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Show Court eyes Turf Writers

Posted: August 17, 2017 9:34 a.m.
Updated: August 18, 2017 1:00 a.m.

A top-shelf group of 14, including 2017 Carolina Cup champion Show Court along with two representing overseas interests, has been nominated to the $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup Handicap (Gr. 1), Saratoga Race Course’s premier jump race, on Thursday, Aug. 24.

Trained in Camden by trainer Arch Kingsley Jr. for Florence-based owner Mark W. Buyck Jr., Show Court is coming off a win in the $75,000 Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes at Saratoga on July 26. Should Show Court stay in the field it will be the 8-year-old Irish-bred gelding’s first start in open company in this country.

Also nominated is 2015 Carolina Cup winner Diplomat, who is also stabled in Camden at the barn of trainer Kate Dalton on the grounds of the Springdale Race Course. Owned by Charlotte-based Flying Elvis Stable, the 8-year-old Kitten’s Joy gelding ran third in the $150,000 A.P. Smithwick Memorial at the Spa on Jul 27.

Representing overseas interests are Mighty Acorn Stables’ Casino Markets and owner-trainer David Dunne’s Colla Pier. Trained by Emma Lavelle in England’s Wiltshire horse country, Casino Markets consistently has been running over the larger steeplechase fences there. He was third in Sandown’s Bet365 Josh Giffords Steeplechase on April 29 and unplaced in the Betfred Summer Plate Handicap on July 22.

Colla Pier, an 8-year-old mare who has been racing at smaller Irish courses, has two wins this year. Her owner-trainer, based in County Meath, was a professional jockey and rode in the U.S.

Among the nominees are the defending New York Turf Writers winner, The Fields Stable’s Portrade, and this year’s A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) winner, Rosbrian Farm’s Swansea Mile.

Trained by Ricky Hendriks, Swansea Mile won the 2 1/16-mile Smithwick Memorial by two lengths, and Elizabeth Voss-trained Portrade faded to fourth after setting the early pace.

Also nominated to the New York Turf Writers from the Smithwick Memorial, along with Diplomat, was Robert A. Kinsley’s Modem, who was making his first U.S. start for trainer Voss and closed for second.

Three other nominees also are coming out of the Smithwick Memorial. Irv Naylor’s Charminster was sixth, Ballybristol Farm’s Andi’amu was eighth, and Buttonwood Farm’s All the Way Jose lost his rider. Trainer Jonathan Sheppard, who trains All the Way Jose, also nominated Maram LLC’s Alcazar de Maram, who finished fifth in a Saratoga allowance hurdle on Aug. 2.

Petticoats Loose Farm’s Choral Society was nominated to the 2 3/8-mile New York Turf Writers from a victory in a Saratoga handicap on Aug. 9 at the same distance. Trained by Jack Fisher, Choral Society won the 2015 Smithwick Memorial at 16.20-to-1 odds.

Fisher, by far the year’s leading trainer, also nominated Gil Johnston’s Mr. Hot Stuff, the 2013 Smithwick Memorial winner who most recently was pulled up in the three-mile Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1) on May 13.

A third newcomer to American racing is Gregg Ryan’s Three Kingdoms, who upset the Curragh’s Irish Stallion Farms EBF Handicap, a two-mile flat race, at 33-to-1 odds on July 1. New York-based George Weaver currently trains the 8-year-old Street Cry gelding.

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