Bob Le Beau tops field of eight in Lonesome Glory

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

September 21st, 2015

Clarity at the top of the steeplechase division might come as early Thursday when Bob Le Beau heads a field of eight in the $150,000 Lonesome Glory (G1) at Belmont Park.

The 2 1/2-mile hurdle is the first of three Grade 1 events in the fall that usually go a long way toward determining the division's Eclipse Award winner. Coming up later are the $300,000 Grand National, at Far Hills, New Jersey, on October 17, and the $100,000 Colonial Cup, at Camden, South Carolina, on November 21.

Bob Le Beau figures to be a strong favorite in the Lonesome Glory coming off a 7 1/4-length win in the New York Writers Turf Cup (G1) at Saratoga. It was the first top-level victory for the Irish-bred eight-year-old, trained by Elizabeth Voss.

The Lonesome Glory field includes five that finished up the track in the New York Turf Writers Cup. Charminster fared the best of these, finishing 11 lengths third to Bob Le Beau, while sixth-place finisher Syros is the likely pacesetter in the Lonesome Glory and could prove to be tough to catch.

Farther up the course at Saratoga was Alajmal, who ran fifth in his second start back from an extended layoff. The seven-year-old, who upset the 2013 Colonial Cup, will wear blinkers after racing without them in the Turf Writers Cup.

All Together was a decent fourth in the Turf Writers Cup, but came back to lose to Diplomat in an optional claimer and then trailed throughout in a $25,000 claimer on the flat at Belmont last Friday. Also looking for an improved effort is Hinterland, a nondescript seventh in the Turf Writers Cup in his U.S. debut.

Making his first U.S. start in the Lonesome Glory is Dawalan, a two-time handicap winner in England last winter who hasn't raced since the Grand National meeting at Aintree in April.

Choral Society, who upset the August 6 A.P. Smithwick Memorial (G1) at Saratoga at odds of 16-1, bypasses the Lonesome Glory for the theoretically easier William Entenmann Memorial on Thursday. The $75,000 restricted hurdle over 2 1/4 miles kicks off the day's racing at Belmont.

Joining Choral Society is New York Turf Writers Cup runner-up Schoodic. Choral Society and Schoodic were fourth and seventh, respectively, in the 2014 Entenmann Memorial.

(Bob Le Beau photo: Chelsea Durand/Adam Coglianese Photography)