Grade 2 winning Ontario-bred FIELD OF COURAGE was euthanized on a sloppy track at Mountaineer on Tuesday, November 21 at the age of 11. The son of Marchfield – Miss Crissy by Bold ‘n Flashy was making his first start since June 2022 (his only start of 2022) in the $4,000 claiming race for owner and trainer Dennis Van Meter. Ridden by Pierre Mailhot, Field of Courage ‘took a bad step’ early in the race, according to the Equibase chart.
Field of Courage raced just two times for Van Meter – the dark bay gelding was fifth in a $12,500 optional claiming race at Mountaineer last summer.
In October 2017, the gelding won the Grade 2 Nearctic Stakes on soft turf at Woodbine for Quintessential Racing Florida LLC and trainer Mark Casse. Luis Contreras lost his whip on the handsome runner but they defeated Cotai Glory and White Flag by 1 1/4 lengths, earning over $144,000.
Field of Courage, bred by Cavendish Investing Ltd., was a $66,000 (US) CTHS yearling purchase in 2013 and he raced for John Oxley. He won three straight races early in his three-year-old campaign and then led late before being edged in the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie, finishing third by 1/2 a length to Breaking Lucky and Shaman Ghost, the Plate winner.
In 2017 the gelding was obtained by Casse’s Quintessential and he won an optional claiming race, was a close fourth to the great Pink Lloyd in the Shepperton stakes, second to Melmich in the Elgin Stakes before winning the Nearctic.
Field of Courage raced at Fair Grounds late in 2017 and then was claimed for $80,000 from a race at Aqueduct in Feb. 2018. New owner Ben Mondello and trainers Rudy Rodriguez and Lance Stokes raced the horse 14 times. He finally won a pair of claiming races at Presque Isle in 2020 for $8,000 and $5,000 claiming respectively. He was claimed for $5,000 by owner and trainer Douglas Adams in Oct. 2020 but he did not race again until June 2021 at Mountaineer. He placed a few times for Adams before he moved to Van Meter sometime after the gelding’s last start for Adams in Nov. 2021.
In 40 races, Field of Courage won eight times, placed 11 other times and earned $512,361.
Former Woodbine-based gelding CROSS BORDER, age nine, died suddenly on Thursday at Gulfstream Park in the morning, according to Daily Racing Form. A ridgling by English Channel who was purchased for just $10,000 by Robert Tiller in 2016 in Ocala, raced 14 times in Ontario for Tiller and Frank DiGiulio, Jr before he was sold to Three Diamonds Stable with trainer Mike Maker in 2019. The gelding went on to win the Bowling Green Stakes (G2) twice, in 2021 and 2022. Last fall he was switched to hurdle racing with trainer Kerri Brion and he did win one of those races this past March.
Back in Maker’s barn this summer he won a stakes race at Delaware and recently was fourth in the Grade 2 Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct on Nov. 11. Cross Border earned over $1.3 million with 13 wins in 53 races.