Zanjabeel, impressive winner of the Far Hills Races’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle, and second finisher Ice It will resume their nascent rivalry Saturday in the $75,000 Aflac Supreme Hurdle, the featured novice stakes of the 33rd annual Steeplechase at Callaway.
The popular race meet at Pine Mountain, Ga., kicks off with a 1 p.m. first post time.
Zanjabeel, imported specifically for the Foxbrook on Oct. 21, scored a 4 3/4-length victory for his owners, The Confidence Partnership, and also made an impression on his new owners, George Mahoney Jr.’s Rosbrian Farm and Benjamin and Wendy Griswold.
Now trained in Pennsylvania by Ricky Hendriks, the British-bred Zanjabeel will be ridden by Ross Geraghty.
DASH Stable’s Ice It, second in last year’s Aflac Supreme Hurdle, never quit trying in the Foxbrook and clearly was second best for the second straight year. He is trained by Jack Fisher, who has established a new National Steeplechase Association earnings record with nearly $1.3-million in 2017 purses.
Sean McDermott, currently leading the jockey standings by purse earnings, will ride the five-year-old Tapit gelding.
The Foxbrook was run at 2 1/2 miles, and the Aflac Supreme Hurdle competitors will be cutting back to 2 1/4 miles. Several other Foxbrook participants will be attempting to improve on their performances in New Jersey.
Also coming out of the Foxbrook are James S. Carter’s Macnicholson, who was sixth; Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Lachares, eighth; Oakwood Stable’s Kensington Court, ninth; and Gil Johnston’s Mutasaawy, who stumbled early and unseated his jockey.
Completing the field is Tantivy Racing’s Laser Light, an Irish-bred import who finished sixth in the Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle in May for trainer Ted Thompson. Bernie Dalton will ride.
Here is the field for the $75,000 Aflac Supreme Hurdle in post-position order.
Kensington Court. 2012 dk. b. or br. g., Giant’s Causeway—Backseat Driver, by El Corredor. Owner: Oakwood Stable. Trainer: Julie Gomena. Jockey: Mark Watts. Breeder: Paul Pompa Jr. (Ky.) 2017 record: 2-0-0-0, $2,250. 2016 record: 4-2-1-0, $63,600. 2015 NSA record: 2-0-1-0, $5,750. Finished sixth in Belmont Park’s 2017 William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes after setting early pace, then was ninth in Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle. Went to the sidelines in July 2016 after winning Saratoga allowance hurdle on the lead.
Mutasaawy. 2010 b. g., Tapit—Pretty Proud, by Mr. Greeley. Owner: Gil Johnston. Trainer: Neil Morris. Jockey: Byron Moorcroft. Breeder: Pretty Proud Syndicate (Ky.). 2017 NSA record: 5-2-1-1, $66,900. Impressed in winning 2017 Saratoga allowance hurdle, then finished third in Belmont Park’s William Entenmann Novice Stakes. Stumbled and lost his jockey early in Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle. 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.
Ice It. 2012 gr. or ro. g., Tapit—Spice Island, by Tabasco Cat. Owner: DASH Stable. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Sean McDermott. Breeder: Qatar Bloodstock (Ky.) 2017 record: 5-1-1-1, $86,830. 2016 record: 5-1-3-0, $68,250. 2015 record: 3-1-0-0, $18,600. Finished hard-trying second in Far Hills Races’ 2017 Foxbrook Champion Hurdle. Won 2017 Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase after sixth in Carolina Cup, then was third in Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle at Iroquois Steeplechase. Won 2016 Georgia Cup optional allowance and was second in Foxbrook Champion Hurdle. Won Far Hills’ Gladstone Hurdle to lock up 2015 three-year-old championship.
Macnicholson (Ire). 2009 b. g., Definite Article (GB)—Heroic Performer, by Royal Applause (GB). Owner: James S. Carter. Trainer: Jimmy Day. Jockey: Declan Queally. Breeder: D. Shine (Ire). 2017 NSA record: 5-0-1-0, $20,250. 2016 NSA record: No starts. Best of rest when second in Saratoga’s 2017 Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes at 35-1 odds, then was sixth in Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle. Finished sixth and placed fifth in Saratoga’s Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes. Lost riders in his first U.S. starts, 2017 Carolina Cup and Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle, both for novices. Looking for first victory since August 2015.
Laser Light (Ire). 2011 b. g., Kutub—Sioux Falls (Ire), by Monashee Mountain. Owner: Tantivy Racing LLC. Trainer: Ted Thompson. Jockey: Bernie Dalton. Breeder: Clongiffin Stud (Ire). 2017 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $3,000. Finished sixth in Iroquois Steeplechase’s 2017 Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle. In final start in England, won a Kempton allowance hurdle. In six career starts in England, won three and never off the board.
Lachares (Ire). 2013 ch. g., Manduro (Ger)—Louve Imperiale, by Giant’s Causeway. Owner: Jacqueline Ohrstrom. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Jockey: Shane Crimin. Breeder: Dayton Investments Ltd. (Ire). 2017 NSA record: 2-0-0-0, $3,750. Finished fourth in Belmont Park’s 2017 William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes after pressing early pace, then was eighth in Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle. Product of Wildenstein breeding operation made impressive debut over fences in Ireland with three hurdle wins, a second, and four thirds in busy 2017 season.
Zanjabeel (GB). 2013 b. g., Aussie Rules—Grain Only, by Machiavellian. Owner: Rosbrian Farm. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. Breeder: Miss K. Rausing (GB). 2017 NSA record: 1-1-0-0, $75,000. Drew away to a 4 3/4-length victory in Far Hills’ 2017 Foxbrook Champion Hurdle, his U.S. debut for former owners and trainer Gordon Elliott. Made mixture of flat and hurdle starts in 2017, with handicap hurdle win in June and a flat win in July.