Saratoga Race Course’s third week of steeplechase racing kicks off Wednesday with a well-matched field for a $65,000 allowance hurdle at 2 1/16 miles. Post time is 12:25 p.m., and retired jump jockey Jimmy Duggan will provide expert commentary on TVG’s broadcast.
Owner-trainer Jimmy Day’s Manacor enters the Saratoga race from a solid victory on the flat in a $50,000 claimer at Belmont Park on July 11. In his only start over fences this year, the Irish-bred gelding finished second in the Daniel Van Clief Memorial optional allowance hurdle at the Foxfield Spring Races in Charlottesville, Va., on April 26. Paddy Young, the reigning champion jockey, takes over the mount.
Also coming off a solid winning effort is Rodman W. Moorhead III’s All the Way Jones, a four-year-old who secured his first win over fences at Parx Racing on July 1. Trained by his breeder, Hall of Fame horseman Jonathan Sheppard, All the Way Jose will be ridden by current leading jockey Willie McCarthy.
Two starters are returning to the races after long breaks on the sidelines. Riverdee Stable’s talented mare Lillehammer has not raced since finishing fifth in Saratoga’s Mrs. Ogden Phipps Stakes last August. She is handled by the wife-husband team of trainer Kate Dalton and jockey Bernie Dalton.
Current leading owner Irv Naylor will be represented by All That Rules, who has not raced since scoring his maiden victory over fences at the Queen’s Cup Steeplechase in Charlotte, N.C., in April 2013. Trainer Cyril Murphy named Carol-Ann Sloan to ride the five-year-old Galileo gelding.
Here is the field for Wednesday’s $65,000 allowance hurdle:
Balance the Budget. 2009 ch. g., Bellamy Road—Every Day Is Good, by El Corredor. Owner: Stonelea Stable. Trainer: Julie Gomena. Jockey: Xavier Aizpuru. 2014 record: 4-0-1-1, $9,250. Finished third in most recent start, a maiden hurdle at Parx Racing on July 1. Was second in his debut over hurdles at the Carolina Cup on March 29. Converted to steeplechasing after being claimed for $16,000 at Churchill Downs in May 2013.
All That Rules (GB). 2009 b. g., Galileo (Ire)—Alba Stella (GB), by Nashwan. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Cyril Murphy. Jockey: Carol-Ann Sloan. 2014 record: No starts. 2013 NSA record: 2-1-0-1, $37,350. Won maiden victory at 2013 Queen’s Cup and then went to sidelines. In first U.S. start and first try over fences, finished third in 2013 Stoneybrook maiden hurdle. Had one win on the flat at three in Ireland.
Manacor (Ire). 2008 b. g., Refuse to Bend (Ire)–Mollyputtheketelon, by Rainbow Quest. Owner-trainer: Jimmy Day. Jockey: Paddy Young. 2014 NSA record: 1-0-1-0, $4,500. 2013 NSA record: 5-1-1-1, $15,100. Has been splitting his time between flat races and the jumps with good success. In only start over fences this year, finished second in the Daniel Van Clief Memorial optional allowance hurdle at the Foxfield Spring Races on April 26. In most recent start, won a $50,000 claimer at Belmont Park. Broke through for maiden victory over fences at Montpelier Hunt Races in November.
Lillehammer. 2008 b. f., North Light (Ire)—Desert Dad, by Exploit. Owner: Riverdee Stable. Trainer: Kate Dalton. Jockey: Bernie Dalton. 2014 record: No starts. 2013 record: 4-1-0-1, $17,250. Went to the sidelines after fifth in last year’s Mrs. Ogden Phipps Stakes for fillies and mares at Saratoga. Easily won maiden victory at Colonial Downs in June 2013. Finished third in Far Hills’ 2012 Peapack Stakes.
All the Way Jose. 2010 b. g., Senor Swinger—Maternity Leave, by Northern Baby. Owner: Rodman W. Moorhead III. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Willie McCarthy. 2014 record: 2-1-1-0, $25,500. Collected maiden victory at Parx Racing on July 1 after close second in maiden hurdle at the Fair Hill Races on May 24. Ran second to three-year-old champion Schoodic in last November’s Raymond G. Woolfe Memorial at the Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup.
Witor (Ger). 2008 b. g., Dashing Blade—Wurfspiel, by Lomitas (GB). Owner: Merriefield Farm. Trainer: Todd Wyatt. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. 2014 record: 2-0-0-0, 2,200. 2013 record: No starts. After missing all of 2013 season, returned with a fourth in a Middleburg Spring races optional allowance hurdle on April 19 and a fifth in a tough starter allowance hurdle at the Virginia Gold Cup on May 2.
Albany Road. 2007 ch. g., Mr. Greeley—Jane’s the Name, by Trempolino. Owner: The Elkstone Group. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Jockey: Robbie Walsh. 2014 record: 4-0-0-1, $9,450. 2013 NSA record: 6-1-1-1, $31,618. Finished third in Parx Racing allowance hurdle on July 1, then was fourth in Saratoga allowance hurdle on July 23. Started 2014 with two fifth-place finishes, in the Carolina Cup for novices on March 29 and the Thompson Memorial allowance hurdle at the Radnor Hunt Races on May 17. Won maiden hurdle at Fair Hill Races in May 2013 before good second in Saratoga optional allowance.
Mr. Starr’s Report. 2008 ch. g., Mr. Greeley—Starr County, by Ogygian. Owner: Woodslane Farm. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Sam Jones. 2014 NSA record: 3-1-0-2, $14,000. Broke through for maiden hurdle victory at High Hope Steeplechase in Lexington on May 18 after third-place finishes at Virginia Gold Cup and Middleburg Spring Races. Most recently unplaced in $35,000 claimers at Belmont Park and Saratoga.