(from Saratoga report)
Mixed Up rallied through the stretch after taking the final hurdle and went on to a half-length victory over Preemptive Strike in the $105,723 A.P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase (NSA-I) at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 6 (VIDEO).
The win gave jockey Danielle Hodsdon a unique riding double at the Spa. The steeplechase jockey won her first flat race of the meet on Aug. 3, piloting Sermon of Love to a 1 1/4-length win on the turf. She is now 2-for-2 at the Spa this season.
“It’s been pretty amazing,” said Hodsdon, 32. “I’ve been very lucky to have some success. It’s a heck of a start.”
William Pape’s 10-year-old gelding Mixed Up also provided Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard a second grade I victory at the meet. He saddled Forever Together to win the Diana Stakes on Aug. 1.
Hodsdon, the regular rider of Mixed Up, kept the gelding on the inside, well off the early pace set by Preemptive Strike, then swung him wide at the top of the stretch to launch his bid. He hit the wire in 3:50.19 for the 2 1/16th miles, earning his 17th victory in 47 lifetime starts. Mixed up also won the Smithwick in 2007.
“If I show him daylight at the last fence, he will not stop running until he gets home,” said Hodsdon. “He was great … He had a perfect jumping trip, and that makes a big difference.”
The second choice in the field of seven, Mixed Up returned $7.40 for a $2 win bet and earned $63,540 to extend his lifetime bankroll to $684,017.
“He's a game little horse,” said Sheppard, who co-bred the son of Carnivalay with Pape. “He's not very big, but he's feisty, he's bouncy, he tries very hard. He and Danielle have a great rapport. If she had to pick one horse out of the barn, he would be her favorite."
Sheppard said the next start for Mixed Up would be the New York Turf Writers’ Cup (NSA-I) on Aug. 27.