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Seven set to run fo the Carolina Cup

Posted: March 28, 2013 12:23 p.m.
Updated: March 29, 2013 5:00 a.m.

Lose three. Gain one.
Led by reigning National Steeplechase Association champion novice hurdler Alajmal, Saturday’s 81st running of the $50,000 Carolina Cup feature chase at the Springdale Race Course is expected to go off with seven starters.
The Camden spring classic has reverted conditions to being the first leg of the National Steeplechase Association’s Sport of Kings Novice Series. The $50,000 Queens Cup in Charlotte on April 27, and the $75,000 Marcellus Frost, to be run at the Iroquois Steeplechase in Nashville on May 11, round out the three race series.
Three horses from the original list of nine nominees --- Dahoud, Saint Dynaformer and Wild for Gold --- were not entered on Tuesday when entries closed, while Darkwatch was supplemented into the field to bring the number of jumpers to seven.
Hall of Fame trainer and part-time Camden resident, Janet Elliot, will send out Gregory Hawkins’ Alajmal, which finished second in last fall’s $50,000 William Entenmann Memorial Hurdle Stakes at Belmont Park before the now 5-year-old came home a strong third in last fall’s $100,000 Colonial Cup over the Springdale Race Course. Ross Geraghty, the NSA’s reigning leading rider, gets the mount which will go off at 153 pounds.
Another Hall Fame conditioner as well as a part-time Camdenite, Jonathan Sheppard, has Barnstorming entered. The 7-year-old Thunder Gulch gelding is also owned by Sheppard and broke its maiden at first asking at the 2010 fall races in Aiken. After two years off, Barnstorming was then fifth in the 2012 $75,000 Foxbrook Champion Hurdle Stakes at Far Hills and third in the AFLAC Supreme Hurdle Stakes. Darren Nagle gets the ride and will also carry 153 pounds.
From the deep barn of Richard Valentine, who won last November’s Colonial Cup with Demonstrative, comes Bill Pape’s Fog Island. The 7-year-old gelding won the $75,000 Foxbrook Champion Hurdle Stakes last October and has a pair of seconds in maiden chases in Camden in the fall of 2010 and in the spring of 2011. Robbie Walsh, who missed the last two months of the 2012 season with a hip injury, gets the ride at 153 pounds.
Virginia-based trainer Jimmy Day, who sent out Carolina Cup winners Top of the Bill (2006) and Spy in the Sky (2010) --- both owned by Randleston Farm and part-time Camden residents Jim and Melinda Carter --- will try his luck in Camden with Duc de Savoie. The 7-year-old gelding --- which will carry 150 pounds --- and grandson of 1992 Kentucky derby winner Lil E Tee, broke its maiden in last year’s Carolina Cup, winning the $25,000 Camden Plate. Danielle Hodsdon will be in the irons.
Betsy Mead’s Forgotten Man is a 5-year-old gelding trained by Doug Fout, who saddled Orison, winner of the 2007 Carolina Cup which was also run as a novice stakes. Forgotten Man will carry 150 pounds and has made five career starts, all over fences, with a win at Great Meadow last May. He was third in both the Entenmann Memorial and Foxbrook Champion stakes last fall. Fout will give Jeff Murphy a leg up on Saturday
Veteran trainer Tom Voss has entered Fox Ridge Farm’s Ahgogo. The 5-year-old gelding made three starts over fences last fall and broke its maiden in its final race of the year, a maiden chase at Charleston in November. Paddy Young will be aboard Ahgogo which will carry 150 pounds.
Silverton Hill Farm’s Darkwatch, a 5-year-old Royal Academy gelding, broke its maiden at eighth asking by taking a $10,000 chase at Middleburg in October before making it two in a row for trainer Leslie Young --- Paddy Young’s wife --- in winning a $25,000 allowance in Charleston three weeks later.  Darkwatch will carry 153 pounds including Camden’s Bernie Dalton, who rode 2012 Eclipse Award winner Pierrot Lunaire.

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