Bob Le Beau seeks third Grade 1 win in A.P. Smithwick

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

August 1st, 2016

Bob Le Beau, a two-time Grade 1 winner last season and runner-up in Eclipse Award balloting for champion steeplechaser, makes his first start of the season over hurdles Thursday in the $125,000 A.P. Smithwick Memorial (G1) at Saratoga.

Trained by Elizabeth Voss, Bob Le Beau captured the New York Turf Writers Cup (G1) and Lonesome Glory (G1) last season, but missed out on championship honors when fifth to Dawalan in the Colonial Cup (G1).

The about 2 1/16-mile Smithwick marks the nine-year-old's first stakes outing of the season following an allowance win over 1 1/2 miles at Parx on July 10.

Schoodic, a novice stakes winner over this course in 2014, was a distance second to Bob Le Beau in last year's Turf Writers Cup. One of three in the field trained by Jack Fisher, along with Overwhelming and Scorpiancer, Schoodic snapped a long losing streak last out by taking the National Hunt Cup (G3), a race won last year by Bob Le Beau.

Trainer Leslie Young has entered two, including the dual stakes-winning Maserati, who has won four straight and five out his last six since breaking his maiden over hurdles a year ago in May.

Also among the field of 10 are Grade 3 winner Balance the Budget, last seen taking the restricted Carolina Cup in April, and 2014 champion steeplechaser Demonstrative, winless last season though third in the Smithwick and Colonial Cup.

(Adam Coglianese Photography)