SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY (NEWS10) — A hot afternoon at the Spa kicked off with a Grade 1 Steeplechase Stakes Race on Wednesday. The seven-horse field took to the hurdles for the A.P. Smithwick Memorial.

The race was neck and neck with the one horse, Chief Justice, leading heading into the stretch. A late push, and a move to the inside, by Down Royal and jockey Bernard Dalton led to victory for the two horse.

“I was traveling well, but I knew they were going fast,” said Dalton. “In this heat, most of the horses were rather lazy for the first time. You’re kind of hoping more than knowing that they’re gonna back up after the last. That was kind of the case. You know, she’s very generous. She gives you her best anyway, and she didn’t need the extra slap.”