Ken and Sarah Ramsey have taken a liking to the Barbados Gold Cup, and their well-placed contenders have rewarded their unique pursuit of an unlikely trophy for a North American racing entity.
Ramsey Farm was represented by 2014 winner Major Marvel and 2015 winner Sayler's Creek, but had to settle for second over the last two years as Barbados-owned Dorsett took back-to-back editions of the Gold Cup.
Not so in 2018, thanks to 2016 Queen's Plate winner Sir Dudley Digges. The Ontario-bred son of Gio Ponti gave the owners a 1-2 finish in the Barbadian group 1 and became their third Gold Cup winner in the past five years—all trained by Mike Maker—when he ran down stablemate Shining Copper to secure a half-length victory at Garrison Savannah Racetrack.
Jockey Jalon Samuel had Sir Dudley Digges sixth in the field of eight as they passed the stands for the first time in the 1,800-meter (1 1/8-mile) event. Dorsett brought up the rear, while Shining Copper tracked second and then third on the inside, just off the pace set by Infrared.
Shining Copper, who prepped for the Gold Cup with a trio of wins capped by the Ft. Lauderdale Stakes (G2T), took over briefly with his trademark determination, but Sir Dudley Digges swung out and dug deep to run past for the win. Infrared was third and Dorsett settled for fourth.
Unraced since a runner-up finish in the Dec. 16 Buddy Diliberto Memorial, Sir Dudley Digges was nevertheless primed by Maker for his first run of the season. He was bred by Bernard McCormack & Karen McCormack out of the Kris S. mare My Pal Lana, and was a $130,000 purchase by the Ramseys from Thomas & Casse's consignment to the Ocala Breeders' Sales June 2015 2-year-olds and horses of racing age sale.