The Steeplechase at Charleston on Sunday brings down the curtain on the National Steeplechase Association season, and the afternoon’s featured race for three-year-olds will provide a glimpse of upcoming seasons.
The three-year-olds are the youngest competitors in jump racing, and past three-year-old champions include Eclipse Award winner Demonstrative and graded stakes winner Schoodic.
The $25,000 allowance hurdle will be one of five races at Stono Ferry Racecourse in Hollywood, S.C. First post time for the season-ending meet will be 1 p.m.
The key matchup in the 2 1/4-mile hurdle will be Hudson River Farms’ Snuggling and Riverdee Stable’s Down Royal.
Snuggling, a half brother to graded stakes winner Parker’s Project, finished first by 2 1/2 lengths in the Far Hills Races’ Gladstone Stakes on Oct. 21 before being disqualified to third for interference at the top of the New Jersey course’s stretch.
Snuggling bumped with Down Royal, sending the Alphabet Soup filly to the far outside of the course. Down Royal regained her composure and closed ground through the stretch to finish third, four lengths behind Snuggling.
Far Hills’ stewards disqualified Snuggling to third position because of the interference and moved Down Royal into the second spot.
Darren Nagle, assured of the year’s champion jockey crown by wins, takes over the mount on Snuggling for Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard. Bernie Dalton will ride Down Royal for his wife, trainer Kate Dalton. The Daltons bred Down Royal in New York.
Four other Charleston competitors ran in the Gladstone, and all will be seeking to improve on their performances. Sean McDermott, who will be the leading jockey by purses won for the second straight year, will be aboard Ballybristol Farm’s Alshibaa for trainer Leslie Young. The Irish-bred finished fourth in the Gladstone.
Also coming out of the Gladstone are Brian Murphy’s and Tara Murty’s Burning Approval (seventh), Eve Ledyard’s Britain (eighth), and Andrea Seefeldt Knight’s What Gives (ninth).
Kieran Norris, the 2016 champion jockey, rides Burning Approval for trainer Murphy; 2012 champion jockey Ross Geraghty has the mount on Britain for trainer Ricky Hendriks; and apprentice jockey Keith Dalton will be aboard What Gives for champion trainer Jack Fisher.
A newcomer to jump racing is Mark B. Grier’s homebred Cross Current, winner of a $30,000 flat maiden race at the International Gold Cup on Oct. 28. Michael Mitchell will ride the Macho Uno gelding for trainer Todd Wyatt.
Completing the field is Redmon Farm’s Crosseyedcricket, an Indiana-bred maiden trained by Lilith Boucher. Shane Crimin has the mount on Crosseyedcricket.
Here is the field for the $25,000 allowance hurdle for three-year-olds.
What Gives. 2014 b. g., Spring At Last—All the Words, by Allen’s Prospect. Owner: Andrea Seefeldt Knight. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Keith Dalton. Breeders: Rebecca B. Davis and Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Bowman (Md.). 2017 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $0. In first start over fences, finished ninth in Far Hills’ 2017 Gladstone Stakes. Making first start over fences after eight flat starts. Won $16,000 maiden claimer at Laurel Park in June 2017.
Cross Current. 2014 gr. or ro. g., Macho Uno—Shining Sea, by Stormy Atlantic. Owner: Mark B. Grier. Trainer: Todd Wyatt. Jockey: Michael Mitchell. Breeder: Mark B. Grier (Ky.) 2017 NSA record: No starts. Making first start over fences after winning $30,000 maiden flat race at 2017 International Gold Cup.
Alshibaa (Ire). 2014 dk. b. or br. g., New Approach—Amjaad, by Dansili (GB). Owner: Ballybristol Farm. Trainer: Leslie Young. Jockey: Sean McDermott. Breeder: Shadwell Estate Co. (Ire). 2017 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $2,500. In first U.S. start and first start over fences, finished fourth in Far Hills’ Gladstone Stakes. Won minor Skeffinton Handicap at Leicester on the flat in June 2017.
Burning Approval. 2014 dk. b. or br. g., Wilburn—On Approval, by Put It Back. Owners: Brian E. Murphy and Tara Murty. Trainer: Brian E. Murphy. Jockey: Kieran Norris. Breeder: Marablue Farm. 2017 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $0. Finished seventh in Far Hills’ 2017 Gladstone Stakes, his first start over fences. Was disqualified to fifth from fourth for interference in Tryon Block House flat race in April 2017. Won $17,500 maiden claimer at Chicago’s Hawthorne Race Course in December 2016.
Snuggling. 2014 b. g., Cape Blanco (Ire)—Let’s Canoodle, by Oh Say. Owner: Hudson River Farms. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Darren Nagle. Breeders: Hudson River Farms and Jonathan Sheppard (Pa.). 2017 NSA record: 2-0-0-2, $7,000. Finished first in Far Hills’ 2017 Gladstone Stakes and was disqualified to third for interference. Finished third in Shawan Downs’ 2017 maiden hurdle for three-year-olds. Half brother to stakes winner Parker’s Project.
Britain. 2014 b. g., Tiznow—Lacadena, by Fasilyev. Owner: Eve Ledyard. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. Breeder: Bobby Flay Thoroughbreds (Ky.) 2017 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $0. In first run over fences, finished eighth in Far Hills’ 2017 Gladstone Stake. Finished third in Saratoga $20,000 flat maiden claimer. Tiznow has been successful as a sire of steeplechase horses.
Down Royal. 2014 gr. or ro. g., Alphabet Soup—Miss Crown, by High Yield. Owner: Riverdee Stable. Trainer: Kate Dalton. Jockey: Bernie Dalton. Breeders: Bernard and Kate Dalton (N.Y.) 2017 NSA record: 2-0-1-0, $9,000. Awarded second place in Far Hills’ 2017 Gladstone Stakes after sustaining interference from first finisher. Fell at next to last fence in 2017 Shawan Downs maiden hurdle for three-year-olds.
Crosseyedcricket. 2014 dk. b. or br. g., Drewman—Lost Village, by Jump Start. Owner: Redmon Farm. Trainer: Lilith Boucher. Jockey: Shane Crimin. Breeder: Holly Wilson. (Ind.) 2017 NSA record: No starts. Trying hurdles after four Indiana Downs maiden flat starts, with one third in first outing.