Top Striker, flashing the talent that carried him to a commanding Carolina Cup victory in March, took control at the third to last fence of the Steeplechase at Callaway’s $50,000 AFLAC Supreme Hurdle and gradually pulled away to a 7 1/4-length victory on Saturday.
For Top Striker, the win was an all-Camden affair. The 6-year-old Van Nistelrooy gelding is owned by Camden’s Sue Sensor, is trained by Camden’s Arch Kingsley and was ridden to victory on Saturday by Camden’s Bernie Dalton.
Gil Johnston’s Syros set the pace in the 2 1/4-mile race for novices and duplicated his second-place finish in the Foxbrook Supreme Hurdle at Far Hills, N.J., two weeks earlier. Owner-trainer Jonathan Sheppard’s One Giant Step, fourth in the Foxbrook, finished third in the AFLAC Supreme Hurdle at the Georgia course. Robert A. Kinsley’s Tempt Me Alex finished fourth.
Top Striker ran the AFLAC’s distance in 3:59.80 on turf rated as good.
McCarthy had two wins on the four-race card with Dalton getting the other two. McCarthy now has 22 victories in 2014.