Augustin Stable's Lord Zada is 11 years old, but still might be the best American steeplechase horse in training.
Preemptive Strike and veteran Lord Zada headline the list of nominations for Keeneland's $150,000 Royal Chase (NSA-I), the richest race on the National Steeplechase Association's spring schedule, to be run Friday, April 16.
One Breeders' Cup winner will be decided a week before the Oct. 25 World Thoroughbred Championships--the Breeders' Cup Steeplechase will take place Oct. 18 in New Jersey. The results of the race often have a strong influence on the Eclipse Award voting for top steeplechase horse.
Pacesetter Al Skywalker and It's A Giggle sprinted away from the field in the stretch before It's A Giggle surged ahead to notch a two-length win in the $169,958 Royal Chase for the Sport of Kings Stakes (NSA-I) at Keeneland Friday.
A select group of five horses will face the starter for Saturday's $100,000 Carolina First Carolina Cup, the first Grade I steeplechase stakes of the 2002 season, at Springdale Race Course in Camden, S.C.
Lord Zada ran off with the 32nd running of the $100,000 Colonial Cup steeplechase on Sunday. It was Lord Zada's initial Grade I steeplechase victory. He became the seventh to win an open grade I steeplechase race in as many races this year. Defending Eclipse Award champion, All Gong, finished second for the fifth time in his six starts over jumps.
Breeders' Cup Steeplechase winner Quel Senor tries to solidify his championship hopes with a win in Sunday's $100,000 Colonial Cup, the final National Steeplechase Association grade I race of the 2001 season.
Like it has since it was created in 1970, the Colonial Cup will help determine the steeplechase Eclipse Award. The $100,000 stakes, to be run Nov. 18 in Camden, S.C., attracted 11 nominations including most of the major contenders for the year-end championship.
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