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NSA to pay out nearly $3 million in purse money at spring meets

Posted: January 15, 2018 3:04 p.m.
Updated: January 16, 2018 1:00 a.m.
Tom Didato/C-I

GOVERNOR HENRY MCMASTER handed out the Carolina Cup trophy to last year’s winning trainer and Camden resident Arch Kingsley Jr. -- standing next to his wife, Wendy --- and jockey, Michael Mitchell, after they combined to help Show Court win the 2017 Camden spring classic. This spring, trophies and $325,000 in purse money will be on the line at the March 31 event at the Springdale Race Course.

The National Steeplechase Association’s condition book for the 2018 spring season is out, and the lineup promises record-smashing purses and the launch of the new Georgia Steeplechase meet.

The program developed by NSA Director of Racing Bill Gallo Jr. will offer $2,890,000 in purses, up from the record $2,780,400 in 2017. After the condition book was posted, the Grand National purse was raised by 66% to $50,000.

Heading the spring program is the Iroquois Steeplechase on Saturday, May 12, at Nashville’s Percy Warner Park. The NSA’s premier Midwest meet will offer $525,000 in purses, headed by the $200,000 Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1) and the $100,000 Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle for novices.

The Virginia Gold Cup meet a week earlier at Great Meadow Race Course in The Plains will offer $425,000 in purses. With attendance of approximately 70,000, the meet will be headlined by the $100,000 Virginia Gold Cup for timber horses and the $75,000 David Semmes Memorial (Gr. 2) for hurdle competitors.

After the season kicks off on March 24 at the Aiken Spring Races, the action moves to Camden for the Carolina Cup meet, which this year will be headlined by the $150,000 Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1) and the $75,000 Carolina Cup for novices. Purses for the 84th Carolina Cup meet are projected at $325,000, which will be a record for a Camden event.

The historic Temple Gwathmey Handicap at the Middleburg Spring Races on April 21 will receive a $25,000 purse increase, to $75,000, and it will move up the ladder to Grade 2 status from Grade 3. In all, the meet at Middleburg’s Glenwood Park will offer $200,000 in purses.

Completing the spring’s graded stakes schedule is the $50,000 National Hunt Cup (Gr. 3) at the Radnor Hunt Races in Malvern, Pa., on May 19. Also on the Radnor program will be the $30,000 Radnor Hunt Cup over timber fences.

Two reconstituted meets, the Georgia Steeplechase and the Tryon Block House Races, will occupy the respective first two Saturdays in April. The inaugural Georgia Steeplechase at Kingston Downs --- to be held Saturday, April 7, will offer $100,000 in purses, and one week later, the Tryon Block House meet at the new Green Creek Race Course will pay out $150,000.

A third spring opportunity for novices --- horses in their first seasons of racing over fences --- will be the $75,000 Queen’s Cup MPC ‘Chase at the Queen’s Cup Steeplechase near Charlotte, on April 28. The Queen’s Cup meet, now in its 23rd year, will offer $150,000 in purse money.

The Maryland timber triple crown races will occupy their usual places on the spring calendar. My Lady’s Manor kicks off the historic series on April 14, the Grand National follows a week later, and the $100,000 Maryland Hunt Cup will be staged for the 122nd time on April 28.

Carolina Cup tickets, parking spaces on sale: All remaining reserved parking spaces for the 84th running of Carolina Cup Steeplechase Races are now on sale.

The Camden spring classic at the Springdale Race Course in Camden will be run Saturday, March 31.

Here is the information on tickets, parking and dining options for the 84th running of Carolina Cup.

Race officials are reporting a brisk pace to the start of sales for the annual event.

The day’s first race will meet the starter’s flag at 1:30 p.m. The gates to the Springdale Race Course will open at 9 a.m. to the general public.

Here are the update ticket and reserved parking options for the Carolina Cup races.  


General admission tickets: $30 per person until Saturday, March 17, 2018 and $45 thereafter

(Note: Children under the age of 12 will be admitted to the races free of charge, if accompanied by an adult ticket-holder.)

College Park rows A-C: $800; includes a 20 x 20-foot tent and parking for two vehicles

College Park rows D-E: $100; includes one parking space

Infield: Row A: $225; Row B: $200; Row C: 175; Row D: $150; Rows E & F: $125; includes one parking credential for one parking space in the infield and two general admission tickets.

South, West and North Rail(s): $125 per parking space; includes one parking credential for one parking space on the South or West rail and two general admission tickets

Front Row Paddock: Spaces 1-30 and 234-297: $225; Spaces 31-233: $325; includes one parking credential for one parking space on the front row paddock and two general admission tickets

Grandstand Box: $600 per box; $100 for an individual seat. The cost for six seats in the box includes premier seating at the finish line and two boxholder parking credentials. Individual seats also come with one boxholder parking credential which allows patrons to view the races from the best seats at the race course. Additional parking tags are available for $25 each. 

Turf Club: $150 per person; Open to box holders only, the Turf Club offers a luncheon catered by Aberdeen Catery of Camden, an open bar and reserved tables. Children over the age of 13 will be admitted with proper credentials.

Post and Paddock Tent: $50 per person. Post and Paddock guests will be served lunch between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and will receive two drink tickets. A cash bar will be open from 11:30 a.m. until the last race.


(For further information, please call the Carolina Cup Racing Association office at 432-6513 or (800) 780-8117 or visit the Carolina Cup Website located at


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