Demonstrative seeks third win in New York Turf Writers Cup

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

August 25th, 2015

Reigning steeplechase champion Demonstrative didn't show his usual stretch punch earlier this month in the A.P. Smithwick Memorial (G1), but will look to rebound in his title defense of the $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup (G1) at Saratoga on Thursday.

Hero of the Iroquois (G1) in May and third as the 1-2 favorite in the Smithwick, Demonstrative will not have to face either of the one-two finishers in that race, Choral Society and Martini Brother, in the Turf Writers Cup. Among his main adversaries will be old foe Divine Fortune, the 2013 steeplechase champion who faded to fifth in the Smithwick after setting the pace.

Hinterland, who failed to finish three of his final five starts in England last season, nonetheless could outclass the best on these shores given the generally higher quality of jumping overseas. Now with trainer Jack Fisher, the French-bred seven-year-old did his best work at Sandown, where he was a novice stakes winner in late 2013 and placed third in a $233,000 event in his penultimate start. Fisher also saddles Schoodic, winner of the 2014 Michael G. Walsh Novice at Saratoga.

Syros, winner of the Marcellus Frost at Nashville earlier this season, figures to give Divine Fortune company on the front end and last season posted a sharp 5 1/4-length allowance win over the Saratoga hurdles. Also coming out of the Marcellus Frost is All the Way Jose, the representative of jumps training legend Jonathan Sheppard.

Other possible contenders include National Hunt Cup (G3) scorer Bob Le Beau, who finished fourth in the Smithwick, and Charminster, second to Demonstrative in the 2012 Turf Writers Cup.

Contested at 2 3/8 miles, the New York Turf Writers Cup is the opening race on a card that also includes the $100,000 Riskaverse, a one-mile inner turf test for three-year-old fillies. Partisan Politics, winner of the P.G. Johnson last year and fourth as the favorite in the Lake George (G2) last time, is the likely favorite. Making her first start since February will be Rainha Da Bateria, who captured the Jessamine (G3) at Keeneland last fall.

(Demonstrative photo: NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)