Upset A.P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase Stakes winner Swansea Mile will face Modem again in the Lonesome Glory Handicap

Upset A.P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase Stakes winner Swansea Mile will face Modem again in the Lonesome Glory Handicap

Coglianese Photos/Chris Rahayel

Modem Aims to Connect in Lonesome Glory Handicap

Trainer Elizabeth Voss will send out Modem in the Sept. 21 Lonesome Glory

York, Pa., developer Robert Kinsley has been upgrading his racing stable with imported hurdlers, and a key piece of that upgrade, Modem, will have an opportunity to establish his value Sept. 21 in Belmont Park's $150,000 Lonesome Glory Handicap (NSA-1).

Trained by Elizabeth Voss, Modem jumped from provincial racing in Ireland to the top level of American racing with results that were at once promising and disappointing.

First, the disappointment. The Motivator gelding was twice favored at Saratoga Race Course, in the A. P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase Handicap (NSA-1) July 27 and the New York Turf Writers Cup Handicap (NSA-1) Aug. 24. Twice, he finished second behind longshots.

The promising part was that he kept running to the finish line and was not embarrassed, beaten two lengths in the Smithwick and three in the New York Turf Writers.

In past years, the 2 1/2-mile Lonesome Glory has been a race that turned around racing seasons. Scorpiancer won the Lonesome Glory last year and emerged as the top horse this spring with a victory in the Calvin Houghland Iroquois Hurdle Stakes (NSA-1). 

In 2012, Pierrot Lunaire won the Lonesome Glory at 48.75-to-1 odds and went on to claim the year's Eclipse Award with a victory in the Grand National Hurdle Stakes (NSA-1) at Far Hills, N.J.

With Scorpiancer and New York Turf Writers winner Diplomat out for the year, Modem will carry the Lonesome Glory's highweight at 156 pounds and will have the services of top jockey Jack Doyle.

Arrayed against Modem will be horses coming into their own and veteran warriors. Trainer Ricky Hendriks, who had a banner season, will saddle Smithwick Memorial winner Swansea Mile, who never was deeply involved in the New York Turf Writers and finished fifth.

Jack Fisher has a runaway lead in this year's trainer standings, and he will be looking to widen his advantage with Harold A. "Sonny" Via Jr.'s Hinterland, who finished a distant second to Scorpiancer in the Iroquois, his only start this year. Sean McDermott, Fisher's first-call jockey, will ride.

Fisher also imported some top-quality assistance for the Lonesome Glory. Danny Mullins, a young, top Irish jockey, will ride Gillian Johnston's Mr. Hot Stuff, one of the race's old warriors. At 3, Mr. Hot Stuff finished third in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and competed in the 2009 Triple Crown, albeit without distinction. Over fences, he won the 2013 Smithwick Memorial.

Another veteran is Irvin S. Naylor's Charminster, an 11-year-old who won the 2016 David Semmes Memorial Hurdle Stakes (NSA-2). Stable jockey Carol-Ann Sloan will ride for trainer Cyril Murphy.

Entries: Lonesome Glory H. (G1)

Belmont Park, Thursday, September 21, 2017, Race 2

  • Grade I
  • 2 1/2m
  • Hurdle
  • $150,000
  • 4 yo's & up
  • 2:01 PM (local)
11All the Way Jose (PA)Darren Nagle142Jonathan E. Sheppard3/1
22Swansea Mile (IRE)Michael Mitchell144Richard J. Hendriks5/1
33Charminster (IRE)Carol Ann Sloan142Cyril Murphy12/1
44Simenon (IRE)Ross Geraghty144Richard J. Hendriks15/1
55Hinterland (FR)Sean McDermott152Jack O. Fisher4/1
66Mr. Hot Stuff (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateDanny Mullins148Jack O. Fisher10/1
77Casino Markets (IRE)Leighton Aspell144Emma Lavelle20/1
88Modem (GB)Jack Doyle156Elizabeth Voss2/1