A highly competitive field will line up Sunday, Nov. 10, for the $25,000 Charleston Cup, the featured optional allowance hurdle of the 20th annual Charleston Cup Races at Stono Ferry Race Course. First post time is 1 p.m. for the five-race program at the South Carolina course.
Earning a modest edge in a well-matched field is Irv Naylor’s Jamarjo, an Irish-bred import who finished second in the $25,000 Budweiser Holiday Cup, an optional allowance at the Aiken Fall Races on Oct. 26. Trained by Leslie Young, Jamarjo scored a victory in a maiden hurdle at the Virginia Fall Races on Oct. 5. Paddy Young will be in the saddle.
Also coming into the Charleston Cup from the Aiken race is Bill Pape’s Dugan, a veteran who finished fifth in the Holiday Cup. He has two victories this year for Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard, including an open claimer at the Radnor Hunt Races in Pennsylvania on May 18. Darren Nagle, currently the sport’s leading jockey by wins, will ride Dugan, who will race for a $25,000 claiming price.
Racing Hall of Fame trainer Janet Elliot will saddle Gregory Hawkins’ Canaveral, who took off with a victory in a $25,000 maiden hurdle at the Far Hills Races in New Jersey on Oct. 19. Bernie Dalton will ride.
Also competing at Far Hills was Congashene, who finished fourth in the first division of the $75,000 Foxbrook Champion Hurdle for novices. Owned by Virginia’s Friendship Farm and trained in Virginia by Neil Morris, Congashene had won a maiden hurdle at Colonial Downs on June 8. Martin Rohan has the mount.
Over Creek Stables’ Arrakis will be looking for a second consecutive win in the Charleston Cup. Ridden by Roddy Mackenzie, the Royal Academy gelding drew clear to a 5 3/4-length victory last year. Trainer Julie Gomena named Mackenzie to ride Arrakis, who would be making his first 2013 start and carries a $25,000 claiming price.
Leading trainer Jack Fisher entered Maya Charli, a front-running mare who won the $30,000 Georgia Cup at the Atlanta Steeplechase on April 13. Owned by the trainer’s Kingfisher Farm, Maya Charli was pulled up in her two other starts this year, the Margaret Currey Henley at the Iroquois Steeplechase on May 11 and Far Hills’ Peapack Stakes. Sean Flanagan will ride Maya Charli, who also will race with a $25,000 claiming tag.
Who do you like in the $25,000 Charleston Cup?
Arrakis. 2007 dk. b. or br. g., Royal Academy—Quinn, by Theatrical (Ire). Owner: Over Creek Stables. Trainer: Julie Gomena. Jockey: Roddy Mackenzie. 6-1 odds. 2012 record: 4-2-0-1, $24,100. Won 2012 Charleston Cup by 5 3/4 lengths after third in Aiken Fall’s Budweiser Holiday Cup allowance hurdle. Also won a maiden claimer at 2012 Foxfield Fall Races in Virginia.
Jamarjo (Ire). 2007 b. g., Marju (Ire)—Athlumney Lady, by Lycius. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Leslie Young. Jockey: Paddy Young. 2013 record: 6-2-3-1, $28,200. 3-1 odds. Finished second in Aiken Fall’s Budweiser Holiday Cup on Oct. 26. Won flat allowance race at Iroquois Steeplechase on May 11 and a Virginia Fall maiden hurdle on Oct. 5.
Dugan. 2004 ch. g., Forest Wildcat–Ratings, by Caveat. Owner: William L. Pape. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Darren Nagle. 2013 record: 6-2-1-0, 29,250. 2012 NSA record: 2-0-0-1, $3,750. 4-1 odds. Finished fifth in Aiken Fall’s Budweiser Holiday Cup on Oct. 26. Won Radnor claimer after victory in Tryon optional claimer. Started 2013 with a second in an Aiken Spring optional allowance before finishing fourth in a claiming hurdle at Colonial Downs’ Dogwood Classic. Put trainer over $20-million mark in NSA purses with a victory in a 2011 Aiken Fall claimer.
Maya Charli. 2007 gr. or ro. m., Cozzene–L’Enfant, by A. P Jet. Owner: Kingfisher Farm. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Sean Flanagan. 2013 record: 3-1-0-0, $18,000. 2012 record: 6-2-0-2, $38,250. 8-1 odds. Front-runner drew away to seven-length victory in $30,000 Georgia Cup at Atlanta Steeplechase on April 13 but was pulled up in Margaret Currey Henley at Iroquois Steeplechase on May 11 and the Peapack Stakes at the Far Hills Races on Oct. 19.
Canaveral. 2008 dk. b. or br. g., Cape Cross (Ire)–Tameem, by Zilzal. Owner: Gregory Hawkins. Trainer: Janet Elliot. Jockey: Bernie Dalton. 2013 record: 3-1-0-1, $17,500. 5-1 odds. Won Far Hills’ $25,000 maiden hurdle after third in Parx Racing maiden hurdle on June 25 and fourth in a Shawan Downs maiden on Sept. 28.
Cognashene. 2007 dk. b. or br. g., Dynaformer—Catch the Ring, by Seeking the Gold. Owner: Virginia’s Friendship Farm. Trainer: Neil Morris. Jockey: Martin Rohan. 2013 NSA record: 7-1-1-1. $25,200. 6-1 odds. Won maiden hurdle at Colonial Downs on June 8. Slammed inside wing and went off course when distracted by a loose horse in Belmont Park’s William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes on Sept. 19. Finished fourth in first division of Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle on Oct. 19.