Al Skywalker Wins Carolina Cup by 12 Lengths Over Campanile

Frank Adams' Al Skywalker upset Campanile, winning Saturday's $100,000 Bank of America Carolina Cup (NSA-I) by 12 lengths in a strung out finish in front of about 70,000 spectators at Camden, South Carolina. Campanile came home second, 69 lengths ahead Assurance. Addinson was another 60 1/4 lengths back in fourth. Romantic and Turkish Corner fell and did not finish. Canta Ke Brave was pulled up.

The winning owner is a Hall of Fame member, and won the Carolina Cup as a jockey on Gift of Gold in both 1951 and '52.

"It feels almost as good as an owner as it did as a rider," said Adams. "But I don't see how you can have anything feel any better than this. Every time he's finished, he's been in the money and he's run out of conditions, so we came here. He beat some good horses, how good he is I don't know."

Al Skywalker, (Skywalker--Bint Alnasr, by Al Nasr) an 8-year-old gelding bred in California by Evergreen Thoroughbreds, completed the 2 1/4 miles in 4:24 4/5 on a firm course. He earned $60,000 for the win, his fifth in 27 starts. Tom Foley rode the winner, who is trained by Jennifer Majette.

"It's amazing," said the apprentice rider who had just 30 mounts in 2000. "That's my third winner so I guess it's good. It's unbelievable. About a month ago, Jennifer (Majette) called and asked me if I was available to ride in the Cup -- I said, 'yeah I think so.' "

Trainer Janet Elliot was pleased enough with Campanile's race, which will serve as a prep for the $1.4 million Nakayama Grand Jump in Japan on April 14.

"I thought it was a good prep for him - it didn't set up for him, I would have been very happy if he had won, Elliot said. "For us, horses haven't had any racing under their belts and it's hard to go and run in Japan if you're not as well prepared as you can be. Hopefully it will put him on his mark for Japan." (Chart, Equibase)