Ice It just held off late-charging African Oil by a nose for second, and Hardrock Eleven closed from the back of the field for fourth.
Magalen O. Bryant’s Personal Start went to the lead immediately, with Dye Fore second and Ice It up close. Entering the final bend, Ice It took the lead under Connor Hankin and led over the second-to-last fence.
Doyle moved Tempt Me Alex into striking position leaving the turn and jumped the final fence on even terms with Ice It before gradually drawing clear in the stretch.
Owner Kinsley, a York, Pa., developer, said Tempt Me Alex’s victory was significant on a couple counts. First, he bred the seven-year-old gelding by Afleet Alex out of the Meadowlake mare Attemptress. Second, Afleet Alex continued with the Voss family.
Trainer Tom Voss gave Tempt Me Alex his first lessons and saddled him for his first victory in late 2013, died in January 2014, and his daughter stepped in to continue his wide-ranging training operation. “Elizabeth’s father started this horse, and then Elizabeth took over,” Kinsley said.
Tempt Me Alex was making his first start since finishing second, beaten a nose, in the 2015 Iroquois’ Ratings Handicap.
Lune de Caro shines in Bright Hour
Keri Brion took a drenching after riding Tamara McSorley’s Lune de Caro to a three-quarter-length victory in the $35,000 Bright Hour Ratings Handicap for trainer Jonathan Sheppard. Brion, who is Sheppard’s assistant, scored her first win over fences in the three-mile race over National Fences and earned the customary dousing from her fellow riders.
Never far off the pace set by Irv Naylor’s Takepointsand run, Lune de Caro took over after the 15th of 18 fences and steadfastly held off a late challenge from Ballybristol Farm’s Andi’amu, who finished second under Paddy Young. Naylor’s Tubal finished third in a field of seven. Lune de Caro ran the distance in 5:50.60 on firm turf.
Lune de Caro, a Saratoga optional allowance winner last summer, previously had finished third in a Middleburg Spring Ratings Handicap on April 23.