Daybreak Stables’ Diplomat, winner of the $75,000 Carolina Cup late last month, has joined the auction roster for the inaugural Owner Symposium and Steeplechase Sale at Shawan Downs in Hunt Valley, Md., on Sunday, April 12.
Created by the National Steeplechase Association’s Promotion and Growth Task Force, the Owner Symposium and Steeplechase Auction attracted acceptances from 200 owners and potential owners to date. The auction portion of the day will feature 16 horses in all, including a 2015 lease of 49% of Jonathan Sheppard’s stakes winner Barnstorming.
Racing Hall of Fame trainer Sheppard is scheduled to be a presenter at the symposium with Dogwood Stable founder Cot Campbell and successful small-scale owner Michael T. Wharton. Gates open at 10:30 a.m., and the symposium will begin at 11 a.m. Lunch is scheduled for noon, and the auction will begin at 1 p.m. A reservation form is available at gojumpracing.org.
Purchased by owner-trainer Jimmy Day at last fall’s Doncaster sale, Diplomat has the speed to run on the flat and over fences. While based in the stable of leading Irish trainer Dermot Weld, Diplomat won two races over hurdles, and he graduated from the novice division to the open stakes ranks with his win in the Carolina Cup on March 28.
The victory placed Diplomat atop the year’s earnings list, and the compact five-year-old gelding by Kitten’s Joy is being pointed toward the $75,000 David Semmes Memorial Stakes (Gr. 2) at the Virginia Gold Cup on May 2.
Also attracting attention is North Star Racing’s North Star Boy (Ire), trained by Niall Saville and a jump-racing prospect at the conclusion of his flat career. Imported in 2013, he won a Saratoga Race Course optional claimer on the turf last year and then finished sixth, beaten only 2 1/2 lengths by two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan, in Saratoga’s Bernard Baruch Handicap (Gr. 2).