A well-matched field will face off at Saratoga Race Course on Thursday in the second division of a $65,000 allowance hurdle. Post time is 1 p.m., and the race will be televised by TVG. The first division of the 2 1/16-mile race over National Fences was scheduled for Wednesday, also with a 1 p.m. post time.
Richard Valentine will saddle Gil Johnston’s Miguel Grau, who broke through for a 10 1/2-length maiden hurdle score at Parx Racing on July 14. Robbie Walsh will ride.
Jennifer Pitts’ mare Bau Bai Gold will be looking to continue a productive season in which she won an Aiken Spring optional allowance hurdle on March 21 and finished second in the Iroquois Steeplechase’s Margaret Currey Henley Stakes on May 11. Ross Geraghty has the mount for trainer Jazz Napravnik.
Trainer and co-owner Niall Saville will send out North Star Boy, a Saratoga optional allowance winner on the flat last year who finished fourth in Pimlico Race Course’s Henry Clark Stakes on the flat on May 18. Five days later, he debuted over fences at the Fair Hill Races and was pulled up. Most recently, the Irish-bred finished third in a Parx Racing maiden hurdle on July 14. Darren Nagle has a return call.
Here is the field for Thursday’s $65,000 allowance hurdle.
Magical Moon (GB). 2009 b. g., Dansili (GB)—Sheppard’s Watch, by Night Shift. Owner: Rosbrian Farm. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Jockey: Paddy Young. Breeder: Lady Bamford (GB). 2015 NSA record: 1-0-0-1, $2,500. Maiden hurdle winner in England finished third behind Demonstrative in flat race for hurdles at Parx Racing on July 12, his U.S. debut.
Hardrock Eleven. 2010 gr. or ro. g., Rock Hard Ten—Stark Beauty, by Unbridled’s Song. Owner: Virginia Lazenby. Trainer: Doug Fout. Jockey: Kieran Norris. Breeders: Farm III Enterprises and Off the Hook Partners (Fla.) 2015 record: 3-0-1-1, $6,600. First-year hurdler finished second in debut at Middleburg Spring and was third in Monmouth Park maiden hurdle. Formerly trained by owner’s late brother, David P. Banks, and won an Evaneline Downs optional allowance flat race last year.
Miguel Grau. 2010 b. g., City Zip—Zuri Ridge, by Cox’s Ridge. Owner: Gil Johnston. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Jockey: Robbie Walsh. Breeder: Sea Horse Breeders (Ky.) 2015 record: 4-1-1-0, $27,700. First-year hurdler broke through for a 10 1/2-length victory in a Parx maiden hurdle on July 14. Also had a second at Iroquois Steeplechase to year’s top novice on May 11.
Smart Rush. 2010 gr. or ro. g., Rush Bay—Smart Silver, by Two Smart. Owner: Magalen O. Bryant. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Willie McCarthy. Breeder: Magalen O. Bryant (Pa.) 2015 record: 3-0-0-0, $1,950. 2014 NSA record: 3-1-0-0, $17,050. Ran distant sixth in Saratoga allowance hurdle on July 29. Stumbled and lost rider early in Virginia Gold Cup allowance hurdle on May 2. Finished distant ninth in Parx flat race for jump horses. Won maiden victory in fourth start over fences last fall.
Bau Bai Gold. 2010 dk. b. or br. m., Sightseeing—Lynx of Gold, by Forest Wildcat. Owner: Jennifer H. Pitts. Trainer: Jazz Napravnik. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. Breeder: Damchu Stables (Pa.). 2015 record: 3-1-1-0, $24,000. 2014 record: 2-1-0-0, $15,000. Most recently finished second in Margaret Currey Henley Stakes for fillies and mares at Iroquois Steeplechase on May 11. Won the Charles S. Bird optional allowance hurdle at Aiken Spring to open 2015 season, then lost rider in Stoneybrook’s Sandhills Cup. In first start over fences, won a 2014 Foxfield Fall maiden hurdle for fillies and mares by 13 1/4 lengths and then finished fifth in Far Hills’ Peapack Stakes.
North Star Boy (Ire). 2009 b. g., Acclamation (GB)—Isla Azul, by Machiavellian. Owners: High Kings Racing, Gerry Foley, and Niall Saville. Trainer: Niall Saville. Jockey: Darren Nagle. Breeder: Hascombe and Valiant Studs (Ire). 2015 NSA record: 2-0-0-1, $3,000. Jumped from good fourth in Pimlico’s Henry Clark Stakes on May 18 to a Fair Hills maiden hurdle five days later and was pulled up. Finished third in a Parx Racing maiden hurdle on July 14.
Bonded (Ire). 2007 b. g., Oasis Dream (GB)—Lovealoch, by Lomond. Owner: Bruce Smart Jr. Trainer: Jimmy Day. Jockey: Bernie Dalton. Breeders: Michael Woodlock and Seamus Kennedy (Ire). 2015 NSA record: 3-0-0-1, $4,000. 2014 record: No starts. In only start over fences this year, fell over another horse in the Marcellus Frost Novice Stakes at the Iroquois Steeplechase on May 11. Won maiden victory over hurdles at 2013 Virginia Gold Cup meet and went to the sidelines after second-place finish in a maiden flat race at Colonial Downs that June.
All That Rules (GB). 2009 b. g., Galileo (Ire)—Alba Stella, by Nashwan. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Cyril Murphy. Jockey: Carol-Ann Sloan. Breeder: Miss K. Rausing and Balmerino Bloodstock (GB). 2015 record: No starts. 2014 record: 2-0-0-0, $1,950. Maiden winner at the 2013 Queen’s Cup had two Saratoga starts last summer, a sixth and then a fall.