Bruce Smart Jr.’s Orchestra Leader, twice second in feature races this year, will attempt to find his way to the winner’s circle against a well-matched field for Sunday’s $25,000 James B. Holloway Hurdle, the featured optional allowance hurdle of the High Hope Steeplechase.
The 48th edition of the High Hope races at Lexington’s Kentucky Horse Park kicks off its four-race program at 1:30 p.m.
Trained by Jimmy Day, Orchestra Leader finished second in the season-opening Budweiser Imperial Cup optional allowance hurdle on March 26 and then was second in the Daniel Van Clief Memorial, an optional allowance he won last year before finishing second in High Hope’s feature. Sean McDermott has the mount.
The Elkstone Group’s Bodie Island will be attempting to regain his best form in the 2 1/8-mile Holloway. The homebred had two wins in 2014, including a Saratoga allowance hurdle, missed last season, and was pulled up in his 2016 debut in the David Semmes Memorial (Gr. 2) on May 7. Trainer Richard Valentine named Jack Doyle to ride.
The Holloway also will feature two young talents, both four-year-olds. Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard will saddle his As You Like It, a handy maiden winner at the Foxfield Spring meet on April 30. Gerard Galligan will ride.
Trainer Todd Wyatt will send out Ann Jackson’s Boogie Feeva, who won last fall’s Raymond G. Woolfe Memorial at the Colonial Cup Steeplechase. The Holloway will be the Pomeroy gelding’s first 2016 start over fences, and Doyle has a second call.
Champion owner Irv Naylor will be represented by All That Rules, who would be making his 2016 debut. He closed out last season with a second in a Colonial Cup Ratings Handicap. Ross Geraghty will ride for trainer Cyril Murphy.
Here is the field for the $25,000 James B. Holloway Hurdle. Each starter’s National Steeplechase Association rating is in parentheses as the end of the profile.
Boogie Feeva. 2012 dk. b. or br. g., Pomeroy—White Scarf, by Matty G. Owner: Ann Jackson. Trainer: Todd Wyatt. Jockey: Jack Doyle. Breeder: H & E Ranch (Ariz.) 2016 NSA record: No starts. 2015 record: 3-1-0-1, $17,875. Began 2016 season with even fifth in Virginia Gold Cup flat race. Won 2015 Colonial Cup’s Raymond G. Woolfe Memorial after third in Far Hills’ Gladstone for three-year-olds. (111)
As You Like It. 2012 b. g., Shakespeare—Fiddle, by Pine Bluff. Owner-trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Gerard Galligan. Breeder: Allison Hill Roulston (Fla.) 2016 record: 1-1-0-0, $12,000. 2015 record: No NSA starts. Non-winner on flat made transition to steeplechase racing and won his debut at Foxfield Spring with a 5 3/4-length victory. (116)
Bodie Island. 2008 dk. b. or br. g., Kafwain—Sweet Carolina, by Deputy Minister. Owner: The Elkstone Group LLC. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Jockey: Jack Doyle. Breeder: The Elkstone Group LLC (Ky.) 2016 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. 2015 record: No starts. 2014 record: 5-2-0-2, $59,900. Pulled up in 2016 David Semmes Memorial (Gr. 2) at Virginia Gold Cup. Missed the 2015 season after a two-win campaign in 2014, including a victory in a Saratoga optional allowance hurdle. (125).
Orchestra Leader. 2009 b. g., Van Nistelrooy—Magic of Life, by Seattle Slew. Owner: S. Bruce Smart Jr. Trainer: Jimmy Day. Sean McDermott. Breeder: Strategy Bloodstock (Ky.) 2016 record: 2-0-2-0, $9,900. 2015 record: 8-1-5-1, $52,000. 2014 record: 6-1-0-2, $12,500. Finished second in 2016 Aiken Spring’s Budweiser Imperial Cup optional allowance hurdle and Daniel Van Clief Memorial. Finished second in 2015 Foxfield Fall’s featured optional allowance hurdle, then was third in Charleston Cup. Finished second in Saratoga optional allowance hurdle after fifth in Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes. Opened 2015 season with win in Foxfield Spring’s Daniel Van Clief Memorial optional allowance race, then had second-place finishes in High Hope optional allowance hurdle at Lexington, Ky., and in Ratings Handicap at Parx Racing on July 14. (118)
Comanchero (Ire). 2011 b. g., Comacho—Trempjane, by Lujain. Owner: Sharon Sheppard. Trainer: Leslie Young. Jockey: Paddy Young. Breeder: Yeomantown Stud (Ire). 2016 record: 1-0-0-0, $1,400. 2015 record: 1-1-0-0, $12,000. Finished fifth in 2016 Georgia Cup optional allowance hurdle. In first start over fences, won a $20,000 maiden hurdle at 2015 Shawan Downs meet. (115)
Odi et Amo. 2008 b. g., Inamorato—Marisha, by Arts and Letters. Owner: Athene Noctura Stables. Trainer: Allison B. Fullmer. Jockey: Open. Breeder: James C. Bickett (Ky.). 2016 record: 3-0-1-1, $6,600. 2015 record: 2-0-0-0, $0. 2014 record: 3-2-1-0, $19,300. Finished third in 2016 Aiken Spring’s Budweiser Imperial Cup optional allowance hurdle, then was close second in Stoneybrook Steeplechase Ratings Handicap. Fell in Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase. Easily won featured starter handicap at High Hope in Lexington, Ky., in May 2014. Name translates: I hate and I love, from the first line of a poem by the Latin poet Catullus. (112).
All That Rules (GB). 2009 b. g., Galileo (Ire)—Alba Stella (GB), by Nashwan. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Cyril Murphy. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. Breeder: Miss K. Rausing and Balmerino Bloodstock (GB). 2015 record: 3-0-1-0, $4,500. Finished second in Colonial Cup split Ratings Handicap to conclude 2015 season. Disqualified from win in Montpelier handicap for going off course. (119)
Bau Bai Gold. 2010 dk. b. or br. m., Sightseeing—Lynx of Gold, by Forest Wildcat. Owner: Jennifer H. Pitts. Trainer: Jazz Napravnik. Jockey: Open. Breeder: Damchu Stables (Pa.). 2016 record: 2-0-0-0, $0. 2015 NSA record: 6-1-2-1, $35,500. 2014 record: 2-1-0-0, $15,000. Set pace briefly at start of 2016 Carolina Cup and was pulled up, then refused to start in Daniel Van Clief Memorial. Finished good second in Far Hills’ Peapack Stakes on Oct. 17. Won the Charles S. Bird optional allowance hurdle at Aiken Spring to open 2015 season, then lost rider in Stoneybrook’s Sandhills Cup. Finished second in Iroquois’ Margaret Currey Henley and was third in open optional allowance hurdle at Foxfield Fall. (115)