CHAMP GOOD NIGHT SHIRT OUT FOR SEASON

by Sean Clancy – ST Publishing/Steeplechase Times/Saratoga Special


Sonny Via’s two-time defending champion steeplechaser and 2008 Maryland-bred Horse of the Year Good Night Shirt has been diagnosed with a damaged suspensory and will miss the rest of the year. Trained by Jack Fisher, (Virginia-owned) Good Night Shirt ran twice this spring, winning the Carolina Cup-NSA2 and finishing second in the Iroquois-NSA1.

Fisher turned out the second leading earner in history for the summer, which is his usual game plan. He was getting ready for his customary fall return in the Lonesome Glory at Belmont Park on Sept. 20. That’s been shelved, leaving an already weak stakes division even weaker.

“He had a big ankle and he fl exed off so we X-rayed and ultra-sounded his ankle, there’s a little fl uid in his joint, but everything looked good,” Fisher said. “While we were doing that, we scanned everything and he’s got a little bit of damage to his suspensory, nothing that bad but it’s there. He had a little fi lling after Nashville, but he also had some cuts, he probably did it there.”

Fisher plans to rest the 8-year-old son of Concern until next year. McDynamo leads all steeplechase horses in career earnings with $1.3 million. Good Night Shirt went over the $1
million mark when finishing second in the Iroquois.

“I’m leaning toward just turning him out, I could probably bring him back for the spring but I’d be only bringing him back for the Iroquois, there’s nothing else for him,” Fisher said. “If I wait, he should come back a better horse. He could run in the A.P. Smithwick – and get weight from everybody.”