Betsy Mead’s Forgotten Man made a winning move on the final turn at the Carolina Horse Park and drew clear to a 1 1/2-length victory in the $25,000 Sandhills Cup, the featured optional allowance hurdle at the 64th annual Stoneybrook Steeplechase on Saturday in Raeford, N.C.
Irv Naylor’s Saint Jerome rallied late to finish second, 2 1/4 lengths clear of Perfect Peace Racing Stable’s Marq Your Bible. With Gerard Galligan in the saddle for trainer Doug Fout, Forgotten Man ran the Sandhills Cup’s 2 3/8 miles in 4:39 on ground rated as good.
The complexion of the Sandhills Cup changed early when anticipated pacesetter Bau Bai Gold lost Ross Geraghty at the first fence. Marq Your Bible, second to Bau Bai Gold in an Aiken Spring Steeplechase optional allowance hurdle on March 21, was placed in the role of front-runner with jockey Willie McCarthy as they entered the race’s late stages.
Galligan kicked Forgotten Man into gear on the turn and grabbed the lead from Marq Your Bible. Saint Jerome, an Irish-bred novice who joined trainer Cyril Murphy’s stable last summer, trailed the leaders into the right-handed turn and made his stretch bid to easily grab second money under Kieran Norris.
The seven-year-old Mead homebred by Bowman’s Band ended the 2014 season on a promising note with a third-place finish in a Colonial Cup allowance hurdle and tightened with a fifth-place finish in a Carolina Cup training flat race on March 28.