Divine Fortune starts defense of title at Iroquois

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Divine Fortune, the 2013 steeplechaser of the year, starts defense of his title against eight rivals at the 73rd annual Iroquois Steeplechase and looking for a bit of revenge.

The 11-year-old gelding will be ridden by Willie McCarthy for Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard and owner William L. Pape of Unionville, Pennsylvania, in the $150,000 Calvin Houghland Iroquois Hurdle Stakes, the featured race at Percy Warner Park on Saturday.

Divine Fortune lost last year’s Iroquois by Demonstrative, campaigned by Mrs. George L. Ohrstrom, Jr. of The Plains, Virginia and trainer Richard Valentine. The horses battled head and head for the last quarter mile last year before jockey Robbie Walsh got Demonstrative to the wire a head in front of Divine Fortune.