A.P. Smithwick 'Chase Rescheduled to Coincide With Hall of Fame Induction

Saratoga Racecourse will depart from its traditional "Steeplechase Wednesdays" on Aug. 8 this year so the the A.P. Smithwick Memorial (NSA-II) can be run in conjunction with the annual induction ceremonies for the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

The 36-day Saratoga meet will run from July 27 through Monday, Labor Day, Sept. 5. There is racing every day except Tuesdays of each week.

The Smithwick Memorial, for older horses at 2 1/16 miles over national fences, was originally scheduled for Thursday, August 11. It will be run on Monday, Aug. 8, sharing the card with the $150,000 National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame Stakes (gr. IIT) for 3-year-olds at nine furlong on the turf.

The move was made because three stalwarts of steeplechase racing -- trainer Sidney Watters Jr., jockey Thomas Walsh and five-time champion Lonesome Glory -- will be inducted into the Hall of Fame, along with trainer Nick Zito, in a public ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 8 at Fasig-Tipton's Humphrey S. Finney Sales Pavilion on East Avenue.

NYRA also announced that the $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup (NSA-I), for older horses at 2 3/8 miles over national fences; originally scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 1, will now be run on Wednesday, Aug. 31.

There will be nine steeplechase races offered during the meet, matching last year's total. There will be one steeplechase race held on the first, third and fourth Wednesdays at the Spa; and two held on the second, fourth and sixth Wednesday.