National Steeplechase Association racing returns to the Carolina Lowcountry on Sunday, Nov. 13, for the 18th running of the Charleston Cup Presented by Crews Chevrolet, and the four sanctioned races attracted highly competitive fields. First post time is 1 p.m. at The Plantation at Stono Ferry.
The afternoon’s feature race will be the $20,000 Charleston Cup, an optional allowance race that attracted a well-matched field of ten plus one horse on an also-eligible list. The 2 1/4-mile race over National Fences pits promising newcomers against a veteran winner at the top level.
Trainer Jack Fisher entered Sheila J. Williams’ and Andre W. Brewster’s Straight to It, who won the Strawberry Hill Classic, an allowance race at Colonial Downs in Virginia on May 21. Straight to It subsequently finished second in the David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial at Colonial on June 26.
Fisher recently has been running Straight to It on the flat, and the five-year-old Giant’s Causeway gelding finished third in a Belmont Park maiden claimer in his most recent start. Willie Dowling has the mount.
Seeking to regain his best career form is Gregory D. Hawkins’ Red Letter Day, winner of the Lonesome Glory Stakes (Gr. 1) in 2009. He tightened with a fourth-place finish in the Suntrust Hurdle at the Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens in Georgia on Nov. 5 for trainer Janet Elliot. Robbie Walsh will ride.
Elliot also entered Eugene Weymouth’s Wild for Gold, who finished third in the Budweiser Holiday Bowl at the Aiken Fall Steeplechase in South Carolina on Oct. 29. Bernie Dalton has the mount.
Trainer Tom Voss, in a tight race with Racing Hall of Fame horseman Jonathan Sheppard for the 2011 training title by victories, entered Tizsilk and Farndale, both owned by his wife, Mimi. Tizsilk won the Sandhills Cup, an allowance race at the Stoneybrook Races in North Carolina in the spring and most recently won on the flat at Delaware Park. Farndale won a claiming race over fences at Morven Park in Virginia on Oct. 8.
Sheppard countered with Magalen O. Bryant’s Air Maggy, who finished second in an optional allowance race at the Virginia Fall Races on Oct. 1. Brian Crowley will be in the saddle.
Trainer Lilith Boucher named Will Haynes to ride Mede Cahaba Stables’ Class Indian, who finished fourth in the $75,000 AFLAC Supreme Hurdle at Callaway Gardens.
Representing leading owner Irvin S. Naylor will be Union Army and Imperial Gin, both of whom collected maiden victories this fall. Trainer Joseph Delozier III named Ross Geraghty aboard Union Army, and Carl Rafter will handle Imperial Gin.
Trainer Neil Morris named Christopher Read to ride Kinross Farm’s Its a School Night, who won a maiden race at the two-day Virginia Fall meet. Morris also entered Bryant’s Winning Vow, who was placed on the also-eligible race and will draw into the field if another horse is scratched. Winning Vow won a maiden claimer at the Montpelier Hunt Races in Virginia on Nov. 5.