Saturday’s inaugural running of The Cup Runneth Over at historic Springdale Race Course drew capacity fields for each of the five races on the program.
First post time will be 1:30 p.m. for the second consecutive Saturday of racing in Camden, after the gala Carolina Cup last week.
The Cup Runneth Over program is a joint effort of the National Steeplechase Association and the Carolina Cup Racing Association.
Three races on a varied and interesting card have also-eligible lists after National Steeplechase Association-licensed owners and trainers filled the entry box with a total of 65 entries.
“Our horsemen responded with great enthusiasm to The Cup Runneth Over races, and they have created very competitive races,” said NSA Director of Racing Bill Gallo Jr., who proposed the consecutive Springdale programs after the Georgia Steeplechase canceled its April 6 races on short notice.
“The NSA and I are grateful to Carolina Cup Executive Director John Cushman and the Carolina Cup staff for making possible this very important day of racing,” NSA President Guy J. Torsilieri said.
All of The Cup Runneth Over races have 10 or more starters, with the maiden races limited to fields of 10. The afternoon’s $25,000 ratings handicap has 14 starters, the capacity on the spacious Springdale Course, and an also-eligible list of four others.
In that field is Team Ollie’s hard-knocking Orchestra Leader, a 10-year-old who has won several feature races in a career spanning more than 50 starts and $200,000 in purse earnings. Also in that field for the 2 3/8-mile race is Mason Hardaway Lampton’s Maccabee, winner of an Aiken Spring Steeplechase maiden claiming hurdle by disqualification on March 23 along with William L. Pape’s Castle Hill, a 7-year-old gelding trained in Camden at Richard Valentine’s barn on the grounds of the Springdale Race Course. In 2017, in its second start at Springdale, the Pennsylvania-bred finished second behind Show Court in the $75,000 Carolina Cup which, at the time, was run under novice conditions.
The afternoon will have an emphasis on newcomers, with three races for non-winners at 2 1/8 miles. The second race, a $30,000 Sport of Kings maiden hurdle, will feature several starters just beginning their careers over fences. Making his first start over fences will be Why Not Racing’s Jump Ship, who competed in Virginia-bred stakes races last year.
In the first race, Debra Kachel’s Capo Dei Capi will be making his first start over fences after winning an Aiken Spring training flat race on March 23. Also in that $15,000 maiden claiming hurdle is Stonelea Stable’s Naval Gazer, who finished first by a nose over Maccabee at Aiken but was placed second for interference.
The third race is a $20,000 maiden hurdle limited to maiden fillies and mares, and it attracted a full field of 10 with four also-eligibles. Owner-trainer F. Hill Parker entered Snowie Hill, a full sister to Get Ready Set Goes, the NSA’s 2017 novice and female champion. Snowie Hill is named for Parker’s late mother, Frances Hill “Snowie” Myers, who bred Get Ready Set Goes.
The day will kick off with four pony races prior to the regularly scheduled slate of NSA racing as the US Pony Racing and Temple Gwathmey Steeplechase Foundation will sponsor the inaugural running of the Camden Pony Derby Races. The first race is slated for an 11 a.m. start.
For steeplechase fans unable to attend the live program, the races will be available by live-streaming on the NSA Network. To watch the races, click on the NSA Network live-stream button on the National Steeplechase Association website located at www.nationalsteeplechase.com.