This year’s Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup will celebrate “Ladies Day at the Races,” and one of the Nov. 21 contests will be devoted to the fillies and mares who are an integral part of the National Steeplechase Association’s racing program.
The $30,000 Springdale Stakes attracted 10 nominees, and no fewer than six of them are still in the hunt to collect the Life’s Illusion Filly and Mare champion trophy that is awarded each year to American jump racing’s leading female.
Irv Naylor, the NSA’s champion owner in 2015, nominated One Lucky Lady, who landed in the United States and promptly won the Peapack Stakes for fillies and mares at the Far Hills Races on Oct. 17. The British-bred mare is trained by Cyril Murphy.
Her $30,000 in U.S. earnings is second by earnings to Jennifer Pitts’ Bau Bai Gold, who finished second in the Peapack by a half-length. Trained by Jazz Napravnik, Bau Bai Gold won her 2015 debut at the Aiken Spring Steeplechase on March 21 and was second in the Iroquois Steeplechase’s Margaret Currey Henley Stakes.
Racing Hall of Fame trainer Janet Elliot nominated her Hiwasee Gem and Cherry Knoll Farm’s Maggie Neary to the 2 1/8-mile Springdale. Hiwasee Gem finished second in a Far Hills Ratings Handicap and subsequently finished eighth in an open handicap at the Montpelier Hunt Races on Nov. 7. Maggie Neary finished third in the Peapack.
American Steeplechasing’s all-time leading trainer, Jonathan Sheppard, unleashed Bill Pape’s Wigwam Baby in a Montpelier allowance hurdle, and she scored her maiden victory against veteran fillies and mares by 3 1/2 lengths. The Pape-Sheppard homebred had finished fifth in the Peapack.
Another newcomer to watch is Riverdee Stable’s The Grange, winner of an open maiden hurdle at Far Hills. The five-year-old Broken Vow mare is trained by Kate Dalton.
Jack Fisher, jump racing’s champion trainer for a fourth straight year, will be looking to add to his million-dollar 2015 bankroll with Michael Moran’s Ivy Mills and Arcadia Stable’s Take Her Tothe Top. Ivy Mills finished second to Wigwam Baby at Montpelier, and Take Her Tothe Top finished seventh in the Peapack.
Here are the nominees to the $30,000 Springdale.
Barbara’s Smile. 2011 ch. f., Curlin—Credenza, by Lord Carlos. Owner: Over Creek Stables. Trainer: Julie Gomena. Breeders: Kingswood Farm, David Egan, and Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings (Ky.) 2015 record: 2-1-0-0, $12,600. Won Aiken Fall maiden hurdle for fillies and mares after sixth in her debut at Foxfield Fall on Sept. 27. Raced on the flat and was claimed for $12,500 at Aqueduct in December 2014.
Bau Bai Gold. 2010 dk. b. or br. m., Sightseeing—Lynx of Gold, by Forest Wildcat. Owner: Jennifer H. Pitts. Trainer: Jazz Napravnik. Breeder: Damchu Stables (Pa.). 2015 NSA record: 6-1-2-1, $35,500. 2014 record: 2-1-0-0, $15,000. Finished good second in Far Hills’ Peapack Stakes on Oct. 17. Won the Charles S. Bird optional allowance hurdle at Aiken Spring to open 2015 season, then lost rider in Stoneybrook’s Sandhills Cup. Finished second in Iroquois’ Margaret Currey Henley and was third in open optional allowance hurdle at Foxfield Fall.
Dino Mite (GB). 2011 b. f., Doctor Dino—Compose, by Anabaa. Owner: Rosbrian Farm. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Breeder: J. Cunningham (GB). Promising import had three hurdle victories in spring of 2015 and was fourth in handicap hurdle.
Hiwasee Gem. 2007 b. m., Cetewayo–Northern Wood, by Northern Baby. Owner-Trainer: Janet Elliot. Breeder: Janet Elliot and Gil Johnston (Pa.). 2015 record: 5-2-1-0, $27,300. 2014 record: 4-1-0-0, $12,300. Finished second in Far Hills Ratings Handicap and then was eighth in open handicap at Montpelier on Nov. 7. Won Stoneybrook starter allowance and Queen’s Cup Ratings Handicap, both in April.
Ivy Mills. 2010 b. f., Broken Vow—Threadneedle, by Dynaformer. Owner: Michael J. Moran. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Breeder: Lazy Lane Farms (Va.) 2015 record: 4-1-1-0, $17,300. 2014 record: 2-0-0-2, $9,500. Finished second in Montpelier allowance hurdle for fillies and mares on Nov. 7after fourth in Far Hills’ Peapack Stakes. Won her maiden victory over fences at Foxfield Fall on Sept. 27.
Maggie Neary (Ire). 2008 b. f., Hurricane Run (Ire)—Pleiade, by Baryshnikov. Owner: Cherry Knoll Farm. Trainer: Janet Elliot. Breeder: Padraig Connolly (Ire). 2015 NSA record: 2-0-0-2, $7,500. 2014 record: No starts. Finished third in Montpelier allowance hurdle for fillies and mares after third in Far Hills’ Peapack Stakes on Oct. 17. Finished fourth in Saratoga Race Course’s 2012 Mrs. Ogden Phipps Stakes, her first U.S. start.
One Lucky Lady (GB). 2008 b. m., Lucky Story—One For Philip, by Blushing Flame. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Cyril Murphy. Breeder: Ken Knox (GB). 2015 NSA record: 1-1-0-0, $30,000. Won her U.S. debut, Far Hills’ Peapack Stakes, by a half-length on Oct. 17. Former member of Nicky Henderson’s yard completed her overseas career with a victory in a Kempton handicap hurdle in April.
Take Her Tothe Top. 2008 dk. b. or br. m., More Than Ready—Ceiling, by Boundary. Owner: Arcadia Stable. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Breeders: Colts Neck Stable & Weisbord & Etkin. 2015 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. 2014 record: 2-0-1-0, $9,750. Finished seventh in Far Hills’ Peapack Stakes on Oct. 17 after being pulled up in Shawan Downs Ratings Handicap, her first start in more than a year. Finished second in 2014 Margaret Currey Henley at Iroquois. Won 2013 Mrs. Ogden Phipps.
The Grange. 2010 b. m., Broken Vow—Cool Reception, by Deputy Minister. Owner: Riverdee Stable. Trainer: Kate Dalton. Breeder: Ward C. Pitfield (Ky.) 2015 record: 2-1-0-0, $25,000. Won Far Hills open maiden hurdle by 2 3/4 lengths on Oct. 17. Finished fourth in her debut over jumps in a Shawan Downs maiden hurdle on Sept. 26.
Wigwam Baby. 2011 b. f., Langfuhr—Tepee Tot, by Waquoit. Owner: Bill Pape. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Breeders: Bill Pape and Jonathan Sheppard (Pa.) 2015 record: 2-1-1-0, $21,000. Scored her maiden victory over fences by 3 1/2 lengths against a tough field in Montpelier allowance hurdle on Nov. 7. Three-time winner on flat made her jumps debut in Shawan Downs maiden hurdle and finished a clo