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Four Grade I winners headed to Cup
Feature chase draws 12 nominations
DIVINE FORTUNE HELD THE lead after the final fence in last years Colonial Cup, only to come home second behind Demonstrative. Divine Fortune comes into the Nov. 23 Camden fall classic leading the National Steeplechase Association in earnings with $202,000 thus far this year.
Should either of the four Grade I winners from this year win the $100,000 Colonial Cup Steeplechase, it would go a long way toward swaying the voters when it comes time to select the 2013 Eclipse Award winner for steeplechasing.While that may be a given, it most certainly will not be a jog in the park for any of the quartet which has designs on taking home the sport’s top yearly honor.The 44th renewal of the Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup is set for Saturday, Nov. 23 at the Springdale Race Course. The Camden fall classic will be run as the fourth of six races with the first race taking the starter’s flag at 12:30 p.m. The gates to the Knights Hill Rd. facility will swing open to the public at 9 a.m.Not swayed by the presence of 2013 Grade I winners Demonstrative, Divine Fortune, Gustavian and Italian Wedding, eight other jumpers were nominated into the final Grade I chase of the National Steeplechase Association campaign.The lone grade I winner from this year not included in the field is Mr. Hot shot, who is on the mend.Racing Hall of Fame trainer and part-time Camden resident Jonathan Sheppard has 25 percent of the projected field in the feature, led by Divine Fortune, which is coming off a breakthrough victory in the $250,000 Grand National in Far Hills, N.J., on Oct. 19. With $202,000 in winnings this year, the Bill Pape-owned 10-year-old tops the NSA earnings list.Up until winning the Grand National, the Royal Anthem gelding had been known as much for his heart-wrenching second-place finishes --- including being runner-up to Demonstrative in last fall’s Colonial Cup feature and then again to Demonstrative in the $150,000 Calvin Houghland Iroquois Stakes in Nashville this past May --- as he had been for his durability and going up against any and all comers in this country’s toughest steeplechase races.Divine Fortune has established himself as being among the upper echelon of American chasers in the past and is no stranger to the Springdale Race Course.