Monthly Archives: June 2020

Virginia-Bred Tops Day #1 Of Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds In Training Sale; Sells For $1.1 Million

Monday, June 29, 2020

The Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training sale saw healthy returns during its opening session on Monday, including a seven-figure sale to the connections of last year’s record-setting sale topper.

Hip 118, a Virginia-bred, sold for $1.1 million.

A colt by Uncle Mo topped the session when sold for $1,100,000 to Donato Lanni, agent for Michael Lund Petersen. Offered as Hip 118 by Pike Racing, agent, the colt worked an eighth in 10.0 during last week’s under tack show. Out of Miss Ocean City, the dark bay or brown colt is a half-brother to Grade 2 winner Azar from the immediate family of Grade 1 winning millionaire Twilight Agenda. The session-topper was bred in Virginia by the William Backer Revocable Estate.

Last year, Petersen went to $1,800,000 to secure a sale record-setting Into Mischief filly. Now named Gamine, that filly is undefeated in three starts, and won last weekend’s Acorn S. (G1) at Belmont in stakes record time.

While the top colt was sired by a record-breaking champion freshman sire in Uncle Mo, the session’s next highest price went to a son of current first-crop sire Not This Time. Lauren Carlisle, agent went to $650,000 to secure Hip 213, a colt by the speedy Iroquois S. (G3) winner and first foal out of the winning Indian Charlie mare Sanctissima. The chestnut colt was consigned by Classic Bloodstock LLC, agent, and worked an eighth in 10.1 during the under tack show. Hip 213 was bred in Maryland.

Carlisle also purchased the session’s top filly, a daughter of 2019 Leading Sire into Mischief, for $500,000 earlier in the day. Consigned as Hip 4 by Hoby & Layna Kight, agent, the bay filly is out of the graded stakes placed Dixie Chatter mare Global Hottie, from the immediate family of Horse of the Year Alysheba. The Kentucky-bred filly worked a quarter in 21.3 during the under tack show.

Overall, 152 horses sold for $12,632,500, good for an average of $83,109 and a median of $40,000. The RNA rate was 20%.

The Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training sale continues tomorrow at 11 AM. Session 1 results are available online.

Scenes From The Virginia Gold Cup Races At Great Meadow June 27

The 95th running of the Virginia Gold Cup Races was held June 27 at Great Meadow without fans and without wagering. Ten races were contested and a combined $220,000 in purse monies were distributed. The event was streamed live and a full replay has been archived at the website noted above. The fall International Gold Cup is scheduled for Saturday October 24 and initial plans are to have both some spectators and pari-mutuel wagering back in place. Check for details in coming days.

Here are a series of pictures from the afternoon event.

A view of the course at Great Meadow from the left of Members Hill.

The course before races began. The day featured a mix of sun and clouds with temperatures in the mid 80’s.

A socially distanced riders meeting took place with officials before the first race. Orange flags highlighted the six foot distance between each rider. 

The “H” signified hotspots at Great Meadow where facemasks were mandatory. Among those were the winners circle, paddock and stable area. 

Riders meeting from a distance.

Emerald Rocket kicked off Gold Cup festivities with a win in the $20,000 VEA Maiden Hurdle.

Plenty of ice was available to greet horses as they made their way off the track.

A NSA photographer snaps a picture in the paddock.

Snap Decision, winner of the $35,000 David Semmes Memorial, makes his way from the course to the winners circle.

Tailgating areas that normally would have been filled with thousands of fans sat empty at the 2020 edition.

Virginia Gold Cup winner Doc Cebu (#1) has the edge over runner-up Codrington College (#6) at one of 23 timber fences the field encountered. Photo by Tod Marks.

The on-site blacksmith was prepared for summer-like temperatures in the mid 80’s.

Steeplethon winner Mercoeur heads back to the stable area after his big victory.

Codrington College received a well deserved shower after his runner-up Gold Cup finish.

Horses gather at the start of the backstretch for a 2 1/8 miles race.

Virginia Racing Commission Meeting Recap From June 25

Colonial Downs Executive VP of Operations John Marshall and VP of Racing Operations Jill Byrne presented details of a Covid-related Extra Care program to reopen the New Kent track and Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums, along with a Mid-Atlantic strategic plan to reduce equine fatalities Thursday morning at the Virginia Racing Commission’s first meeting of 2020.

Marshall first provided insight into the upcoming thoroughbred meet in New Kent which will begin Monday July 27 and continue on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday basis thru September 2 with a post time of 5:30 PM. He said the meet is 32 days out as of today and there are contingency plans in place based on various Covid-related restrictions. “We will be evaluating the situation every day and will follow guidelines of authority,” he said.

Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums in Richmond, Hampton, and New Kent will reopen Wednesday July 1 and allow 1,000 guests at any one time — which is less than 50% of capacity. The Rosie’s in Vinton will also open the same day but can accommodate 280 players at a time, since that site is smaller. Vinton has 150 Historical Horse Racing terminals versus the other centers that have between 600-700.

The VA-Horseplay OTBs in Richmond (Ponies & Pints), Henrico (Breakers), Chesapeake (Buckets) and Collinsville (The Windmill) — which offer live race simulcast wagering — will also will reopen July 1.

Due to the Covid pandemic, both HBPA Executive Director Frank Petramalo and Marshall confirmed daily purse distribution will average $340,000 per day compared to $500,000 last year. Marshall said despite the drop, stall applications for the upcoming meet came in very strong with 830 horse requests compared to 350 or so last year. “All tracks suffered a hardship,” said Marshall, “But our purses are still strong comparatively to other markets. We look to executing a successful meet and to offer players a great product with large field sizes.”

Virginia Racing Commission Executive Secretary David Lermond commented on the list of racing officials Colonial Downs submitted to work at the meet. “Almost all the people worked here last year and many work together at Tampa Bay Downs which has operated with Covid-19 restrictions the last several months. They bring the experience of having worked in that environment, which is a big plus. The names on the list are all well qualified and they work well together.”

The stable area and will open July 13 as will the track itself for training.

Marshall presented details of Colonial’s Extra Care program, a 150-point plan to keep everyone safe at the Rosie’s sites, during live racing, and in the stable area. He addressed issues like occupancy limits, face coverings, temperature screening, physical distancing, crowd shields, sanitation, food & beverage and a “Sure Check” category.

“Sure Check” is about accountability, almost like a check off system,” he said. “We will document and track all the safety aspects we outlined in the plan. We can’t afford to have any health issue,” he said. “The security team will enforce social distancing.”

Jill Byrne introduced a new Best Practices” strategic plan with the goal of reducing equine fatalities. All the Mid-Atlantic tracks have agreed to these policies and compliance protocols so there will be continuity throughout the entire region.

“Everyone is on the same page and follows the same rules,” she said. “Everybody from the racetrack operators, to the horsemen and breeders, to the veterinarians and racing commissions were involved in coming up with this plan.”

As one example, if a horse has been laid off for 150 days or more, the trainer will need to submit a detailed layoff report to the Equine Medical Director who will need to approve it before the horse can compete again.

“That is very important given the recent Covid pandemic and lack of racing opportunities this spring,” added Byrne. “The strategic plan creates transparency in areas like pre-race examinations, shock wave therapy, biosecurity, the vet’s list, claimed horse health records, thoroughbred aftercare and more.”

Byrne said Colonial will employ a Safety Compliance Officer who will be in the stable area each morning beginning at 5 AM checking for things that look out of place. They will also monitor aspects like the starting gate, ambulance, medical staff and also be part of the mortality review committee.

Legend Spotlight: Cooney Racing Stable

The following appeared in “Legends Spotlight” section of Equinews Nutrition & Health Daily

Pat and Susan Cooney, owners of Cooney Racing Stables in Boyce, Virginia, are a proud part of the Legends® family. Pat Cooney immigrated to the United States from Ireland in the 198os to further his career as a steeplechase jockey. Susan Cooney, originally from northern Illinois, rode show hunters throughout high school. After graduating from University of Illinois with a bachelor’s degree in animal science, Susan earned a master’s in breeding farm management from Texas A&M University.

Susan Cooney’s Fionnbharr scored her first lifetime win June 24, 2019 at Laurel. Photo by Jim McCue.

After Pat and Susan married, Pat was offered a contract to ride for two top steeplechase trainers in Middleburg, Virginia, while Susan worked as a trainer at Whitewood Stables. After three years, the Whitewood operation closed, and Susan and Pat decided it was time to create Cooney Racing Stables. The business started with mostly steeplechase horses until Pat’s retirement from racing. Now, their focus is exclusively on flat racing, concentrating on preparing turf and dirt horses to race. Twenty-five years later, their training stable has grown from a half dozen horses to 38 horses belonging to multiple clients. Five broodmares and their foals live at Blue Ridge Farm in Upperville, Virginia.

Susan and Pat Cooney with their labs.

In Too Deep was the first “really good” horse Pat and Susan owned, and they purchased her for a dollar. She went on to win six races, earning over $120,000. When In Too Deep retired from racing, she served as the start of the Cooney breeding program. Now Pat and Susan keep all of the best racing fillies for breeding. Susan looks for pedigree, conformation, and temperament equally when evaluating young prospects. She seems to have a good sense for it, as several notable winners have been bred at their farm, including Embarr, Carolina Shag, Made Bail, Cluain Meala, Godlovesasinner, and Petticoatsnpistols, to name a few.

Embarr, out of In Too Deep, won nine races, netting earnings of over $350,000. Susan describes Embarr as her “heart horse,” providing many thrilling race moments. Embarr won the Brookmeade Stakes for the first time (of three total wins) in only her second lifetime start. She was in last place turning for home when she came flying up the lane blowing by everyone, giving the Cooneys their first home-bred stakes winner. Susan says, “There is nothing more thrilling than to win a race with a horse you have bred and raised.”

Embarr is now an accomplished broodmare. Her first foal, Fionnbharr, placed in stakes races in 2019, and has a hopeful future. Embarr’s yearling colt by English Channel also shows promise.

Thanks to Legends® quality feed, Susan considers nutrition the easiest part of her job, saying, “I know the horses are getting a balanced diet made from the best ingredients. All I have to do is monitor their condition and regulate the amounts they are fed.” Susan feeds primarily Legends® Sport Horse Plus, but also feeds Legends® CarbCare® Performance to fillies that require a low-NSC feed. In Too Deep, now 20, thrives on Legends® CarbCare® Senior.

Susan Cooney was named 2018 Virginia-Bred Trainer of the Year. Her horses won 16 times and earned $492,265 in purse winnings.

While the horse business consumes most of their time, Susan also finds time to breed and raise Labrador Retrievers through her business, Ardleckna Labradors, and is an amateur photographer.

Susan and Pat are proud of their team, consisting of their eight employees, clients, veterinarians, and farriers, all necessary to the success of their business. Susan says, “Winning races is what it is all about. It gives everyone on our team a thrill when one of our ‘kids’ does well.”

Colonial Downs-Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums To Reopen July 1

The following appeared on the Colonial Downs – Rosie’s facebook page June 24 at 12 Noon

Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums in the state, which have OTBs on site, closed on March 16 due to Covid-19.

We’re looking forward to seeing you soon! Join us for re-opening at all Rosie’s locations on Wednesday, July 1. The safety of our guests and team members are our top priority. At our properties in Richmond, New Kent and Hampton we are limiting occupancy to 1,000 guests, which is below 50% of our posted occupancy levels and in Vinton we will be limited occupancy to 280 guest, which is at 50% of our posted occupancy level. No reservations required, capacity will be on a first come, first served basis.

There are currently 4 Rosie’s locations in Virginia — in New Kent, Richmond, Hampton and Vinton.

You’ll also see the addition of our Extra Care program including:
– Guests and team members with a fever and/or COVID-19 symptoms will not be permitted on property.
– No-touch temperature screening upon entry.
– Increased cleaning and disinfectant policies.
– Social distancing markers.
– Disinfectant wipes available.
– Protective face masks must be worn by guests and team members. Must have valid ID and lower masks temporarily for identification upon entering.

Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Two-Year-Olds In Training Sale Set For June 29-30

Online Bidding Registration Now Open for Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training

Fasig-Tipton will offer online bidding for the first time at its upcoming Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale. Online bidding registration is now open.

Those wishing to bid online should visit and establish a Fasig-Tipton online bidding account. After the user has set up an account, they must next request to “Register to Bid” for the Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale. Once approved to bid, the user may join the auction room.

Fasig-Tipton offers a complete guide on how to register and bid online at all future Fasig-Tipton auctions on the company’s website. This guide includes visual tutorials, as well as a “Frequently Asked Questions” section.

Midlantic Two-Years-Old in Training will be conducted on Monday and Tuesday, June 29-30 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, Maryland. Each sale session will begin at 11 am. The sale’s under tack show will be held over three sessions next week – on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, June 24-26. Each under tack show session will begin at 8 am.

The auction has produced eight Grade 1 winners from January 2019 to present day, more than any other two-year-olds in training sale in the United States.

Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training – Supplemental Entries Now Online

Fasig-Tipton has catalogued 13 supplemental entries to its upcoming Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale. These supplemental entries (hips 551-563) may now be viewed online.

Leading sires and first crop two-year-old sires represented include MORE THAN READY, UNION RAGS, TIZNOW, NYQUIST, SPEIGHTSTER, and HONOR CODE. Also included among the supplemental entries are siblings to multiple G1 winner MIDNIGHT LUCKY, as well as stakes winners and graded stakes performers CHALON and CONQUEST FARENHEIT.

The Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale will be conducted on Monday and Tuesday, June 29-30, at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, Maryland. The under tack show will be held on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, June 24-26.

Supplemental entries may also be viewed via the equineline sales catalogue app. Printed versions of the supplemental catalogue will be available on the sales grounds.

COVID-19 Safety Protocols for Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training

In advance of the upcoming breeze show and two-year-old in training sale at Timonium, Fasig-Tipton has announced the following COVID-19 protocols will be in place in accordance with Maryland regulations:

Screening measures, including temperature checks and health screening questions, will be in place to gain admittance to the sales grounds for all staff, participants and attendees;
Cloth face coverings are required in accordance with U.S. CDC recommendations;
Participants will not be allowed to congregate. At least six feet of distance must be maintained between people;
Seating capacity in the sales pavilion will be reduced below 50% of capacity;
No food service will be available in the sales pavilion;
Valet parking will not be available;
Increased cleaning and disinfection procedures will be implemented with regular sanitation of high touch surfaces at least every two hours;
Frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is recommended for all attendees;

The health and safety of sale participants is of paramount importance. These guidelines are intended as a supplement to assist with safe operations during the COVID-19 pandemic and are subject to change.

Strong Fields On Tap For Virginia Gold Cup Saturday, June 27

The Virginia Gold Cup will present a strong lineup of races on Saturday, with two timber champions and an Eclipse Award winner among the 117 horses remaining eligible for the 10 races at Great Meadow Race Course in The Plains.

In-person attendance will be limited to necessary personnel, and the races will be livestreamed beginning at 12:15 p.m. at First post time is 12:30 p.m.

Andi’amu and Doc Cebu, timber champions who finished first and second, respectively, in the Middleburg Hunt Cup on June 13, again will test each other and five other opponents in the $40,000 Virginia Gold Cup at four miles.

Ballybristol Farm’s Andi’amu is defending his 2019 Virginia Gold Cup victory, a brilliant three-length score in which he set all the pace. Thomas Garner, who rode the French-bred to a geared-down 3¾-length win in the Middleburg Hunt Cup, again will ride for trainer Leslie Young.

Doc Cebu, owned by Charles Fenwick Jr., Mike Hankin, and Charles Noell, is one of four entrants from the barn of champion trainer Jack Fisher. In his only start last year, the Hard Spun gelding finished fourth in the Virginia Gold Cup, his first venture at four miles. Michael Mitchell, the reigning co-champion jockey, has a return call aboard Doc Cebu, the timber champion in 2017 and 2018.

Doc Cebu prevailed in the 2018 International Gold Cup at Great Meadow. Photo by Tod Marks.

The third-, fourth-, and fifth-place finishers from the Middleburg race will again challenge the two champions. Hudson River Farms’ Codrington College made a late move to finish third, a nose ahead of Irv Naylor’s Super Saturday.

Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard gave Darren Nagle a return call aboard Codrington College, and Gerard Galligan again will ride Super Saturday for trainer Kathy Neilson.

Finishing fifth after pressing Andi’amu’s early pace was Schoodic, the only horse ever to finish ahead of Andi’amu over timber, in last fall’s International Gold Cup. Andi’amu finished second, 2½ lengths behind the Grade 2 hurdle winner.

Trainer Fisher named Graham Watters to ride Schoodic, who is owned by his mother, Dolly Fisher. Willie McCarthy, who rode Schoodic in the Middleburg Hunt Cup, is recovering from injuries sustained in a subsequent race.

Fisher also will saddle Bruton Street-US’s Lemony Bay and Storm Team, owned by Sheila Williams and Northwoods Stable. Lemony Bay was pulled up in Middleburg’s steeplethon over mixed obstacles and will be ridden by Aaron Davis. Sean McDermott returns aboard Storm Team, a maiden timber winner at Middleburg.

Andi’Amu, who will compete in the June 27 Virginia Gold Cup, was best in the 2020 Middleburg Hunt Cup.

Also on the program is the $35,000 David Semmes Memorial Stakes, which attracted Bruton Street’s 2017 Eclipse Award winner Scorpiancer. McDermott was named to ride the Irish-bred, who would be making his first start since finishing second in Far Hills’ Grand National (Gr. 1) last October.

Fisher also named McDermott aboard Bruton Street’s Snap Decision, the reigning novice champion after his victories in Belmont Park’s William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes and Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle.

Another Fisher contender is Riverdee Stable’s Gibralfaro, winner of the David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial Stakes (Gr. 2) over the Great Meadow course on the International Gold Cup program. Mitchell has the mount.

Also coming out of the Ferguson is Stonelea Stables’ Balance the Budget, who was sixth. Trainer Julie Gomena named Ross McDermott to ride.

Sheppard will send out Hudson River Farms’ Iranistan, the 2018 novice champion who finished fourth in Middleburg Spring’s Temple Gwathmey Handicap (Gr. 3) after setting the early pace. Nagle will ride.

Schoodic is one of 7 participants in the ’20 Gold Cup. Photo by Douglas Lees.

Here is the field for the Virginia Gold Cup in post-position order. All starters will carry 165 pounds.

Doc Cebu. 2010 b. g., Hard Spun—Berga, by Jade Hunter. Owners: Charles C. Fenwick Jr., Michael Hankin, and Charles Noell. Jockey: Michael Mitchell. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Breeder: Graceville Breeding (Ky.) 2020 record: 1-0-1-0, $3,600. 2019 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. 2018 record: 5-4-0-1, $102,000. 2017 record: 5-4-1-0, $96,600. Timber champion, 2017, 2018. Stayed well to finish second in 2020 Middleburg Hunt Cup. Finished fourth in 2019 Virginia Gold Cup after losing rider late in My Lady’s Manor. Won International Gold Cup for a second time to lock up 2018 timber title. Also won Shawan Downs’ 2018 Brown Advisory Legacy Chase by 3 1/2 lengths and scored a second victory in the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup by seven lengths. Won Willowdale Steeplechase for a second straight year in 2018 after third in Middleburg Hunt Cup. Clinched 2017 timber championship with 11-length victory in International Gold Cup.

Super Saturday. 2009 gr. or ro. g., Any Given Saturday—Lady Aloma, by Cozzene. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Kathy Neilson. Jockey: Gerard Galligan. Breeder: Walton Breeders (Ky.) 2020 record: 1-0-0-0, $1,000. 2019 record: 3-0-1-3, $29,900. 2018 record: 6-1-2-1, $51,800. 2017 record: 6-0-1-1, $13,400. Finished fourth in 2020 Middleburg Hunt Cup. Finished second in Virginia Fall’s 2019 National Sporting Library and Museum Cup, then was third in International Gold Cup and Pennsylvania Hunt Cup. Finished third in 2019 Virginia Gold Cup, then fell in Radnor Hunt Cup. Finished fifth in Middleburg Hunt Cup. Finished second in 2018 International Gold Cup and Pennsylvania Hunt Cup after fifth in National Sporting Library & Museum Cup. Won 2018 Middleburg Hunt Cup, then was third in the Virginia Gold Cup and fourth in Radnor Hunt Cup.

Lemony Bay (GB). 2009 b. g., Overbury—Lemon’s Mill, by Roberto. Owner: Bruton Street-US. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Aaron Davis. Breeder: G. R. Waters (GB). 2020 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. 2019 record: 3-0-1-1, $13,050. 2017 record: 2-1-1-0, $36,000. 2016 record: 5-3-2-0, $38,400. Pulled up in Middleburg Spring’s 2020 Alfred M. Hunt steeplethon. Finished third in 2019 My Lady’s Manor, then was second in Willowdale Steeplechase and fourth in Radnor Hunt Cup. Won 2017 My Lady’s Manor, then was game second in Virginia Gold Cup. Closed 2016 season with victory in Steeplechase at Callaway timber allowance race. Won Virginia Gold Cup’s Steeplethon and Middleburg Spring’s Alfred M. Hunt after second in division of John Rush Streett maiden timber at 2016 My Lady’s Manor.

Schoodic. 2010 b. g., Tiznow—Aunt Henny, by Hennessy. Owner: Dolly Fisher. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Graham Watters. Breeder: Edith R. Dixon (Ky.) 2020 record: 1-0-0-0, $800. 2019 record: 6-5-1-0, $109,500. 2018 record: 6-0-1-2, $35,800. Pressed early pace in 2020 Middleburg Hunt Cup and finished fifth. Won the 2019 International Gold Cup and Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. Opened his timber career in 2019 with three straight victories, including 16¾-length romp in Iroquois Steeplechase’s Mason Houghland Memorial and an open-length win in Fair Hill novice timber, then was second in Shawan Downs’ Brown Advisory Legacy Chase. Was a Grade 2 winner and Grade 1-placed over hurdles.

Andi’amu (Fr). 2010 b. g., Walk In The Park—Sainte Parfaite, by Septieme Ciel. Owner: Ballybristol Farm. Trainer: Leslie Young. Jockey: Thomas Garner. Breeder: Therese Bouche (Fr). 2020 record: 1-1-0-0, $12,000. 2019 record: 4-3-1-0, $115,500. 2018 record: 2-2-0-0, $36,000. Timber champion, 2019. Set all the pace in 2020 Middleburg Hunt Cup and won easily. Easily won Virginia Fall’s 2019 National Sporting Library and Museum Cup, then was second in International Gold Cup. Won the 2019 Virginia Gold Cup by three lengths and Middleburg Hunt Cup by 5¾ lengths. Won Middleburg Spring’s 2018 Alfred M. Hunt steeplethon, then added Virginia Gold Cup’s Steeplethon Stakes. Finished second in 2017 Noel Laing Handicap and third in 2017 Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1).

Codrington College (Ire). 2010 ch. g., Duke of Marmalade—A.P. Easy, by A.P. Indy. Owner: Hudson River Farms. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Darren Nagle. Breeder: Laundry Cottage Stud Farm (Ire). 2020 record: 1-0-0-1, $2,000. 2019 record: 4-1-0-2, $22,500. 2018 record: 1-1-0-0, $9,000. Closed ground to finish third in 2020 Middleburg Hunt Cup. Won Shawan Downs’ 2019 Brown Advisory Legacy Chase, then was fourth in International Gold Cup. Finished third in Grand National’s 2019 Western Run Plate and in Iroquois Steeplechase’s Mason Houghland Memorial. Won his timber debut at 2018 Queen’s Cup.

Storm Team. 2014 ch. g., Candy Ride (Arg)—Stormy Dude, by Stormy Atlantic. Owner: Sheila J. Williams and Northwoods Stable. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Sean McDermott. Breeder: Colts Neck Stables (Ky.). 2020 record: 1-1-0-0, $6,000. 2019 record: 8-2-1-2, $104,700. Made transition to timber and won 2020 Middleburg Spring maiden timber by 5¾ lengths after setting all the pace. Closed out a busy 2019 season with victory in Steeplechase at Callaway’s Aflac Supreme Hurdle for novices.

Here in post-position order are the eight remaining entrants for the David Semmes Memorial, a 2 1/8-mile race over National Fences. The horses’ National Steeplechase Association ratings are at the end of their profiles.

Winner Massagot (Fr). 2011 ch. g., Muhaymin—Winnor (Fr), by Lesotho. Owner: Jacqueline Ohrstrom. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Jockey: Kieran Norris. Breeders: Christian Ballet and Jean Luc Terrieres (Fr). 2019 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. 2018 NSA record: 2-1-1-0, $33,000. Pulled up in 2019 Temple Gwathmey Handicap (Gr. 2). Won Montpelier’s 2018 Noel Laing Handicap impressively after second in Far Hills ratings handicap, his U.S. debut. Won lower-level handicap at England’s Fontwell Park before export. (133)

Snap Decision. 2014 b. g., Hard Spun—Salute, by Unbridled. Owner: Bruton Street-US. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Sean McDermott. Breeder: Phipps Stable (Ky.) 2019 record: 6-4-2-0, $176,400. Novice champion, 2019. Won Belmont Park’s 2019 William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes as odds-on favorite, then won Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle impressively. Drew away impressively to win Saratoga allowance hurdle by 38½ lengths. Secured maiden win at Monmouth Park in July 2019 after second-place finishes at Queen’s Cup and Iroquois. Previously trained by Shug McGaughey and had two wins on the flat. (145)

Balance the Budget. 2009 ch. g., Bellamy Road—Every Day Is Good, by El Corredor. Owner: Stonelea Stable. Trainer: Julie Gomena. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. Breeder: Liberation Farm & Oratis (Ky.). 2019 record: 1-0-0-0, $2,250. 2018 record: 2-1-0-1, $97,500. Finished sixth in David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial (Gr. 2) in his only 2019 start. Won 2018 Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1) and finished third in Virginia Gold Cup’s David Semmes Memorial (Gr. 2). Won International Gold Cup’s 2017 David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial (Gr. 2) by nine lengths after setting all the pace. (136)

Chief Justice (GB). 2015 b. g., Acclamation—Freedom Pass, by Gulch. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Cyril Murphy. Jockey: Graham Watters. Breeder: G. B. Partnership (GB). 2019 NSA record: 3-0-0-1, $17,500. Finished third in Belmont Park’s 2019 William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes, then was fourth in Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle. In U.S. debut for former trainer Gordon Elliott, closed well to be fourth in Iroquois Steeplechase’s 2019 Marcellus Frost Novice Stakes. Won his send-off race, a quality handicap race at Aintree on Grand National day. Tested at Cheltenham in Fred Winter Handicap and finished in midpack. Won three straight races as a three-year-old in 2018. (130)

Redicean (GB). 2014 b. g., Medicean (GB)—Red Halo, by Galileo (Ire). Owner: Sharon E. Sheppard. Trainer: Leslie Young. Jockey: Thomas Garner. Breeder: Cheveley Park Stud (GB). 2019 NSA record: 3-1-0-0, $67,500. Finished fifth in 2019 Grand National (Gr. 1). Graduated from novice ranks with victory in Saratoga’s 2019 Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes, his first U.S. start after respectable career in England, then was sixth in Belmont Park’s Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1). Departed with 11th in Scottish Champion Hurdle in April. (140)

Gibralfaro. (Ire). 2012 b. g., Dalakhani (Ire)—Ronda, by Bluebird. Owner: Riverdee Stable. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Michael Mitchell. Breeder: Sarl Darpat France (Ire). 2019 record: 5-2-1-0, $144,000. 2018 record: 5-1-3-0, $77,250. Won International Gold Cup’s 2019 David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial (Gr. 2). Finished second in Saratoga’s New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1) after fourth in A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1). Opened 2019 with victory in Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase for novices, then was sixth in Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1). Finished second in Far Hills’ 2018 Foxbrook Champion Hurdle division and Aflac Supreme Hurdle. (138)

Scorpiancer (Ire). 2009 b. g., Scorpion (Ire)—Janebailey, By Silver Patriarch. Owner: Bruton Street-US. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Sean McDermott. Breeder: Mary O’Connor (Ire). 2019 record: 4-1-1-0, $177,000. 2018 record: No starts. 2017 record: 2-2-0-0, $150,000. Eclipse Award winner 2017. Won Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1) for a second time in 2019 before fifth in Belmont Park’s Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1) and second in Grand National (Gr. 1) at Far Hills, N.J. Missed 2018 season and was pulled up in his first 2019 start, the Temple Gwathmey Handicap (Gr. 2). Claimed 2017 Eclipse Award with victories in Calvin Houghland Iroquois and Temple Gwathmey. Won Belmont Park’s 2016 Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1). (154)

Iranistan. 2014 dk. b. or br. g., Einstein (Brz)—Miss Vindictive, by Stephen Got Even. Owner: Hudson River Stables. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Darren Nagle. Breeder: Crossed Sabres Farm (Ky.) 2020 record: 1-0-0-0, $6,500. 2019 record: 2-0-0-0, $3,750. 2018 NSA record: 5-3-1-1, $145,000. Champion novice 2018. Finished fourth in 2020 Temple Gwathmey Handicap (Gr. 3). In first 2019 start, pulled up in Grand National (Gr. 1) after leading early, then finished fourth in Aflac Supreme Hurdle for novices. Finished game second in Saratoga’s 2018 A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1), then was third in New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1), while favored in both. Won 2018 Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle for novices by six lengths. (126)

Scenes From The 100th Middleburg Spring Races At Glenwood Park

The 100th running of the Middleburg Spring Races took place under sunny skies and spring temperatures at Glenwood Park Saturday June 13. 11 races were contested and $200,000 in purse monies were distributed. Outside of each horse’s essential personnel, the event was held without spectators due to Covid-19 restrictions. Video replays of all the races are available at Here are some scenes from a great day of racing.

Sunny skies and 80 degree temps on race day at Glenwood Park.

A total of 11 races were contested at Middleburg — 10 over jumps, and a training flat.

Strict Covid guidelines were in place on race day at Glenwood Park.

Horse trailer parking took place behind two temporary barns which were brought in to accommodate all horses that entered.

Chief Justice and rider Graham Wattrers kicked off the 100th running with a victory in a training flat.

Irish-bred Galway Kid prevailed in the $25,000 Glenwood Hurdle, a 2 1/8 miles allowance.

The $50,000 Temple Gwathmey (Gr. 3) was the featured event of the afternoon.

Moscato and rider Michael Mitchell prevailed in the Temple Gwathmey.

The Virginia Equine Alliance was a major sponsor of the Middleburg Spring Races’ 100th running.

The Glenwood Park winners circle is named after Paul Fout.

Andi’Amu, who will compete in the June 27 Virginia Gold Cup, was best in the $20,000 Middleburg Hunt Cup.

Racing officials gather for a pre-race meeting in the paddock.

Critical Data won the first of two maiden hurdle races.

Hot Springs was best in the second $20,000 maiden hurdle event.

Several trainers viewed the action from the top of the stretch.

One of the outriders takes a water and shade break between races.

Busy Summer Steeplechase Schedules at Saratoga, Colonial Downs

The following appeared at and was written by Don Clippinger. 

Steeplechase racing will be featured this summer with full lineups on tap at Saratoga Race Course and Colonial Downs.

Saratoga has scheduled nine hurdle races, and Colonial Downs will have 12 jump races during its season. Beginning in late July, the complementary programs at the two pari-mutuel tracks will provide racing opportunities for almost all hurdle divisions.

Saratoga’s program will spotlight the steeplechase sport’s stars and rising stars. The steeplechase action at the New York Racing Association track begins on Wednesday, July 22, with the Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes for horses in their first seasons of racing over fences. The sport’s top division will be highlighted the following afternoon, Thursday, July 23, in the A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1).

Those divisions will be in action four weeks later in the Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes on Wednesday, Aug. 19, and the Saratoga meet’s signature jump race, the New York Turf Writers Cup Handicap (Gr. 1), on Thursday, Aug. 20.

Kensington Court wins a steeplechase race at Colonial Downs in 2019. Photo by Coady Photography.

Hudson River Farms’ Winston C soared to the top of the steeplechase division with runaway victories in the Smithwick and New York Turf Writer last summer and was voted the year’s Eclipse Award as North America’s steeplechase champion.

The world’s premier summer race course, Saratoga will feature jump racing every Wednesday of its meet. In addition to the Kiser and Walsh on its Wednesday programs, Saratoga will host the filly-and-mare division for the Mrs. Ogden Phipps Stakes on Aug. 5. Last year’s Mrs. Phipps winner, Beverly R. Steinman’s Market Alley, was the year’s female champion.

Allowance hurdles featuring steeplechasing’s emerging stars will be held on July 29, Aug. 12, and Aug. 26. Bruton Street-US’s Snap Decision won one of those allowance races last August and went on to become a multiple stakes winner and the year’s novice champion.

Saratoga will stage its first ratings handicap, for horses ranked at 125 or lower, on Wednesday, Sept. 2. That is the ratings level immediately below the sport’s Grade 1 competitors.

Colonial Downs in Virginia’s capital region will offer a strong program of jump racing on Mondays during its six-week season, which opens July 27. At least one maiden hurdle will be presented each week.

Maiden hurdles on Aug. 3 and Aug. 24 will be limited to fillies and mares, while the Aug. 17 race will be restricted to three- and four-year-olds.

Colonial will feature four ratings handicaps—on July 27, Aug. 10, Aug. 17, and Aug. 24. The meet’s jump-racing season concludes with the Randolph Rouse Stakes for fillies and mares on Aug. 31.

Here is the chronological list of summer racing at Saratoga and Colonial Downs.

Saratoga Race Course
Wednesday, July 22: $55,000 Jonathan Kiser Novice StakesThursday, July 23: $100,000 A.P. Smithwick (Gr. 1)

Colonial Downs
Monday, July 27: $20,000 Maiden
$20,000 Ratings Handicap (115 or lower)

Wednesday, July 29: $48,000 Allowance (NW 2)

Monday, Aug. 3: $20,000 Filly-Mare Maiden
$20,000 Maiden

Wednesday, Aug. 5: $50,000 Mrs. Ogden Phipps (for fillies and mares)

Monday, Aug. 10: $20,000 Maiden
$15,000 Ratings Handicap (110 or lower)

Wednesday, Aug. 12: $48,000 Allowance (NW 2)

Monday, Aug. 17: $20,000 Maiden (3 & 4 YO)
$20,000 Ratings Handicap (115 or lower)

Wednesday, Aug. 19: $55,000 Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes
Thursday, Aug. 20: $100,000 New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1)

Monday, Aug. 24: $20,000 Filly-Mare Maiden
$15,000 Ratings Handicap (110 or lower)

Wednesday, Aug. 26: $48,000 Allowance (NW 2)

Monday, Aug. 31: $20,000 Maiden
$35,000 Randolph Rouse Stakes (for fillies and mares)

Wednesday, Sept. 2: $50,000 Ratings Handicap (125 or lower)