The 48th renewal of the Aiken Spring Steeplechase will be one of the most well-attended one day sporting events in the CSRA.


Held on Saturday, March 22, it is the second jewel in the Aiken Triple Crown, preceded by the Aiken Trials and followed by Pacers & Polo. Thousands of spectators are expected to descend upon Ford Conger Field for the races, the carriage parade, the fashion and the tailgating.


For the first time this year, those wanting infield parking passes for this spring's Steeplechase will have a chance to purchase up to two spots, on a first come, first served basis on March 5, starting at 9 a.m. Those passes can be purchased online only.


There are nearly 300 people who have signed up for this year's railside lottery, according to the Aiken Steeplechase Association. The only patrons eligible for the lottery are those who purchased a railside spot at the 2013 Fall Steeplechase.


The drawing will be March 7 at 3 p.m. outside the Aiken Steeplechase office. The drawing will be held rain or shine.


There will be a number of railside and second-row spots available.


The deadline to reserve railside spots is today. Spaces not reserved will be sold in the lottery.


Advance general admission tickets are available at Aiken Drug, Aiken Saddlery & Supply, Floyd & Green, H. Odell Weeks Center, Ingate Professional Pharmacy, Lominick Pharmacy, North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, Plum Pudding, Southern Bank & Trust, Southern Saddlery, Stoplight Deli and Unique Expressions. Tickets are $25.


Tickets will be sold at the gate the day of Steeplechase for $35. Children 10 and younger are admitted for free.


The Aiken Steeplechase Office will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.


For more information about the Aiken Spring Steeplechase, visit the Aiken Steeplechase Association website at www.aikensteeplechase.com.


Ben Baugh has been covering the equine industry and equestrian sport for the Aiken Standard.