Kumin Joins The Steeplechase Community

If you check out the entries for the second race at Tennessee's Percy Warner Park, the Sloan maiden hurdle, and notice the connections of first-time starter Montmartre d'Ange (Fr) (Montmarte), they will look quite familiar. The 4-year-old is owned in part by prominent Thoroughbred owner Sol Kumin's Madakat Stable (along with Paul and Molly Willis, and CFC Stables). Kumin has been involved in the likes of Triple Crown winner Justify, Monomoy Girl, Lady Eli, Midnight Bisou, Yoshida, Whitmore, Mind Your Biscuits, Authentic, Exaggerator, and Catholic Boy. So how did Kumin...

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Smaller, But Still Super: Helen Pitts

The daughter of a racing steward and a steeplechase trainer, Maryland native Helen Pitts was destined for a career on the racetrack. After working for several steeplechase trainers, she made the move to Kentucky to work for Kenny McPeek. When McPeek stepped away from training in 2005, Pitts took over and had her very first winner that same day. Over the years, she has reached the winner's circle with many unforgettable racehorses, including Hall of Fame champion Curlin and her all-time favorite trainee, MGISW Einstein (Brz). KP: How did you...

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New York Turf Writers Cup Renamed in Honor of Hall of Fame Trainer Jonathan Sheppard

The GI New York Turf Writers Cup steeplechase stakes has been renamed in honor of Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard, the New York Racing Association announced Friday. The $150,000 Jonathan Sheppard for 4-year-olds and up going 2 3/8 miles is slated for Thursday, Aug. 19 during the summer meet at historic Saratoga Race Course. "It seems fitting that one of the premier steeplechase stakes in the country is going to be named in honor of Jonathan Sheppard," said Bill Gallo, Director of Racing for the National Steeplechase Association. "He...

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Trainer Jonathan Sheppard Set to Invade Europe

Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard has accomplished everything there is to accomplish in U.S. steeplechase racing. He's been leading steeplechase trainer 25 times, has trained 15 champions and has won every major steeplechase race run in the U.S.-many of them numerous times. But the native of Ashwell, Hertfordshire, England who came to America in 1961 has never won a race in Europe. In the months ahead, he hopes to change that. With the U.S. steeplechase season having ended Nov. 15 and because only a limited number of races were...

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NSA Kicks off Foxfield Jump Season

The Foxfield Races, the first of three fall National Steeplechase Association to run in October, kicks off Sunday in Charlottesville, Va. The card, consisting of seven races--five over hurdles and two on the flat--carries purses totaling $55,000. Post time is 12:30 p.m. The Foxfield Races mark the first 2020 NSA event that will permit owners, with horse entered, to attend, albeit with restrictions. Owners will be required to remain in a designated area for the entire afternoon; no one may cross the course or go to the paddock or barn...

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National Steeplechase Association Releases Fall Schedule

The National Steeplechase Association has released its fall calendar consisting of an abbreviated schedule of seven sanctioned race meets to be contested between Sept. 26 and Nov. 15. The modified schedule is due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The schedule kicks off at Shawan Downs Sept. 26, followed by Foxfield Fall Races Oct. 4, Virginia Fall Races Oct. 10, the International Gold Cup Oct. 24, the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup Nov. 1, the Steeplechase at Callaway Nov. 7 and the Steeplechase of Charleston Nov. 15. Each race meet will...

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Griffin Elected NSA President

Dr. Alfred C. Griffin Jr., the co-chair of the Virginia Gold Cup who played a key role in keeping pari-mutuel racing alive in his home state during Colonial Downs's closure, was elected president of the National Steeplechase Association at Friday's NSA Board of Directors meeting. The Warrenton, Va. orthodontist succeeds Guy J. Torsilieri, who was elected as the NSA's chairman. Torsilieri, who served as the NSA's president for 11 years before declining to seek another term, was elected as the NSA's chairman. He succeeds Beverly R. Steinman, who retired from...

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