Jack Fisher saddled Noble Stables' Dynaformersreque to win the $30,000 Sport of Kings Maiden hurdle at the Steeplechase of Charleston on Nov. 11, and that gave him the Trainers, Races Won title for 2018 by one race over Ricky Hendriks.
With a one race lead going into the Steeplechase of Charleston, Fisher's win gave him the title even though Hendriks also won a race in Charleston, saddling Rosbrian Farm's Caldbeck to win the $25,000 Three Year Old Hurdle and thus taking the three year old title for 2018.
Fisher also won the Trainer, Money Won title with $983,850 from 128 starts, $54,200 more than Hendriks, who has $933,750 from 95 starts.
And Fisher has yet another title, that of trainer of the Timber Horse of the Year.
Doc Cebu, owned by Charles C. Fenwick, Jr., Michael Hankin and Charles Noell, ran five times in 2018 with four wins and one third.
He placed third in the $30,000 Middleburg Hunt Cup Stakes on April 21 and then won the $35,000 Willowdale Steeplechase Stakes on May 13, an allowance race at Shawan Downs on Sept. 29, the $30,000 Geneseo Valley Hunt Cup Timber Stakes on Oct. 13 and finally the $75,000 International Gold Cup Timber Stakes on Oct. 27, which put him over the top for Timber Horse of the Year..
Fisher has dominated the trainer standings for a number of years, winning titles for the past six years, but he was seriously challenged this year by Hendriks, as the two traded the lead in both categories almost meet by meet.
FISHER historically has trained his horses to peak in the larger races at the end of the year.
"I'm not going to change anything next year," said Fisher, who added that he might add another horse to his already powerful stable.
"I have something to look at," said Fisher. "We're a little more relaxed now. I didn't go to see this horse this week because of the weather. I'll go in the next couple of weeks."
Despite losing both the trainer titles, Hendriks still might win a major honor, that of trainer of the Eclipse Award winner.
He has the three leading contenders in his barn, Zanjabeel, Optimus Prime and Jury Duty (Ire), but he wasn't the trainer of Jury Duty when that horse won the G1 $150,000 Grand National Hurdle Stakes at Far Hills.
Gordon Elliot brought Jury Duty (Ire) over to this country and saddled him for that race, and then the horse was left with Hendriks to train.
Those who vote on the Eclipse Awards often favor the horse that's won not only the latest but also the most financially rewarding race, the Grand National, but Jury Duty only raced once in this country, while Zanjabeel and Optimus Prime each won multiple races, including G1 races in this country.
Zanjabeel won two G1 races and finished second in another G1 stakes and second in a G2 stakes.
He finished second to Balance the Budget in the Colonial Cup Stakes on March 31 and second to Lyonell in the G2 Temple Gwathmey on April 21 before winning the G1 $200,000 Calvin Houghland Iroquois Stakes on May 12 and the G1 $175,000 Lonesome Glory Handicap on Sept. 20.
Optimus Prime won the G1 $175,000 New York Turf Writers Cup Handicap on Aug. 23 in his first race in this country, then finished third behind Zanjabeel in the Lonesome Glory before winning the G2 David l (Zeke) Ferguson Memorial Hurdle Handicap on Oct. 27.
Those two horses' wins helped propel Hendiks' stable jockey Ross Geraghty to the top in Rider, Money won with $716,100 and their owner, Rosbrian Farm, to the top in Owner, Money Won with $712.050.
Darren Nagle won the Rider, Races Won title, while Jury Duty, Zanjabeel and Optimus Primed finished one, two, three respectively in Horse, Money Won.
In the Timber Standings, Fisher won both Trainer, Races Won and Money Won with six wins and $179.050 and Doc Cebu won in Horses, Money Won, while Nagle won in Riders, Races Won with seven wins, Eric Poretz won in Rider, Money Won with $173,150 and Irvin Naylor won in Owner, Money Won with $135,100.
IN OTHER races in Charleston ,Invocation, owned by Straylight Racing LLC, trained by William Santoro and ridden by Sean McDermott, won the $30,000 Ratings Handicap Hurdle by 2 lengths over Go Get the Basil, owned by Eve Ledyard, trained by Hendriks and ridden by Bernie Dalton.
Jonathan Sheppard, who finished third in both Trainer, Money Won and Races Won categories, saddled Hudson River Farm's Snuggling to finish second to Dynaformersreque in the $30,000 Sport of Kings Maiden Hurdle, while Kate Dalton saddled Edition Farm's Sim Card to finish second to Caldbeck in the $25,000 Three Year Old Hurdle.
Moss Code, owned by Naylor, trained by Cyril Murphy and ridden by Nagle won the $15,000 Maiden Claiming Hurdle over Chance Maker, owned and trained by Dave Washer and ridden by G. Walters.