Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Demonstrative, a three-time Grade 1 winner this year, will square off with reigning Eclipse Award champion Divine Fortune in the 45th running of the $100,000 Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1) at the Springdale Course in Camden, S.C., on Saturday.
Offering more than $200,000 in race purses, the Colonial Cup meet brings down the curtain on the 2014 National Steeplechase Association season. First post time for the seven-race program is 12:30 p.m.
Trained by Richard Valentine, Demonstrative already has locked up this year’s earnings championship with his three Grade 1 victories–Saratoga Race Course’s $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup on Aug. 25, the $150,000 Lonesome Glory Handicap at Belmont Park on Sept. 18, and the $250,000 Grand National at Far Hills, N.J., on Oct. 18. His earnings for the year total $352,500.
Valentine narrowly leads the trainer standings by purse earnings over leading trainer Jack Fisher, and a strong showing by Demonstrative would lock up the Virginia horseman’s first trainer championship. Both trainers entered a strong contingent for the Colonial Cup races.
Demonstrative certainly knows his way around the Springdale Course. He won the 2 3/4-mile Colonial Cup with a dramatic late rally in 2012, and he finished fifth last year. Robbie Walsh will ride the seven-year-old Elusive Quality gelding, who has climbed to fourth position on the National Steeplechase Association’s all-time earnings list.
Bill Pape’s Divine Fortune won the $150,000 Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1) in May and ran a valiant second in the Grand National, finishing 3 3/4 lengths behind Demonstrative after setting all the early pace. Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard named Darren Nagle to ride last year’s earnings leader, who finished fourth in the 2013 Colonial Cup.
Sheppard will have three other entrants in the Colonial Cup. Parker’s Project, owned by Hudson River Farms, finished third in the Grand National, and the trainer’s Barnstorming took fourth. Pape’s Bluegrass Summer, last year’s novice champion, finished seventh in the New Jersey race. Ross Geraghty rides Parker’s Project, Willie McCarthy will be aboard Barnstorming, and Paddy Young takes over the mount on Bluegrass Summer.
Top Striker, boasting strong Camden connections, completes the field. Owned by Camden resident Sue Sensor, the 2014 Carolina Cup winner regained top form in the $50,000 AFLAC Supreme Hurdle at the Steeplechase at Callaway on Nov. 1. Trained by Camden-based Arch Kingsley Jr., Top Striker will be ridden by another Camden resident, Bernie Dalton.
Who do you like in the $100,000 Colonial Cup?
Barnstorming. 2006 b. g., Thunder Gulch—Soul of the Cat, by Stravinsky. Owner-trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Willie McCarthy. 2014 record: 5-0-1-0, $45,500. 2013 record: 7-1-2-0, $93,500. 10-1 odds. Finished fourth in $250,000 Grand National (Gr. 1) on Oct. 18. Finished fifth in Belmont Park’s $150,000 Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1) on Sept. 18 after pressing early pace. Closed for second in Saratoga’s $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1) on Aug. 25. Showed nothing and finished ninth in Saratoga’s A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) on July 31. Won Saratoga’s 2013 Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes.
Parker’s Project. 2006 dk. b. or br. g., Parker’s Storm Cat–Let’s Canoodle, by Oh Say. Owner: Hudson River Farms. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. 2014 record: 2-0-1-1, $52,000. 2013 record: No starts. 5-1 odds. In first start in more than two years, closed well to finish second in Belmont Park’s $150,000 Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1), then finished third in Grand National (Gr. 1). Won Iroquois Steeplechase’s Marcellus Frost Stakes (Gr. 2), his only start in 2012.
Demonstrative. 2007 b. g., Elusive Quality–Loving Pride, by Quiet American. Owner: Jacqueline Ohrstrom. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Jockey: Robbie Walsh. 2014 record: 5-3-1-0, $352,500. 2013 record: 5-1-0-1, $131,000. 8-5 odds. Went to the lead as he wished and won Grand National (Gr. 1) by 3 3/4 lengths on Oct. 18. Scored a highly professional victory in Belmont Park’s $150,000 Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1) on Sept. 18. Won Saratoga’s New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1) on Aug. 25 after unlucky second in A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) on July 31. In only other 2014 start, finished sixth in Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1), a race he won in 2013. Also won 2012 New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1) and Colonial Cup (Gr. 1). Was 2010 three-year-old champion.
Bluegrass Summer. 2008 gr. or ro. g., Purge—Rose of Summer, by El Prado (Ire). Owner: Bill Pape. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Paddy Young. 2014 record: 4-0-0-1, $15,750. 2013 NSA record: 6-3-0-0, $99,600. 10-1 odds. Finished seventh in Grand National (Gr. 1) on Oct. 18. Showed little and finished sixth in Belmont Park’s Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1) on Sept. 18. Finished third in Saratoga’s Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes after fourth in Jonathan Kiser Novice. Assured himself the 2013 novice championship when he held off late challenge to win first division of Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle.
Top Striker. 2009 b. g., Van Nistelrooy–Two’s Cozy, by Cozzene. Owner: Sue Sensor. Trainer: Arch Kingsley Jr. Jockey: Bernie Dalton. 2014 NSA record: 6-2-0-1, $67,250. 2013 record: 3-1-1-0, $17,700. 8-1 odds. Returned to top form with victory in $50,000 AFLAC Supreme Hurdle at the Steeplechase at Callaway in Georgia on Nov. 1. Weakened late to finish seventh in Saratoga’s Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes on July 24 and sixth in Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes on Aug. 14. Scored impressive victory in Carolina Cup in his 2014 debut before third in Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase on April 26.
Divine Fortune. 2003 ch. g., Royal Anthem–My Tombola, by Northern Fling. Owner: William Pape. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Darren Nagle. 2014 record: 3-1-1-0, $135,000. 2013 record: 7-2-1-1, $207,000. 3-1 odds. Ran a valiant race in Grand National (Gr. 1) to finish second on Oct. 18. Eclipse Award winner in 2013 fell at last fence of Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1) on Sept. 18. Pulled up in Saratoga’s A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) after blazing to 3 1/4-length score in Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1) in Nashville on May 10. Secured Eclipse with brilliant victory in last year’s Grand National (Gr. 1), then was fourth in Colonial Cup.