The following is the Carolina Cup Racing Association’s statement on the cancellation of its March 28 meet. The Carolina Cup Racing Association has made the decision to cancel the upcoming 86th running of Carolina Cup Races on March 28, 2020 following the guidance from the US Center for Disease Control, and local Kershaw County health
Dear steeplechasing enthusiasts,
The National Steeplechase Association leadership has been constantly monitoring the ever-changing scenario with reference to the Corona Virus pandemic. The role of the NSA is to fully support the decision of each individual race meet to run, cancel or postpone. Our primary goal in this regard is to do everything we can to ensure the health and well-being of our racing family and attendees, including our NSA officials. Some race meets have already cancelled while others are still intending to run or waiting before making this most difficult decision. The decision of each individual race meet to run, postpone, or cancel is based on the specifics of that meet, including the locale and the date of their meet in the Spring schedule. The NSA has opened the possibility for those race meets who decide not to run on their date to consider running later in May and June. Should this be a consideration for race chairmen, please contact me so that we can start to evaluate scheduling options.
For those race meets who decide to go forward with running, it would be important to reach out to your constituents and attendees and inform them of additional precautions you have implemented due to the threat of the virus. Should you desire information on additional safety efforts and help with this messaging, please contact me. It is my hope that in the coming weeks, as this all plays out, we can share information and ways of going.
These are trying times indeed. Every day brings a new perspective, and it is the responsibility of each race meet to continue to monitor their particular situation and react accordingly. We will endeavor to keep you informed of race meet decisions as we know them. Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions or for clarification.
Al Griffin Jr.
Irvin L. “Skip” Crawford’s Senior Senator has been nominated for a chance to win an unprecedented fourth victory in the $100,000 Maryland Hunt Cup, the world’s best-known race over post-and-rail fences.
The 124th running of the testing four-mile race will be Saturday, April 25, at the Hunt Cup course in Glyndon. The 2020 edition attracted a bumper crop of 26 nominees.
Now a 10-year-old, Senior Senator retired the Hunt Cup trophy for Crawford last spring after nearly losing his footing on a road crossing in the final mile and then coming back to score a four-length victory. He had won the 2018 Hunt Cup after returning from neck surgery and also triumphed in 2016.
Joseph G. Davies, who trains Senior Senator, is the undisputed king of Hunt Cup horsemen in this century and would be seeking his fifth straight victory. In all, he nominated six contenders to the 2020 Hunt Cup.
The Maryland-based horseman has a deep understanding of the race after also winning it twice as a rider, and he recognizes that Senior Senator will not have an easy path to a historic victory. The last horse to win the Hunt Cup three times was Cancottage in 1983. Cancottage tried once more and finished third in 1985. Senior Senator was the eighth horse to win the Hunt Cup three times.
“We realize it’s a tall mountain to climb,” Davies said. Senior Senator “is doing great. He’s pretty settled.”
America’s rooting interest in the Cheltenham Festival, Bruton Street’s Franco De Port, was unplaced in Wednesday’s £100,000 Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle, which was won by John P. McManus’ 5-to-1 favorite Dame De Compagnie, a French-bred mare trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Barry Geraghty.
Trained in Ireland by Willie Mullins and ridden by Paul Townend, Franco De Port was prominent early and reached third position in the first mile of the 2 5/8-mile race. He surrendered a bit of position in the second mile but remained prominent on the inside rail of the left-handed Cheltenham course.
When the field of 25 began to quicken with a half-mile remaining, Franco De Port slipped farther back, was guided to the outside after the next-to-last fence, and was pulled up.
Dame De Compagnie made her bid on the outside rail and rallied up Cheltenham’s closing uphill slope to win by two lengths over Black Tears, trained in Ireland by Gordon Elliott and ridden by Nico de Boinville.
Preparations are well under way for the 54th annual Aiken Spring Steeplechase at Bruce’s Field on Saturday, March 21, and simultaneously work is beginning a few miles away on the future home of the ever-popular community event.
The Aiken Steeplechase Association is creating a new race course on Rudy Mason Parkway on the eastern edge of the City of Aiken. It is a project that has been years in the making and has been driven by a commitment to serve the Aiken community.
“This will be a track for the community,” said Aiken Steeplechase President Paul Sauerborn. “We have a real challenge on our hands, and we are committed to meeting that challenge.”
The race course is scheduled for completion in time for the 2021 Aiken Fall Steeplechase in late October. The schedule will allow time for all necessary construction and for the steeplechase turf course to take root. Until then, the upcoming Aiken Spring meet, the 29th annual Aiken Fall Steeplechase in October, and the 2021 Aiken Spring Steeplechase will be held at Bruce’s Field.
The new site of the Aiken Steeplechase totals 140 acres and is located just over two miles from Aiken’s thriving downtown area. In all likelihood, the new location will have a one-mile track so that the horses will be readily visible to the racegoers. “We plan on having a quarter-mile of railside parking,” Sauerborn said.
The Maryland Jockey Club announced Thursday that respected racing official Jillian Tullock has been appointed racing secretary at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course. Tullock worked in nearly every capacity for the Maryland Jockey Club from 1994-2019, including assistant racing secretary under Georganne Hale. “It’s great to be back with people I know and love,”