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Kisser N Run moves toward NSA Filly and Mare title

Posted: November 5, 2013 2:32 p.m.
Updated: November 6, 2013 5:00 a.m.

Clarke Ohrstrom’s Kisser N Run made a strong case for the National Steeplechase Association’s Life’s Illusion Filly and Mare Championship when she scored a 1 3/4-length victory in the $50,000 Crown Royal Stakes, co-feature of the 29th annual Steeplechase at Callaway on Saturday, Nov. 2.
Irv Naylor’s Bittersweetheart finished third in the year’s final stakes race for fillies and mares.
Trained by Richard Valentine and ridden by Robbie Walsh, Kisser N Run secured her second major victory of the fall and ran the Crown Royal’s 2 1/4 miles in 4:12.80 on turf rated as good.
Kisser N Run got her 2013 season back in high gear with a second consecutive victory in the $75,000 Peapack Stakes at the Far Hills Races on Oct. 19. In her two starts immediately before the Peapack, Kisser N Run was unplaced in Saratoga Race Course’s major stakes races for fillies and mares, the $75,000 Mrs. Ogden Phipps Stakes and the $75,000 Mrs. Walter M. Jeffords Stakes.
The f5-year-old Pleasant Tap mare had begun her 2013 campaign with two second-place finishes, in the $30,000 Georgia Cup at the Atlanta Steeplechase on April 13 and in the Iroquois Steeplechase’s $50,000 Margaret Currey Henley on May 11, when she was beaten a nose by two-time Crown Royal winner Well Fashioned.
Under pressure from Arcadia Stable’s Opera Heroine, Kisser N Run set the pace for the Crown Royal and opened daylight as Opera Heroine faded in the stretch. Arcadia’s Take Her Tothe Top made a late run with Richard Boucher to take the place spot.
In the co-feature, Where’s the Beef confirmed the form of his maiden victory when he set all the pace in the $75,000 AFLAC Supreme Hurdle for novices and won by a half-length over Bill Pape’s late-running Grand Tier.
The Elkstone Group’s Albany Road finished third, and owner Pape’s Bluegrass Summer took fourth.
Owned and trained by Brian E. Murphy, Where’s the Beef had Willie McCarthy in the saddle as he covered the AFLAC Supreme Hurdle’s 2 1/4 miles in 4:05.20.
Where’s the Beef emerged as a horse to watch when he ran away to an 18 1/4-length score in a $15,000 maiden hurdle at the Foxfield Fall Races in Virginia on Sept. 29.
Decoy Daddy captures Noel Laing Stakes: Irv Naylor’s Decoy Daddy collected his third victory in Montpelier Hunt Race’s $45,000 Noel Laing Handicap when he set the early pace, surrendered the lead to Spy in the Sky in the stretch, and then came back for a 2 1/4-length victory under Carol-Ann Sloan on Saturday, Nov. 2.
Trained by Cyril Murphy, Decoy Daddy carried the 156-pound highweight and ran the Noel Laing’s 2 1/2 miles over natural brush fences in 5:15.80 on turf rated as good.
Randleston Farm’s Spy in the Sky finished 24 3/4 lengths clear of Naylor’s Changing Times, who took third money.
With some pressure from Changing Times, Decoy Daddy set the pace, with Danielle Hodsdon placing Spy in the Sky in midpack. Spy in the Sky made his usual strong run into the stretch and briefly headed Decoy Daddy. But the 11-year-old veteran fought back gamely and secured his third stakes victory of the year.
Winner of the Noel Laing in 2010 and 2011 before a second-place finish last year, Decoy Daddy won the Temple Gwathmey (Gr. 3) at Middleburg, Va., and the National Hunt Cup (Gr. 3) at the Radnor Hunt Races near Philadelphia, where he also was headed and came back to secure the victory.
Murphy, who took over Naylor’s main division in the summer, secured his second stakes win for owner Naylor, who is battling Bill Pape for the leading owner title.
Murphy trained Naylor’s Sacred Soul to an impressive score in the second division of the $75,000 Foxbrook Champion Hurdle at the Far Hills Races on Oct. 19.

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