Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Demonstrative charged past Spy in the Sky before the final fence in Belmont Park’s $150,000 Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1) and held off Parker’s Project to win by a length last Thursday. Making his first start since being claimed, Spy in the Sky finished third.
The victory, Demonstrative’s second straight Grade 1 win after taking the $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup on Aug. 25, established his undisputed leadership in the National Steeplechase Association’s championship division.
Trained by Richard Valentine, the seven-year-old Elusive Quality gelding raised his 2014 earnings to $202,500. Sent off as the Lonesome Glory’s 1.70-to-1 second pick behind the Jonathan Sheppard-trained 1.10-to-1 trio of Divine Fortune, Barnstorming, and Bluegrass Summer, Demonstrative ran the Lonesome Glory’s 2 1/2 miles in 5:01.40 on firm turf. He carried the Lonesome Glory’s 158-pound high weight and gave 18 pounds to the second- and third-place finishers.
Divine Fortune, the reigning Eclipse Award champion who won the $150,000 Calvin Houghland Iroquois on May 10, established an early lead under Darren Nagle, while Robbie Walsh had Demonstrative in a stalking position on the inside a few lengths off the pace.
Gregg Ryan’s Spy in the Sky, a $30,000 claim at Saratoga, made a sharp move on Belmont’s final turn to seize the lead as Divine Fortune fell back. Demonstrative took up the second spot, and Walsh bided his time to the final two fences. Demonstrative took them both in stride and opened a 1 1/2-length advantage over a surging Parker’s Project over the last.
Parker’s Project, owned by Edward Swyer’s Hudson River Farms and trained by Sheppard, held his position through the stretch under Ross Geraghty to take second money in his first start since the 2012 Marcellus Frost Stakes (Gr. 2) at the Iroquois Steeplechase.
Divine Fortune fell at the last fence and was walked off the course.
Demonstrative finished sixth in his first 2014 start in the Calvin Houghland Iroquois, and he then finished a close second in Saratoga’s A. P. Smithwick Memorial on July 31.
“I didn’t have him fit for the Iroquois, and that was my fault,” Valentine said. “He just does everything right. Now, he’s staying a little bit closer in his races. His running style needed to change a little bit.”
The next stop for Demonstrative, the 2012 Colonial Cup champion, may be the $250,000 Grand National at Far Hills, N.J., on Oct. 18 if the ground is firm. “He wants firm turf,” Valentine said.
Address Unknown finds way into winners’ circle: Irv Naylor’s Address Unknown flew over the final two fences in Belmont Park’s $75,000 William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes and pulled away in the stretch last Thursday to a 2 1/4-length victory over All the Way Jose. Dr. Skip finished third in a field of seven rising steeplechase stars.
Gil Johnston’s Syros went to the lead immediately in the 2 1/4-mile Entenmann under Sean McDermott, with Clorevia Farm’s Dr. Skip and jockey Robbie Walsh tracking their pace. Ross Geraghty placed Address Unknown behind the early pace in company with Rodman W. Moorhead III’s All the Way Jose, while Edith Dixon’s 1.45-to-1 favorite Schoodic was reserved toward the rear of the field.
Dr. Skip, making his first start in 11 months, grabbed a brief lead on the final turn, and Schoodic began a move that quickly faded. Address Unknown and Rodman Moorhead III’s All the Way Jose took the final two fences at speed, with All the Way Jose leading by a head after jumping the last of 11 fences.
Address Unknown kicked clear of All the Way Jose and Willie McCarthy within a few strides and held the advantage to the finish line. Trained by Cyril Murphy, Address Unknown went off as the 3.10-to-1 second betting choice and ran the Entenmann’s distance in 4:15.50 on firm turf.
Bred in England by Juddmonte Farms, Address Unknown was a stakes winner on the flat and his first stakes win over fences was his third victory in four jumps starts.