(NSA) It was a day of surprises at Springdale Race Course, starting with the weather.
What was forecast to be a miserably stormy day, turned out to be just dandy. And the racing was just as good. Hometown favorite Top Striker, owned by locals Sue and George Sensor and trained by Camden's own Arch Kinglsley, put on a dazzling show to win the Carolina Cup novice stakes by 11.5 lengths.
|TOP STRIKER (Tod Marks/NSA Photo)|
Top Striker marked himself as a rising star when he powered away to a dramatic victory in the 82nd edition of the historic $50,000 stakes race for novice steeplechase horses at the Carolina Cup Races in Camden, S.C., on Saturday, March 29.
Ridden confidently by leading jockey Willie McCarthy, the five-year-old Van Nistelrooy gelding shadowed Sheila J. Williams’ Easy Reach through the first 1 3/4 miles of the 2 1/8-mile Carolina Cup.
Approaching the second to last fence, McCarthy turned Top Striker loose, and he quickly opened a daylight lead. Cleanly over the last obstacle, Top Striker increased his advantage at will, and McCarthy booted him home with only modest encouragement.
A maiden winner last year, Top Striker completed the Carolina Cup distance in 4:01.40 on turf rated as good. He is trained in Camden by Arch Kingsley Jr., and the owner is a Camden resident.
Easy Reach held the second spot, two lengths clear of owner-trainer Kate Dalton’s Cat Feathers. Rock Ford Stables’ Sporty finished fourth in a field of six novices, or horses in their first seasons of racing over fences.