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Sarah L. Greenhalgh

October 9, 2009

Tricky Me Takes On Monmouth Park

He gives owner Harold Via a reason to celebrate.

Tricky Me is becoming quite the apt pupil.

Since breaking his maiden in May at Iroquois (Tenn.) for trainer Jack Fisher, Tricky Me has had to fill the shoes of Sonny Via’s injured superstar Good Night Shirt and carry Via’s stable.

This summer, Tricky Me ran fourth and second in novice stakes races at Saratoga Springs (N.Y.), but at Monmouth Park, Sept. 26, he stepped up and put on his best performance yet to win the $70,000 Metcalf Memorial Novice Hurdle Stakes in Oceanport, N.J.

October 9, 2009

Monmouth Park Hurdle Festival

National Steeplechase Association Chief Operating Officer Lou Raffetto Jr. was pleased with the jump racing festival at Monmouth Park and hopes to do it again.

With $230,000 in purses, this was the first time that a major track had six steeplechase races on the card along with their flat races. Monmouth averages about 6,000 spectators, and officials said there were upwards of 10,000 that day.

October 2, 2009

Red Letter Day Lights Up Lonesome Glory Stakes

Trainer Janet Elliot is back with a horse of the year contender.

By early September, Janet Elliot had been inducted as the first female trainer into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame and won six races. But nothing, she said, could top Red Letter Day’s win in the $150,000 Lonesome Glory Stakes.

With the National Steeplechase Association horse of the year title up for grabs, the Lonesome Glory Steeplechase Stakes Grade I, run Sept. 20 at historic Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., proved a pivotal showdown.

September 11, 2009

Spy In The Sky Steals New York Turf Writers Cup

He notches the prestigious grade I win for trainer Jimmy Day.

September 11, 2009

TV Deal Struck For Steeplechasing

For years, two of the biggest fall steeplechase meets have bumped heads on the third Saturday in October. With the Far Hills Race Meeting (N.J.) and the International Gold Cup (Va.) refusing to give up the weekend, officials of both have tried to make the best of it, but it’s long been a sore spot among owners, trainers and race goers.

September 11, 2009

Timber Claiming Races Back On The Card

With Monmouth Park (N.J.) and Shawan Downs (Md.) sharing on the same race date of Sept. 26, the National Steeplechase Association has decided to give the open claiming timber race a try again to lure more timber horses to Maryland.

Claiming races are nothing new for steeplechase meets. Many trainers use these races to prep for others, taking the risk of losing their owner’s precious mounts in a claim or perhaps hoping to unload some excess horses, but these races are usually run as hurdle races.

August 21, 2009

Mixed Up Returns To The Top At A.P. Smithwick

Even at age 10, William Pape’s Mixed Up isn’t slowing down. And he showed his continuing prowess on Aug. 6 while winning the $102,723 A.P. Smithwick Memorial at Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where he suddenly became the leading steeplechaser in the country.

But if you’d asked his jockey Danielle Hodsdon and trainer Jonathan Sheppard last year if the little horse with the storied career would ever be back on the top of the National Steeplechase Association’s money-won list again, they probably would have said it was doubtful.

July 24, 2009

Slip Away Gives Miller His First Ferguson Win

For the price of a used car, anyone could have claimed Kenneth Ramsey’s Slip Away last year. After running him in two $10,000 claiming races in 2008, trainer Tom Voss is now thanking his lucky stars that no one else managed to recognize the flashy gray gelding’s potential back then.

If they had, Voss likely wouldn’t have been saddling Slip Away as the bettors’ favorite at the $50,000 David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial hurdle stakes in New Kent, Va., on July 12, and veteran jockey Chip Miller might not have scored his first Ferguson win.

May 29, 2009

Tax Ruling Reaps Rewards At Radnor

He and Darren Nagle write off the feature race in Pennsylvania.

Deceptively tiring ground likely caused several upset wins at the Radnor Hunt Races, May 16.

Steady rains all week on the Malvern, Pa., course made it look lush and with a good cut in it, but once the horses started galloping and punching through the heavy turf, it soon took its toll on many of the favorites.

May 29, 2009

Blue Rider Claims High Hope Feature

Richard Valentine trains the winner for Whitewood Stable.

Whitewood Stable’s Blue Rider (Robert Walsh) bided his time behind leader Kenneth Ramsey’s Mabou (Padge Whelan) in the $25,000 Sport of Kings maiden special weight at the High Hope Steeplechase, May 17 in Lexington, Ky.

When Mabou fell at the 11th fence, Blue Rider inherited the lead and romped home to a seven-length victory. Mabou and Whelan were not injured.

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