Weekend Recap

Virginia-trained Demonstrative claimed his third Grade I victory in a row in Saturday’s Grand National at Far Hills. The 7-year-old son of Elusive Quality, owned by Jacqueline Ohrstrom and trained by Richard Valentine, added the $250,000 race to wins in the New York Turf Writers at Saratoga and the Lonesome Glory at Belmont Park. The 3 3/4-length victory makes Demonstrative 2014’s leading earner over fences.

“I love this horse,” Valentine said. “I love my owner. I love my staff.”

The Grand National is American steeplechasing’s richest purse.

Demonstrative winning the New York Turf Writers. at Saratoga. Photo courtesy Adam Coglianese.

Demonstrative winning the New York Turf Writers. at Saratoga. Photo courtesy Adam Coglianese.

Meanwhile on Saturday, Ed and Pat Schuler’s So Lonesome put in a game effort to be second by a neck in the Empire Classic Handicap at Belmont. A winner of the Albany Stakes at Saratoga last out, the New York-bred son of Awesome Again was purchased with the intention of taking advantage of the lucrative state-bred purses — and the plan has paid off.

This time last year, the Charlottesville residents were celebrating their first Saratoga win with So Lonesome when the then-2-year-old broke his maiden first out. Then, on August 25, they found themselves in the winner’s circle at the Spa with the same horse — this time after the Albany Stakes. So Lonesome won the Virgo Libra last November at Aqueduct in his first try over the weeds and the $55,000 Saratoga Preferred-purchase placed in two other stakes in New York for trainer Tom Bush before the Albany. The Albany victory represented the horse’s first start back on a traditional dirt surface since before the Virgo Libra (his debut and two subsequent starts were on dirt)–and he stayed on dirt in the Empire Classic.

“You see how light he is, but he used to be a wobbly, gangly thing,” Bush told the Saratoga Special. “That’s why I went to turf, because I thought it would build him up. It really helped the horse. He’ll run on anything, he’s just a big, long-striding horse.”

So Lonesome winning the Albany for Charlottesville owners Ed and Pat Schuler. Photo courtesy Adam Coglianese.

So Lonesome winning the Albany for Charlottesville owners Ed and Pat Schuler. Photo courtesy Adam Coglianese.

Dianne Manning’s 3-year-old Disco Barbie also put in an impressive stakes performance over the weekend, running a neck second to Native Bombshell in the Grade III Ontario Fashion Stakes at Woodbine. Trained by Dale Capuano, the daughter of Pure Prize was coming off a fast-closing second in the Grade II Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes and boasts a record of five wins from 13 starts. Out of the money only once in her career, Disco Barbie was third in the Grade III Chicago Handicap at Arlington this summer.

Virginia-bred Made Bail, a homebred for trainer Susan Cooney, broke her maiden after a duel in the stretch in a Laurel maiden special weight last week. Second in her first airing two weeks prior, the daughter of Closing Argument out of the Emancipator mare Leva Mae prevailed by a nose after angling out 4 wide in the stretch and battling off second-placed finisher Tip It On Back.

Susan Cooney's Made Bail broke her maiden at Laurel Park on 10/16. Photo courtesy Jim McCue.

Susan Cooney’s Made Bail broke her maiden at Laurel Park on 10/16. Photo courtesy Jim McCue.

Meanwhile, several Virginia-breds placed in Maryland Million Day stakes races on Saturday. Congrats to:

* Avarice (by Not For Love, out of Senate Caucus, by Siphon), third in the Maryland Million Sprint Handicap. Bred by Corner Farm and John T. Behrendt, owned by John Robb and Herman Braude and trained by John Robb.

* Pagan Priestess (by Oratory, out of Friend’s Gold, by Compadre), third in the Maryland Million Ladies Stakes. Bred and owned by Bob Sowder and trained by Robert Bailes.

* Aix En Provence (by Rock Slide, out of Parisiana, by Mutakddim, second in the Starter Stakes. Bred and owned by James Falk and trained by Tim Keefe.

* Momma’s Mystery  (by Outflanker, out of Krusen K, by With Approval), third in the maiden special weight. Bred by John Woodruff White & Trish White, owned by WTR Stables and trained by Robin Graham. 

And last but not least, Virginia-bred Trish’s Wish won an allowance at Meadowlands on Saturday for owner-breeder-trainer Henry Carroll. By Smoke Glacken out of the Beau Genius mare Naught Naught, the 4-year-old was lodging her fourth lifetime win in the 5-furlong turf sprint. She is entered back at Laurel Park on Wednesday in the 7th race.

VA-bred Trish's Wish  won the 3rd race at the Meadowlands on 10/18.  Photo By Ryan Denver/EQUI-PHOTO.

VA-bred Trish’s Wish won the 3rd race at the Meadowlands on 10/18. Photo By Ryan Denver/EQUI-PHOTO.