DASH Stable’s Ice It, winner of last year’s $75,000 Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase, has been nominated for a chance at back-to-back wins in the featured hurdle of the 23rd annual Queen’s Cup Steeplechase on Saturday, April 28.
The annual extravaganza at Brooklandwood Race Course near Charlotte, N.C.—the Queen City—offers a varied program of hurdle, timber, and flat races. First post time is 1:30 p.m.
Ice It’s one-length victory in the Queen’s Cup was the only win of the year for the silvery Tapit gelding, who was 2015’s champion three-year-old. He closed the year with second-place finishes in the Foxbrook Champion Hurdle and the Aflac Supreme Hurdle, which like the Queen’s Cup are limited to novices, or horses in their first seasons of competition over fences.
Owned by the trainer Jack Fisher’s wife, Sheila, and father-in-law, Rufus Williams, Ice It began his 2018 season on March 31 as he had started the preceding year, with a sixth-place finish in the Carolina Cup at Camden, S.C.
Fisher also nominated Armata Stables’ New Member, who finished third in the Carolina Cup. Last season, the Irish-bred import finished second in Belmont Park’s William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes and was third in the Foxbrook at the Far Hills Races in October.
Also among the nominees are the second-, fourth-, and fifth-place finishers in the Carolina Cup, a novice stakes.
Robert A. Kinsley’s No Wunder, trained by Elizabeth Voss, was the Carolina Cup runner-up. A winner of a Saratoga allowance hurdle last summer, he finished seventh in the Foxbrook.
Hudson River Farms’ Taper Tantrum was fourth in the Carolina Cup, three lengths behind winner Personal Start. The recent import is trained by Racing Hall of Fame member Jonathan Sheppard.
Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Lachares finished fifth in the Carolina Cup for trainer Richard Valentine. The Irish-bred was imported last summer and finished fourth in the Entenmann and Aflac Supreme Hurdle around an eighth-place finish in the Foxbrook.
Gillian Johnston, a close second on the 2017 owners list, has acquired allowance hurdle winner Mutasaawy from trainer Neil Morris’ PathFinder Racing. The Tapit gelding, who continues to be trained by Morris, finished third in the Entenmann and sixth in the Aflac Supreme Hurdle at the Steeplechase at Callaway in early November.
Midwest horseman Ted Thompson nominated Tantivy Racing’s Laser Light, an Irish-bred imported last spring prior to a sixth-place finish in the Iroquois Steeplechase’s Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle.
Completing the eight nominations is S. Bruce Smart’s Officer’s Oath, the 2016 three-year-old champion. Bred by trainer Jimmy Day’s Daybreak Stables, Officer’s Oath competed on the flat last season.
Here are the nominees to the $75,000 Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase in alphabetical order.
UHudH Ice It. 2012 gr. or ro. g., Tapit—Spice Island, by Tabasco Cat. Owner: DASH Stable. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Breeder: Qatar Bloodstock (Ky.) 2018 record: 1-0-0-0, $2,250. 2017 record: 6-1-2-1, $100,330. 2016 record: 5-1-3-0, $68,250. 2015 record: 3-1-0-0, $18,600. Made no impression when sixth in 2018 Carolina Cup. 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. (129)
Lachares (Ire). 2013 ch. g., Manduro (Ger)—Louve Imperiale, by Giant’s Causeway. Owner: Jacqueline Ohrstrom. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Breeder: Dayton Investments Ltd. (Ire). 2018 record: 1-0-0-0, $3,000. 2017 NSA record: 3-0-0-0, $7,500. Began 2018 with fifth in Carolina Cup for novices. 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)
Laser Light (Ire). 2011 b. g., Kutub—Sioux Falls (Ire), by Monashee Mountain. Owner: Tantivy Racing LLC. Trainer: Ted Thompson. Breeder: Clongiffin Stud (Ire). 2017 NSA record: 2-0-0-0, $3,000. Finished sixth in Iroquois Steeplechase’s 2017 Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle, then was pulled up in Aflac Supreme Hurdle. In final start in England, won a Kempton allowance hurdle. In six career starts in England, won three and never off the board. (126)
Mutasaawy. 2010 b. g., Tapit—Pretty Proud, by Mr. Greeley. Owner: Gillian Johnston. Trainer: Neil Morris. Breeder: Pretty Proud Syndicate (Ky.). 2017 NSA record: 6-2-1-1, $66,900. Impressed in winning 2017 Saratoga allowance hurdle, then finished third in Belmont Park’s William Entenmann Novice Stakes. Stumbled and lost his jockey early in Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle, then was sixth in Aflac Supreme Hurdle. Broke through at Parx Racing with a dominant victory in a $25,000 maiden hurdle. (122)
New Member (Ire). 2011 b. g., Alhaarth (Ire)—Sincere, by Buhhare. Owner: Armata Stables. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Breeder: Golden Garden Stud. 2018 record: 1-0-0-1, $7,500. 2017 NSA record: 4-0-1-2, $28,500. Began 2018 with third in Carolina Cup. 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). 2018 record: 1-0-1-0, $13,500. 2017 NSA record: 8-2-1-1, $67,150. Opened 2018 campaign with second in Carolina Cup for novices. 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. (126)
Officer’s Oath. 2013 b. g., Luftkus—Officer Pepper, by Officer. Owner: S. Bruce Smart Jr. Trainer: Jimmy Day. Breeder: Daybreak Stables (Va.). 2017 NSA record: No starts. 2016 NSA record: 2-2-0-0, $42,000. Claimed 2016 three-year-old title with victories in Far Hills’ Gladstone Stakes after maiden score at Foxfield Fall. Raced exclusively on the flat in 2017. (112)
Taper Tantrum (Ire). 2012 b. g., Azamour (Ire)—Maramba, by Hussonet. Owner: Hudson River Farms. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Breeder: Philip Newton (Ire). 2018 record: 1-0-0-0, $3,750. 2017 NSA record: No starts. Finished fourth in 2018 Carolina Cup. Imported after active 2017 season in England that included four second-place finishes in handicaps. Won modest allowance hurdle in Sepember 2016, his most recent victory before being imported. (128)