Hirapour, champion steeplechase horse of 2004, made his long-awaited jump return a winning one Thursday at Saratoga with a victory in the $79,500 A.P. Smithwick Memorial Stakes (NSA-II).
Flashing brilliance at Saratoga Race Course's Open House on the flat, Hirapour served notice that he had returned. Owned by Eldon Farm, the 10-year-old gelding takes on seven rivals in Thursday's $75,000-added A.P. Smithwick Memorial (NSA-II) in his first start over jumps since November 2005.
Eclipse Award candidates Hirapour, McDynamo and Preemptive
Strike lead a group of eight Thoroughbreds nominated to the Breeders' Cup Steeplechase (NSA-I) Oct. 12.
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