The first stride to the finish line begins in SC
September 8, 2023
Upcoming Events
Nov 12
Steeplechase of Charleston
Hollywood, SC

Nov 18
Aiken Steeplechase Fall Championship
Aiken, SC

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Photo Credit:
Racing Across the Nation
Racing Across the Nation

Between July 23 and August 13, four horses who underwent the breaking process at South Carolina train centers found their way to the winner's circle following Stakes races.

On July 23, Dream Shake, a graduate of Cary Frommer's program in Aiken, proved best in the Connaught Cup Staes-G2 at Woodbine. Dream Shake stalked the leader down the backside and around the turn. While between rivals, he gained the advantage at the top fo the stretch and hit the finish line a length in front. This was Dream Shake's second win in a row at Woodbine. During his 12 race career, Dream Shake has 4 wins and $469,426 in earnings.

Maldives Model, a Pennsylvania homebred owned by Tom Coulter and his Arrowood Farm, proved best in the Princess of Sylmar Stakes at Presque Isle Downs on July 24. Coulter has been sending his yearlings to Randy and Kala Rentz in Erhardt, SC for several years. Maldives Model, third for much of the race, rallied in the stretch to catch the favorite in the shadow of the finish line winning by a 1/2 length. This was the second Stakes win for the 5-year-old mare. She has finished in the top 3 in 12 of 19 career starts earning $251,340.

King Ice captured his second Stakes win in a row rallying from last to win the Governor's Handicap at Horseshoe Indianapolis on August 2. King Ice also won the Snack Handicap at Horseshoe Indianapolis on July 8. A former student at Franklin "Goree" Smith's Elloree Training Center, this 3-year-old colt came out of the gate in a tangle, righted himself but trailed the field for the first 1/2 mile dropping over 14 lengths behind the leader. He kicked into gear around the three-eighths pole coming 5 wide around the field and proved much the best crossing the finish line 3 1/4 lengths in front. In 9 career starts, King Ice has 4 wins and 2 seconds earning $306,391.

Dataman, who was developed by Travis Durr at his Travis Durr Trining center in St. Matthews, won his second race in a row proving best in the Bald Eagle Derby at Laurel Park on August 13. Dataman, while fourth, stalked the leader into the stretch. He made the lead around the one-sixteenth pole and was beginning to draw away at the wire winning by 3/4's of a length.
Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard dies

Jonathan Sheppard, who saddled horses at steeplechase meets across South Carolina since 1966 passed away on August 27 at his home in Hollywood, Florida. He was 82. Sheppard is the National Steeplechase Association all-time leading trainer in wins with 1,242. His steeplechase horses earned just below $25 million. He saddled the winner of the Colonial Cup 13 times and the winner of the Carolina Cup 6 times.

Sheppard, an acclaimed Racing Hall of Fame trainer whose accomplishments extended from steeplechase race meets to the highest levels of Thoroughbred racing.
The British-born horseman had retired from training early in 2021 with records that will, in several instances, stand forever. His horses competed at the highest levels, and two of them also have plaques in the Racing Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y

Over fences and on the flat, Sheppard had 3,426 victories from 20,997 starts and earnings of $88.7-million, according to Equibase records. He was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 1990.
Photo credit: Tod Marks
Debut Winners
When a horse wins first time out at the Maiden Special Weight level, it shows talent and the desire to win. Debut winners are also an accomplishment shared by the trainer and crew at the farm or training center where the horse was first developed for their racing careers.

Travis Durr and his crew recently saw four 2-year-olds break their maidens first time out. The colt Tok Tok won at Colonial Downs on July 27. Two days later, the filly Fourfiftyfour finished first at Woodbine. At Finger Lakes, Mybronxbaby proved best on August 1 and Maggy’s Palace, a daughter of the Dogwood Stable campaigned Palace Malice did likewise on August 25.

Coming out of Randy and Kala Rentz’s training center, the 2-year-old colt Bustin Away won at first asking at Saratoga on July 28 and the 2-year-old gelding Bookem Danno did the same at Laurel Park on August 12.

Air Recruit, a 2-year-old graduate of Brad Stauffer and Ron Stevens’ program at Legacy Stable in Aiken won at Colonial Downs on August 5.

The 2-year-old filly Barbratina, broke by Cary Frommer, was best in her field at Ellis Park on August 11. Another Aiken grad, A Primera Vista, a 2-year-old filly who learned her early lessons under the care of Marcus and Crystal Ryan’s Mason Springs operation, won at Delaware Park on August 17.
Done Talking and Straight Talking Sire Winners

In this day and age you do not see many South Carolina breds in the winner’s circle but Goree Smith’s stallion, Done Talking sired three who won races between July 22 and August 15.

Hummin’ the Funk, a two-time winner at Mountaineer on August 1 and August 15 was bred by Smith. Goree is also the breeder and owner of Penny Loafer who won his career debut at Mountaineer on August 8. Haint Blue, bred by Goree and owned by his brother, Hamilton, was an Allowance winner at Delaware Park on August 10.

Straight Talking, who stood at the Elloree Training Center before he passed away, sired the Smith South Carolina-bred Performanceanxiety won at Laurel Park on
July 22.
TOBA Honoring Franklin “Goree” Smith

The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders’ National Awards Dinner is in Lexington, KY on September 9. For the eleventh time in the past thirteen years, Franklin “Goree” Smith has earned the title of South Carolina’s leading breeder.

At his Elloree Training Center, Goree prepares both horses and future jockeys. In 2022, Smith’s SC-breds earned $532,668. In February of this year, the Smith-bred Swayin to and Fro captured the Barbara Fritchie Stakes-G3. She is the first South Carolina-bred to win a Graded Stakes.
Stuart Grant Buys at Sale

SCTOBA member Stuart Grant, owner of the Camden Training Center and The Elkstone Group LLC, was busy at the Fasig-Tipton New York Bred Yearlings Sale held in Saratoga on August 13-14.

The Elkstone Group LLC spent $377,000. The stable purchased four fillies by Frosted, Catholic Boy, Honest Mischief and Bolt D’Oro.

The Keeneland September Yearling Sale starts on September 11 and runs through September 23. Many South Carolina training center stalls will fill with yearling purchases!
Upcoming Events in South Carolina

The National Steeplechase Association has two meets scheduled for our state later this year. The Steeplechase of Charleston will be held November 12. The NSA 2023 season comes to an end in Aiken on November 18 with the running of the Aiken Fall Steeplechase Championship. There is a strong possibility the leading horse, owner and jockey titles for 2023 will be decided on this day.
Foal Pics

We would love to share pictures of your newborn foals!! Please send to [email protected].
You Haven't Renewed Your SCTOBA Membership Yet?

Please renew your Membership at this link.

Why join?
1.   Networking
This is the most common and most obvious benefit of joining SCTOBA. Our industry group is filled with potential contacts, who can help your racing goals move to the next level and become more prominent.

2.   Recognition
SCTOBA provides recognition for the contributions and accomplishments of our members at our annual SCTOBA Awards Banquet. These recognitions and validations provide a level of prestige and credibility in the minds of clients and customers which is invaluable.

3.   Influence
One of the key benefits of joining SCTOBA is the ability to support the mission of our industry and possibly influence legislation/policy that affects the sector. The combined resources of the members are often used to lobby policy makers and sway public opinion more positively towards the goals of our industry than any one group can hope to achieve, irrespective of its size. The SC Equine Advancement Act, currently under legislative consideration is an example of your membership in action.

4.   Insight
Membership in SCTOBA means immediate access to news or developments that affect your business and the sector as a whole. Your membership gives you MId-Atlantic Racing, one of our trade publications. Outside of the usual communication of members between each other, trade associations also provide newsletters, email updates and informative resources that help members stay on top of recent developments in the field through social media channels.

5.   Exchange of Ideas
Not only do members have access to information. SCTOBA provides a forum for members to share ideas and develop new ways to improve the industry.

6.   Relationships
Aside from all of the professional benefits that are available through membership, membership also provides an opportunity for members to connect to other industry colleagues as well. Strategic alliances provide members with valuable insight and further collaborative opportunities.

7.   Sustainability
SCTOBA can play a vital role in bringing stake holders together to address issues through joint collaboration to ensure the sport has the visibility it needs to help facilitate a sustainable interest to meet future demand.    
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.
Mr. Jack Sadler, President
 101 Ellenton Street SE
 Aiken, SC 29803