The National Steeplechase Association's leading-earners table has a traffic jam at the top, and the sport's top competitors have been nominated to the $250,000 Grand National (Gr. 1), the headline contest of the 93rd annual Far Hills Races on Saturday, Oct. 19.
Jonathan Sheppard, a record-breaking horseman and a highly respected leader within the American Steeplechasing community, has been selected to receive the National Steeplechase Association's prestigious F. Ambrose Clark Award.
Owner-trainer Jonathan Sheppard's Italian Wedding swept to the lead entering Saratoga Race Course's homestretch under Camden's Bernie Dalton, jumped the final fence boldly, and held off a determined challenge from All Together to win the $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup Handicap (Gr. 1) by a length on Thursday, Aug. 22.
Invitations for the Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup Steeplechase Races are expected to be sent to those patrons on the race's mailing list over the course of the next few days, according to officials with the event.
Owner-trainer Jonathan Sheppard's Barnstorming surged to the lead on Saratoga Race Course's final turn, jumped the final fence with a big lead, and powered home for an easy 6 1/4-length victory in the $75,000 Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes on Thursday, Aug. 15.
Arcadia Stable's Take Her Tothe Top won her maiden steeplechase victory in spectacular fashion when the well-bred five-year-old mare pulled away to a 3 1/4-length victory in Saratoga Race Course's $75,000 Mrs. Ogden Phipps Stakes for fillies and mares last Thursday.
Jack Fisher, American steeplechasing's reigning champion trainer, captured both ends of Saratoga Race Course's jump doubleheader last Thursday, Aug. 1, taking a $65,000 optional allowance claimer with veteran All Together and then winning the $100,000 A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) with Gil Johnston's rising star, Mr. Hot Stuff.
Jacqueline Ohrstrom's Demonstrative and Bill Pape's Divine Fortune, who finished a neck apart in their most recent meeting, will clash again in Saratoga Race Course's $100,000 A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) on Thursday.
Racing Hall of Fame trainer and part-time Camdenite Jonathan Sheppard invariably does well at Saratoga Race Course, and he kicked off the track's first steeplechase last Thursday with a 1-2 finish by Bill Pape's Martini Brother and the trainer's Barnstorming in the $75,000 Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes.