Brilliant sunshine and temperatures in the 70s made Saturday's Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup Steeplechase Races seem likes it older colleague, the Carolina Cup. Thanks to the Salute to the Military theme, Cup officials estimated the crowd to be in the neighborhood of 12,000, making it one of the best-attended editions of the Camden fall classic.
Satchel Paige, it was not.
Seeing is not believing. Just ask Sumter or several other Lugoff-Elgin opponents from the recently completed regular season.
It took just one start in America for Percussionist to become the new kid, who turned into the bully on the block.
Last Saturday's $40,000 Noel Laing Stakes in Virginia pulled three potential starters from $100,000 Carolina First Colonial Cup Steeplechase, leaving Saturday's Camden fall classic with 10 chasers scheduled to take the starting flag for the final Grade I chase of the National Steeplechase Association season.
Heading into Saturday's class A state boys and girls state cross country championship meets at Clemson's Sandhills Research Center in northeast Columbia, North Central head coach Chad Dixon knew his teams had the decks stacked against them.
Grinning from ear-to-ear while speaking in a quick, but rich Irish brogue, a 20-year-old Tom Foley entertained members of the media after winning the $100,000 Carolina Cup feature aboard the Jennifer Majette-trained Al Skywalker in the 2001 edition of the Camden spring classic.
Imagine, if you will, Jerry Buss selling the Los Angeles Lakers to a fellow NBA franchise owner after the Lakers had won the Western Division and were poised to make a run at year another league crown.
Keeping up with Jonathan Sheppard is a hard enough task for his friends and colleagues. Catching him atop the National Steeplechase Association standings? Well, let's just say you had better have a bunch of wins in your back pocket, a deep barn and a flock of committed owners.
Having traded punches and gotten the better of things for the first three quarters of Friday's AAA state playoff opener against visiting Berkeley, Camden looked like it was ready to deliver a crushing blow to the head.
How bleak were things for the Lugoff-Elgin football team just two weeks ago when the Demons sported a 2-6 overall and a 1-1 mark in Region 6-4A play following a one-sided loss to Conway?
Some reward this turned out to be for Camden.
When he first saw J.B's Thunder enter into the Keeneland Sales Ring as a yearling in 2009, Camden native and Thoroughbred trainer Frank Wooten liked the way the horse walked and seemed to handle himself with a crowd of prospective buyers watching his every move.
Hoping to see the team which ran roughshod over their first two foes in the AAA state volleyball tournament, Camden head coach Paige Wilson saw the squad whose uneven play, at times, during the regular season cost them a chance to come away with more victories.
As Zack Neal's father and football coach, Jimmy Neal was as proud as he could have been about his son's two, possibly, game-saving interceptions which helped preserved Camden's 7-3 win over visiting Marlboro County in Friday's regular season finale at Zemp Stadium.
Some people are born to run. Others get their calling to take to the streets in different ways.
Page 1 of 1