The Calvin Houghland Iroquois, carrying a $150,000 purse and a Grade 1 designation, highlights a busy National Steeplechase Association schedule of spring stakes races. The Calvin Houghland Iroquois, a testing three miles over National Fences, will be run at the 70th annual Iroquois Steeplechase at Percy Warner Park in Nashville, Tenn., on Saturday, May 14.
The spring stakes schedule encompasses ten races over hurdles worth $610,000 and six over timber fences with purses totaling $310,000.
The Iroquois meet, with total purses of $395,000, will offer four stakes races, two of them graded. In addition to the Calvin Houghland Iroquois, the afternoon will feature the $75,000 Marcellus Frost at two miles, the $50,000 Margaret Currey Henley for fillies and mares, and the $50,000 Mason Houghland Memorial over timber fences.
The spring meeting at Aiken, S.C., kicks off the season and the stakes schedule on Saturday, March 26. Highlighting the 45th annual Aiken Spring program will be the $45,000 Budweiser Imperial Cup over hurdles.
The year’s first graded stakes race, the $50,000 Carolina Cup (Gr. 3), will be held on Saturday, April 2, at Camden, S.C. The spring season’s other Grade 3 race, the $50,000 Temple Gwathmey, is scheduled for Saturday, April 23, at the Middleburg Spring races in Virginia.
Novice races–for newcomers to steeplechase racing–are important components of the stakes schedule, and they will be featured in three stakes races. The $50,000 Georgia Cup will be contested on Saturday, April 16, at the 46th Atlanta Steeplechase in Kingston, Ga.
The $50,000 Queen’s Cup MPC ‘Chase for novices will highlight the 16th annual Queen’s Cup Steeplechase near Charlotte, N.C. Concluding the spring stakes schedule for novices will be the $50,000 National Hunt Cup at the Radnor Hunt Races in suburban Philadelphia on Saturday, May 21.
Wrapping up the spring racing schedule on Saturday, May 28 will be the Fair Hill Races in Maryland, the only race meeting with pari-mutuel wagering. The program will feature the $50,000 Valentine Memorial for fillies and mares.
The spring timber schedule is highlighted by two $75,000 stakes races over four miles, the Maryland Hunt Cup on Saturday, April 30, and the Virginia Gold Cup on Saturday, May 7. The Maryland Hunt Cup concludes the historic Maryland timber-racing series that begins with the $35,000 My Lady’s Manor on Saturday, April 16, and continues with the $35,000 Grand National on Saturday, April 23. Wrapping up the spring timber schedule is the $40,000 Radnor Hunt Cup on May 21.