The National Steeplechase Association’s 2015 earnings championship and the Eclipse Award will be on the line in the 47th running of the $100,000 Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1) on Saturday, Nov. 21, at Camden, S.C.
The 11 nominees to the NSA’s 2015 season finale included The Fields Stable’s Bob Le Beau and Irv Naylor’s Dawalan, the two contenders for the NSA’s Lonesome Glory Champions Award as leading earner. Also among the nominees is 2014 Eclipse winner Demonstrative.
Bob Le Beau would be making his first start since consecutive wins in Saratoga’s New York Turf Writers Cup Handicap (Gr. 1) on Aug. 27 and Belmont Park’s Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1) on Sept 24. Trained by Elizabeth Voss, the Irish-bred leads the 2015 earnings table with $216,250. He tuned up for the Colonial Cup with a second to Demonstrative in a Montpelier training flat race on Nov. 7.
Dawalan jumped into the championship picture with his one-length victory in America’s richest steeplechase race, the $300,000 Grand National (Gr. 1) at Far Hills, N.J., on Oct. 17, in his second U.S. start.
In his American debut, the French-bred five-year-old finished third to Bob Le Beau in the Lonesome Glory. His NSA purses total $195,000, and a victory in the 2 3/4-mile Colonial Cup would give him the earnings title.
Naylor, who has locked up his fifth title as champion owner in six years, also nominated Rawnaq, the Grand National’s third finisher, and Able Deputy, who finished third in the International Gold Cup’s David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial (Gr. 3) on Oct. 24 and was pulled up two weeks later in Montpelier’s Noel Laing Handicap. Cyril Murphy trains Naylor’s Colonial Cup nominees.
Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Demonstrative has disappointed in his most recent starts, and he finished ninth after an awkward jump in the Grand National. His 2 1/4-length flat win at Montpelier provided evidence that he has recovered from a lung infection that compromised his Saratoga season.
Trained by Richard Valentine, the Elusive Quality gelding won the Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1) in May and would be seeking his second Colonial Cup win. In 2012 he swooped from last at the final fence to win by a length. He finished third in the Colonial Cup last year.
Returning to Camden’s Springdale Course with a new owner is Flying Elvis Stable’s Diplomat, who was claimed at Saratoga and drew away to victory in the Ferguson for new trainer Kate Dalton. In his first U.S. start, Diplomat won the Carolina Cup on March 28 on the Springdale Course.
Jack Fisher has clinched the champion trainer title for the fourth straight year, and he nominated Bruton Street-US’s The Nephew, who won his first U.S. start in a Ratings Handicap at Far Hills.
Leslie Young, currently a distant second to Fisher by wins, nominated Magalen O. Bryant’s Gustavian, who returned from a nearly 18-month absence to finish second in the Ferguson.
The sport’s all-time leading trainer, Racing Hall of Fame member Jonathan Sheppard, nominated Tamara J. McSorley’s Lune de Caro, who won his first three starts over fences this year before finishing fifth in Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle for novices.
American Steeplechasing’s other active Hall of Fame member, Janet Elliot, nominated Gregory Hawkins’ Alajmal, who finished seventh in the Grand National. Completing the nominees is owner-trainer David Jacobson’s All Together, a Saratoga claim who finished fourth in the Grand National.
Here are the nominees to the $100,000 Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1).
Able Deputy (GB). 2007 b. g., Lomitas (GB)—Island Colony, by Pleasant Colony. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Cyril Murphy. Breeders: Charles and David Hodge (GB). 2015 record: 2-0-0-1, $5,000. 2014 NSA record: 2-1-0-0, $30,000. Returned from year-long break to finish third in International Gold Cup’s David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial (Gr. 3), then was pulled up in Montpelier’s Noel Laing Handicap. Won 2014 Ferguson and Worcester’s Toteplacepot Handicap.
Alajmal. 2008 b. g., First Samurai—Alattrah, by Shadeed. Owner: Gregory D. Hawkins. Trainer: Janet Elliot. Breeder: Shadwell Farm (Ky.) 2015 record: 3-0-0-0, $6,000. 2014 NSA record: No starts. Finished seventh in Grand National (Gr. 1) at Far Hills, N.J. In first race in 14 months, finished fifth in New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1), then was eighth in Belmont Park’s Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1). Bookended his 2013 season with victories in the Carolina Cup and Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup (Gr. 1).
All Together. 2005 b. g., Danzig–Unify, by Farma Way. Owner-trainer: David Jacobson. Breeder: Jayeff B Stables (Ky.). 2015 NSA record: 8-0-2-2, $59,750. 2014 record: 7-1-3-0, $62,000. Classy, consistent Danzig gelding finished fourth in Grand National (Gr. 1) on Oct. 17. Claimed by New York flat trainer from an Aug. 5 optional allowance hurdle for $30,000, then finished fourth in New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1) and third in a Saratoga optional allowance hurdle on Sept. 2. Finished fifth in Belmont Park’s Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1) on Sept. 24.
Bob Le Beau (Ire). 2007 dk. b. or. br. g., Big Bad Bob—Shine Silently, by Bering (GB). Owner: The Fields Stable. Trainer: Elizabeth Voss. Breeder: Anamoine Ltd. (Ire). 2015 record: 5-4-0-0, $216,250. 2014 record: 4-0-1-0, $9,450. Won Belmont Park’s Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1) by a half-length on Sept. 24. Scored runaway victory in New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1) on Aug. 27 after fourth in Saratoga’s A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) on Aug. 6. Opened 2015 with win in National Hunt Cup (Gr. 3) at Radnor Hunt Races in suburban Philadelphia on May 16 and won Parx flat race for hurdlers on July 12.
Dawalan (Fr). 2010 gr. or ro. g., Azamour (Ire)—Daltawa, by Miswaki. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Cyril Murphy. Breeder: Aga Khan Studs (Fr). 2015 NSA record: 2-1-0-1, $195,000. Jumped into title contention with one-length victory in Grand National (Gr. 1) at Far Hills, N.J., on Oct. 17. In first U.S. start, finished third, beaten 1 1/2 lengths, in Belmont Park’s Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1) on Sept. 24. Accomplished handicap hurdler was overwhelmed in two handicap stakes at Cheltenham and Aintree this past spring before being imported.
Demonstrative. 2007 b. g., Elusive Quality–Loving Pride, by Quiet American. Owner: Jacqueline Ohrstrom. Trainer: Richard Valentine. Breeder: Gainsborough Farm (Ky.) 2015 record: 5-2-0-1, $117,000. 2014 record: 6-3-1-1, $362,500. Finished ninth after landing awkwardly at late fence in Grand National (Gr. 1). Finished third in the A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) before being pulled up in New York Turf Writers Cup Handicap (Gr. 1). Scored his second victory in the $150,000 Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1) on May 9. Secured 2014 Eclipse Award with consecutive Grade 1 victories in New York Turf Writers, Lonesome Glory Handicap, and Grand National. Also won 2012 New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1) and Colonial Cup (Gr. 1). Was 2010 three-year-old champion.
Diplomat. 2009 b. g., Kitten’s Joy—Waki Affair, by Miswaki. Owner: Flying Elvis Stable. Trainer: Kate Dalton. Breeders: Ken and Sarah Ramsey (Ky.) 2015 record: 7-3-0-0, $125,000. 2014 NSA record: No starts. Drew away to 6 1/2-length victory in International Gold Cup’s David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial (Gr. 3). Claimed from victory in Saratoga optional allowance hurdle on Sept. 2 and finished seventh in New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1). Led at last in A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) on Aug. 6 and faded to finish sixth, beaten 4 1/14 lengths. Began 2015 season with half-length victory in $75,000 Carolina Cup for novices. Bred by champion owners-breeders Ken and Sarah Ramsey and is a full brother to stakes-placed Kitten Love.
Gustavian. 2006 b. g., Giant’s Causeway–Mossflower, by Affirmed. Owner: Magalen O. Bryant. Trainer: Leslie Young. Breeder: Whitewood Stable (Ky.) 2015 record: 1-0-1-0, $9,000. 2014 record: 2-0-2-0, $36,000. Returned to races with second in International Gold Cup’s David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial (Gr. 3). Finished second in 2014 Temple Gwathmey (Gr. 3) at Middleburg Spring Races and Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1). Finished second in 2013 Grand National (Gr. 1) after winning Belmont’s Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1).
Lune de Caro. 2009 gr. or ro. g., Cozzene—Widow’s Mite (Ire), by Sadler’s Wells. Owner: Tamara McSorley. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Breeder: La Bahia Stud (Tex.) 2015 NSA record: 4-3-0-0, $76,000. Fell from unbeaten ranks over fences when fifth in Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle on Oct. 17. Won Saratoga allowance on Aug. 19 and Ratings Hurdle at Parx on July 14. Won maiden hurdle at High Hope shortly after winning flat maiden at Cincinnati’s Belterra Park on May 3.
Rawnaq (Ire). 2007 b. g., Azamour (Ire)—Sharemata, by Dayoun (Ire). Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Cyril Murphy. Breeder: Jim Monaghan (Ire). 2015 NSA record: 1-0-0-1, $30,000. In his first U.S. start, closed gamely to finish third in Far Hills’ Grand National (Gr. 1), beaten a length. Won an allowance hurdle at Down Royal in June and then finished close second in Bellewstown handicap hurdle stakes. Lost rider in the Guinness Galway Handicap Hurdle.
The Nephew (Ire). 2008 b. g., Indian River (Fr)—Charlottine, by Spectrum. Owner: Bruton Street-US. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Breeder: Nicholas Teeham (Ire). 2015 NSA record: 1-1-0-0, $21,000. In his first U.S. start, won Far Hills Ratings Handicap by 2 1/2 lengths. Had three handicap wins in 12 starts in England in 2014.