February 23, 2018

Scorpiancer – 2017 Champion Steeplechaser

Scorpiancer won the Iroquois (G1) by 16 lengths in May (Harry Furlong photo)

A tendon injury limited Scorpiancer to a mere two starts in 2017, but the Irish-bred son of Scorpion was repeatedly flattered by early-season victories in the Temple Gwathmey (G3) and Calvin Houghland Iroquois (G1) throughout the year and was ultimately given the nod as champion steeplechaser.

STEEPLECHASE HORSE FIRST-PLACE VOTES
SCORPIANCER (Ire) 92
All the Way Jose 70
Mr. Hot Stuff 35
Modem (GB) 7
Diplomat 4
Swansea Mile (Ire) 3
Voter Abstentions 39

Owned by Bruton Street-US and trained by Jack Fisher, who had previously conditioned dual champion and Hall of Famer Good Night Shirt, Scorpiancer debuted in the April 22 Temple Gwathmey over 2 1/2 miles at Middleburg, Virginia, and just lasted by a neck in prolonged stretch duel with Portrade.

More importantly perhaps, in terms of Eclipse Award voting, was who was farther up the track. Third-place finisher Mr. Hot Stuff went on to capture the Grand National (G1) in October, while fourth-place finisher Swansea Mile landed the A.P. Smithwick Memorial (G1) in August. In other words, three of the year’s five Grade 1 winners competed in the field.

In the May 13 Iroquois at Percy Warner Park in Nashville, Scorpiancer dominated the three-mile event by 16 lengths, with Mr. Hot Stuff again among the vanquished. Scorpiancer’s seasonal earnings came to $150,000, with his overall record now standing at 18-6-5-4, $455,360.

Age nine in 2018 and looking to make a comeback later this fall, Scorpiancer won two restricted stakes in 2015. The following year, he captured the Lonesome Glory (G1) at Belmont Park and placed in the Grand National, New York Turf Writers Cup (G1), Smithwick, and Temple Gwathmey.

Bred by Mary O’Connor, he’s out of the Silver Patriarch mare Janebailey.

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