McDynamo to be honored with stakes at Far Hills

McDynamo © Tod Marks

Steeplechase racing’s seminal day on Oct. 19 has a significant change that honors the legendary “King of Far Hills.”

The crown jewel of American steeplechasing will again feature a seven race, all-stakes card, this year worth $700,000. But along with the familiar contests, anchored by the Grade 1 $250,000 American Grand National, the meet will showcase a unique new event named after Hall of Fame great McDynamo, a seven-time winner over the Moorland Farm course.

The McDynamo stakes for maiden hurdlers four-years-old and up will be contested at 2 ⅛ miles, and has the potential to carry a total purse of $70,000, making it the richest contest for non-winners on the National Steeplechase Association circuit. A “sweepstakes ante” of $1,000 per horse will be added to the $50,000 guaranteed purse. As an added incentive, the Moran family, who campaigned the five-time Grand National winner who retired in 2007 as the sport’s earnings leader, will match the “sweepstakes ante” amount. Therefore, if there are 10 starters (the maximum limit), the total purse will be $70,000.

“We have been meaning to honor McDynamo in some special way and this seemed like the right time, with a creative new concept that hopefully will carry on for years,” said Far Hills chairman Guy Torsilieri. “McDynamo’s record at Far Hills, which started with his maiden victory in 2001, followed by a novice score the next year, and then five consecutive Grand Nationals, is one of the most remarkable accomplishments in steeplechase history. The Moran’s were pleased to hear about the new race and have generously contributed to the added-money stakes. It is going to be a special race, for a very special horse.”

Besides the Grand National and McDynamo, the other races at Far Hills include the $50,000 Harry Harris for four-year-olds; the $100,000 Foxbrook Champion for novice hurdlers; the $100,000 Peapack for fillies and mares; the $50,000 Appleton for horses rated at 130 or less; and the $100,000 John Forbes on the flat.

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