Spy in the Sky, winner of the 2009 New York Turf Writers Steeplechase, will make his 2010 racing debut in the $75,000 Carolina First Carolina Cup, the featured race of Saturday’s 78th annual Carolina Cup Races at Camden, South Carolina. The Carolina Cup, the first graded race of the 2010 National Steeplechase Association season, drew a highly competitive field of eight for the 2 1/4-mile run over the Carolina Cup Course.
Champion jockey Paddy Young will ride Randleston Farm’s Spy in the Sky for trainer Jimmy Day in the Grade 2 Carolina First Carolina Cup. At Saratoga Race Course on August 27, the Thunder Gulch gelding drew away to a 10 1/4-length victory in the prestigious New York Turf Writers, a Grade 1 race. Running on the flat, he won a 1 3/8-mile optional claiming race at Aqueduct on November 5 before finishing unplaced in the Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1) at Camden.
Under the Carolina Cup’s allowance conditions, Spy in the Sky will share the 154-pound high weight with Irvin Naylor’s Tax Ruling, who finished a good third behind 2009 steeplechase champion Mixed Up in the Colonial Cup on November 21. Winner of the Radnor Hunt Cup last May, the Dynaformer gelding will again be ridden by Willie Dowling. Desmond Fogarty trains Tax Ruling.
Danielle Hodsdon has the mount on William L. Pape’s Divine Fortune, who won the 2007 Somerset Medical Center Hurdle (Gr. 2) at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Divine Fortune, who carries 150 pounds in the Carolina Cup, is trained by Racing Hall of Fame member Jonathan Sheppard, who bred the Royal Anthem gelding with longtime owner Pape.
Coming back on a week’s rest is Four Schools, a two-time stakes winner in 2009 who fell in the $45,000 Budweiser Imperial Cup at Aiken, S.C. on March 20. Robbie Walsh will again ride Mrs. George L. Ohrstrom Jr.’s Four Schools for trainer Richard Valentine. The Irish-bred Raise a Grand gelding will carry 146 pounds.
Completing the field, all at 142 pounds, are Chess Board, Sunshine Numbers, Major Malibu, and Zozimus.