The top three finishers in the Carolina Cup are among seven nominees to the $50,000 Queen’s Cup MPC ‘Chase, the featured race of the 18th annual Queen’s Cup Steeplechase at Brooklandwood Race Course near Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday, April 27. First post time is 1:30 p.m.
Gregory Hawkins’ Alajmal scored a stylish victory in the Carolina Cup for novices at the Springdale Course in Camden, S.C., on March 30. Trained by Racing Hall of Fame member Janet Elliot, the reigning novice champion drew clear to a 1 1/2-length victory in the race for horses in their first seasons of competition over fences.
Anne Pape’s Fog Island, winner of last season’s Foxbrook Champion Hurdle at Far Hills, N.J., took second in the Carolina Cup for trainer Richard Valentine. Betsy Mead’s Forgotten Man finished third for trainer Doug Fout.
Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard nominated his Barnstorming, the Carolina Cup’s fifth finisher.
Irvin S. Naylor, American Steeplechasing’s champion owner the past three years, nominated Top Man Michael and Black Quartz. Top Man Michael won the Gladstone Stakes for three-year-olds at Far Hills last year. In his four-year-old debut, he finished sixth in the featured allowance race at the inaugural Dogwood Classic at Colonial Downs on April 6. Black Quartz won twice last year but then was unplaced in Saratoga Race Course’s two novice stakes. Both are trained by Brianne Slater.
Champion trainer Jack Fisher nominated Mr. Hot Stuff, who indeed was hot stuff before being sidelined midway through the 2011 season. Fifth in the 2009 Belmont Stakes (Gr. 1), the WinStar-bred Tiznow gelding won a Fair Hill maiden hurdle and a Penn National Race Course optional allowance before going to the bench.
The nominees to the Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase are:
Alajmal. 2008 b. g., First Samurai—Alattrah, by Shadeed. Owner: Gregory D. Hawkins. Trainer: Janet Elliot. 2013 record: 1-1-0-0, $30,000. 2012 NSA record: 6-2-1-1, $64,000. Stylish winner of Carolina Cup for novices in first 2013 start. Shadwell-bred locked up 2012 novice championship with a victory in a Saratoga Race Course optional allowance. Closed out season with a strong third in the Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1). Finished a close second in the William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes at Belmont Park on Sept. 27 before being pulled up in the Foxbrook Champion Hurdle at Far Hills, N.J.
Barnstorming. 2006 b. g., Thunder Gulch—Soul of the Cat, by Stravinsky. Owner-trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. 2013 record: 1-0-0-0, $2,000. 2012 record: 2-0-0-1, $8,000. Finished fifth in Carolina Cup in his 2013 debut. Finished distant third in the AFLAC Supreme Hurdle at the Steeplechase at Callaway on Nov. 3. Was a well-beaten fifth in the $75,000 Foxbrook Champion Hurdle at the Far Hills Races on Oct. 20 in his first start since winning featured $25,000 Budweiser Holiday Cup allowance hurdle at 2010 Aiken Fall.
Black Quartz (Fr). 2007 b. g., Danehill Dancer—Mirina, by Pursuit of Love. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Brianne Slater. 2012 record: 5-2-0-0, $27,000. 2011 NSA record: 1-0-0-1, $2,500. Won $15,000 maiden hurdle at Foxfield Spring Races and $30,000 optional allowance at Radnor Hunt Races last year. Pulled up in two Saratoga novice stakes, the Jonathan Kiser and the Michael G. Walsh.
Fog Island. 2006 b. g., Rossini—Orchid Island, by Broad Brush. Owner: Anne Pape. Trainer: Richard Valentine. 2013 record: 1-0-1-0, $9,000. 2012 record: 5-1-0-0, $47,400. 2011 record: 8-1-1-0, $24,680. Set most of the pace in the Carolina Cup on March 30 and finished second, beaten 1 1/2 lengths by Alajmal. Made an impressive run and drew clear to a 1 1/4-length victory in the Foxbrook Champion Hurdle at Far Hills, N.J., on Oct. 20. Fell when second at seventh fence of William Entenmann Memorial novice stakes on Sept. 27. Finished sixth in Radnor Hunt’s National Hunt Cup on May 19.
Forgotten Man. 2008 ch. g., Bowman’s Band—Hark the Sound (GB), by Robellino. Owner: Betsy Mead. Trainer: Doug Fout. 2013 record: 1-0-0-1, $5,000. 2012 record: 4-1-0-3, $31,000. 2011 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. Started 2013 with third-place finish in Carolina Cup on March 30. Finished third in Foxbrook Champion Hurdle at Far Hills on Oct. 20 after third in Belmont Park’s William Entenmann Memorial novice stakes on Sept. 27. Also third in Saratoga optional allowance on Aug. 16 after maiden victory at Virginia Gold Cup on May 5.
Mr. Hot Stuff. 2006 dk. b. or br. g., Tiznow—Sweet Damsel, by Turkoman. Owner: Gil Johnston. Trainer: Jack Fisher. 2012 record: No starts. 2011 record: 4-2-0-0, $35,000. Missed all of 2012 season after wins in Fair Hill maiden hurdle and Penn National Race Course optional allowance in 2011. Tuned with win in flat training race at Colonial Downs’ Dogwood Classic on April 6. Maiden flat winner finished third in 2006 Santa Anita Derby (Gr. 1), 15th in the Kentucky Derby (Gr. 1), and fifth in the Belmont Stakes (Gr. 1).
Top Man Michael (Ire). 2009 b. g., Antonius Pius—Top Brex (Fr), by Top Ville (Ire). Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Brianne Slater. 2013 record: 1-0-0-0, $750. 2012 NSA record: 2-1-0-0, $15,000. Began 2013 with sixth-place finish in featured allowance race at Colonial Downs’ Dogwood Classic on April 6. Impressive Gladstone winner fell at the last fence of the Raymond G. Woolfe Memorial at Camden, S.C., while bidding for the lead. Had a win and second over hurdles in Ireland before being imported.