The 8-year-old War Chant
gelding was saddled by Bruce Miller for his daughter, trainer Blythe Miller Davies. In the 1990s, Bruce Miller trained Lonesome Glory, the champion steeplechaser for whom the race was named.
It was Pierrot Lunaire's first victory for owner Mrs. Calvin Houghland since taking the Iroquois (NSA-I) in May 2009. Unraced in 2010, the gelding made three starts in 2011 and three this year prior to the Lonesome Glory, all in graded events. Most recently he was fifth in the Zeke Ferguson Memorial (NSA-III) in June at Colonial Downs
In the Lonesome Glory, Pierrot Lunaire stayed well back as Duc de Savoie
led the field of 10 to the far turn of the 2 1/2-mile race over national fences. Launching his run on the outside after the second-to-last fence, Pierrot Lunaire was the first to clear the final hurdle and denied the runner-up by a nose after a spirited stretch battle. He completed the distance in 4:37.78.
"Bruce said he was training real well, otherwise he wouldn't bother coming up being a long shot, and he took the blinkers off," said winning jockey Bernard Dalton. "The horse just traveled and jumped. Bruce said to me, 'I want you to hold him up today. Just pop away, pop away, and don't come with a run until after the second-to-last fence.'"
Pierrot Lunaire returned $99.50 for a $2 win bet, and earned $90,000. Bred in Kentucky by Skymarc Farm out of the Hernando mare Playact, he has a 4-5-4 record from 25 starts with a bankroll of $355,579.
"I was really nervous because he did not run that well this spring and had not run since June," Bruce Miller remarked. "We put a lot of work into him to get him this far and to be honest with you, I didn't really think he would win. I thought he would run well, but I never expected him to win."