By Tod Marks
The centerpiece of the summer steeplechase season at Colonial Downs in New Kent, Va., takes place tomorrow with the running of the $100,000 Randolph D. Rouse hurdle stakes for fillies and mares at 2 ¼ miles.
The Rouse, named after the legendary Virginia horseman who died in 2016 at age 99, will be the second of two hurdle races on the card, with a 12:50 p.m. post time. The first contest over jumps, a $35,000 handicap also at 2 ¼ miles, for horses rated at 115 or less, has drawn a field of seven. Post time is 12:15 p.m.
Eight horses have been nominated to the Rouse, including a pair of runners from Ashwell Stable LLC, Cup of Aiken and Eponine, both trained by Leslie Young. Cup of Aiken, four-year-old bred in Pennsylvania by Jonathan Sheppard, makes her fourth start of the year, her lone top-three finish coming in her maiden score at the Carolina Cup Races in the spring. Eponine, a four-year-old Maryland-bred, made her debut over jumps at Colonial on July 11, finishing a good third of nine to New Appointment in a maiden special weights event. Young also saddles National Steeplechase Association newcomer Our Bab, an Irish-bred four-year-old owned by Leipers Fork Steeplechasers. Our Bab made her career debut at Colonial on July 11, finishing sixth in a maiden hurdle after starting strong before tiring.
Trainer Keri Brion has entered a pair, including Paul and Molly Willis’ New Appointment and the International Venture’s Magical Charm. New Appointment, an Irish-bred, followed up her maiden score with a third, beaten nine lengths, in an open hurdle for horses rated at 115 or less at Colonial on Aug. 8. Magical Charm, lightly raced over hurdles, is a maiden with two third-place finishes.
Carrington Holdings’ Cainudothetwist, a five-year-old New York-bred maiden trained by Arch Kingsley, makes her third start at Colonial this summer, with two fourths. She was also fourth in last year’s Rouse.
Mimi Voss’ Bella Coola, trained by her daughter, Elizabeth, enters the Rouse off of a strong second to Atlantic Friends Racing’s Peat Moss in a 110 handicap at Colonial on July 26. The five-year-old Maryland-bred broke her maiden at Foxfield last fall.
Eve’s City, who races for Beverly Steinman, finished third in the 2021 Rouse. Trained by Doug Fout, the six-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Temple City is a two-time allowance winner over hurdles. She wasn’t a factor against eventual Grade 1 winner Down Royal in the Margaret Currey Henley filly-and-mare stakes at Iroquois in May.
For full entries, click here: https://nationalsteeplechase.com/racing/
You can watch the races via live stream from the National Steeplechase Association home page, www.nationalsteeplechase.com.