In what could be the start of his road to the Kentucky Derby, Ralph M. Evans' Upstart kicked off its 2015 campaign by cruising to a 5 ½-length victory in last Saturday's $400,000 Lambholm South Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream Park.
In a move designed to get all three spring novice series hurdle steeplechase races on the same page, on Tuesday, the Carolina Cup Racing Association approved the proposal in which the Carolina Cup feature races will be run for a $75,000 purse beginning this year.
As solid as Demonstrative was over the race course in 2014, the winner of the National Steeplechase Association's Lonesome Glory Award was even more dominant in the voting booth.
Headlined by three-time Grade I winner and 2014 Lonesome Glory Champions Award recipient Demonstrative, along with two-time Grade I winner, 2013 Eclipse Award and 2014 Colonial Cup champion Divine Fortune and Makari, all three horses which won Grade I events on the National Steeplechase Association circuit last year are the three finalists for the 2014 Eclipse Award for steeplechasing.
Even though the calendar just turned to January and cold weather is on the way, it is not too early to be thinking about the warmer days of spring.
With only a handful of race days left before horses celebrate another birthday on Jan. 1, several runners with Camden ties are closing out their 2014 campaigns with winning performances.
The Camden-based Central Carolina Equestrian Team won a pair of championships in two events contested on consecutive days at the South Carolina Equine Park in Camden earlier this fall.
There had been colder and wetter Colonial Cup race days, but maybe not as many sunny or, brisk ones as Saturday's 45th edition of the Camden fall classic contested over the Springdale Racecourse.
Jacqueline Ohrstrom's Demonstrative, winner of three Grade 1 races in 2014, was crowned Saturday as the National Steeplechase Association's Lonesome Glory Champions Award winner as the year's leading earner.
Much to the chagrin of many shivering fans at Saturday's 45th running of the Marion duPont Scott International Colonial Cup Steeplechase, the weather forecasters were correct.
Divine intervention, meet Divine Fortune.
Jacqueline Ohrstrom's Demonstrative, a three-time Grade 1 winner this year, will square off with reigning Eclipse Award champion Divine Fortune in the 45th running of the $100,000 Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup at the Springdale Course in Camden on Saturday.
C-I (Camden, S.C.) sports editor
Sure, the weatherman is calling for temperatures to hover around the low 50s for Saturday's 45th running of the Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup Steeplechase Races. But at least it is supposed to be sunny so, there is little chance of a repeat of the rain- and cold-ravaged 2000 Colonial Cup.
Part-time Camden resident Willie McCarthy wrapped up his first National Steeplechase Association leading rider championship with one meet left on the schedule.
On a day in which temperatures hovered in the 50s and, at times, featured swirling winds, the undercard at Saturday's 83rd running of the Carolina Cup races at the Springdale Race Course was equally varied.
If this gig as a trainer doesn't pan out, Jimmy Day may want to think about becoming an investment broker. But given success on the race course, don't look for a switch to happen anytime soon.
A few hundred yards away, trucks carrying workers zig-zagged their way in and around the Springdale Race Course in final preparation for Saturday's 83rd running of the Carolina Cup. Tucked away in a barn located behind the National Steeplechase Museum, Brian Murphy stands atop the straw in a stall as he brushes down one of his horses with the only sound here being that of a few chirping birds on a relaxed Monday morning.
Thanks to a second-place finish behind unbeaten Dortmund in Saturday's $400,000 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita, Prospect Park will next try for the $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 4.
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