Nine fillies and mares, including major stakes winners and promising newcomers, have been nominated to the $50,000 Georgia Cup, the featured race of the 48th annual Atlanta Steeplechase in Kingston, Ga., on Saturday, April 13. First post time is 1 p.m. for the five-race program, which offers $100,000 in purses.
Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard nominated his Cubist, a Royal Academy mare who won Saratoga Race Course’s Mrs. Walter M. Jeffords Filly and Mare Stakes on Aug. 30 and contended for the year’s filly and mare championship.
Magalen O. Bryant was represented in the nominations by homebred Quiet Flaine and multiple stakes winner Well Fashioned. Quiet Flaine won the Margaret Currey Henley Stakes at the Iroquois Steeplechase in May and was fourth in Peapack Stakes at Far Hills, N.J., in October. Well Fashioned collected her second straight victory in the Crown Royal Stakes at the Steeplechase at Callaway in November. Both mares are trained by Doug Fout.
Trainer Richard Valentine nominated Clarke Ohrstrom’s Kisser N Run, who finished fifth in the Crown Royal after a sharp victory in Far Hills’ Peapack.
Racing Hall of Fame trainer Janet Elliot nominated two recent imports from Ireland to the two-mile Georgia Cup. Maggie Neary, owned by Cherry Knoll Farm, finished fourth in the Mrs. Ogden Phipps Stakes at Saratoga in August. The Grey Express, who races in the colors of Gregory Hawkins, would be making her first U.S. start over fences after scoring in a training flat race at the Carolina Cup in Camden, S.C., on March 30.
Kingfisher Farm’s Maya Charli was nominated by Jack Fisher, American Steeplechasing’s reigning champion trainer. A surprise winner of the Valentine Memorial at Fair Hill, Md., a week after her maiden score over fences on May 19, Maya Charli ran fifth in the Mrs. Ogden Phipps and sixth in the Mrs. Walter M. Jeffords.
A promising newcomer is John Griggs’ homebred G G Gal, who won her first start over fences at the Carolina Cup in a filly-and-mare maiden race. The four-year-old Whywhywhy filly is trained by Dave Washer. Completing the nominees is Marilyn Ketts’ Flying Friskie, who is looking to make her first start in nearly two years.
The nominees to the $50,000 Georgia Cup are:
Cubist. 2007 ch. m., Royal Academy–Effervescent, by Citidancer. Owner-trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. 2012 record: 5-2-0-0, $56,700. 2011 record: 3-0-1-1, $6,450. Finished fourth in the Crown Royal at Callaway Gardens on Nov. 3 after being pulled up on soft ground in Peapack Stakes at Far Hills Races on Oct. 20. Sheppard homebred won Saratoga’s $75,000 Mrs. Walter M. Jeffords Filly and Mare Stakes on Aug. 30.
Flying Friskie. 2007 b. m., Touch ‘n’ Fly (Ire)—Acting Friskie, by Horatius. Owner: Marilyn Ketts. Trainer: Lilith Boucher. 2012 record: No starts. Making first start since finishing sixth in the 2011 Valentine Memorial at Fair Hill, Md. Has two claiming wins to her credit.
G G Gal. 2009 ch. f., Whywhywhy—Royal G G, by Royal Academy. Owner: John K. Griggs. Trainer: Dave Washer. 2013 record: 1-1-0-0, $9,000. Johnny Griggs homebred won at first asking in filly-mare maiden race at Carolina Cup on March 30 and could improve off solid effort.
Kisser N Run. 2008 b. f., Pleasant Tap—Firm Kiss, by Atticus. Owner: Clarke Ohrstrom. Trainer: Richard Valentine. 2012 NSA record: 3-2-0-0, $55,600. Finished fifth in Crown Royal at Callaway Gardens after sparkling victory in Far Hills’ Peapack Stakes on Oct. 20 for new owner and trainer. Won her first start over fences at Foxfield Fall Races on Sept. 30. Had two flat victories at Colonial Downs at $5,000 claiming level.
Maggie Neary (Ire). 2008 b. f., Hurricane Run (Ire)—Pleiade, by Baryshnikov. Owner: Cherry Knoll Farm. Trainer: Janet Elliot. 2012 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $3,750. Finished fourth in Saratoga Race Course’s Mrs. Ogden Phipps Filly and Mare Stakes, her only U.S. start. Won two races at end of 2011 and first 2012 start at small Irish tracks.
Maya Charli. 2007 gr. or ro. m., Cozzene–L’Enfant, by A. P Jet. Owner: Kingfisher Farm. Trainer: Jack Fisher. 2012 record: 6-2-0-2, $38,250. Front-runner upset Valentine Memorial at Fair Hill, Md., against top-notch field on May 26, a week after 5 1/4-length victory in maiden claiming hurdle at the Radnor Hunt Races. Her 2012 season ended with a fifth in the Mrs. Ogden Phipps Filly and Mare Stakes and a sixth in the Mrs. Walter M. Jeffords Filly and Mare Stakes, both at Saratoga.
Quiet Flaine. 2008 b. f., Real Quiet–Flaine, by Chenin Blanc. Owner: Magalen O. Bryant. Trainer: Doug Fout. 2012 record: 4-2-0-0, $42,500. 2011 record: 2-0-0-0, $0. Won Iroquois Steeplechase’s Margaret Currey Henley in 2012 after runaway maiden score at Carolina Cup in Camden, S.C. Finished fourth in the Peapack Stakes at Far Hills on Oct. 20 after being pulled up in Saratoga’s Mrs. Ogden Phipps Filly and Mare Stakes on Aug. 9.
The Grey Express. 2005 gr. or ro. m., King’s Theater (Ire)—Poppet (GB), by Trempolino. Owner: Gregory Hawkins. Trainer: Janet Elliot. 2012 record: No starts. Prepared for her U.S. debut with a victory in a Carolina Cup training flat race on March 30. Did not start until age five and had three victories in her native Ireland.
Well Fashioned. 2007 b. f., Cozzene–Crypos’ Best, by Cryptoclearance. Owner: Magalen O. Bryant. Trainer: Doug Fout. 2012 record: 7-1-0-3, $45,500. 2011 record: 3-2-3-1, $60,600. Collected her second straight win in Callaway’s Crown Royal Stakes on Nov. 3. Piled up third-place finishes—in Fair Hill’s Valentine Memorial and Mrs. Ogden Phipps and Mrs. Walter M. Jeffords at Saratoga—after fourth in Margaret Currey Henley at Iroquois Steeplechase. Fell in the Peapack Stakes at Far Hills, N.J., on Oct. 20.