(By: Joe Clancy,

Virginian (and VTA member) Sonny Via’s Good Night Shirt spent 45 days in trainer Jack Fisher’s field – playing with other Thoroughbreds, standing in the pond, rolling, running, getting dirty and swatting flies.

If that doesn’t sound like a vacation to you, it’s Club Med to a horse. Iroquois winner Good Night Shirt made his first start since May a winning one with a powerful run in the $168,400 Lonesome Glory Stakes at Belmont Park Saturday. Trained by Jack Fisher, Good Night Shirt (Willie Dowling) scored by a length over Orison (Matt McCarron) with early leader Preemptive Strike (Paddy Young) staying around for third. The final time for the 2 1/2 miles was 4:42.45. The winner paid $7.80 as the second choice in the field of nine. Slight favorite Mixed Up finished fifth.

Good Night Shirt earned more than $101,000 and took control of the race of the steeplechase Eclipse Award. the 6-year-old son of Concern has earned $218,683 in three starts this year. He and the other contenders will head next to the Breeders’ Cup Grand National at Far Hills Oct. 20.

(Photos by Tod Marks –