Preakness? What Preakness? The steeplechase action goes to Pennsylvania Saturday for the Radnor Hunt Races. It’s part Devon Horse Show and part Flyers game. The day features seven races, two stakes and beautiful facility on the grounds of the Radnor Hunt Club in Malvern. Sunday, it’s off to Kentucky for the High Hope Races at the Kentucky Horse Park. Another cool day out. Get there, watch some racing and talk about the Preakness results.
The TIHR handicappers get back to work after mixed results last weekend. Joe picked three at the Iroquois (Moscato, Sarah Joyce and Scorpiancer), but just one at Willowdale (Witor). Sean took the collar at the Iroquois, but ruled Willowdale with four (Overawe, Witor, Prime Prospector and Doc Cebu). Tom was more consistent, coming up with two at the Iroquois (Moscato and Kremlin; he’s a Jack Fisher fan) and three at Willowdale (Witor, Aquies and Doc Cebu).
After all that dust settled, Sean and Tom are tied for the seasonal lead with 24. Joe completes the triple with 19.
Radnor Hunt Races.
First of seven races is 1:30 p.m. and we miss the place since we’ve added a whole lot of Preakness responsibilities to our job descriptions. Oh well. We’ll get back there someday. Stick around and watch the Preakness on the big screen. For more see Radnor website.
First race. $30,000 maiden hurdle going 2 1/8 miles. The maximum field of 10 plus one on the AE list. Radnor is right-handed, fairly demanding course. Experience should count for something. Meteroid (13 starts, six seconds, three thirds) anyone? Al debuts for Elizabeth Voss. Jack Fisher runs newcomer Dynaformersrequest, who cost $600,000 as a yearling. Wing Foot was second in his debut at Camden. Travel True also exits a runner-up effort. Solid race.
Joe: Al, Jarir, Dynaformersrequest.
Sean: Jarir, Travel True, Wing Foot.
Tom: Dynaformersrequest, Wing Foot, Meteoroid.
Second race. $35,000 allowance hurdle going 2 1/8 miles. Non-winners of two with six. Dapper Dan and Giza exit maiden wins. Unsinkable was second to My Afleet last time while Mercoeur chased Surprising Soul home last time.
Joe: Unsinkable, Mercoeur, Dapper Dan.
Sean: Unsinkable, Mercoeur, Giza.
Tom: Mercoeur, Unsinkable, Giza.
Third race. $30,000 Radnor Hunt Cup timber stakes going 3 1/4 miles. Ebanour exits the Virginia Gold Cup and has won the last five races he’s finished. Wildcatter won this by DQ two years ago. Lemony Bay is obvious win threat for Fisher.
Joe: Lemony Bay, Ebanour, Kings Wildcatter.
Sean: Ebanour, Kings Apollo, Lemony Bay.
Tom: Ebanour, Lemony Bay, Mystic Strike.
Fourth race. $50,000 National Hunt Cup hurdle stakes going 2 3/8 miles. The way the Iroquois fell apart, one of these seven may have finished second in that Grade 1. Charminster, Alajmal, Choral Society, Schoodic, Special Skills, Jamarjo, Potrade. Look out. Schoodic won this last year over Charminster.
Joe: Special Skills, Schoodic, Portrade.
Sean: Schoodic, Special Skills, Charminster.
Tom: Portrade, Schoodic, Charminster.
Fifth race. $25,000 handicap hurdle (115 and below) going 2 3/8 miles. Nine signed on including recent winner Able Archer, El Monstro coming back in six days, Invocation off a second to next-out winner Sarah Joyce and three-time winner Cocodimama.
Joe: Invocation, El Monstro, Able Archer.
Sean: Invocation, True To Form, Cocodimama.
Tom: Invocation, El Monstro, So Far Away.
Sixth race. $20,000 maiden claiming hurdle going 2 1/8 miles. Another full field of 10 with one AE. Street Passage makes third start after a second and a third.
Joe: Street Passage, Bishop’s Castle, Last Farewell.
Sean: Bishop's Castle, Hanno, Street Passage.
Tom: Last Farewell, Street Passage, Bishop’s Castle.
Seventh race. $20,000 filly/mare maiden hurdle going 2 1/8 miles. Eight runners. Amazing Anthem and Etched In Time were second and third at Foxfield. Expecting’s mother Confined won two hurdle stakes back in 2009. Bob Kinsley runs homebred Proud Music.
Joe: Expecting, Amazing Anthem, Swoop.
Sean: Amazing Anthem, Etched In Time, Swoop.
Tom: Amazing Anthem, Etched In Time, Union Et Force.
High Hope Steeplechase
First post is 1 p.m. for a four-race card at the Kentucky Horse Park. It’s a great day out in Lexington. Like Keeneland, only more relaxed. Like Rolex, only the horses run at the same time. For more, see High Hope website.
First race. $20,000 handicap hurdle (110 and below) going 2 1/2 miles. Eight go here including 2017 winners Balistes, Longing To Travel, Indy’s Legacy, Codrington College and Needle In The Hay.
Joe: Codrington College, Longing To Travel, Green Lazer.
Sean: Longing To Travel, Codrington College, Cash Crop.
Tom: Longing To Travel, Balistes, Cash Crop.
Second race. $30,000 optional claiming hurdle going 2 1/8 miles. Six in the program headed by Foxfield winner Orchestra Leader, Jack Frost off the bench, Swansea Mile out of a stakes, River Rush out of a turf stakes, Any Given Royal off two wins (one jump, one flat) and former Nicky Henderson runner Red Hammer.
Joe: Swansea Mile, River Rush, Any Given Royal.
Sean: Jack Frost, Swansea Mile, Orchestra Leader.
Tom: Jack Frost, Orchestra Leader, Swansea Mile.
Third race. $25,000 maiden hurdle going 2 1/8 miles. Ten in the body, three on the AE list. Winter House, Life Said, Ocean Ready and Corstorphine (AE) look like the most live, but competitive group.
Joe: Life Said, Lawn Ranger, Winter House.
Sean: Ocean Ready, Life Said, Lawn Ranger.
Tom: Ocean Ready, Life Said, Mavourneen.
Fourth race. $15,000 maiden timber going 3 miles. Mr. Lickety makes the conversion from hurdle handicaps, where he was pretty good (reallly good at Aiken). He’ll have to deal with Dye Fore from the Fisher barn.
Joe: Dye Fore, Mr. Lickety, Sol A Pino.
Sean: Dye Fore, Mr. Lickety, Baumer.
Tom: Dye Fore, Mr. Lickety, All Of The Above.