Jack Fisher and Jonathan Sheppard each saddled three winners on Nov. 3, Fisher at Pine Mountain, Ga., and Sheppard at Montpelier, Va.
Fisher's three wins moved him into a one race lead over Ricky Hendriks in the race for the title in Trainer, Races Won.
With just one meet remaining, the Steeplechase of Charleston on Nov. 11, both Fisher and Hendriks have pulled out all the stops to take the title, with Fisher having entered five horses and Hendriks having entered four in the four jump races.
Hendriks has said that "It would mean the world to me" to win that title, while Fisher, who has won the title for the past six years, simply said, "I like to win."
At Pine Mountain, Fisher won the first race, the $20,000 Novice timber, with Mrs. S.K. Johnston, Jr.'s Hanno, ridden by Sean McDermott.
In the second race, Fisher saddle Riverdee Stable's Motivational, again ridden by McDermott, to win by 6 lengths in the $20,000 Maiden Claiming Hurdle.
"Motivational was the best horse going into that race," said Fisher. "He's a nice horse."
THEN IN THE featured $75,000 Spot of Kings Maiden Hurdle, Fisher saddle DASH Stable's Ice It to win with jockey Darren Nagle.
"Ic It has been a novice for so long," said Fisher, :He's always been second or third, never winning. So he finally moved out of the novice ranks. I was delighted to see him move up."
Fisher also trained the second placed horse, Riverdee Stable's Gibralfaro (Ire), and jockey McDermott claimed foul against Ice It, but the stewards disallowed the claim and Ice It won.
The win was doubly sweet for Fisher as DASH Stable is his wife Sheila's along with her late father, Rufus Williams, who died on Sept. 30.
Ice It was the champion 3-year-old in 2015.
His last previous win was in the 2017 Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase, for horses in their first seasons of racing over fences.
SHEPPARD HAD a spectacular day at the Montpelier Hunt Races, taking five horses to the meet and having three winners, two seconds and a third.
Jump to Juneau was his first winner for KMSN Stable, ridden by Jack Doyle, in the $15,000 Maiden Claiming Hurdle, and Jump to Juneau was claimed by Neil Morris.
"We were almost sure we would lose him," said Sheppard. "People had been trying to buy him for a timber horse. We warned the owner, but he said no one would take him. He thought because the horse had never won a race no one would want him. He kept telling us to run him in claiming races."
"There was some satisfaction in knowing that we were right in warning the owner that he would be claimed," said Sheppard.
Sheppard's next win was with Steinmetz Equine Holdings LLC's Royal Ruse in the second division of the $15,000 Maiden Claiming Hurdle.
"The owner was referred to me by a polo playing friend of mine," said Sheppard. "The horse had been a bad actor, and he'd been sent to a polo player to straighten out. He got him pretty well trained, but he warned me that he could still be bad."
In fact, Royal Ruse did drop his exercise ride at Delaware Park once this summer.
Sheppard sent Royal Ruse to Presque Isle where he broke his maiden on the flat.
"I trained his dam for George Strawbridge," said Sheppard. "We thought he'd make a steeplechase horse. He's small and tough."
Royal Ruse ran third at Middleburg and now has broken his maiden over fences.
Sheppard's own Zeppelin Ride was his third winner, ridden by Ros Geraghty to win the $30,000 Sport of Kings maiden Hurdle by a neck.
"That was a nice surprise," said Sheppard, who has a partner with a 10 percent interest in the horse.
Zeppelin Ride was owned by Carolyn Vogel who also owns Iranistan, but she didn't want another steeplechase horse, so Sheppard said he made her an offer and she accepted it.
He said that at Montpelier, the horse was still fourth at the 2 mile marker in the 2 3/8 mile race, and. although he was closing, he didn't think he could get up for the win.
"I was behind the stewards' stand, and couldn't seen the finish," sid Sheppard. "I couldn't believe it when they told me he had won."
Buttonwood Farms' All the Way Jose was second to Apple Equipment LLc's Winner Massagot, trained by Richard Valentine, in the $40,000 Noel Laing Hurdle Handicap.
"Jose was giving the winner 10 pounds," said Sheppard. "He was beaten 16 lengths, but he was 16 lengths in front of the third horse. Jack Doyle rode him, and he was very enthusiastic about him. He said he was a relly nice horse."
"Jose had just had a hard race at Far Hills," said Sheppard. "I wasn't going to run him again, but he was bucking and squealing in the morning, so we decided to run him."
Sheppard was also second with Riverdee Stable's Wigwam Baby in the $20,000 Ratings Hadicpa Hurdle, won by Irvin Naylor's Mathayus (Ire0, trained by Cyril Murphy, and KSMN Stable's Inverness was third in the $25000 Filly and Mare Allowance Hurdle, won the Mavourneed, owned and trrained by Gerard Galligan.