From the Spa: July 26 Midlantic-breds in Saratoga stakes
by Joseph Aiello
“From the Spa” returns to keep you up-to-date on horses bred in the mid-Atlantic racing in Saratoga stakes.
Thursday, July 26 sees the return of All the Way Jose to the Grade I A. P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase Handicap, a 2 1/16-mile hurdle handicap on the turf for four-year-olds and upward, which is the first race on the Saratoga card. Having failed to finish in the Smithwick last year, Pennsylvania-bred All the Way Jose looks to fare better in this year’s try. With morning line odds of 5/2, he certainly has high expectations cut out for him for owners Buttonwood Farm.
An eight-year-old gelding by Señor Swinger – Maternity Leave, by Northern Baby, All the Way Jose retains the services of trainer and breeder Jonathan E. Sheppard while picking up jockey Ross Geraghty in the irons. Geraghty guided Zanjabeel, a five-year-old gelding, to a win in the Grade I Calvin Houghland Iroquois Hurdle Stakes at Percy Warner Park back in May, which was All the Way Jose’s last start. Much like last year’s Smithwick, however, All the Way Jose was not able to finish despite leading after two miles. With a shorter trip this time and a jockey change, All the Way Jose will aim to capture some winning magic.