Picking up where he left off last fall, DASH Stable’s Ice It charged to the lead Saturday in the second run down Springdale Race Course’s backstretch and drew away easily in the stretch to a six-length victory in the $50,000 Carolina Cup ratings handicap.Straylight Racing’s Invocation came on late to finish second, two lengths clear of Magalen O. Bryant’s Personal Start, who had won last year’s Carolina Cup when it was a novice stakes. Wendy Hendriks’ Surprising Soul finished fourth.Trained by Jack Fisher and ridden by Jack Doyle, seven-year-old Ice It ran the Carolina Cup’s 2 3/8 miles in 4:03 4/5 on turf rated as good.The silvery gelding had closed out his 2018 season with a victory in the Aflac Supreme Hurdle for novices at the Steeplechase at Callaway in Georgia and helped to seal Fisher’s seventh consecutive trainer title.The 87th annual Carolina Cup Races in Camden, S.C., run under high clouds with temperatures in the mid-70s, attracted a festive crowd to the historic race course. The Springdale course also will be the scene of next Saturday’s The Cup Runneth Over meet, a late addition to the National Steeplechase Association schedule.DASH Stable is owned by Sheila Fisher, the trainer’s wife, and was a family partnership with her father, Rufus Williams, who died last September. DASH was an amalgam of Dad and Sheila. Ice It was one of their first horses and the three-year-old champion in 2014.Since then, Ice It has run well on occasion, and only on occasion. He won the 2017 Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase but was blanked in subsequent starts, mostly against novices, until his victory at Callaway last November.He was one of an unprecedented five highweights in the Carolina Cup, for horses with National Steeplechase Association ratings of 130 or lower. Other highweights were 2018 Grade 1 winner Show Court, Fisher-trained Hinterland, Invocation, Personal Start, and Surprising Soul.
A memorial service for Susan duPont McConnell, a longtime devoted supporter of the Montpelier Hunt Races, will be held at Christ Episcopal Church in Charlottesville, Va., at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24. Ms. McConnell died peacefully with family at her side on Wednesday, March 20, after a battle with ovarian cancer. She was 68.
by Craig Braddick Ross Geraghty has enjoyed a long and successful career in both American Steeplechasing, especially in partnership with trainer Ricky Hendriks in recent years, and in National Hunt Racing in his native Ireland, where he won the 2002 Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse on The Bunny Boiler. (Watch that race here.) Ross agreed
For the first time in its history, the $50,000 Carolina Cup will be run as a ratings handicap, and Saturday’s historic race attracted a field worthy of a graded stakes with five highweights.The 87th annual Carolina Cup race meet marks the arrival of spring in South Carolina’s Midlands, and this year’s edition of the Camden tradition attracted strong, full fields for its six races. First post time is 1:30 p.m. at Springdale Race Course, and the races can be viewed on the NSA Network’s livestream.The Carolina Cup is limited to competitors with National Steeplechase Association ratings of 130 or lower, and five of the prospective starters previously had been rated at 130 by the three-member ratings committee and thus share the 158-pound highweight.Heading the quality-loaded Carolina Cup is local favorite Show Court, owned by South Carolina attorney Mark W. Buyck Jr. and trained in Camden by Arch Kingsley Jr. The Irish-bred jumped into the ranks of Grade 1 winners last summer when he won Saratoga Race Course’s A. P. Smithwick Memorial.He closed his 2018 season with an easy victory in an allowance hurdle at the Steeplechase at Callaway in Georgia. Bernie Dalton, who also is based in Camden, has the mount.Kingsley also will saddle Carrington Holdings’ Boss Man, the strapping winner of Belmont Park’s William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes last September. Thomas Garner will ride the Florida-bred, who carries 155 pounds with a 127 rating.Jack Fisher, the champion trainer for the last seven years, will saddle two highweights among his three entrants. DASH Stable’s Ice It broke through for a victory in last November’s Aflac Supreme Hurdle for novices and will be ridden by Jack Doyle.Ice It shares a 158-pound weight assignment with Harold A. “Sonny” Via’s Hinterland, who finished second to champion Zanjabeel in last September’s Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1) at Belmont Park before a fourth in the Far Hills Races’ Grand National (Gr. 1). Michael Mitchell has the mount.
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Morningstar Farm’s Indigo Heart, always prominent under Jack Doyle, took the lead on the second circuit of the Aiken Horse Park course and drew clear to a 4 1/2-lengh victory in the Aiken Spring Steeplechase’s featured $30,000 Budweiser Imperial Cup on Saturday.
Rosbrian Farm’s Barhanpour, the lightweight in the ratings handicap hurdle, came on to take second, a half-length ahead of third finisher Dapper Dan.
The first two finishers are trained by Ricky Hendriks, who owns Morningstar Farm and was a close second in last year’s trainer standings by both wins and earnings. Indigo Heart ran the Budweiser Imperial Cup’s two miles in 3:40 4/5 on firm turf.
Morningstar acquired Indigo Heart from Rosbrian over the winter, and Rosbrian had purchased the Heart of the Storm gelding privately before a Shawan Downs ratings handicap victory last September.
Hendriks trained him on the Unionville, Pa., farm, worked him at the Fair Hill Training Center, and then shipped him to Camden, S.C., to await the race.
“He likes the front end, and he keeps galloping,” Hendriks said.