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.Breeders' Cup Steeplechase winner Quel Senor heads the list, which includes five other NSA grade I winners. Owned by Coppertree Farm and trained by Tom Voss, Quel Senor sports three wins from six starts this year and is second on the 2001 earnings list behind Praise The Prince. Quel Senor defeated that rival and seven others in the $250,000 Breeders' Cup on Oct. 20. The French-bred would solidify his championship hopes with another victory at Camden.Two other championship contenders will race in the Colonial Cup, a demanding test of 2 3/4 miles. Jennifer Majette's Al Skywalker won the year's first NSA grade I, the Bank of America Carolina Cup, over the same Camden course. The speedy California-bred stands fifth on the 2001 earnings list with $114,881, and returned to action with a stakes victory at Montpelier on Nov. 3. Bill Pape's It's A Giggle, hero of Saratoga with three wins including the NSA grade I New York Turf Writers Cup, can jump back into the championship picture with a Colonial Cup win. The son of Northern Baby has the right trainer in Jonathan Sheppard, who is looking for his 14th score in the historic race.
Last year's champions steeplechase All Gong looks to rebound from a fall in the Breeders' Cup for trainer Bruce Miller. Stakes newcomer Lord Zada impressed many with a second to Quel Senor in the Breeders' Cup, and the son of Lord Avie will have the services of champion jockey Gus Brown.Other nominations (with trainer) include: All Gong (Bruce Miller), Cold Cat (Janet Elliot), Hokan (Elliot), Lord Zada (Sanna Neilson), Pinkie Swear (Jack Fisher), Plumb Bob (Toby Edwards), Teb's Bend (Tom Voss) and Wicomico (Voss).