A well-matched field composed mainly of jump-racing newcomers will line up Wednesday for Saratoga Race Course’s $65,000 allowance hurdle. The 2 1/16-mile race over National Fences attracted a field of eight and will be the afternoon’s first race, with a 1 p.m. post time.
PathFinder Racing’s Mutasaawy broke through for a dominant victory in a Parx Racing maiden hurdle on July 11 for trainer Neil Morris. In his only other jumps start, the well-bred Tapit seven-year-old finished second in a Fair Hill maiden hurdle on May 27.
Mutasaawy will again have the services of current leading jockey Darren Nagle, who opened a bit of daylight on his fellow jockeys with a win in last week’s handicap hurdle aboard Choral Society. He comes into Wednesday’s race with 10 wins.
Trainer Ricky Hendriks, who is having a banner year and currently ranks third in the standings by wins and second by purses, will saddle mother Wendy Hendriks’ Any Given Royal, a maiden winner at Aiken Spring on March 25.
The Any Given Saturday gelding finished fourth in a Saratoga allowance hurdle on Aug. 2 and will be ridden by Ross Geraghty.
Also coming out of the Aug. 2 allowance hurdle is Rather Be Racing’s Kremlin, who finished seventh. The five-year-old scored a front-running maiden victory at the Iroquois Steeplechase on May 13. Champion trainer Jack Fisher named Jack Doyle to ride.
Here is the field for Wednesday’s $65,000 allowance hurdle in post-position order. The horses’ National Steeplechase Association ratings are in parentheses at the end of their profiles.
Kremlin. 2012 ch. g., Eskendereya—Dock Leaf, by Woodman. Owner: Rather Be Racing stable. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Jack Doyle. Breeder: Juddmonte Farm (Ky.) 2017 record: 4-1-1-1, $31,900. 2016 NSA record: 2-0-0-0, $2,850. Broke into the win column with a front-running score at 2017 Iroquois Steeplechase. Before that, had a third at Steeplechase at Charleston and a second at Queen’s Cup. Finished unplaced in Saratoga allowance hurdle. (116)
Meteroid. 2011 dk. b. or br. g., Dynaformer—Enthused, by Seeking the Gold. Owner: Amy Taylor Rowe. Trainer: Leslie Young. Jockey: Tom Garner. Breeder: Flaxman Holdings Ltd. (Ky.) 2017 record: 3-0-2-0, $9,900. 2016 record: 2016 record: 8-0-4-2, $30,100. Maiden is usually close and has high in-the-money average. Finished second in 2017 Foxfield Spring and Radnor maiden hurdles before being unplaced finish at Parx Racing. (No rating)
Hooded. 2011 b. g., Empire Maker—Yashmak, by Danzig. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Cyril Murphy. Jockey: Gus Dahl. Breeder: Juddmonte Farms (Ky.) 2017 NSA record: 3-0-1-1, $7,900. 2016 record: 7-0-3-2, $25,700. Maiden over hurdles began 2017 season with well-beaten third at Atlanta Steeplechase and then was pulled up on soft ground at Virginia Gold Cup. Ran improved race when second at Fair Hill. Often close but never reached winner’s circle in seven 2016 starts over fences. (No rating)
Buck Benny. 2010 b. g., Dynaformer—High Button Shoes, by Carson City. Owner: Michael Baum and Reiko. Trainer: Kate Dalton. Jockey: Bernie Dalton. Breeder: My Meadowview LLC (Ky.) 2017 record: 5-0-1-0, $7,000. Maiden over hurdles in 10 starts coming off respectable second in a 2017 Parx Racing maiden hurdle. Began season with fifth at Steeplechase at Charleston and fourth at Queen’s Cup. Fell at Atlanta and Fair Hill. (No rating)
Aflutter. 2010 dk. b. or br. g., Birdstone—Let’s Canoodle, by Oh Say. Owner: Hudson River Farms. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Sean McDermott. Breeders: Jonathan Sheppard and Hudson River Farms (Pa.) 2017 record: 5-0-1-1, $7,500. 2016 record: 2-0-1-0, $5,400. Maiden over hurdles has a second at 2017 Aiken Spring and a third at Tryon Block House. (No rating)
Mutasaawy. 2010 b. g., Tapit—Pretty Proud, by Mr. Greeley. Owner: PathFinder Racing. Trainer: Neil Morris. Jockey: Darren Nagle. Breeder: Pretty Proud Syndicate. 2017 NSA record: 2-1-1-0, $20,400. Broke through at Parx Racing with a dominant victory in a $25,000 maiden hurdle. In only other jumps start, finished second in Fair Hill maiden. (116)
Any Given Royal. 2009 b. g., Any Given Saturday—Really Royal, by Unreal Zeal. Owner: Wendy W. Hendriks. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. Breeder: Ben Lengacher (Ky.) 2017 NSA record: 3-1-0-0, $18,250. 2016 record: 1-0-0-0, $900. Scored handy maiden victory at Aiken Spring, then won Tryon Block House flat race. Passed tiring horses to finish fourth in Saratoga allowance hurdle. Debuted over fences with sixth at 2016 Colonial Cup. (116)
Bishop’s Castle. 2009 dk. b. or br. g., Distorted Humor—Miss Caerleona, by Caerleon. Owner: Bruton Street (US). Trainer: Todd Wyatt. Jockey: Michael Mitchell. Breeder: Darley (Ky.) 2017 record: 3-1-0-0, $12,000. 2016 record: 3-0-0-1, $4,800. Won a 2017 Radnor maiden claiming hurdle after seventh in Middleburg Spring maiden hurdle. Misjudged fence in Parx Racing handicap and unseated jockey. Finished third in 2016 Suffolk Downs maiden hurdle. (110)