The Spa Spot: Morning Breeze
Since the program starts with a steeplechase - in this case, two - you can be sure that it's Thursday. Day 12 of the 2012 season has an 11-race program. The first post is 1 p.m. and the finale is scheduled for 6:34 p.m.
- William Pape's Divine Fortune will try to win the Grade 1 A.P Smithwick Memorial for the third year in a row. The $100,000 Smithwick is the second race on the program. It has drawn 11 jumpers. Divine Fortune, trained by the American steeplechasing legend Jonathan Sheppard, opened his 9-year-old season with a win in an allowance race race and ran second in the Grade 1 Iroquois on May 12
- The first race of the day is an allowance/optional claimer steeplechase. In the field again this year is Mabou, a son of Dynaformer. Trainer David Jacobson, who usually just handles flat runners, claimed Mabou for $30,000 from the race and ran him back three weeks later to win the Grade 1 New York Turf Writers' Cup.
- The sixth race is the $100,000 Birdstone, a 1 1/8 miles race for older horses. The field of seven is a hand-knocking bunch that has made an average of 20 starts each. Todd Pletcher has three entered and Richard Dutrow Jr. has two.
- The Napravnik sisters, Rosie the jockey and Jasmine the trainer, are teammates with Alwaary in the fourth, a 1 3/16 miles optional claimer on the turf. Alwaary is making his U.S. debut after running a dozen times in England. His most recent start was in a hurdles race in January, but he's back to flat racing today.