Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Demonstrative, who already has locked up the year’s earnings title, has been nominated for a shot at a fourth 2014 Grade 1 victory in the $100,000 Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup at the Springdale Course in Camden, S.C., on Saturday, Nov. 15.
The Colonial Cup meet, offering $190,000 in purses, brings down the curtain on a memorable season of National Steeplechase Association racing. In the season’s second half, the major wins have all belonged to Demonstrative, a striking Elusive Quality gelding who would be looking to run the table of all Grade 1 races since August.
Since a close second-place finish in Saratoga Race Course’s A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) on July 1, Demonstrative has been unbeatable. Trained by Richard Valentine and ridden by Robbie Walsh, Demonstrative has won Saratoga’s $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1), Belmont Park’s $150,000 Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1), and the $250,000 Grand National (Gr. 1) at Far Hills, N.J.
That string of victories has assured him the National Steeplechase Association’s Lonesome Glory Champions Award as the year’s leading earner. His $352,500 in 2014 purses also has moved him into fourth place by all-time earnings in NSA races.
He is no stranger to the Springdale course. He won the 2012 Colonial Cup with a dramatic late rush and was fifth last year.
Demonstrative’s current streak has made him the odds-on favorite for the year’s Eclipse Award as North America’s champion steeplechase horse. Among the horses nominated to oppose him in the Colonial Cup is the 2013 Eclipse winner, Bill Pape’s Divine Fortune.
Winner of the 2013 Grand National, Divine Fortune was a valiant second this year after setting the pace for two miles. He is the season’s third-leading earner with $135,000 in purses, and a good showing in the Colonial Cup would move him into fifth place on the all-time earnings list.
Fourth in last year’s Colonial Cup after being harried on the lead, Divine Fortune is trained by Racing Hall of Fame member Jonathan Sheppard, who nominated three other contenders to the 2 3/4-mile Colonial Cup. Hudson River Farms’ Parker’s Project finished third in the Grand National, and Sheppard’s Barnstorming finished fourth. Pape’s Bluegrass Summer, last year’s novice champion, finished seventh.
Camden will be represented by Top Striker, who is owned by Sue Sensor and trained by Arch Kingsley Jr. Top Striker blazed to victory in this year’s $50,000 Carolina Cup for novices on March 29, and he regained his best form in winning the $50,000 AFLAC Supreme Hurdle for novices at the Steeplechase at Callaway in Georgia on Nov. 1.