Irv Naylor’s Address Unknown marked himself as a leading contender in this year’s novice division when he overwhelmed his competitors in a $30,000 optional allowance hurdle at Monmouth Park on Friday, June 13.
Winner of his maiden start over fences at the Fair Hill Races on May 24, Address Unknown delivered a sweep of Monmouth’s two jump races for jockey Ross Geraghty and trainer Cyril Murphy. They earlier had won a $25,000 Sport of Kings hurdle with Choral Society in a photo finish.
Sent off as the 1.90-1 second favorite in a field of nine, Address Unknown never was far back as Orchestra Leader set the pace for the first five furlongs before Class Bopper went to the front under Richard Boucher. Address Unknown easily settled into third position before Geraghty turned him loose late on the final run down Monmouth’s backstretch.
Address Unknown glided to the lead after the next to last fence and jumped the final obstacle with a three-length lead. Geraghty roused him after the fence, and Address Unknown galloped strongly to the finish line to win by 10 1/4 lengths.
Andre Brewster’s Selection Sunday, the 8-5 favorite, closed ground late to finish second, and Cognashene took third. Address Unknown ran the optional allowance’s 2 1/4 miles in 2:28.23 on turf rated as good.
Bred by Juddmonte Farms, Address Unknown had a successful flat career in his native England and won handicap races at distances of two miles or more. His second victory in two jumps starts raised his National Steeplechase Association earnings to $33,000.
In an exciting return to the Jersey Shore after a nearly four-year hiatus, Choral Society scored a game victory over Gnostic in the $25,000 Sport of Kings maiden hurdle, the opening race on the Monmouth program.
Owned by Petticoats Loose Farm, 3.30-1 second choice Choral Society stalked the pace of 1.70-1 favorite Harrods Creek early, took the inside position in the final mile, and moved to the lead entering the homestretch.
Choral Society led by a head over Harrods Creek at the last fence, but Mimi Voss’s 20-1 Gnostic made a sharp inside move under Gus Dahl in the stretch and gained a brief lead in the final sixteenth of a mile. Choral Society fought back under strong handling by Geraghty and won by a head.
Harrods Creek, with Willie McCarthy up, finished third, 1 3/4 lengths farther back, and Marq Your Bible (Boucher) took fourth in a field of eight.
A 5-year-old Holy Bull gelding, Choral Society ran the 2 1/4 miles in 4:29.58. After a 22-race career on the flat, Choral Society debuted over fences with a third in a Sport of Kings maiden hurdle at the Fair Hill Races on May 24.
The National Steeplechase Association’s summer campaign continues with a pair of chases on the July 1 card at PARX Racing in Pennsylvania.