from National Steeplechase Association
The final stop on the NSA's 2001 calendar will include two races at Florida's Calder Race Course on Sunday, Dec. 9 and preliminary indications point to solid fields for both races.
The $50,000 Tropical Park Steeplechase, run for the third time, attracted 1 nominations including Al Skywalker, Pinkie Swear and Hokan, all NSA-I winners. The event will be run at 2 1/4 miles over 12 fences on the Calder turf course. Al Skywalker, winner of the Bank of America Carolina Cup (NSA-I) in March and two other stakes during the year, will be the likel starting highweight for owner/trainer Jennifer Majette. The son of Skywalke has earned $124,881 this year, and can vault to third on the 2001 earning list with a win.
Al Skyalker will have plenty of competition, as the list also includes th talented Teb's Bend. From the barn of leading trainer Tom Voss, Teb's Ben won the $35,000 Crown Royal Stakes at Callaway Gardens, Ga. in his most recent start and sports five wins in nine career starts over hurdles. The 8-year-old Maryland-bred is a multiple winner on the flat as well.
Other major players include P.C. Plod, twice a winner this year. The son of Pleasant Tap will be familiar to Florida racegoers as he won a steeplechase at Tampa Bay Downs in March for Virginia-based trainer Neil Morris. Veterans Pinkie Swear and Hokan are winless this year, but look to summon the form that carried them to major wins in the past.
The Calder races cap the American steeplechase season, which began at Tampa Bay Downs in March and encompasses nearly 230 individual races at racetracks and NSA-sanctioned race meetings in 12 states. The National Steeplechase Association carded races worth a record $5 million this year.
Nominations (with trainer) to the Tropical Park Steeplechase: Al Skywalker (Jennifer Majette), Bobstay (Jeremy Gillam), Devil's Honor (Jack Fisher), Ethical Actions (Fisher), Feeling So Pretty (Lee McKinney), Hokan (Janet Elliot), How Goes (Elliot), P.C. Plod (Neil Morris), Pinkie Swear (Fisher), Plumb Bob (Toby Edwards), Spring Salute (Sanna Neilson), Storm Touc (Jonathan Sheppard), Teb's Bend (Tom Voss).