SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Trainer Jack Fisher, who will be inducted to the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame this summer, brings a strong set of horses to Saratoga next week for Wednesday’s Jonathan Kiser Novice and Thursday’s Grade 1, $150,000 A.P. Smithwick Memorial.
The 57-year-old Fisher, son of retired trainer John Fisher, said he’s thrilled to be joining the hallowed hall.
“I’m wondering if I should just retire now because it won’t get any better,” said Fisher, with a laugh.
Fisher credited his father and owners for the special achievement.
“My dad trained and a lot of his owners supported me with good horses,” Fisher said. “Whether you’re running over jumps or on the flat, you need that support and for people to keep feeding you nice horses. It’s all about the horses. There are other people who train just as well as I do, but they just haven’t had the success because they haven’t been lucky with that one or two good horses at the beginning and you need that.”
In Wednesday’s opening race, Fisher will saddle Robert V. LaPenta’s Fast Car and Riverdee Stable’s City Dreamer in the Jonathan Kiser. A day later he sends out Riverdee Stable’s multiple Grade 1-placed Gibralfaro and Mrs. S. K. Johnston, Jr.’s Cite in the Grade 1 Smithwick. Both races are contested at 2 1/16-miles.
Fast Car, a 5-year-old Verrazano gelding, won an allowance event over the jumps at Saratoga last July but was eased next out in the Michael G. Walsh Novice at the Spa. He finished fourth in the Green Pastures Hurdle on June 26 at Percy Warner in Nashville.
“As a jumper, I can’t knock him. He ran well last year,” Fisher said. “He had a bad race up there the last one [Michael G. Walsh], and the race at Nashville last time we were just trying to set him up for Saratoga.”
City Dreamer, a 7-year-old Casamento gelding, boasts a record of 28-3-6-2. He has finished no worse than fifth in 11 starts for Fisher, with the outlier coming last out when ninth in the Green Pastures Hurdle.
“City Dreamer is owned by the same people as Gibralfaro and he’s a hard knocking horse,” Fisher said. “He’s still a novice and he’s been there for many years and besides Nashville, he’s always picked up a check. I think he should run well up there, they both should.”
The Grade 1 A.P. Smithwick will be drawn Saturday afternoon.
NYRA Press Office
Photo: Jack Fisher (© Tod Marks Photography/NSA)