With the weatherman calling for mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the mid to upper 70s on Saturday, a large crowd should descend on Camden for the 85th running of the Carolina Cup.
The card of six races will begin at 1:30 p.m. with a 1 p.m. paddock time. Races are scheduled to be run in 40-minute intervals. The day’s feature, the $50,000 Carolina Cup presented by the Mullikin Law Firm, drew a starting field of nine jumpers and is slated to meet the starter’s flag at 4:10 p.m.
There are four hurdle races which will be run along with a pair on the flat, which will bracket the four over fences. As the second stop on the 2019 National Steeplechase Association, all six races have attracted full field with 11 set to vie to go to the post for the day’s fourth race, the $35,000 Springdale presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield. In all, the day has 53 Thoroughbreds entered.
A Grade I winner on the card: The day’s final race, the 1 ½-mile Kershaw Plate flat race is slated to go off with eight runners including 2017 $150,000 Lonesome Glory Handicap winner All the Way Jose.
Trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Jonathan Sheppard, the 9-year-old Senor Swinger gelding has lifetime earnings of $414,700 coming from 30 starts both on the flat and over fences.
Camden High student gets her shot in the saddle: Camden High School sophomore Mell Boucher, who is also a member of the Lady Bulldogs highly successful girls’ cross country team in the fall, gets the call aboard Bet the Pot in the Kershaw Plate race, a race open to amateur riders.
Bet the Pot, a 4-year-old Lookin at Lucky gelding owned and trained by Jonathan Sheppard, has made four starts on the flat with two of those coming at Delaware Park last summer.
Already one of the most accomplished pony riders in the region, this will be Boucher’s second start in an NSA-sanctioned races. Last Saturday in Aiken, she finished third aboard Galaxy Express in the W.C. Jackson training flat race run at a mile and quarter.
Boucher, a fixture the past two years at the Carolina Cup’s Biscuits and Breezing series run over the Springdale Race Course, is the daughter of trainer Lilith and jockey Richard Boucher.