South Carolina       Thoroughbred Owners &
Breeders  Association

The first stride to the finish line begins in SC

April  4,  2018 
On the Horizon

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March was filled with racing action not only across the country but in South Carolina as well.

The Trials held in Aiken and Elloree were well attended showcasing future stars.  Steeplechase racing took place in Aiken and Camden kicking off the National Steeplechase season.

Two-year-old in training sales are taking place in Florida providing South Carolina trainers the opportunity to present graduates of their training centers and farms.

Jack Sadler, President

Gallanor reaches for wire in Aiken.      Photo Credit: Barry Bornstein

Aiken Trials Kicks Off Triple Crown
     The 76th Aiken Trials was a fun-filled day on Saturday, March 17.  This event marked the beginning of the Aiken Triple Crown.  The Aiken Steeplechase followed the next Saturday, March 24, and a day featuring polo games is on display the next Saturday.

    The Aiken Trials was a mixture of pony races and thoroughbred trials.  The two-year-olds covered a quarter-mile from the starting gate while the older horses went a half-mile from the gate.  Many owners and trainers use these races as a learning experience and tune-up before racing at tracks such as Keeneland and Woodbine.  

     Woodbridge, owned by Aiken's Gustav Schickedanz, a member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, and local resident Don Howard, won the feature race, the City of Aiken Trophy, for the second year in a row.  Trainer Mike Keogh campaigns his horse at Woodbine and brings his stable to Aiken for the winter.  

     Also on the local front, Ron and Kathy Madden's Gallanor won the Gaver Trophy.  This two-year-old filly is trained by Aiken-based Marcus and Crystal Ryan (Mason Springs).  

     Other trainers in South Carolina including R. B. McCutchen from Kingstree and Travis Durr from St. Matthews bring their young horses for the learning experience.  The McCutchen Stable won three races on the day with Big Bruiser, Sun Dress and Even It Up.

Nose on the wire in Aiken.                Photo Credit: Barry Bornstein

Balance the Budget Shines on Carolina Cup Day

     The first Grade I steeplechase race in 2018 was captured by Stonelea Stable LLC's Balance the Budget at the Springdale Racecourse on March 31 in Camden, SC.  Trained by Julie Gomena and ridden by Mark Watts, Balance the Budget proved much the best winning The Marion DuPont Scott Colonial Cup by 6 1/4 lengths.  Previously held at the end of the steeplechase season, this Grade I stakes joined the Carolina Cup on the second weekend of the steeplechase calendar.

     The winner of the Carolina Cup was Magalen Bryant's Personal Start, trained by Richard Valentine and ridden by Barry Foley.  Personal Touch came home 1 1/4 lengths in front.

     Five races were held over National Fences.  Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard conditions Hudson River Farm's Iranistan who won The Raymond G. Woolfe under jockey Darren Nagle.  Sheppard-owned and trained Prom won The Life's Illusion with Gerard Galligan in the irons.

     Rosbrian Farm's Sail Ahoy is a maiden no more after capturing The Dale K. Thiel.  Sail Ahoy is trained by Ricky Hendriks and was ridden by Ross Geraghty.

Weston Hamilton Planting Roots in Maryland
     Jockey Weston Hamilton continues to make strides in Maryland.  Weston prepared for his career as a jockey at Franklin "Goree" Smith's Elloree Training Center.  Goree has been known over the years as a developer of young riders including Hall of Fame jockey Chris Antley.
     As of April 1, Hamilton was the second leading jockey at Laurel Park accounting for 32 victories.  He is one of the leaders in acquiring mounts indicating the confidence trainers have in him.

Racing Across the Country
     South Carolina farms and training centers were represented by four stakes winners between February 21 and March 20.
     On March 3, Promises Fulfilled lived up to his name capturing the Fountain of Youth S. G2 at Gulfstream Park.  This three-year-old stakes is a major stepping stone on the Triple Crown Trail.  Promises Fulfilled broke on top and never looked back.  He led by a length at the quarter pole, was challenged, then pulled clear inside the eighth pole winning by 2 1/2 lengths.  Prepared for racing by Franklin "Goree" Smith  at the Elloree Training Center, this colt has won three of his four career starts.
     Harlan Punch won two races in six days.  After proving best in an Allowance race at Aqueduct on March 4, he returned to the starting gate on March 10 and proved much the best in the Stymie S. over the same surface.  Harlan Punch stalked the leader while three wide.  Approaching the quarter pole, he took command and during the race to the wire, he drew off to win by 7 lengths.  Harlan Punch learned his early lessons under the direction of Travis Durr at the Webb Carroll Training Center in St. Matthews, SC.
     On March 17, Camelot Kitten, also a graduate of Durr's program, came from off the pace to reach the wire first in the Kentucky Cup Classic S. at Turfway Park.  While in the five path in the turn for home, Camelot Kitten steadily closed the gap and got up to win by a 1/2 length.
     Lewisfield led the field into the stretch in the Not For Love S. at Laurel Park on March 17.  He lost the lead approaching the eighth pole but would not be denied coming back to cross the finish line a length in front.  Lewisfield has spent time in South Carolina with both Goree Smith and Shuler Stables. This was his second victory in a row. 

                                                                  Photo Credit: Lauren King
Dickinson Honored in Aiken

     At a ceremony held at the Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum on March 18, the Godolphin Racing-owned Dickinson was presented a trophy while named the 2017 Aiken-Trained Horse of the Year.

     Tim Jones trained her as a yearling and into her two-year-old year.  Tim admitted that at the time, he did not forsee Dickinson developing into a Grade I stakes winner although she was an attractive filly and well put together.

     In 2017, Dickinson proved best in three graded stakes - the Coolomore Jenny Wiley S. (GI), the Hillsborough S. (G2) and the Suwannee River S. (G3).  In 2017, she earned $603,630.

56th running of Elloree Trials a Huge Success
  First time Elloree Trials goer Brady Szimlas gets tips from riders in Elloree Cup race.                                    Photo Credit:  Lee Christian

Recipe for great springtime fun:
Mix in beautiful weather, lots of tailgating, 7 quarter horse and 4 thoroughbred races at Goree Smith's Elloree Training Center and you have FUN, FUN, and more FUN.

This was what happened at the 56th running of the Elloree Trials on March 24th.From the opening sky dive to the running of the Elloree Cup everyone had a grand time.
Individuals with an outstanding day were:
Riding triple by Mario Lopez winning the 6th, 7th, and 10th races.
Riding double by Alfredo Pena capturing the 3rd and 5th races
Training double by Jason McCutchen winning the 6th and 7th races.
But the winners weren't all on the racetrack as Kinsley McGee (1-6 year olds), Cali Thornton (7-13 year olds), and Dorothy Anderson (14 year olds and above) won the Trials hat contest. Capturing the Best Tailgate contest was a group effort with Mickey Wilkerson, Linda Joyce, Melody Pinckney, and Jimmy Brown putting together the winner with a tailgate dedicated to Ellen Brown, Chris Pinckney, and Al Wilkerson. This group just bested the Goat Island Boat Club a a tailgate lot designed by Rebecca Myers, Sarah Carroll, and Nancy Smith.
So as the sun set and everyone headed home the talk was what to do for the 57th Elloree Trials next year. 

Sheppard Dominates at Aiken 
The 52nd Aiken Spring Steeplechase was held March 24 at Aiken Horse Park Foundation's Bruce's Field with a large, festive crowd.  Tailgating was the theme of the day.
Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard captured 3 of the 6 races on the day.  His victors included KMSN Stable's Inverness, Riverdee Stable's Bite the Bit and KMSN Stable's Able Arch who captured the feature - The Budweiser Imperial Cup.
Kilronan was the best in the first of two flat races.  He is owned by J. David Richardson, Richard Knapp and Bob Agrello.  He is trained by SCTOBA member Arch Kingsley.
Another winner with South Carolina connections was Street Passage, owned by Sue Sensor.  Sue and her husband, George, are SCTOBA members.
Irv Naylor, prominent on the leading owner's list year after year, captured his first in 2018 with Change of View.

Season to Warrior's Reward Available

SCTOBA members Wilhelmina and Fred McEwan have graciously donated to SCTOBA a 2018 breeding season to  Warrior's Reward . Following is a link to Warrior's Reward's information page in the BLOODHORSE Stallion Register:

The asking price for the no guarantee season is $2,000. Should you have interest, please contact Jack Sadler at (803) 920-9005.  


Our mission is to promote the thoroughbred industry in our state and throughout the region. SCTOBA works to create awareness of the tremendous economic impact the thoroughbred industry has in South Carolina.  Our organization is an advocate for the positive aspects of the thoroughbred business --breeding, training and racing.  We also provide leadership and solutions to the challenges presented by the thoroughbred business.