The horses go jumping at Belmont Park today with two races to kick off the card at 1 p.m. The big menu item is the $150,000 Lonesome Glory for open stakes horses. The Grade 1 lured title contenders Demonstrative and Divine Fortune, plus the in-form Barnstorming in a field of eight.
The TIHR handicappers were active at Saratoga, though we lost track of the standings a little bit and weren’t as diligent as we should have been with the public jump picks. Joe went 4-for-12 public handicapping on NYRA television (and will be on today). Sean was on with HRTV all summer and Tom stayed productive in The Saratoga Special. Skipping the picks at Saratoga and looking back at the picks from Parx, Sean still leads with 39 winners over Joe with 34 and Tom toils in third with 31.
The $75,000 William Entenmann, is a novice hurdle with a competitive group though it’s lost a little bit of its appeal from a wagering standpoint with the scratches of One Giant Step and Bob Le Beau. Still, it’s a good race and pits two of the best 4-year-olds in recent memory in Schoodic and All The Way Jose. Each won a race at Saratoga and will play big parts in today’s race at 2 1/4 miles. Choral Society rides a two-race win streak and was freshened for this by trainer Cyril Murphy. Eddie Graham – of Arlington Million Fame – seeks his seventh win of the year (with just his eighth starter) with interesting returnee Dr. Skip.
Sean: Choral Society, Schoodic, Address Unknown.
Joe: Schoodic, Choral Society, All The Way Jose.
Tom: All the Way Jose, Address Unknown, Schoodic.
The Grade 1 honors Hall of Fame steeplechaser Lonesome Glory, who won a record five Eclipse Awards in the 1990s. The rangy chestnut would be proud of the group in his 2014 race. Divine Fortune, 11, seeks his 11th jump win and second Grade 1 of this season. The 2013 jump champion hit a pothole and was pulled up at Saratoga, but everybody including trainer Jonathan Sheppard expects better today. The Pennsylvania-bred stretches out to a better distance, won’t have much company on the lead and is fresher than his main opponents. Demonstrative, 7, looks to join Divine Fortune on the elite list (there are eight) of Thoroughbreds to earn $600,000 or more in American jump races. He exits a Grade 1 win in the New York Turf Writers Cup at Saratoga and was second (beaten a nose) in the A. P. Smithwick three weeks before that. Trainer Richard Valentine knows it’s a relatively quick turnaround, but also knows his horse is in great form. Barnstorming is the danger at 144 pounds and off a good second in the Turf Writers. Flat trainer George Weaver saddles Spy In The Sky for his first start since being claimed at Saratoga and jockey Tom Foley re-enlists as a steeplechase jockey after years away.
Sean: Demonstrative, Barnstorming, For Non Stop.
Joe: Demonstrative, Barnstorming, Divine Fortune.
Tom: Demonstrative, Divine Fortune, Barnstorming.
Watch Talkin’ Horses at 11:45 a.m. on NYRA.com today for more.