Wide-open Lonesome Glory attracts field of eight
With its three biggest Grade 1 races left to be run over the next two months, the American steeplechase division is in search of some clarity. However, Thursday's $150,000 Lonesome Glory (G1) at Belmont Park is a wide-open affair just as likely to scramble things further.
With Iroquois (G1) winner Rawnaq not among the entries and tragedy befalling Bob Le Beau last month at Saratoga, eight will hope to fill a temporary void in the 2 1/2-mile hurdle.
Trainer Jack Fisher's Scorpiancer figures to be among the favorites. Only a length behind the ill-fated Bob Le Beau in the A.P. Smithwick (G1) two back, Scorpiancer next rallied for third in the New York Turf Writers Cup (G1) behind Portrade, who was left unchallenged on the lead flag-to-finish.
Like Portrade, Charminster has a touch of speed and might be the one to catch in the Lonesome Glory. Although he didn't show as much in the Turf Writers Cup, he was more prominent early in a pair of graded events earlier in the season. Capturing a Grade 2 event in his season debut, he was next second to Schoodic in the National Hunt Cup (G3).
New to the American jumping scene are Hisaabaat and Swansea Mile, both owned by Rosbrian Farm and trained by Richard Hendriks. Hisaabaat, previously trained by Dermot Weld but unraced the past 13 months, has competed in several lucrative handicaps in Ireland and Britain in recent years without great success.
The relatively young Swansea Mile, age six, is taking a bigger step up in class, but given the class disparity that seemingly exists between British and Irish hurdlers and their American-based "cousins," a strong effort would probably not be much of a surprise.
The field is completed by Awesome Pearl, Jamarjo, and Rudyard K.