Petticoats Loose Farm’s Choral Society completed his successful transition to steeplechase racing on Tuesday, July 1, when he made a strong run through Parx Racing’s stretch and won a $30,000 allowance hurdle by two lengths over Easy Reach. Ross Geraghty rode Choral Society, who had won his maiden victory over fences at Monmouth Park on June 13.
Trained by Cyril Murphy, Choral Society ran the allowance hurdle’s 2 1/16 miles in 3:36.65 on a firm turf course at the suburban Philadelphia track.
Jockey Jeff Murphy sent Sheila J. Williams’ Easy Reach to the lead at the start, and they opened a five-length advantage on the final turn. Geraghty kept Choral Society at the back of the field for more than 1 1/2 miles and began to advance on the final turn.
Easy Reach jumped the last fence with a one-length lead, but Choral Society was moving strongly and gained the advantage inside the sixteenth pole. The Elkstone Group’s Albany Road, with Robbie Walsh aboard, finished another 3 1/2 lengths farther back.
Cat Feathers, a 6-year-old mare owned and trained by Camden’s Kate Dalton and ridden by her husband Bernie Dalton was fourth in a field of seven.
A 5-year-old Holy Bull gelding, Choral Society had won a $42,000 allowance race on the flat last summer, but he went off form and made the transition to jump racing over the winter. He debuted at the Fair Hill Races in Maryland on May 24 with a third-place finish in a $25,000 Sport of Kings maiden hurdle.
Geraghty, the National Steeplechase Association’s champion jockey in 2012, has been riding a torrid streak and won multiple races for the third straight meet. The Parx program also featured two $25,000 Sport of Kings maiden hurdles, and Geraghty won the second division under Dr. David Richardson’s Harrods Creek.
The Irish-born veteran won both steeplechase races at Monmouth, with Choral Society and aboard Irv Naylor’s Address Unknown is an optional allowance hurdle. He had four victories, three of them over fences, at Fair Hill.
Rodman Moorehead III’s All the Way Jose won Parx’s first Sport of Kings division by a length over Moran Gra, with Geraghty up, under National Steeplechase Association (NSA) leading jockey and part-time Camden resident Willie McCarthy.
Heading into the 12-race summer season meet at Saratoga which begins on July 23 and includes that day’s $75,000 Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes, McCarthy leads all NSA jockeys with 13 victories and in earnings with $375,100. Thanks to his recent hot streak, Geraghty has 10 wins and is also second to his fellow Irishman McCarthy in money won with $188,125.