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Las Vegas, NV - The 71st running of the Grade 1 New York Turf Writers Cup goes down this Thursday, August 23 from Saratoga Raceway in upstate New York. Steeplechasers four years old and upwards will go two and three eighths miles on Saratoga's turf course in search of their share of the $150,000 purse.
The Turf Writers Cup has attracted a field of 10 for race 1 on Saratoga's Thursday card including the top five finishers from the A.P. Smithwick Memorial. Post time is 1:00 PM. Here is a brief look at the 10 entries and what brought them to the richest steeplechase race on Saratoga's 2012 schedule.
Spy in the Sky - was the 2009 winner of this race and is coming off an impressive win three weeks ago in the A.P. Smithwick here for his first win in two and a half years. Prior to his latest win, Spy in the Sky finished out of the money in his two starts in 2012 - both fourth place finishes after a nine month layoff followed a sixth in last year's edition of this race. Spy in the Sky was off the radar until his surprise win last time out.
Left Unsaid - finished second in the A.P. Smithwick in his only start since May of 2011. But Left Unsaid figures to be in the mix Thursday. He was the Steeplechase Association's novice champion in 2009 and he has placed in his last eight races with two wins, five seconds and a third place finish. Returning after 15 months away to a second place finish is an accomplishment indeed and it proved that any race he enters he has to be considered.
All Together - finished third in the Smithwick for his third-third place finish in four starts in 2012. All Together's only blemish - a fifth in the Grade 2 Marcellus Frost Hurdle Stakes on May 12. In 31 careers starts All Together has seven wins, six seconds and six third place finishes but has not won a graded stakes race yet and has failed to register a win in over a year.
Decoy Daddy - was fourth in the Smithwick and is a two time graded stakes winner and an Eclipse Award finalist. He is owned by one of the most renowned steeplechase owners Irvin S. Naylor and is trained by Joseph W. Delozier. He has just 10 wins in 46 career starts with seven seconds and four third place finishes.
Divine Fortune - returned to the Smithwick a couple of weeks ago looking to repeat as two time winner and as the 3-2 favorite but managed just a fifth place finish. Divine Fortune started 2012 with a win in an Allowance at Tryon and followed it with a decent second in the Grade 1 Calvin Houghland Iroquois Hurdle Stakes before the disappointing Smithwick - the longer distance should help Divine Fortune to be very competitive this Thursday.
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Charminister - has been racing in England and has eight starts already in 2012 with two wins, one second and two third place finishes. Charminister won a Handicap Hurdle race in May, placed third in the following race but was ninth last time out in a similar race before shipping to North America.
Sermon of Love - won this race in 2010 - the last time that Sermon of Love has tasted victory. In eight starts since he has placed in just one and in 2012 he has a pair of sixths and a fourth place finish in three starts.
Nationbuilder - Multiple graded stakes placed and multiple stakes winner has only one starts this year - a reasonable third in the Grade 1 Calvin Houghland Iroquois Stakes. He was fourth in this race last year and since has two third place finishes in four starts.
Demonstrative - is one of two horses in the field coming off a win last time out - at the Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes on this track on July 26. Demonstrative placed in all eight races he started in 2011 but has mustered only a pair of sixths and that win last time out in 2012.
Dynaski - finished a distant tenth most recently in the Smithwick in his only start so far of 2012. Dynaski had four starts in 2011 and had two-third place finishes as his best results - one being the 2011 version of this race.
Race 1 on Saratoga's Thursday card with a Post Time of 1:00 PM.
|1||Charminster (IRE)||C. Rafter||J. Delozier, III|
|1A||Decoy Daddy (IRE)||R. Geraghty||J. Delozier, III|
|2||Divine Fortune||B. Crowley||J. Sheppard|
|2B||Nationbuilder||B. Dalton||J. Sheppard|
|2X||Sermon of Love||B. Dalton||J. Sheppard|
|3||Demonstrative||R. Walsh||R. Valentine|
|4||Spy in the Sky||D. Hodsdon||J. Day|
|5||All Together||X. Aizpuru||J. Fisher|
|6||Dynaski||W. Dowling||T. Voss|
|7||Left Unsaid||P. Young||T. Voss|
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