Unlike the hundreds of Thoroughbreds nominated to the Visa Triple Crown Challenge, chances for a steeplechase Triple Crown winner are much better, with only 11 horses nominated to the first leg, the two-mile Georgia Cup (NSA-I).
The National Steeplechase Association has adopted a new whip rule beginning with its April 3 racing at Southern Pines, N.C. The new rule requires the use of a cushioned, shock-absorbent whip by all jockeys. The change in the rule follows that of the English Jockey Club and was created to improve the racing conditions for Thoroughbred horses competing in NSA events.
Aiken hosts the Regions Bank Imperial Cup on Saturday. Al Skywalker heads a group slated to compete March 27 at Camden. McDynamo is sidelined.
Jonathan Sheppard has taken over for George Strawbridge as president of the National Steeplechase Association. Sheppard, who lives in Pennsylvania, was elected Jan. 16 to head a 15-member board of directors.
Citing a new contract with horsemen, Churchill Downs halted its seven-year history with steeplechasing by canceling the $100,000 Hard Scuffle Stakes for 2004.
Michael Moran's McDynamo was installed as the heavy favorite over seven other entrants in Saturday's $175,000 Breeders' Cup Steeplechase (NSA-I) to be run at the Far Hills Races in Far Hills, N.J.
Il Capitano, a 6-year-old gelding who has spent most of his career in England, is the highweight and highly unknown factor in Thursday's 62nd running of the $100,000-added New York Turf Writers Cup, the major steeplechase stakes race of the Saratoga Race Course season and a National Steeplechase Association grade I race.
The $100,000 Joe Aitcheson Stakes, second leg of the Steeplechase Triple Crown, has been canceled for 2003 because of the weather at Pimlico Race Course along with scheduling conflicts for the three-race series.
Thirteen steeplechase stakes horses were nominated Tuesday to the $150,000 added Royal Chase (NSA-I) to be run at Keeneland Friday, April 25.
Proven stakes performers Tres Touche and Al Skywalker meet Saturday in the year's first National Steeplechase Association Grade I stakes, the $100,000 Carolina First Carolina Cup at Springdale Race Course in Camden, S.C.
The National Steeplechase Association crowned its divisional champions at their annual awards dinner in Camden, S.C. on Nov. 17.
Here are next year's scheduled racing days for NSA-sanctioned events.
Opening day 2002 for the National Steeplechase Association was pushed back one day with the cancellation of Saturday's hurdle race at Tampa Bay Downs.
Citing budgetary constraints, the National Steeplechase Association announced Friday, Dec. 28, that it has eliminated the position of chief operating officer.
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.
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.
Electron, who began the year in a $20,000 claiming race, spoiled the seasonal debut of reigning steeplechase champion All Gong in Saturday's $100,000 Coca-Cola/UPS Atlanta Cup at Kingston Downs. An 8-year-old making his first National Steeplechase Association grade I start, Electron took the lead from Greek Hero after three fences and repulsed a strong bid from Eclipse Award winner All Gong (David Bentley) in the stretch to win by a half-length under jockey Craig Thornton. Masamadas (Cyril Murphy) was third. The winner covered the 2 3/8 miles in 4:41 2/5.
Hudson River Farms' Ninepins sprinted away from Camapanile after clearing the final hurdle en route to a 3 1/2-length victory in the $109,200 New York Turf Writers Cup Handicap (NSA-IT) Thursday at Saratoga.
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