Monday Afternoon High

- -

Starting to come off the Far Hills high, but just. Awesome day of racing, albeit smaller fields for lesser purses but still refreshing to be back at American steeplechasing’s championship day. 

Now, it’s back to work. Nothing like going back to work after a weekend winner. 

City Dreamer won the Foxbrook Champion Hurdle, bouncing back from a 0-for-9 skid going all the way back to the Iroquois Steeplechase in 2019. Cool, hard-trying, over-achieving horse relished the 2 1/2 miles at Far Hills. Beautiful ride by Graham Watters. Driving over the hill as night descended over Far Hills, I thought about the horse’s generosity – all horse’s generosity. City Dreamer came to Far Hills riding that losing streak (he lost to Snap Decision four times and The Mean Queen once) and ran at Far Hills like he was on top of the world. The resiliency of the Thoroughbred. 

The Mean Queen stood up once more staving off a gallant Snap Decision to win the Grand National. All sports need rivalries, ones that are decided on the field, no excuses, best athlete wins. Tough and resolute, the Irish-bred mare has put together a season for the ages. 

Historic Heart welcomed Atlantic Friends Racing to the U.S. with a hard-fought win in the opener, the Harry E. Harris. Sharp import Presence Of Mind dominated the Appleton. Realist continued the European domination of the Gladstone. The only American-bred winner on the card, Down Royal, beat two rivals and a thunderstorm to win the finale. Jockey Bernie Dalton talked about retirement. Hers. Not his. 

For more from The Inside Rail, check out the blog’s main page.