Buttonwood Farm's All the Way Jose earned his first Grade 1 victory on Thursday, posting a 1 1/4-length score for Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard in the $150,000 Lonesome Glory at Belmont Park, the second of two steeplechase contests on the card.
All the Way Jose saved ground through the early going under jockey Darren Nagle, keeping within two lengths of the pacesetting longshot Charminster. Comfortably moved into second position as the field cleared the Clubhouse turn for the second time, All the Way Jose seized the lead after Charminster bobbled leaving the eighth fence and held a comfortable advantage under the wire over 9-5 favorite Modem, who closed late to secure the runner-up honors.
Swansea Mile was a neck behind in third. Casino Markets, Mr. Hot Stuff, Charminster, Hinterland, and Simenon completed the order of finish.
The winner completed the 2 ½-mile contest in 4:33.37. Sent off at 3-1, All the Way Jose returned $8.70 for a $2 win wager.
"There wasn't any real plan, I just wanted to ride the horse to suit him best, which was to not rush him early, but once he got into stride, to not check his momentum," said Nagle. "I just wanted to let him roll. His stride is his biggest asset so you better use it. I think he's more of a three-mile horse, so he's pretty constant in his stamina. Even though it was a 2 ½-mile race, I wanted to ride it like a three-mile race to suit my horse. I could've looked stupid, but it went right to plan. It couldn't have worked out any better than that."
A Pennsylvania-bred gelding by Senor Swinger, All the Way Jose picked up his fifth steeplechase victory and first graded stakes. The win boosts his lifetime earnings to $306,500.
"He jumped great, Darren gave him a good and patient ride," said Sheppard, who earned his first Lonesome Glory victory. "I thought he would possibly be in front heading into the last jump and then I was concerned of the long finish he would have to sustain, but he just kept on galloping. He hung on and got the job done, it was great."
One race earlier, Bruton Street-US' Moscato posted his third victory in four starts, setting a course record in winning the $75,000 William Entenmann Memorial in the opener of Thursday's card.
Moscato, who won the Michael G. Walsh Novice last out on August 23 at Saratoga Race Course, won his second straight start, staying off a fast pace set by Kingston Court, who led through all nine fences. Under the direction of jockey Sean McDermott, Moscato gained the lead turning for home and outkicked stablemate New Member in the stretch to win by 3 ½ lengths.
He completed 2 ¼ miles on the inner turf in 3:56.56, besting the previous course record of 4:02.26 set by Popular Gigalo on June 3, 1999.
"He has an abundance of stamina and he can gallop on for a long time," McDermott said. "He generally burns them off. I was surprised he got off the bridle that early but he's very honest and very tough."
Moscato, the 3-5 favorite, improved to 4-4-1 in 10 career starts over hurdles. The 6-year-old English bred has finished first or second in his last three stakes starts, including a runner-up finish in the Jonathan Kiser Novice on July 26 at the Spa for trainer Jack Fisher.
Since arriving in North America in April after making his first 21 career starts overseas, Moscato has four wins and two runner-up efforts in six races.
"He had run a couple times over there [Europe] not that brilliantly," said Fisher, whose 17 wins leads all steeplechase trainers this year. "I didn't think he was a great horse when he first came to us. At Saratoga, I thought [in] his first start he was a little bit unlucky. There was a little bumping on the turn and that wasn't the best. His last race he demolished them and this is obviously the next best step."
Moscato paid $3.40 and improved his career earnings to $224,677.
New Member, also trained by Fisher, finished second, 8 ¼ lengths ahead of Mutasaawy in third. Lachares, Surprising Soul and Kensington Court completed the order of finish. No Wunder and Zio Elio lost their respective riders out of the fifth jump. Jockeys Jack Doyle and Bernard Dalton were not injured.
Source: NYRA Communications