Buttonwood Farm’s All the Way Jose, stylish winner of last fall’s Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1), heads a talent-laden group of eight nominees to the $150,000 Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1), the featured open stakes of the 86th annual Carolina Cup Races on Saturday.
The Colonial Cup, transferred from the former fall meet, will headline the richest Carolina Cup meet ever, with $325,000 in purses offered at Springdale Race Course in Camden, S.C. First post time will be 1:30 p.m. at the annual harbinger of spring in South Carolina’s capital region.
Trained by Racing Hall of Fame member Jonathan Sheppard, All the Way Jose was 2014’s novice champion, and he returned to his best form last year.
In addition to his 1 1/4-length score in Belmont Park’s Lonesome Glory, he finished third, beaten two noses, in the $400,000 Grand National (Gr. 1) at the Far Hills Races, his most recent start. He was second in the Eclipse Award voting behind champion Scorpiancer.
The eight-year-old Senor Swinger gelding will have some serious competition in the 2 3/8-mile Colonial Cup over National Fences. Seeking to establish his competitiveness at the top level is Zanjabeel, who won both of his U.S. starts in novice stakes races last fall.
For Irish trainer Gordon Elliott, he won Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle by 4 3/4 lengths on Oct. 21. Two weeks later and now trained by Ricky Hendriks, he won the Steeplechase at Callaway’s Aflac Supreme Hurdle for new owners Rosbrian Farm and Ben and Wendy Griswold.
Hendriks, who had a banner year in 2017, also nominated Rosbrian’s Swansea Mile, upset winner of Saratoga Race Course’s A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) last July. He subsequently finished third to All the Way Jose in the Lonesome Glory.
Champion trainer Jack Fisher, who set a National Steeplechase Association earnings mark last year with more than $1.3-million in purses, nominated two contenders to the Colonial Cup. Sonny Via’s Hinterland finished second to Scorpiancer in the Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1) in May and was seventh in the Lonesome Glory on Sept. 21.
Edith Dixon’s Schoodic, winner of the Virginia Gold Cup’s David Semmes Memorial (Gr. 2) last May, most recently finished fourth in the International Gold Cup’s David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial (Gr. 2) on Oct. 28.
Virginia-based trainer Julie Gomena nominated Stonelea Stable’s speedy Balance the Budget, who wired the Ferguson by nine lengths.
Carrying the local hopes into the Colonial Cup is Mark W. Buyck Jr.’s Show Court, who is trained in Camden by Arch Kingsley Jr. The Irish-bred won last year’s Carolina Cup decisively and also won Saratoga’s Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes on July 26.
Trainer Elizabeth Voss nominated Robert A. Kinsley’s Lyonell, winner of Far Hills’ Appleton Stakes before finishing third in the Montpelier Hunt Races’ Noel Laing Handicap two weeks later.
Here are the eight nominees to the $150,000 Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1). The horses’ National Steeplechase Association ratings are in parentheses at the end of their profiles.
All the Way Jose. 2010 b. g., Senor Swinger—Maternity Leave, by Northern Baby. Owner: Buttonwood Farm. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Breeder: Jonathan Sheppard (Pa.) 2017 record: 7-2-1-3, $179,300. 2016 NSA record: 3-0-0-0, $7,500. 2015 record: 3-0-0-0, $3,750. Won 2017 Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1). Finished third in Grand National (Gr. 1), beaten two noses. Won Fair Hill’s $40,000 Valentine Memorial ratings handicap by 15 1/4 lengths, then lost rider in A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) and was third in New York Turf Writers (Gr. 1). Novice champion in 2014. (145)
Balance the Budget. 2009 ch. g., Bellamy Road—Every Day Is Good, by El Corredor. Owner: Stonelea Stable. Trainer: Julie Gomena. Breeder: Liberation Farm & Oratis (Ky.). 2017 NSA record: 5-2-2-0, $94,800. 2016 record: 4-1-1-0, $51,600. 2015 record: 7-1-1-0, $37,250. Won International Gold Cup’s 2017 David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial (Gr. 2) by nine lengths after setting all the pace. Won 2017 Tryon Block House Handicap, then finished second in Fair Hill’s Valentine Memorial ratings handicap. Finished fifth in Saratoga’s A.P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) and was second in Saratoga handicap. (134)
Hinterland (Fr). 2008 b. g., Poliglote (GB)—Queen’s Place, by Diamond Prospect. Owner: Harold A. “Sonny” Via Jr. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Breeder: Eric Aubree and Christian Bresson (Fr). 2017 record: 2-0-1-0, $36,000. 2016 record: No starts. Finished distant second in 2017 Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1), then was seventh in Belmont Park’s Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1). Finished second in 2015 Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1), his second U.S. start after seventh in Saratoga’s New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1). (135)
Lyonell (Ger). 2011 b. g., Montjeu (Ire)—Lysuna, by Monson. Owner: Robert A. Kinsley. Trainer: Elizabeth Voss. Breeder: Gestut Hof Ittlingen (Ger). 2017 record: 4-1-2-1, $47,900. 2016 NSA record: 2-1-0-1, $22,000. Won Far Hills Races’ 2017 Appleton rating handicap by 5 1/2 lengths, then was third in Montpelier’s Noel Laing Handicap. Opened 2017 season with second in Middleburg Spring ratings handicap, then was second in Iroquois allowance hurdle. (125)
Schoodic. 2010 b. g., Tiznow—Aunt Henny, by Hennessy. Owner: Edith R. Dixon. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Breeder: Edith R. Dixon (Ky.) 2017 record: 5-1-0-0, $50,750. 2016 record: 7-1-2-0, $60,150. 2015 record: 4-0-2-2, $58,000. Won 2017 David Semmes Memorial (Gr. 2) at Virginia Gold Cup after fall in Temple Gwathmey (Gr. 3), then was a dull fifth in Radnor’s National Hunt Cup (Gr. 3), a race he won in 2016. Finished seventh in 2017 A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) and fourth in David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial. (127)
Show Court (Ire). 2009 b. g., Vinnie Roe—Sparking Gem, by Revoque. Owner: Mark W. Buyck Jr. Trainer: Arch Kingsley Jr. Breeder: Grange Stud (Ire). 2017 NSA record: 5-2-1-0, $112,000. 2016 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $0. Finished sixth in Saratoga’s 2017 New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1) after winning Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes. Won 2017 Carolina Cup by seven lengths, then finished second in Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase. Finished distant fifth in Iroquois’ Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle. Won maiden over hurdles in Ireland in late 2015. (131)
Swansea Mile (Ire). 2010 b. g., Dylan Thomas (Ire)—Hurry Up Helen, by In the Wings (GB). Owner: Rosbrian Farm. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Breeder: W. Kane (Ire). 2017 record: 7-1-1-2, $122,650. 2016 NSA record: 3-0-0-0, $7,500. Won Saratoga’s 2017 A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) at 28.50-to-1, then finished fifth in New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1) and third in Belmont Park’s Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1). Opened 2017 with second in Steeplechase of Charleston’s featured optional allowance hurdle and then was fourth in Temple Gwathmey (Gr. 3). Finished third in High Hope’s featured optional allowance hurdle. Finished fourth in Belmont Park’s 2016 Lonesome Glory in U.S. debut. (133)
Zanjabeel (GB). 2013 b. g., Aussie Rules—Grain Only, by Machiavellian. Owners: Rosbrian Farm and Ben and Wendy Griswold. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Breeder: Kirsten Rausing (GB). 2017 NSA record: 2-2-0-0, $120,000. Drew away to a 4 3/4-length victory in Far Hills’ 2017 Foxbrook Champion Hurdle, his U.S. debut for former owners and trainer Gordon Elliott. For new owners, won Steeplechase at Callaway’s Aflac Supreme Hurdle by 2 3/4 lengths. Made mixture of flat and hurdle starts in 2017, with handicap hurdle win in June and a flat win in July. (137)