08/23/2012 2:11PM

Saratoga: Demonstrative takes New York Turf Writers Steeplechase as nasty spill mars stretch run

Barbara D. Livingston
Divine Fortune falls, tossing jockey Brian Crowley in the New York Turf Writers Steeplechase as Demonstrative (No. 3, on right) goes on to victory.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Demonstrative made a strong statement that he is a steeplechase horse with a bright future, winning Thursday’s Grade 1, $150,000 New York Turf Writers Steeplechase at Saratoga by one length over Charminster.

 It was the second straight win at this meet for Demonstrative, who on July 26 took the Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes by two lengths.

Demonstrative, who at 5 was the youngest horse in the field of eight geldings, may have benefitted from a spill that involved the two favorites - Left Unsaid and Divine Fortune -  but he certainly responded with a strong late run after clearing the final hurdle.

“He’s finally filled out, matured, he’s getting more consistent in his running style,” winning trainer Richard Valentine said. “I had a couple of anxious moments where I thought he wasn’t going to get out. Once he gets daylight, he’s not going to pack it in, he’s going to try. He’s got tremendous heart, tremendous attitude and I’m very, very lucky to train him.”

After saving ground virtually the entire way under Robert Walsh, Demonstrative was taken off the inside for the final of 10 fences. Divine Fortune, the 2-1 second choice, came to mid-stretch about a head in front, but he stumbled over that jump, unseating jockey Brian Crowley. Left Unsaid, the 3-2 favorite, cleared the fence but stumbled over Divine Fortune, hurling Paddy Young to the turf.

Both horses and jockeys were reported to be uninjured.

After clearing the final fence, Demonstrative may have clipped one of the riders or horses and needed a stride or two to recover. Once he did, he kicked hard and overtook Charminster, who inherited the lead over the final fence.

“Not sure if it was Brian or his horse that caught my horse’s hind legs, it just kind of [knocked] him back a little bit, but he picked up well from there,” Walsh said.

Demonstrative covered the 2 3/8 miles in 4:33.89 and returned $13.60 to win.

“I’d say he’s a good 10 lengths better than he was last year and I still think there’s improvement with him,” said Valentine, who trains Demonstrative for Mrs. George Ohrstrom. “He’s a big horse, I think he’ll carry the weight in a handicap, and he’s an exciting young horse to have.”

R. Carlos Nanez More than 1 year ago
I wish they stop those jump races,so many horses get hurt every year, and many would die forcing to do something just to please people that have more money than brain
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
race reminded me of Talledega 500 nascar race.. on last lap they have a big crash. that was exciting!
Fred Reardon More than 1 year ago
Picture obviously taken from the "grassy knoll".
Daniel More than 1 year ago
The worst spill I ever saw in my life was a few years back at a Saratoga jump race... A huge pileup on the last jump caught 4 or 5 horses, and only 2 of the horses that started actually finished. Even Tom Durkin let out a loud groan on that last jump when they toppled over one another. Remarkably, all the horses and jockeys were okay then too! (but I have stayed away from the Spa on jump days from then on... just hard to get that visual out of my head). Bonus fact: the horse that won the race I’m referring to was Good Night Shirt, a good 15 lengths back from the pack at the last jump, who won basically by default.. and then I believe went on to win the Eclipse Award for champion jumper the next year.
Ange More than 1 year ago
Well thank goodness my baby filly's uncle scratched! Glad everyone's OK.
laura ban More than 1 year ago
I'm glad both horses and jockeys were o.k. in the end. I love this sport but it does have it's hard to watch moments. And nobody catches all those moments better then the great BARBARA LIVINGSTON! What a action filled shot! Photography doesn't get any better!
Perl More than 1 year ago
Wow, that second horse's body sure did contort awkwardly when he hit the ground. Glad they are okay and can tell some good war stories whilst munching on carrots this evening.
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
Oh, my. That was a nasty-looking spill. Thank goodness the horses and the jockeys came out of without being seriously injured. It was a nice come-from-behind win by Demonstrative. Nice price, too. I'm happy we can write about a pleasant outcome to this race.
Finding An Edge Betfair More than 1 year ago
Nice post... with video as well. Cant beat the steeplechasing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWgV86oMQi0