Reigning novice champion Alajmal and stakes winners Dahoud and Fog Island are among nine rising stars nominated to the $50,000 Carolina Cup, the featured event of the 81st annual Carolina Cup Races on Saturday, March 30, in Camden, S.C. First post time is 1:30 p.m. for the six-race program.
Gregory Hawkins’ Alajmal marked himself as a horse to watch when winning a Saratoga Race Course optional allowance in August, and he showed an affinity for the Carolina Cup’s Springdale Course with a strong third-place finish in the $100,000 Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1) last November. In the Carolina Cup, he returns to competition against other novices, or horses in their first years of competition over fences.
The five-year-old First Samurai gelding is trained by Racing Hall of Fame member Janet Elliot, who also nominated Gene Weymouth’s Wild for Gold, an optional allowance winner who was unplaced in the Colonial Cup.
Gil Johnston’s Dahoud has made an impression both on the flat and over fences. Raced on the flat in California by longtime steeplechase owner Johnston, the New Zealand-bred was Grade 2-placed in 2011 before beginning his jumps career with trainer Jack Fisher. He scored his maiden victory over fences with an impressive run at the Far Hills Races in October and then won the AFLAC Supreme Hurdle at the Steeplechase at Callaway on Nov. 3.
Anne Pape’s Fog Island scored an impressive surprise victory in Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle for novices when he made a powerful run on soft ground and drew clear to a 1 1/4-length victory for trainer Richard Valentine.
Also nominated to the Carolina Cup from the Foxbrook were Betsy Mead’s Forgotten Man, who finished third; owner-trainer Jonathan Sheppard’s Barnstorming, the fifth finisher; and Randleston Farm’s Duc de Savoie, who was sixth. Doug Fout trains Forgotten Man, and Jimmy Day handles Duc de Savoie.
Also nominated to the Carolina Cup were Fox Ridge Farm’s Ahgogo and Kinross Farm’s Saint Dynaformer. Ahgogo won his maiden victory over hurdles at the Charleston Cup meet on Nov. 11 for trainer Tom Voss. Trained by Neil Morris, Saint Dynaformer finished second in Saratoga Race Course’s Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes last August.
The nominees to the Carolina Cup are:
Ahgogo. 2008 ch. g., Borrego—Dearest Gulch, by Gulch. Owner: Fox Ridge Farm. Trainer: Tom Voss. 2012 record: 3-1-0-0, $10,750. 2011: No NSA starts. Won maiden victory at the Charleston Cup on Nov. 11 after a fourth-place finish behind Dahoud in the $25,000 Harry E. Harris maiden hurdle at the Far Hills Races on Oct. 20.
Alajmal. 2008 b. g., First Samurai—Alattrah, by Shadeed. Owner: Gregory D. Hawkins. Trainer: Janet Elliot. 2012 NSA record: 6-2-1-1, $64,000. Shadwell-bred locked up 2012 novice championship with a victory in a Saratoga Race Course optional allowance. Closed out season with a strong third in the Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1). Finished a close second in the William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes at Belmont Park on Sept. 27 before being pulled up in the Foxbrook Champion Hurdle at Far Hills, N.J.
Barnstorming. 2006 b. g., Thunder Gulch—Soul of the Cat, by Stravinsky. Owner-trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. 2012 record: 2-0-0-1, $8,000. 2011 record: No starts. Finished distant third in the AFLAC Supreme Hurdle at the Steeplechase at Callaway on Nov. 3. Was a well-beaten fifth in the $75,000 Foxbrook Champion Hurdle at the Far Hills Races on Oct. 20 in his first start since winning featured $25,000 Budweiser Holiday Cup allowance hurdle at 2010 Aiken Fall.
Dahoud (NZ). 2006 b. g., Scaredee Cat—Aiglette, by Krona. Owner: Gil Johnston. Trainer: Jack Fisher. 2012 NSA record: 3-2-0-0, $45,300. Drew clear to a 2 3/4-length score in the AFLAC Supreme Hurdle at the Steeplechase at Callaway on Nov. 3. Always well placed in Far Hills’ $25,000 Harry E. Harris maiden hurdle and won by eight lengths on Oct. 20. In steeplechase debut, finished sixth at Virginia Fall on Oct. 6. Was Grade 2-placed at Santa Anita Park in 2011.
Duc de Savoie. 2006 b. g., Harlan’s Holiday—Tee for Three, by Lil E. Tee. Owner: Randleston Farm. Trainer: Jimmy Day. 2012 NSA record: 6-1-1-0, $24,450. Pulled up in Charleston Cup optional allowance hurdle on Nov. 11. Finished distant sixth in Foxbrook Champion Hurdle at Far Hills, N.J., on Oct. 20 after seventh, beaten 6 1/4 lengths, in Belmont Park’s Lonesome Glory Stakes (Gr. 1) on Sept. 27. Won maiden victory at last year’s Carolina Cup meet.
Fog Island. 2006 b. g., Rossini—Orchid Island, by Broad Brush. Owner: Anne Pape. Trainer: Richard Valentine. 2012 record: 5-1-0-0, $47,400. 2011 record: 8-1-1-0, $24,680. Made an impressive run and drew clear to a 1 1/4-length victory in the Foxbrook Champion Hurdle at Far Hills, N.J., on Oct. 20. Fell when second at seventh fence of William Entenmann Memorial novice stakes on Sept. 27. Finished sixth in Radnor Hunt’s National Hunt Cup on May 19. Disqualified from win in Virginia Gold Cup allowance hurdle on May 5.
Forgotten Man. 2008 ch. g., Bowman’s Band—Hark the Sound (GB), by Robellino. Owner: Betsy Mead. Trainer: Doug Fout. 2012 record: 4-1-0-3, $31,000. 2011 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. Finished third in Foxbrook Champion Hurdle at Far Hills after third in Belmont Park’s William Entenmann Memorial novice stakes on Sept. 27. Also third in Saratoga optional allowance on Aug. 16 after maiden victory at Virginia Gold Cup on May 5.
Saint Dynaformer. 2007 b. g., Dynaformer—Saintly Action, by Saint Ballado. Owner: Kinross Farm. Trainer: Neil Morris. 2012 record: 3-0-1-0, $17,100. 2011 record: 3-1-0-0, $9,900. Finished second in Saratoga Race Course’s Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes before fifth-place finish in a Saratoga optional allowance hurdle on Aug. 30.
Wild for Gold. 2003 ch. g., Wild Rush–After the Glitter, by Screen King. Owner: Eugene Weymouth. Trainer: Janet Elliot. 2012 record: 4-1-0-0, $25,200. 2011 record: 4-1-1-2, $24,300. Began season with a victory in a Parx Racing optional allowance in June before a seventh-place finish in Saratoga’s Jonathan Kiser Novice and a fall in Belmont Park’s William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes on Sept. 27. Unplaced in Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1) to close 2012 season.