Breeders' Cup Steeplechase at Far Hills Lures 12

Twelve horses, eight of them Grade I winners, were entered Tuesday for the $250,000 Breeders' Cup Steeplechase, the richest steeplechase in North America, to be run Saturday at Far Hills in New Jersey.

The Breeders' Cup Steeplechase, renewed this year after a seven-year hiatus, highlights a six-race card at the 80th annual Far Hills Races. The 2 5/8-mile, 14-fence race will go a long way toward determining the 2000 champion steeplechaser. The feature will be the fourth race on the
card, with a post time of 2:55 p.m. (EDT)

The event is headed by 1998 steeplechase champion Flat Top. The 7-year-old son of Alleged won his only hurdle start in 2000 -- the Grade I Royal Chase at Keeneland. Trained by Janet Elliot, Flat Top comes off a win in a training flat race Oct. 14 at Morven Park in Virginia. Leading steeplechase jockey Gus Brown is named to ride.

Ninepins, at age 13, will attempt to become the oldest horse to win a grade I steeplechase. Regular jockey Arch Kingsley will ride for Hudson River Farm and trainer Jonathan Sheppard. Ninepins won the 1999 Breeders' Cup Grand National on soft turf at Far Hills.

The Breeders' Cup Steeplechase will be televised on via tape delay as part of the "NTRA Racing to the Breeders' Cup" series' final installment, Oct. 29, on ESPN from 1 to 2:30 p.m. (EST) The program will preview the eight Breeders' Cup races to be run Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs.

Here's the field (all horses carry 156 pounds) for the Breeders' Cup Steeplechase, with owners, trainers, and jockeys:

1. Rowdy Irishman (Vesta Balestiere, Bruce Haynes, Cort Marzullo)

2. Spring Salute (Landslide Farm, Sanna Neilson, Craig Thornton)

3. Flat Top (Nancy Gerry, Janet Elliot, Gus Brown)

4. Double Leaf (Timber Bay Farm, Jonathan Sheppard, Cyril Murphy)

5. Popular Gigalo (Clorevia Farm, Chip Miller, Chip Miller)

6. Logician (Roulston, Stewart, Jones, et al; Anthony Noonan; Robert

7. Ninepins, (Hudson River Farm, Jonathan Sheppard, Arch Kingsley)

8. Campanile (Greg Hawkins, Janet Elliot, Sean Clancy)

9. All Gong (Calvin Houghland, Bruce Miller, Blythe Miller)

10. Master McGrath (Bill Lickle, Janet Elliot, Gregg Ryan)

11. Invest West (Augustin Stable, Jonathan Sheppard, J.W. Delozier)

12. Allgrit (Hudson River Farm, Jonathan Sheppard, Chip Miller)

Spring Salute and Logician aren't Breeders' Cup eligible, so they will compete for a purse of $175,000.