It has been a slow start for top jockey Danielle Hodsdon this spring season. The first few southern meets have not quite panned out the way she would have liked, but she made up for it at the Atlanta Steeplechase, April 14 in Atlanta, Ga., in a big way.
Hodsdon finally put herself on the map for the year, winning three races out of six, capturing two second-placed finishes and a fourth, all for trainer Jonathan Sheppard.
One of the best fields in recent years came out to run for the My Lady’s Manor $30,000 timber purse, April 14 in Monkton, Md., but while everyone was watching the usual suspects, a little horse named Fappa Fire stole the prize out from under the former champions.
Owned by Pack Up Stable and ridden by Blake Curry, Fappa Fire was perfectly content to follow along dead last.
On race day at the Stoneybook Steeplechase, April 7, race director Toby Edwards is supposed to be calm, cool and collected by the time the feature rolls around, but this year he had double duty with a horse running.
It turns out all the nervousness was well worth it as Dale K. Thiel’s Water Hunter (Michael Traurig) roared into the stretch a good 7 lengths ahead in the $25,000 Sandhills Cup allowance hurdle.
For many years, one race has eluded trainer Doug Fout—The $75,000 Carolina Cup. He has tried to capture the title in Camden, S.C., as a rider, then again as a trainer, but until March 31, it had just slipped through his fingers.
But this time, with EMO Stable’s Orison, Fout picked the best horse for the course, and it was one of three wins for Fout’s stable that day.
Ann Stern’s Paradise’s Boss made his debut back from an injury at the Aiken Steeplechase, March 24 in Aiken, S.C., looking every bit the stakes winner in the $40,000 feature.
A 7-year-old son of Thats Our Buck, Paradise’s Boss first started earning his keep in the summer of 2005 when he made $139,568 for his new owner, Mrs. Henry F. Stern, by winning the Meadowbrook Hurdle (N.Y.), the Zeke Ferguson Hurdle Stakes (Va.) and the A.P. Smithwick (N.Y.).
Steeplechasing in Virginia is finally back on track after the Piedmont Hunt Point-To-Point, March 24 in Upperville.
Virginia’s season should have started on Feb. 24, with the Casanova Hunt Point-To-Point, but since a nearby farm was quarantined due to equine herpes (EHV-1), state veterinarian Richard Wilkes cancelled the meet the day before. Several farms in the area were quarantined, including the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, where the virus originated.
ockey Richard Boucher has waited for a win all year, and he finally got one in Pine Mountain, Ga., with Mede Cahaba Stable's Class Vantage in the feature hurdle race at the Steeplechase at Callaway.
Trained by Richard's wife Lilith Boucher, Class Vantage was up against a good field in the $100,000 Supreme Hurdle. Among the eight starters were Cortright Wetherill's Mattsutterrun (Danielle Hodsdon), Randleston Farm's Top Of The Bill (Robert Walsh), Sheila William's Rare Bush (Xavier Aizpuru) and EMO Stable's Orison (Chip Miller).
he lady trainers of Maryland showed the men just how it's done at the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup, dominating all the races on the card, Nov. 5 in Unionville.
Trainer Ann Stewart's win with the big, New Zealand-bred Askim (James Slater) may have given owner Irv Naylor just the boost he needed to win the National Steeplechase Associ-ation timber championship. The 10-year-old grandson of Centaine had more than enough endurance for the four-mile timber course.
Not only did McDynamo win an unprecedented sixth race and a fourth consecutive $250,000 Breeders' Cup at the Far Hills Race Meet, Oct. 28, he also became one of the highest earning American steeplechasers. Having won maiden and novice races at Far Hills before contesting the feature, he's never been beaten at this venue.
But this was not an easy race for the small field of five. Drenching rains on Friday and Saturday morning made the usually soft ground in Far Hills, N.J., something between yielding and quagmire.