The Fields Stable’s Wanganui, American Steeplechasing’s champion three-year-old last year, will be shooting for his first 2012 victory in a $30,000 optional allowance at Penn National Race Course on Saturday, June 30. Also on the twilight program at the Grantville, Pa., track are two $25,000 Sport of Kings maiden hurdle. All three races attracted overflow entries. First post time has been pushed back an hour to 7 p.m.
Trained by Tom Voss, Wanganui was narrowly denied a victory in a Parx Racing optional allowance on June 16, when he faded slightly in deep stretch to finish second by a head. In his only other start this year, the Love of Money gelding stumbled and lost his rider in the National Hunt Cup at the Radnor Hunt Races in Malvern, Pa., on May 19.
Wanganui secured his three-year-old title at the Colonial Cup in Camden, S.C., on Nov. 19, when he won the Raymond G. Woolfe Memorial. That victory also gave Maryland-based Voss the year’s trainer championship by victories. Paddy Young, the reigning champion jockey, has the mount on Wanganui.
Owner-trainer Michael Moran will send out Irish-bred Staying On, who pulled away to a 16-length victory in the $25,000 Milfern Cup, a Sport of Kings maiden hurdle at Radnor. In his debut over fences, Staying On finished second in a Penn National maiden hurdle last year. Jody Petty will ride the seven-year-old, who placed in Group 3 flat races in England and Ireland.
York, Pa., businessman and philanthropist Irvin S. Naylor, the sport’s leading owner in 2010 and 2011, will be represented by recent acquisition Baraathen, who finished third in his U.S. debut, a claiming race at Colonial Downs on June 2. His most recent victory came on Aug. 25, 2011, in a selling hurdle at Cartmel, a small race course in England’s Lake Country. Trainer J. W. Delozier named Ross Geraghty to ride the five-year-old Sakhee gelding.
Here are the prospective starters in the optional allowance:
Classic Bridges. 2006 b. g., Sky Classic—Two Bridges, by Major Impact. Owner: Magalen O. Bryant. Trainer: Neil R. Morris. Jockey: Jacob Roberts. 2012 record: 3-1-0-0, $9,000. Started off the 2012 season with a maiden victory at the Aiken Steeplechase on March 24 but fell in an allowance race at the Stoneybrook Steeplechase in North Carolina on April 7. Finished eighth in Colonial Downs hurdle allowance on June 2.
Dr. Wheat. 2007 dk. b. or br. g., Wheaton–Zenon, by Hawkster. Owner: William E. Riddle Jr. Trainer: Michael Aro. Jockey: Xavier Aizpuru. 2012 record: 4-0-0-1, $8,550. 2011 record: 4-1-0-0, $24,500. Finished third in Parx Racing optional allowance in his most recent start. Previously had three well-beaten fifth place finishes, including the $50,000 Georgia Cup at the Atlanta Steeplechase on April 14. In 2011, scored a maiden victory over fences at Parx.
Baraathen. 2007 b. g., Sakhee-Attared, by Gulch. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Joseph W. Delozier III. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. 2012 NSA record: 1-0-0-1, $2,000. In first U.S. start, finished third in Colonial Downs claiming race on June 2. Scored victory on Aug. 25, 2011, in a selling hurdle at Cartmel in England’s Lake Country.
Birthday Beau. 2005 b. g., Silic (Fr)—Sue’s Jet, by Tri Jet. Owner-trainer: Michele Sanger. Jockey: Bernie Dalton. 2012 record: 2-0-0-1, $5,000. Came back from more than a year on the sidelines to finish third in the $50,000 Budweiser Imperial Cup for novices at Aiken Spring meet on March 24 but was pulled up in the Georgia Cup at the Atlanta Steeplechase on April 14. Ran fourth in 2010 Metcalf Memorial at Monmouth Park.
Grantor. 2005 b. g., Broken Vow—Senora Claudia (Chi), by Great Regent. Owner: Caves Farm. Trainer: Mark D. O’Dwyer. Jockey: Robbie Walsh. 2012 record: 1-0-1-0, $4,500. In only 2012 start, finished second in Colonial Downs allowance on June 2. Fell in Penn National claiming race last year. Won maiden victory at 2010 Saratoga Open House.
Wanganui. 2008 ch. g., Love of Money–Distant Drumroll, by Eastern Echo. Owner: The Fields Stable. Trainer: Tom Voss. Jockey: Paddy Young. 2012 record: 2-0-1-0, $5,400. 2011 NSA record: 2-2-0-0, $30,000. Champion three-year-old. Finished close second in Parx Racing optional allowance on June 12 after losing his rider in Radnor’s National Hunt Cup on May 19. Won his debut over hurdles, the Gladstone Stakes at Far Hills, by 24 3/4 lengths on Oct. 22 and sealed his championship with a 1 1/4-length win in the Raymond G. Woolfe Memorial at the Colonial Cup on Nov. 19.
Staying On (Ire). 2005 b. g., Invincible Spirit—Lakatoi, by Saddlers’ Hall. Owner-trainer: Michael Moran. Jockey: Jody Petty. 2012 NSA record: 1-1-0-0, $15,000. Won Radnor’s Milfern Cup Sport of Kings maiden hurdle by 16 lengths on May 19 in his only 2012 start. Finished second in 2011 Penn National maiden race, his first start over fences. Was Group 3-placed on the flat in England and Ireland.
Brave Prospect. 2007 b. g., Purge—Issaqueena, by Mr. Prospector. Owner: Woodslane Farm. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Darren Nagle. 2012 record: 4-1-1-0, $18,300. In a busy spring season, won an optional allowance at the Middleburg Spring Races on April 21. Finished third and was placed second in Virginia Gold Cup optional allowance on May 5 and lost his rider in a Colonial Downs allowance race on June 2.
History Boy. 2006 b. g., Grand Slam–Rare Blend, by Bates Motel. Owner: Timber Bay Farm. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Brian Crowley. 2012 record: 2-0-1-0, $6,100. 2011 record: 2-0-1-0, $15,750. Began 2012 season with second by a half-length in the $20,000 Sandhills Cup optional allowance at the Stoneybrook Steeplechase in Raeford, N.C., on April 7, then was fourth in the $50,000 Queen’s Cup MPC ‘Chase on April 28. Most of 2011 earnings came from second in Foxbrook Champion Hurdle at Far Hills, N.J., on Oct. 22.
Ed’s Big Bet. 2007 ch. g., Thunder Gulch—Ed’s Holy Cow, by Bet Big. Owner: Kinross Farm. Trainer: Neil R. Morris. Jockey: Christopher Read. 2012 record: 2-1-0-0, $9,900. Won maiden victory at Queen’s Cup near Charlotte on April 28 and then was sixth in the Vita C. Thompson allowance race at Radnor on May 19.
On the also-eligible list are:
Quiet Approval. 2006 b. g., Quiet American—Agolo, by Alydeed. Owner: Move Up Stable. Trainer: Kathy Neilson. Jockey: Carl Rafter. 2012 record: 1-0-0-0, $750. In only 2012 start, finished sixth in Radnor’s James M. Moran Jr. Sport of Kings claiming hurdle on May 19. Tightened with flat race on Delaware Park’s turf on June 20.
Memorial Maniac. 2005 b. g., Lear Fan—Enlightening, by Cozzene. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Brianne Slater. Jockey: Xavier Aizpuru. 2012 record: 4-1-2-0, $15,300. Started jump career with second at Stoneybrook in North Carolina and then won his maiden victory at Queen’s Cup near Charlotte. Finished second in flat race at Iroquois Steeplechase on May 12 and then was sixth in Parx Racing optional allowance on June 12. Was a Grade 3 winner in course-record time on the flat in 2010.