Edited from a National Steeplechase Association releaseThirteen Drawn For Pimlico Jump StakesAn overflow field of 13 horses were entered for the $50,000 National Steeplechase Foundation Stakes at Pimlico Friday. Carded as the third race of the day (2 p.m. post time), the 2 1/8-mile novice hurdle drew a variety of horses including six who won their most recent hurdle starts. The field is limited to 12 starters, so Sur La Tete is on the also-eligible list. Trainer Tom Voss entered Saratoga allowance winners Party Airs, Franc and Pressure King. All three won impressively in Saratoga, with 4-year-old Party Airs being the most accomplished with three hurdle wins in Ireland to go along with his perfect 1-for-1 mark in the U.S. Owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, the son of Geri gamely outran Cherokeeinthehills late to win a similar race at Saratoga Aug. 21. Regular jockey Cyril Murphy has the mount. Franc, who gets apprentice Danielle Hodsdon, rallied from last to first to win a Saratoga allowance Aug. 13 for owner/breeder Gregory Kelly. The royally bred son of Private Account raced on the flat in France and the U.S. before moving to hurdles this year. He's won two in a row. Maryland-bred Pressure King races in the silks of Voss' wife Mimi and has also won two straight. The 6-year-old son of Compliance broke his maiden at Colonial Downs and came right back to score in soft turf at Saratoga July 24. Blair Waterman has the ride. The Voss triplets, who will race uncoupled, have plenty of competition. Open grade III stakes winner Imperial Gold makes his first jump start since April for Eldon Farm and trainer Doug Fout. Bred in New Zealand, Imperial Gold is 2-for-4 over U.S. fences including a defeat of graded stakes winner Tres Touche this spring. German import Saitensohn last ran at England's famed Cheltenham Festival after being purchased by American owner Sonny Via and trainer Jack Fisher. Sent to the U.S. this spring, Saitensohn was gelded and given time to acclimate. He's won three times over English hurdles and carries top weight of 157 pounds. Two-time champion jockey Gus Brown has the ride. Restricted to horses that did not break their maidens before June 1, 2002 (and red-shirt eligibles), the race kicks off a big weekend of steeplechasing in the Baltimore area. In addition to the Pimlico race, a steeplechase gala fundraiser will be held Friday night in Hunt Valley and the third annual Shawan Downs Races take to the course Saturday, also in Hunt Valley. The field with trainer, jockey, in post position order:
1--Cherokeeinthehills, Jonathan Sheppard, Tom Foley.
2--Imperial Gold, Doug Fout, Rob Massey.
3--Tallow, Bruce Miller, Chip Miller.
4--Pressure King, Tom Voss, Blair Waterman.
5--Party Airs, Tom Voss, Cyril Murphy.
6--El Guardaespalda. Sanna Hendriks, no rider.
7--River Bed, Kathy Neilson, Michael Traurig.
8--Saitensohn, Jack Fisher, Gus Brown.
9--Blasphemous, Jeremy Gillam, Diana Gillam.
10--Senor Melchor, Sanna Hendriks, Jody Petty.
11--Naughty Prince, Ricky Hendriks, David Bentley.
12--Franc, Tom Voss, Danielle Hodsdon.
AE13--Sur La Tete, Neil Morris, Chris Read.A Banner Third Round For Shawan Downs Maryland steeplechase meet Shawan Downs continues to expand and improve with loads of interest from owners and trainers. Ninety-six entries passed through the NSA office this week for Saturday's eight-race card at Shawan the third-annual running of the meet in Hunt Valley, Md. The $30,000 Legacy Chase headlines the day and serves as the final Breeders' Cup Steeplechase (NSA-I) prep for several runners in the field of 14. Pelagos, Mulahen, Trebizond, Il Capitano and Irish import Just Murphy are among those looking to earn tickets to the $175,000 Breeders' Cup at Far Hills, N.J., Oct. 18. Even with those big names, the race is wide open as Breeders' Cup favorites McDynamo and Tres Touche will go straight to the Far Hills without preps.Trainer Bruce Miller expects a solid fall campaign out of Pelagos, who won the Grade I Iroquois this spring and rested for the summer. The gray gelding is ideally suited to the 2 1/2-mile distance and was second to Tres Touche in the race's 2002 running. Trainer Jack Fisher brings spring stakes winner Dynability back from a summer layoff for local owner Arcadia Stable. The 7-year-old won two of three, including Fair Hill's Miles Valentine in late May, this spring. Fisher also entered Indispensable, who comes off a third-place effort in the New York Turf Writers Cup (NSA-I) at Saratoga. Owner Gillian Johnston is represented by four entrants in the race: Najjm, Mr Perkolater, Mulahen and Just Murphy. Mulahen won a Saratoga allowance, and finished a solid fourth in the Turf Writers for trainer Kathy Neilson. Irish-bred Just Murphy, a winner of two English jump races this year, makes his U.S. debut for trainer Janet Elliot. The Legacy field (with trainer, jockey) in post position order:
1--Barrington, Tom Voss, Blair Waterman.
2--Najjm, Bruce Miller, Chip Miller.
3--Greek Hero, Alicia Murphy, Matt McCarron.
4--Pelagos, Bruce Miller, Tom Foley.
5--Mr Perkolater, Kathy Neilson, Danielle Hodsdon.
6--Il Capitano, Doug Fout, Rob Massey.
7--Mulahen, Kathy Neilson, David Bentley.
8--Understood, Richard Valentine, Calvin McCormack.
9--Dynability, Jack Fisher, Gus Brown.
10--Turkish Corner, Bruce Miller, no rider.
11--Trebizond, Kathy Neilson, Jody Petty.
12--Imperial Gold, Doug Fout, Rob Massey.
13--Just Murphy, Janet Elliot, no rider.
14--Indispensable, Jack Fisher, Blair Waterman.In addition to the Legacy, Shawan also features a timber stakes which drew a field of nine including stakes winners Sam Sullivan, Company Eight, Thor Thors and Dr. Ramsey. Thanks to 34 entries, Shawan will card two maiden hurdle races. Among the entries are first-time starter Serazzo, a full-brother to grade I flat winner You And I. Jumpers Post Strong Numbers at Saratoga
Nine steeplechases held during the Saratoga meeting averaged 9.77 starters per race, helping fuel an overall handle increase of $353,000 on the jump races. A total of $4.3 million was wagered on the steeplechases, with the Aug. 28 New York Turf Writers Cup setting a record for U.S. steeplechase handle at $988,633. Trainer Tom Voss won five of the nine races, but owner victories were spread
around to eight different individuals. Winners included noted flat stables Ken Ramsey, Fox Ridge Farm, Gregory Kelly and Augustin Stable.News and Notes
Racing returns to Charlottesville, Va., with the 26th annual Foxfield Races on Sunday. Training flat races attracted several stakes horses prepping for Far Hills including Lord Zada, McDynamo and Lord Kenneth...Steeplechasing's fall schedule includes four races on the NTRA's Wire to Wire program on the ESPN networks. The Legacy Chase (airs Sept. 30), Breeders' Cup (Oct. 21), U.S. Championship Novice (Nov. 4) and Colonial Cup (Nov. 18) will be featured. Wire to Wire airs on ESPN2 at 2 p.m. every Tuesday...Individual jockey and trainer standings continue to be tight with four trainers - Kathy Neilson (14 wins), Jack Fisher (13), Ricky Hendriks (12) and Tom Voss (12) battling for the lead. The jockey race includes Gus Brown and David Bentley (11 each), Tom Foley and Jody Petty (10 apiece) and Rob Massey (nine).