Today there were two steeplechase races (THUR 9-27-12) with the 2nd race being the Grade 1 $150k Lonesome Glory. That race was absent the probably wagering favorite, Demonstrative, who had to be withdrawn following the injury of his jockey Robby Walsh from the 1st race. His mount (Dr. Wheat) fell [with multiple falling horses too] and was unfortunately euthanized from a broken shoulder. Walsh suffered a broken hip himself. Brian Crowley who also was involved in the spill could not ride in the Lonesome Glory either.
For those who took a risk on the longest shot in the field that's cashing a $2 win wager at $99 Although mind you it was a victory by merely a nose! Honest quote with the winner, "Pierrot Lunaire", trainer:
“He’s been training really, really well,” said Bruce Miller, who saddled the horse for his daughter. “I was really nervous because he did not run that well this spring and had not run since [June]. We put a lot of work to get him this far and to be honest with you I didn’t really think he would win. I thought he would run well, but I never expected him to win.”
Pierrot Lunaire, an 8-year-old gelding by War Chant, covered the 2 1/2 miles in 4:37.78 and returned $99.50 to win.
Pierrot Lunaire beat the best horses in the nation, save one (Demonstrative.) Amazing race.
And in the novice, Hickory Tree Farm's Gustavian gutted out a half length victory over a talented group of novices, his first win in his past nine races (he'd been second 5 times!)
Curiously - Gustavian was bred by Whitewood Farm (foaled in Kentucky, but bred by Virginia's Whitewood); Whitewood's now-owner, Jacqueline Ohrstrom, is the owner of Demonstrative, who didn't get his chance in the LG. Jackie O. inherited Whitewood when George Ohrstrom died a few years ago.
Winner Pierrot Lunaire is owned by Mary Ann Houghland, who inherited her stable from lifelong steeplechase booster, and co-founder of the Iroquois Steeplechase (spring's championship meet) Calvin Houghland, who died a few years ago, too.
Of course, George Ohrstrom himself inherited his stable, and love of horses, from his father George Sr., who was one of the founders of CotH!
Curiouser still, Demonstrative trains at Hickory Tree Farm just a block south of Middleburg. (Whitewood is a couple miles south of that; the Ww trainer makes ample use of Hickory Tree's training track and Belmont barn.) Gustavian does *not* train at Hickory Tree, instead training at winning jockey and winning trainer Paddy and Leslie Young's place in SE Pa.
Curiouser still, Demonstrative trains at Hickory Tree Farm just a block south of Middleburg. Whitewood is a couple miles south of that; the Ww trainer makes ample use of Hickory Tree's training track and Belmont barn.
Interesting how many different horses can make sure of that great ex Eleo Sears (herself quite fascinating) then the DuPont-Mills owned stable complex and track! With such a cool facility I'd think the Treptow's would have a lot of their own horses in training there.
In terms of wagering yesterday (all other races on the card, aside from chasing ones, were claiming or maiden allowance)
Race 1: William Entenmann Memorial Hurdle Stakes
Total Win-Place-Show pool $89,870
Race 2: Lonesome Glory Hurdle Stakes (Grade 1-NSA)
Total Win-Place-Show pool $106,526
Race 3: Allowance (2yr olds SNW1 x) at 6 1/2 Furlongs
Just 5 runners
Total Win-Place-Show pool $173,258
Clearly steeplechase remains a hard sell to the wagering community and that has to change as these races are where the NSA wants to go with growth.