View Mobile Site

Carolina Cup's starting five ready to jump into action in Saturday feature

Posted: March 29, 2011 4:43 p.m.
Updated: March 30, 2011 5:00 a.m.

It is now down to a five-horse race.

After Hall of Fame trainer Janet Elliot opted to run Red Letter Day in last Saturday’s $45,000 Imperial Cup feature in Aiken, this Saturday’s 79th running of the $50,000 Carolina First Carolina Cup (Gr. III) will have a quintet of horses meeting the starter’s flag. The chase is 2 ¼- miles over 14 National fences.

Heading the list of the starting five is defending Carolina Cup champion Sky in the Sky. He will be joined by fellow Grade I winner Tax Ruling along with Sunshine Numbers, Swagger Stick and The Price of Love.

The first of six races at the Springdale Race Course on Saturday has a 1:30 p.m. post time. The gates to the course will swing open to the general public at 9 a.m.

Owned by part-time Camden residents Jim and Melinda Carter, Spy in the Sky is returning to racing after having made just one start after his winning run in Camden. On that afternoon, he caught race-leading Major Malibu at the 14th and final fence and kicked on for a five-length victory.

After taking fourth in the $50,000 Temple Gwathmey in Middleburg, Va., on April 17, 2010, it was discovered that the 7-year-old Randleston Farm-owned gelding had sustained a suspensory injury which would shelve him for the remainder of the year. He has run well in point-to-point races in Virginia, which should set him up well for Camden.

Trained by former steeplechase jockey Jimmy Day in Winchester, Va., Spy in the Sky enjoyed a breakout 2009 campaign, winning the $100,000-added New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. I) at Saratoga as a 20-to-1 longshot. He won that race by better than 10 lengths. In his three previous seasons, the son of 1995 Kentucky Derby winner Thunder Gulch has earned more than $200,000 from 15 starts over fences.

Two-time defending National Steeplechase Association champion rider, Paddy Young, will be in the irons. Spy in the Sky will carry 154 pounds.

A year ago, Tax Ruling opened his season with a sixth-place finish in the Carolina Cup feature. He rebounded from that effort to win the $150,000 Iroquois Steeplechase (Gr. I) in Nashville in May for owner Irv Naylor, who earned his first NSA leading owner crown. He was third in last fall’s Colonial Cup feature.

The 8-year-old Dynaformer gelding and grandson of Mr. Prospector wintered in Camden for trainer Desmond Fogarty, who moved his barn south from Maryland to take advantage of the more moderate climate and get a head start on the 2011 season. On Tuesday, following a work, Fogarty said Tax Ruling was ready to go on Saturday.

In 2009, Tax Ruling was the NSA’s second-year novice champion after having won the $75,000 National Hunt Cup (Gr. II) by 12 lengths. He then came home third in that fall’s $100,000 Carolina First Colonial Cup. Saturday’s start will be his fourth in a Springdale feature in two years.

Darren Nagle will be in the saddle for his regular mount aboard Tax Ruling which, like Spy in the Sky, will carry 154 pounds.

Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard has decided to stick with The Price of Love. Last week, the part-time Camden resident voiced his concern that the 9-year-old might not be fit enough to run, given that he now only been in Camden for some two weeks after having spent the entire winter on Sheppard’s farm in Pennsylvania.

A member of the Carolina Cup Racing Association board of directors and a 23-time NSA leading trainer, Sheppard has nominated the Bill Pape-owned, Price of Love, in a race which he still loves to win due to the history of the event.

Bred by Sheppard and Pape, The Price of Love made one start over fences in 2010, finishing third in the $40,000 Noel Laing Stakes in Montpelier last October. In 2009, he won the Georgia Cup at the Atlanta Steeplechase and scored in both Saratoga 2008 novice stakes, the Kiser and the Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes.

Danielle Hodsdon, the 2006 champion rider, will be up for The Price of Love, which is being asked to carry 150 pounds..

Camden-based trainer Arch Kingsley will keep Sunshine Numbers at home for Camden owner Sue Sensor after having given thought to starting the 9-year-old into last Saturday’s Aiken feature.

Last fall, over the Colonial Cup fences, Sunshine Numbers successfully defended his title in the $20,000 Hobkirk Hill Chase on Colonial Cup day. Winner of the $15,000 chase in Aiken last fall, Sunshine Numbers took the $30,000 Georgia Cup last spring after a fourth-place finish in the Carolina Cup feature in March.

Jody Petty, the 2005 NSA champion rider, will get the leg up aboard the .

Five-time NSA leading trainer Jack Fisher has nominated Gil Johnston’s Swagger Stick in the Colonial Cup. The 10-year-old gelding finished up his 2010 campaign with a fourth-place finish in the $100,000 Carolina First Colonial Cup in Camden. His best finish of the 2010 season was a second in the $45,000 Aiken Imperial Cup in the spring. Swagger Stick followed that with a runner-up in the $35,000 Amateur Hurdle in Nashville before taking third in the $100,000 New York Turf Writers in Saratoga in August.

A versatile jumper, Swagger Stick ran over timber fences last fall and finished third in the $50,000 International Gold Cup at The Plains, Va.

Willie Dowling, who rode Good Night Shirt to victory in the 2009 Carolina Cup, as well as to the 2007 and 2008 Colonial Cup titles, gets the ride for Fisher aboard the horse which will carry 150 pounds.

Interested in viewing premium content?

A subscription is required before viewing this article and other premium content.

Already a registered member and have a subscription?

If you have already purchased a subscription, please log in to view the full article.

Are you registered, but do not have a subscription?

If you are a registed user and would like to purchase a subscription, log in to view a list of available subscriptions.

Interested in becoming a registered member and purchasing a subscription?

Join our community today by registering for a FREE account. Once you have registered for a FREE account, click SUBSCRIBE NOW to purchase access to premium content.

Membership Benefits

  • Instant access to creating Blogs, Photo Albums, and Event listings.
  • Email alerts with the latest news.
  • Access to commenting on articles.

Contents of this site are © Copyright 2014 Chronicle Independent All rights reserved. Privacy policy and Terms of service

Powered by
Morris Technology
Please wait ...