Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Demonstrative, current leader in the National Steeplechase Association’s 2014 earnings standings, will meet 2013 Eclipse Award winner Divine Fortune on Thursday in Belmont Park’s $150,000 Lonesome Glory Handicap.
Both are winners of Grade 1 races this year, and Demonstrative will carry the 158-pound highweight after his professional victory in Saratoga Race Course’s $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup on Aug. 25. Bill Pape’s Divine Fortune, winner of the $150,000 Calvin Houghland Iroquois in May, was weighted at 154.
Robbie Walsh returns aboard Demonstrative for trainer Richard Valentine in the 2 1/2-mile Lonesome Glory. Darren Nagle, sidelined for much of the current season with a broken leg after a training accident in March, will ride Divine Fortune. Nagle was in the saddle for Divine Fortune’s brilliant victory in last fall’s $250,000 Grand National at Far Hills, N.J.
Divine Fortune will be coupled in the wagering with two other members of Racing Hall of Fame member Jonathan Sheppard’s barn. Sheppard’s Barnstorming, second in the New York Turf Writers, will be ridden by Willie McCarthy, currently the sport’s top jockey by wins and earnings. Camden’s Bernie Dalton will be aboard Sheppard’s Bluegrass Summer, third in the Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 14.
Sheppard also will send out Parker’s Project, who is owned by Edward Swyer’s Hudson River Farms. Sidelined since winning the 2012 Marcellus Frost Stakes at the Iroquois Steeplechase, he will be ridden by Ross Geraghty.
Jack Fisher, bidding for his third straight leading trainer title, will saddle Andre Brewster’s and Sheila J. Williams’ All Together, who finished fourth in the New York Turf Writers. He finished second, beaten a nose, in last year’s Lonesome Glory. Sam Jones has the mount.
Leading owner Irv Naylor will be represented by For Non Stop, an Irish-bred who finished sixth in the New York Turf Writers. Trainer Cyril Murphy named Kieran Norris to ride.
Completing the field is Gregg Ryan’s Spy in the Sky, who was taken for $30,000 from a Saratoga optional claiming hurdle on Aug. 20. New trainer George Weaver, a leading flat horseman in New York, named Tom Foley to ride the veteran Grade 1 winner.
The Lonesome Glory Stakes, which has a 1:40 p.m. post time, is the first of three Grade I steeplechase races on the National Steeplechase Association’s fall schedule. The second is the $250,000 Grand National in Far Hills, N.J., on Oct. 18 with the third and final chase of the year being the $100,000 Colonial Cup in Camden on Saturday, Nov. 15.
Schoodic tops Entenmann entries: Edith Dixon’s homebred Schoodic, winner of the Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes in his most recent start, will meet a challenging field in Belmont Park’s $75,000 William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes on Thursday.
The Entenmann Memorial will kick off Belmont’s steeplechase double feature with a 1:05 p.m. post time. The card’s second race will be the $150,000 Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1) at 1:40 p.m.
Last year’s three-year-old champion, Schoodic was pulled up in Saratoga Race Course’s Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes in July but came back to post a professional four-length score in Saratoga’s Walsh on Aug. 14. Paddy Young, the reigning champion jockey, will be in the saddle for trainer Jack Fisher.
Bidding for his third straight trainer title, Fisher also will send out Gil Johnston’s Syros and Andre W. Brewster’s Selection Sunday for the 2 1/4-mile Entenmann Memorial. Syros is coming off a 5 1/4-length score in a Saratoga allowance hurdle on Aug. 18, and Selection Sunday finished a distant fourth in that race. Sean McDermott rides Syros, and Sam Jones returns on Selection Sunday.
Irv Naylor’s Address Unknown finished second in the Walsh, and he will take on Schoodic again in the Entenmann. He won his first two starts over fences, including an impressive 10 1/4-length score in a Monmouth optional allowance hurdle on June 13. Trained by Cyril Murphy, Address Unknown will be ridden by Ross Geraghty.
Murphy also will saddle Choral Society, winner of a Parx Racing allowance hurdle on July 1 for owner Petticoats Loose Farm. Harry Haynes returns to the United States to ride.
Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard will send out Rodman W. Moorhead III’s All the Way Jose, an impressive 14 1/4-length winner in a Saratoga allowance hurdle on Aug. 27. Willie McCarthy will ride. Sheppard will put Darren Nagle into the saddle of his One Giant Step, who would be making his first start in more than three years.
Elizabeth Voss Murray will send out The Fields Stable’s Bob LeBeau with Jack Doyle again in the irons. Sixth in the Kiser, the Irish-bred lost Doyle at the fifth fence of the Walsh. Completing the field is Clorevia Farm’s Dr. Skip, who would be making his first start since losing his rider in a division of the Foxbrook Champion Hurdle at Far Hills, N.J., last October. Robbie Walsh will ride.
Colonial Cup tickets on sale: The 45th annual Marion duPont Scott International Colonial Cup Steeplechase Races will be run over the Springdale Race Course in Camden on Saturday, Nov. 15.
The first of six races will meet the starter’s flag at 12:30 p.m.
The gates to the course will swing open to the general public at 9 a.m. The Jack Russell Terrier trials will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the infield with the Salute to the Military kicking off at 11 a.m.
The afternoon of racing features the $100,000 Colonial Cup (Gr. I) which will be the fourth race of the day and brings the curtain down on the 2014 National Steeplechase Association season and will likely be the deciding race in the chase for American steeplechasing’s Eclipse Award.
Tickets and parking spaces may be purchased in person at the race office, located inside the National Steeplechase Museum on Knights Hill Rd. in Camden, or by calling 432-6513.
For complete race-day information, please visit the Colonial Cup Website which is located at www.carolina-cup.org.