The Iroquois Steeplechase made the much-awaited return after being away for over two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Horse racing fans and gamblers looking for outstanding bookmakers on horse bettors were happy to have a chance to enjoy the event after a difficult year battling with the pandemic. In addition, this year’s event marked the 80th anniversary of the annual steeplechase event held in early May.
Hats for Masks
Many fans welcomed the return of one of their favorite horse racing events. Women added the typical pomp and color to the event with their trendy outfits and hats. The masks that have been a symbol of the pandemic were hardly visible as the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, and people have access to the vaccine.
Snap Decision Wins
Snap Decision grabbed his ninth straight victory after winning the 78th running of the Calvin Houghland Iroquois Steeplechase at Percy Warner Park. The race is a Grade 1 sport of the Kings Hurdles Stakes that comes with a purse worth 100000 USD. The race was first held in 1941 and did not happen in 2020 because of the COVID-19.
Approximately 25000 fans enjoyed the Bruton Street-owned 7-year old gelding late-race dominant performance. He also won by five lengths over Amschel, who came in second on the 2 ¾ mile turf track over 17 national fences.
Jockey Graham Watters claimed that Snap Decision is an absolute machine. He also stated the horse seems to operate with a bigger engine which helps him stand out from the rest. Moreover, he is a very competitive horse.
Winning became easier for Snap Decision when Ireland-bred Footpad, who was expected to give him fierce competition, pulled up as the field finished the first circuit. So far, Footpad has accumulated more than 1 million USD in earnings after winning at Belmont, Saratoga, and in Europe.
Amschel and New Member stepped up and were able to keep up with Snap Decision. They did that diligently until Snap Decision pulled safely away as he headed for the final backstretch. Watters was responsible for letting the other horses come so close because of how he handled Snap Decision after the second turn.
Watters admitted that he gave Snap Decision a very bad ride. He also admitted that Jack Fisher, the trainer, had advised him to take it up until they turned. However, Watters claimed that all was going well, turning down the back straight. As a result, he was afraid if he sat up, someone would come behind him and box him in or do him for speed. In this regard, he decided that he would take it up.
Snap Decision slowed down while jumping the last fence as Watters pushed him. Luckily, the other horses were more tired than Snap Decision at that point.
There Was Beer and Wine
Beer and wine were available for purchase for the first time at the event. Previously, the event organizers let patrons come with their own drinks. Instead, the organizers placed full-service taverns strategically throughout the venue.
The event had six other races, and it was an amazing spectacle for the fans. The organizers stated that next year’s race would go back to its usual date in May.