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OffTrackBetting.com - The Grade 1 New York Turf Writers Cup Handicap is on tap for this Thursday, August 25 from Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York. A purse of $150,000 will be on the line in this Hurdle Handicap as horses four years old and upward race 2 3/8 miles on Saratoga's turf track.
A field of six have been confirmed for the New York Turf Writers - the first race on Saratoga's Thursday schedule. Post time is 1:00 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all six combatants for this Grade 1 Handicap - the crown jewel of Saratoga's steeplechase lineup.
Bob Le Beau 6-5 - defending champion in this race by more than seven lengths - Elizabeth Voss trained gelding has 49 career starts with 14 wins, eight seconds and two third place finishes. He has been very good since his win in this race last year - four starts and three wins. Last time out was a victory in the Grade 1 A.P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase Stakes on this track August 4 which followed an Allowance score at Parx, an uncharacteristic fifth in the Grade 1 Colonel Cup Stakes at Camden in November and a win in the Grade 1 Lonesome Glory Hurdle Handicap at Belmont Park in September. Bob Le Beau has been terrific the last year and arrives in career best form having recorded an unprecedented sweep of NYRA's three top-rated steeplechase races over the last year. Jack Doyle will be aboard the morning line favorite trying for the rare repeat and for Bob Le Beau's fifth win in six starts.
Scorpiancer 5-2 - Irish bred Jack O. Fisher trained gelding has three wins, four seconds and three third place finishes in 13 career starts. Last time out was a second to Bob Le Beau in the Grade 1 A.P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase here August 4 after another second in a Handicap race at Fair Hill May 28, a fourth in the Grade 1 Calvin Houghland Iroquois Hurdle Stakes at Percy Warner May 14, a second in the Grade 3 Temple Gwathmey Hurdle Handicap in April and two straight wins including the minor Foxbrook Champion Hurdle Stakes at Fair Hills in October. Scorpiancer has certainly been competitive but will be after his first win in 11 months Thursday from gate 4. Conor Hankin rides the morning line second choice.
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Portrade 9-2 - Irish bred Elizabeth Voss trained gelding has 15 career starts with three wins, two seconds and four third place finishes. Last time out was a third behind Bob Le Beau and Scorpiancer in the Grade 3 A.P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase here August 4 after failing to place in his previous three starts. He did hit the board in his last seven starts at home however including three stakes wins in 2014. Portrade is fairly lightly raced and will be after his first win in two years Thursday from post 5. Gustav Dahl has been scheduled to ride the third betting choice.
Charminister 6-1 - Irish bred Cyril Murphy trained gelding has 29 career starts with seven wins, seven seconds and five third place finishes. He finished second in this race in 2012, had a DNF in 2014 and was third last year in this event. He arrives on an uptick - a second behind Schoodic last time out in the Grade 3 National Hunt Cup Stakes at Malvern May 21 followed a good win in by 3 3/4 lengths the Grade 2 David Semmes Memorial Stakes at Great Meadow May 7. He failed to place in his previous two (both graded stakes). Charminister has been at his best the last two starts and hopes to continue his roll from gate 2 Thursday. Ross Geraghty has been tabbed to ride at an intriguing 6-1 odds.
Schoodic 8-1 - defending runner-up in this race - Jack O. Fisher trained gelding has five wins, four seconds and four third place finishes in 21 career starts. He was most recently sixth in the Grade 1 A.P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase Stakes here August 4 after a nice win in the Grade 3 National Hunt Cup Hurdle Stakes at Malvern May 21 and consecutive seconds to start his year including the Grade 2 David Semmes Memorial Stakes at Great Meadow May 7. Schoodic had placed in seven straight races before his dud last time out and will be after a strong bounce back from the outside gate 6 Thursday. Sean McDermott has the mount.
Andi'amu 12-1 - French bred Leslie Young trained gelding has four wins, six seconds and three third place finishes in 23 career starts. He ended 2015 with a win and three straight runner-up finishes and has been OK this year too. Last time out was a fourth in a race on this track August 3 after a Handicap score at Monmouth Park Ratings Handicap June 17, a second in the Iroquois Ratings Handicap at Percy Warner in May and a fifth in the Grade 3 Temple Gwathmey Hurdle Handicap at Middleburg in April. He races in graded stakes company for just the second time Thursday and arrives in decent form. Paddy Young rides from the rail.
Race 1 on Saratoga's Thursday card with a Post Time of 1:00 PM.
|1||Andi'amu (FR)||12-1||Paddy Young||Leslie Young|
|2||Charminster (IRE)||6-1||Ross Geraghty||Cyril Murphy|
|3||Bob Le Beau (IRE)||6-5||Jack Doyle||Elizabeth Voss|
|4||Scorpiancer (IRE)||5-2||Connor Hankin||Jack Fisher|
|5||Portrade (IRE)||9-2||Gustav Dahl||Elizabeth Voss|
|6||Schoodic||8-1||Sean McDermott||Jack Fisher|
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