The race, either as a single dash or split stake, gives props to the Hall of Fame founder of Hanover Shoe Farms and has been won by some of the fastest freshmen in harness racing history.
The Sheppard’s 2019 incarnation begins with 19 hopefuls in three $25,000 Saturday night (July 6) eliminations, going consecutively as races three, four and five. The first two finishers in each elimination, plus the two fastest third-place finishers, return for the $120,250 finale, set for next Saturday night (July 13).
Some of the entrants already possess resumes.
In the first elimination, So So De Vie (American Ideal-Place Your Best/George Brennan, post three) has a New York Sire Stakes start, while American Rebel (American Ideal-Restive Hanover/Jordan Stratton, post five) has done that foe one better, with a pair of NYSS tries. Han Solo (Mister Big-Leah/Jason Bartlett, post one) was a debuting 1:58.2 overnight winner at Saratoga.
For those who look at the sticker price, Cheerio Hill (Captaintreacherous-Western Silk/Tyler Buter, post six) sold (as Captainfrightful) for $105,000, more than any other of the plebes in this season’s event.
Second-elim standouts include Save Me A Dance (Heston Blue Chip-Dance Hall Girl/Bartlett, post four), a sire stakes winner (1:56.1) at Monticello this past Monday afternoon (July 1). He was joined in the NYSS win column by Cigars And Port (So Surreal-Sweet On Art/Mark MacDonald, post five), who traversed this oval in 1:56.3 on June 20.
Level Up (Art Major-Apogee Hanover/Stratton, post two) missed by an inch in another Monticello statebred event on July 1.
The final elimination for the Sheppard includes Hunter Hill (Somebeachsomewhere-Ali Blue/Buter, post four), who has taken down a pair of Harrah’s Philadelphia overnights in identical 1:55 efforts.