A talented and well-matched field will square off Wednesday in a $65,000 optional allowance hurdle that kicks off the final week of jump racing at Saratoga Race Course this summer.
Heading the field while wearing a $40,000 claiming tag is owner-trainer David Jacobson’s All Together, who finished fourth in the last Thursday’s $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup Handicap (Gr. 1). Ross Geraghty will ride the veteran Danzig gelding in the 2 3/8-mile race.
The field contains three starters who already have notched Saratoga victories this season at 2 1/16 miles: Gimme Five, Overwhelming, and Plated. Owned by Irv Naylor and trained by Cyril Murphy, Gimme Five won an optional allowance hurdle on Aug. 5. Jack Doyle has a return call.
Leading trainer Jack Fisher will send out Woodslane Farm’s Overwhelming, who overwhelmed an allowance field on July 29. Sean McDermott will return on the five-year-old Hard Spun gelding.
Magalen O. Bryant’s Plated took an allowance hurdle on Aug. 17, and trainer Jimmy Day will put Robbie Walsh into the saddle. Day also entered his Diplomat, the Carolina Cup winner who set the pace in the A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) on Aug. 6 and faded after the last fence to finish sixth. Bernie Dalton rides Diplomat, who also will carry a $40,000 claiming tag.
Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard entered owner-breeder Stone Farm’s Mandola, who finished third in Saratoga’s Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes on Aug. 3. Willie McCarthy, the reigning champion jockey, will ride.
Paddy Young, the current leading jockey by wins, will be aboard Ballybristol Farm’s Andi’amu, who finished second to Plated on Aug. 9 in his American debut for trainer Leslie Young.
Here is the field for Wednesday’s $65,000 optional allowance hurdle:
Andi’amu (Fr). 2010 b. g., Walk In The Park—Sainte Parfaite, by Septieme Ciel. Owner: Ballybristol Farm. Trainer: Leslie Young. Jockey: Paddy Young. Breeder: Therese Bouche (Fr). 2015 NSA record: 1-0-1-0, $11,700. In first U.S. start after modestly successful career over hurdles in England, finished second in Saratoga allowance hurdle on Aug. 17. Won maiden victory at Market Rasen last November and had two thirds at second-level tracks this year.
Diplomat. 2009 b. g., Kitten’s Joy—Waki Affair, by Miswaki. Owner: Daybreak Stables. Trainer: Jimmy Day. Jockey: Bernie Dalton. Breeders: Ken and Sarah Ramsey (Ky.) 2015 record: 4-1-0-0, $53,000. 2014 NSA record: No starts. Led at last in A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) on Aug. 6 and faded to finish sixth, beaten 4 1/14 lengths. Began 2015 season with half-length victory in $75,000 Carolina Cup for novices, then finished fifth in David Semmes Memorial (Gr. 2) at Virginia Gold Cup on May 2 and fourth in Parx Racing flat race for hurdlers on July 12. Bred by champion owners-breeders Ken and Sarah Ramsey and is a full brother to stakes-placed Kitten Love.
Gimme Five (GB). 2011 b. g., Champs Elysses (GB)—Waitingonaclous, by In the Wings (GB). Owner: Irv Naylor. Trainer: Cyril Murphy. Jockey: Jack Doyle. 2015 NSA record: 1-1-0-0, $39,000. Took immediately to American jump racing and won a $65,000 optional allowance hurdle on Aug. 5. Had a moderately successful career in England and won Eventmasters Handicap Stakes at Wolverhamption last October.
Mandola. 2010 dk. b. or br. g., Bluegrass Cat—Vickey’s Echo, by Clever Trick. Owner: Stone Farm. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Willie McCarthy. Breeder: Stone Farm (Ky.) 2015 record: 3-1-1-1, $36,000. 2014 NSA record: 2-1-0-1, $14,500. Most recently third in Saratoga’s Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes on Aug. 3. Began 2015 campaign with victory in Middleburg Spring optional allowance hurdle on April 18, then was second in Iroquois Steeplechase’s Marcellus Frost Novice Stakes on May 11
All Together. 2005 b. g., Danzig–Unify, by Farma Way. Owner-trainer: David Jacobson. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. Breeder: Jayeff B Stables (Ky.). 2015 record: 5-0-2-1, $31,750. 2014 record: 7-1-3-0, $62,000. Classy, consistent Danzig gelding was claimed by New York flat trainer from an Aug. 5 optional allowance hurdle for $30,000 and spins right back from fourth in New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1) on Aug. 27. Won Virginia Fall’s 2014 W. Gary Baker Memorial, then finished second in International Gold Cup’s David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial (Gr. 3).
Overwhelming. 2010 b. g., Hard Spun—Oh What a Windfall, by Seeking the Gold. Owner: Woodslane Farm. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Sean McDermott. Breeder: Phipps Stable (Ky.) 2015 record: 2-1-1-0, $43,500. 2014 NSA record: 6-1-2-1, $27,250. Won Saratoga allowance hurdle by 8 1/4 lengths on July 29. Won his maiden victory over fences at Colonial Cup in Camden, S.C., last fall and finished second in Ratings Handicap at Atlanta Steeplechase in his only other 2015 start.
Plated. 2009 b. g., Tiznow—Imaginary Gold, by Mr. Prospector. Owner: Magalen O. Bryant. Trainer: Jimmy Day. Jockey: Robbie Walsh. Breeder: Overbrook Farm (Ky.) 2015 NSA record: 4-1-1-2, $53,100. 2014 record: 2-1-0-1, $20,000. Won Saratoga allowance hurdle on Aug. 17. Finished third in tough Fair Hill Ratings Handicap Hurdle on May 23. Won maiden victory last fall at International Gold Cup.