Bob Le Beau split rivals in midstretch and held off a late challenge from Hinterland to win Thursday’s $150,000 Lonesome Glory Steeplechase (NSA-G1) at Belmont Park by a half-length and notch his second straight Grade 1 victory.
Trained by Elizabeth Voss for The Fields Stable, Bob Le Beau was content to run second-to-last as Syros opened up a big early lead in the 2 1/2-mile race over national fences. Given his cue from jockey Jack Doyle as the field of eight straightened for home, the son of Big Bad Bob responded with a solid closing kick to gain the lead with 100 yards to and had just enough left to fend off the runner-up.
His winning time was 4:41.27 for the course, which was run minus the final two jumps and with the stretch drive consisting of a flat run in its entirety.
“Getting him to settle was my biggest concern but he conserved good energy today,” Doyle said. “He has so much speed coming off the flat, all he needs is half a gap and he’d be gone. Two jumps out in the straight probably helped me more than it helped anyone else because I could use his flat speed a little more, but I think he would’ve won even if they were there.”
“(The 154-pound weight) was the one thing I was really worried about because he’s not a very big horse,” Voss stated. “So I was a little concerned about it but he’s in the top form of his life right now. He jumps great but I was a little worried with this stretch if he was going to get a little tired but he ran great. He had good back flat form so that actually I thought would be to our advantage having the two jumps out.”
Sent off as the 3-5 favorite following his 7 1/4-length win in the August 27 New York Turf Writers’ Cup (NSA-G1) at Saratoga, Bob Le Beau returned $3.50 for a $2 win bet. The victory was the eight-year-old gelding’s fourth in five starts this year, including a win in the National Hunt Cup (NSA-G3) in May, and was worth $90,000, boosting his career bankroll to $523,457.
Checking in third was Dawalan, who was followed across the finish line by Charmister, All Together, Syros, Diplomat and Alajmal.
In the afternoon’s 1ST race, Woodslane Farm’s Overwhelming kicked into high gear rounding the turn to take command a furlong out and go on to a 2 1/2-length victory in the $75,000 William Entenmann Memorial. It was the first stakes victory over fences for the son of Hard Spun, who won an allowance in July at Saratoga.
Trained by Jack Fisher and ridden by Sean McDermott, the five-year-old gelding returned $14.40 for a $2 win bet.
Bob Le Beau photo courtesy of NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography