Champion trainer Jack Fisher has nominated two leading contenders for the $75,000 Carolina Cup, the namesake race of the 86th annual Carolina Cup Races at Springdale Race Course in Camden, S.C., on Saturday.
The 2 1/8-mile Carolina Cup kicks off the National Steeplechase Association’s rising-stars division for novices, or horses in their first seasons of competition over fences.
Maryland-based Fisher, who established an earnings record with more than $1.3-million in purses last year, nominated DASH Stable’s Ice It and Armata Stables’ New Member.
Ice It, the 2015 three-year-old champion, races for the trainer’s wife, Sheila, and his father-in-law, Rufus Williams. Ice It ran into a tough competitor last fall, rising star Zanjabeel, and finished second in both Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle and the Steeplechase at Callaway’s Aflac Supreme Hurdle.
New Member closed out his 2017 season with a third-place finish in the Foxbrook on Oct. 21 after finishing second in Belmont Park’s William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes a month earlier.
Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard nominated Hudson River Farms’ Taper Tantrum, an Irish-bred who had four second-place finishes in England last year.
Owner Robert A. Kinsley and trainer Elizabeth Voss nominated imports Lyonell and No Wunder to the Carolina Cup. Lyonell, a German-bred, easily won Far Hills’ Appleton Stakes. A dominant winner in a Saratoga handicap, No Wunder lost his rider in a freak incident in the Entenmann and then was seventh in the Foxbrook.
Trainer Richard Valentine also offered two nominees, Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Lachares and Magalen O. Bryant’s homebred Personal Start. Lachares, imported after a win in England last summer, finished fourth in the Entenmann and Aflac Supreme Hurdle.
Personal Start closed out his 2017 season with a pacesetting eight-length victory in an International Gold Cup allowance hurdle.
Ricky Hendriks, who finished second to Fisher by wins last year, nominated Rosbrian Farm’s Daneking, who was imported after the 2015 racing season and did not start in 2016 or 2017.
Camden-based trainer Kate Dalton nominated Edition Farm’s Zio Elio, who finished second in a Saratoga allowance hurdle, was fifth in Saratoga’s Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes, and lost his rider when he stumbled between fences in the Entenmann.
Arch Kingsley Jr., who also is based in Camden, nominated Marsha Hewitt’s Red Mist, an Argentine-bred gelding who would be making his first start in more than two years and his first start over fences.
Here are the nine nominees to the $75,000 Carolina Cup for novices. The horses’ National Steeplechase Association ratings are in parentheses at the end of their profiles.
Daneking (GB). 2009 b. g., Dylan Thomas (Ire)—Sadie Thompson, by King’s Best. Owner: Rosbrian Farm. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Breeder: Sir Eric Parker (GB). 2017 NSA record: No starts. Missed the 2016 and 2017 racing seasons after being imported. For champion Irish trainer Willie Mullins in 2015, had two second-place finishes in hurdle handicaps at Thurles in County Tipperary after unseating his rider in a Cork allowance hurdle. (126)
Ice It. 2012 gr. or ro. g., Tapit—Spice Island, by Tabasco Cat. Owner: DASH Stable. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Breeder: Qatar Bloodstock (Ky.) 2017 record: 6-1-2-1, $100,330. 2016 record: 5-1-3-0, $68,250. 2015 record: 3-1-0-0, $18,600. Finished hard-trying second in Far Hills Races’ 2017 Foxbrook Champion Hurdle and Aflac Supreme Hurdle behind rising star Zanjabeel. Won 2017 Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase after sixth in Carolina Cup, then was third in Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle at Iroquois Steeplechase. Won Far Hills’ Gladstone Hurdle to lock up 2015 three-year-old championship. (130)
Lachares (Ire). 2013 ch. g., Manduro (Ger)—Louve Imperiale, by Giant’s Causeway. Owner: Jacqueline Ohrstrom. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Breeder: Dayton Investments Ltd. (Ire). 2017 NSA record: 3-0-0-0, $7,500. Finished fourth in Belmont Park’s 2017 William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes and Aflac Supreme Hurdle. Also finished eighth in Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle.S Product of Wildenstein breeding operation made impressive debut over fences in Ireland with three hurdle wins, a second, and four thirds in busy 2017 season. (122)
Lyonell (Ger). 2011 b. g., Montjeu (Ire)—Lysuna, by Monson. Owner: Robert A. Kinsley. Trainer: Elizabeth Voss. Breeder: Gestut Hof Ittlingen (Ger). 2017 record: 4-1-2-1, $47,900. 2016 NSA record: 2-1-0-1, $22,000. Won Far Hills Races’ 2017 Appleton rating handicap by 5 1/2 lengths, then was third in Montpelier’s Noel Laing Handicap. Opened 2017 season with second in Middleburg Spring ratings handicap, then was second in Iroquois allowance hurdle. (125)
New Member (Ire). 2011 b. g., Alhaarth (Ire)—Sincere, by Buhhare. Owner: Armata Stables. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Breeder: Golden Garden Stud. 2017 NSA record: 4-0-1-2, $28,500. Finished second in Belmont Park’s William Entenmann Novice Stakes after well-beaten third in Saratoga’s 2017 Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes, then finished third in Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle. Finished good third in Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes but disqualified for going off-course in tight quarters. Had allowance and handicap wins in England in 2016. (130)
No Wunder (GB). 2011 b. g., Rock of Gibraltar (Ire)—Iwunder, by King’s Best. Owner: Robert A. Kinsley. Trainer: Elizabeth Voss. Breeder: Executors of the late J. Ellis (GB). 2017 NSA record: 8-2-1-1, $67,150. 2016 NSA record: No starts. Drew away impressively to win 2017 Saratoga handicap after good second in similar race. Lost his rider in a freak incident in Belmont’s William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes, then was seventh in Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle. Won his maiden victory at 2017 Fair Hill Races after third at Iroquois, then was moved up to sixth in Saratoga’s Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes. (122)
Personal Start. 2011 dk. b. or br. g., Jump Start—Personal Doreen, by Personal Flag. Owner: Magalen O. Bryant. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Breeder: Magalen O. Bryant (Ky.) 2017 record: 6-1-1-2, $46,750. 2016 record: 5-1-0-1, $23,800. Won 2017 International Gold Cup allowance hurdle by eight lengths. Finished third in 2017 Saratoga allowance hurdle, then was second in Shawan Downs handicap and fourth in Virginia Fall’s Randolph D. Rouse Memorial Handicap. Opened 2017 with third in Tryon Block House allowance hurdle, then stumbled at Iroquois Steeplechase and finished fourth. (121)
Red Mist (Arg). 2012 b. g., Incurable Optimist—Stormy Secret, by Hidden Prize. Owner: Marsha Hewitt. Trainer: Arch Kingsley Jr. Breeder: Triple Alliance S.A. (Arg). 2017 record: No starts. Made two flat starts in New York in 2015 and finished off the board in both. Making his first appearance over fences.
Taper Tantrum (Ire). 2012 b. g., Azamour (Ire)—Maramba, by Hussonet. Owner: Hudson River Farms. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Breeder: Philip Newton (Ire). 2017 NSA record: No starts. Always close in his most recent 2017 starts, including four second-place finishes. Won modest allowance hurdle in Sepember 2016, his most recent victory before being imported. (130)
Zio Elio. 2013 ch. g., American Lion—Runaway Zia, by Runaway Groom. Owner: Edition Farm. Trainer: Kate Dalton. Breeders: Christopher Shelli, Patrick Morell, and Darby Dan Farm (N.Y.) 2017 record: 5-1-1-0, $31,900. Finished second, beaten a neck, in 2017 Saratoga allowance hurdle, then was fifth in Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes. In debut start over fences, won 2017 Queen’s Cup maiden hurdledle. Maiden on the flat at New York tracks. (115)