Carolina Cup Preview in Camden


By Crandall Sims

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- It's a tradition that started back in 1932.

"The Southeastern Railroad added eight pullman cars to bring people from the Northeast, New York and Canada into Canada just for these races," says Don Terrell of the Carolina Cup Racing Association.

The track, Springdale Race Course, attracts hundreds of thousands of people every year.

"It's a really nice, open sweeping course," says Janet Elliott, trainer.

Racing Hall of Fame member, and trainer, Janet Elliott spent Wednesday morning prepping horses for race day.

"During every galloping stride that a horse takes, there's at some point, his entire body weight is on one leg," says Elliott.

For some, race day is Saturday, for others their chance hasn't arrived.

Competing or not, there's a science to training.

"The more you school them, the more chances you are going to get them hurt," says Elliott.

Elliott says an injury can put these athletes out for a year or more.

Not on the training course Wednesday was Alajmal. At five years old, he is looking for another win Saturday after coming off a training flat victory last weekend at the Aiken Spring Steeplechase.

"He's got a light week this week, just kind of freshening up for Saturday," says Elliott.

Elliott says race day can cause the event's stars to be nervous.

"They know, particularly when they start hearing the cars going down the road or the loud speaker going, even if they're not running they get nervous," says Elliott

And for good reason, this weekend's crowd is expected to be big.

"There are 50-60,000 people that come from all over America to enjoy this race every year. We call it the rites of spring," says Terrell.

If you don't already have your Carolina Cup ticket, they will be available for purchase at the gate for $45.00. General admission parking is $10.00
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