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Patrons, sunshine come out to Springdale for Cup day
Aggressive web.jpg
AGGRESSIVE AND SEAN MCDERMOTT clear the final fence as they went on to win Saturday’s $30,000 Sport of Kings maiden hurdle, the third race on the Carolina Cup card. - photo by Tom Didato/C-I

One of the largest crowds in the past several years showed up on a 75-degree day in which the sun mostly shined for Saturday’s 85th running of the Carolina Cup Steeplechase Races at the Springdale Race Course in Camden.

Six races, four over National Fences and two on the flat, dotted the six-race card. Half of those races had feature stories included on page 6. Here is the information on the rest of the afternoon’s slate.

Stormy weather: Taking the lead from the drop of the starter’s flag and never budging from that spot, Sheila Williams’ Storm Team wired the day’s co-feature, the $35,000 Springdale allowance hurdle.

Trained by seven-time defending National Steeplechase Association leading trainer Jack Fisher, the 5-year-old Candy’s Ride (ARG) gelding enjoyed his longest lead of the 2 1/8-mile race when he and jockey Jack Doyle crossed the finish line three lengths clear of the Katherine Neilson-owned and trained Soluble with Sean McDermott up. DASH Stable’s Whitman’s Poetry, also trained by Fisher, was another 5 ¼-lengths back in third with Michael Mitchell aboard.

The final time was 3:47.

Getting tough: Irvin Naylor’s Aggressive took advantage of a deliberate pace to move from last in the starting field of nine to coming home with a one-length victory in the $30,000 Sport of Kings maiden hurdle.

The winner, a 4-year-old Declaration of War gelding trained by Neilson, carried McDermott to victory in a time of 4:02.60.

Mrs. George L. Ohrstrom Jr.’s Demonstration, who led the race from the 1 ½-mile marker before being overtaken by the winner at the final fence, held on for second under Thomas Garner. Hudson River Farm’s Snuggling, with Doyle in the irons, was third for Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard.

Winner winner: Apple Equipment’s Winner Massagot, an 8-year-old French-bred gelding ridden by Garner for trainer Richard Valentine beat Jennifer Pitts’ Broad Reach --- with Doyle aboard --- to the finish line by a neck to take the afternoon-opening Camden Plate, a 1 ¼-mile run in the flat.

The final time was 2:09.80.

The Allison Fulmer-owned and trained The Happy Giant, was third with Barry Foley in the saddle.