Champion trainer Jack Fisher will saddle two of the three highweights for Saturday’s $75,000 Carolina Cup, the namesake race of the 86th annual Carolina Cup Races at Springdale Race Course in Camden, S.C.
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, entered DASH Stable’s Ice It and Armata Stables’ New Member, both of whom will carry 156 pounds under the Carolina Cup’s allowance conditions.
Ice It, the 2015 three-year-old champion, races for the trainer’s wife, Sheila, and his father-in-law, Rufus Williams. Last fall, Ice It was the best novice except for Zanjabeel and finished second to the British-bred in both Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle and the Steeplechase at Callaway’s Aflac Supreme Hurdle.
Zanjabeel will run in the $150,000 Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1) on the Carolina Cup program.
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. Sean McDermott will be aboard Ice It, and Willie McCarthy has the mount on New Member.
Sharing the Carolina Cup’s 156-pound highweight is Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Lachares, an Irish-bred who made his U.S. debut with a fourth-place finish in the Entenmann, was seventh in the Foxbrook, and finished fourth in the Aflac Supreme Hurdle. Trainer Richard Valentine named Shane Crimin to ride.
Valentine also will saddle Magalen O. Bryant’s homebred Personal Start, an easy front-running winner in an International Gold Cup allowance hurdle in October. Barry Foley has the mount.
Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard entered Hudson River Farms’ Taper Tantrum, an Irish-bred who had four second-place finishes in England last year. Sheppard’s assistant trainer, apprentice jockey Keri Brion, will ride the newcomer to U.S. racing.
Owner Robert A. Kinsley’s No Wunder was an impressive winner at Saratoga Race Course last summer but was unplaced in two subsequent starts. Jack Doyle will ride for trainer Elizabeth Voss.
Trainer Ricky Hendriks, second to Fisher by wins last year, entered Rosbrian Farm’s Daneking, who was imported after the 2015 racing season and did not start in 2016 or 2017. Ross Geraghty will be aboard the British-bred nine-year-old.
Camden-based trainer Kate Dalton entered Edition Farm’s Zio Elio, who finished second in a Saratoga allowance hurdle last summer and was fifth in Saratoga’s Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes. Bernie Dalton will ride the New York-bred.
Here is the field for the $75,000 Carolina Cup for novices. The horses’ National Steeplechase Association ratings are in parentheses at the end of their profiles.
Ice It. 2012 gr. or ro. g., Tapit—Spice Island, by Tabasco Cat. Owner: DASH Stable. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Sean McDermott. 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)
Taper Tantrum (Ire). 2012 b. g., Azamour (Ire)—Maramba, by Hussonet. Owner: Hudson River Farms. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Keri Brion. 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 September 2016, his most recent victory before being imported. (130)
Lachares (Ire). 2013 ch. g., Manduro (Ger)—Louve Imperiale, by Giant’s Causeway. Owner: Jacqueline Ohrstrom. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Jockey: Shane Crimin. 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. 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)
No Wunder (GB). 2011 b. g., Rock of Gibraltar (Ire)—Iwunder, by King’s Best. Owner: Robert A. Kinsley. Trainer: Elizabeth Voss. Jockey: Jack Doyle. 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. Jockey: Barry Foley. 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)
Daneking (GB). 2009 b. g., Dylan Thomas (Ire)—Sadie Thompson, by King’s Best. Owner: Rosbrian Farm. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. 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)
Zio Elio. 2013 ch. g., American Lion—Runaway Zia, by Runaway Groom. Owner: Edition Farm. Trainer: Kate Dalton. Jockey: Bernie 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 hurdle. Maiden on the flat at New York tracks. (115)
New Member (Ire). 2011 b. g., Alhaarth (Ire)—Sincere, by Buhhare. Owner: Armata Stables. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Willie McCarthy. Breeder: Golden Garden Stud (Ire). 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)