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.
Clorevia Farm's Dr. Skip confirmed the promise of his maiden steeplechase victory when he made a big move on Parx's final turn, jumped the last fence with a six-length lead, and drew clear to a seven-length win in the Philadelphia area track's $30,000 featured optional allowance claimer last Tuesday.
Sandbar, a 2-year-old War Pass filly developed at Fred and Wilhelmina McEwan's Fenwick Farm in Camden, broke her maiden at first asking with a win in a $45,000 maiden race at Churchill Downs on June 8.
Meritage Racing's Inti collected the biggest victory of his racing career on Saturday, when he surged past Complete Zen in Colonial Downs' stretch and drew clear to a 3 1/4-length victory in the $50,000 David L. "Zeke" Ferguson Memorial (Gr. 3), the feature race of the Virginia track's opening-day program.