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NSA exhibition opener

Charleston Trials final tune-up for regular season

Posted: January 15, 2013 2:54 p.m.
Updated: January 16, 2013 5:00 a.m.

Steeplechase horses in the Carolinas whose owners and trainers have an eye cast on the early season openers now have a place to give their horses a final go ’round prior to the races which count.
The inaugural Charleston Trials will launch the 2013 National Steeplechase Association season.
The Sunday, March 17 racing program at the Charleston Cup course in Hollywood, S.C., will feature two races over National Fences and two flat races.
None of the races will offer purses or count toward a horse’s race record. They will help to prepare horses for the remainder of the spring schedule, which includes the Aiken Spring Races on March 23 and the Carolina Cup in Camden on March 30. The two South Carolina meets traditionally begin the regular NSA season.
“The Charleston Trials program is a wonderful opportunity to showcase Thoroughbred racing in the Charleston community,” said NSA Director of Racing Bill Gallo Jr. “In addition, the Charleston Trials will offer NSA horsemen an opportunity to prepare their horses in advance of major races at Aiken and the Carolina Cup.”
Under the leadership of Race Director Karl McMillan, the Charleston Cup returned to the NSA fall schedule in 2011. First post time for the St. Patrick’s Day program is 1 p.m.
Carolina Cup tickets on sale: Tickets for the Carolina Cup Steeplechase Races at the Springgdale Race Course in Camden are now on sale.
The 81st running of the Camden spring classic is set for Saturday, March 30.
The post time for the first race is set for 1:30 p.m. with the gates to the facility opening to the public at 9 a.m.
Last week, Carolina Cup officials sent out invitations to last year’s reserved parking spaceholders and others on the mailing list.
Patrons who purchased reserved parking spaces and/or grandstand boxes will have right of first refusal to purchase their same space(s) for this year’s races. In order to secure their former space, payment must be received at the Carolina Cup offices by Friday, Feb. 15 at 5 p.m.
Once again, discount general admission tickets, if purchased by Saturday, March 16, are $30 each. Tickets purchased after that date and, at the gates the day of the races, will be $45.
A complete list of ticket and parking options are included on the Carolina Cup Racing Association Website which is located at www.carolina-cup.org.
Further information regarding the races may be obtained by calling the Carolina Cup offices at 432-6513.
Eblouissante fit and ready to run: After having been forced to scratch following an accident in the receiving barn prior to the scheduled second start of her career, Eblouissante is slated to return to the race track on Thursday at Santa Anita Park .
The 3-year-old half-sister to 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta, was developed at the barn of Mickey Preger Jr. at the Camden Training Center. she was then sent to trainer John Shirreffs in California by her owner/breeder, Eric Kronfeld.
Eblouissante made her much-anticipated debut by winning a 1 1/16-mile race  by 4 1/4-lengths at Betfair Hollywood Park on Friday, Nov. 16 with Corey Nakatani up. Nakatani keeps the ride for Thursday.
Her second start was scheduled for Betfair Hollywood Park on Dec. 15, but she was scratched less than an hour before the race when the filly suffered an abrasion after smacking her hip on the stall door in her receiving barn.
Thursday’s seventh race, the $58,000 Mjave River Purse, is an allowance optional claiming race to be run at 1 1/16-miles. The race on the dirt track drew a field of five runners for the including two mares and three fillies.

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