Thursday August 6th first race at Saratoga is the Grade I A.P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase Stakes. It is named for the famous jockey ‘Paddy’ Smithwick, who won 398 jumper races in his long and storied career. A good portion of these horses were trained by his brother Mike. Paddy’s long and illustrious career ended in a tragic accident where he became incapacitated. His Hall of Fame legacy was that of a true gentleman of the sport.
Another true gentleman is the steeplechase trainer Jonathan Sheppard who has entered a Pennsylvania-bred in this Grade I event. Let’s take a look at the entries.
Divine Fortune, a twelve year old gelding, will be ridden by William McCarthy, a multiple graded stakes winning jockey. He is owned and was bred by William L. Pape and Sheppard. Divine Fortune is by Royal Anthem – My Tombola, by Northern Fling. He has amassed over $800,000 dollars in career earnings and won the 2013 Eclipse Award as champion steeplechaser. His morning line odds are 3/1.