The first stride to the finish line begins in SC
March 7, 2023
Upcoming Events
March 18
Aiken Trials
Aiken, SC

March 25
Aiken Spring Steeplechase
Aiken, SC

April 1
Carolina Cup Steeplechase
Camden, SC

April 15
Tryon Block House Steeplechase
Tryon, NC

Oct 28
Aiken Fall Steeplechase
Aiken, SC

Nov 6
King's Tree Trials
Kingstree, SC

Nov 12
Steeplechase of Charleston
Hollywood, SC

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Racing Across the Nation
Racing Across the Nation
Between January 21 and February 19, five horses who went through the breaking and training process in South Carolina won Stakes in Florida, Maryland and New York.

On January 21, Award Wanted, a graduate of Marcus and Crystal Ryan’s Mason Springs breaking program outside of Aiken, proved much the best in the Geisha Stakes at Laurel Park. Award Wanted, third after the opening ½ mile, came up along the inside rail, taking command in the stretch and won by 5 ½ lengths in this one mile Stakes. This 6-year-old mare has 9 wins, 8 seconds and 5 thirds in 32 career starts. She has earned $370,450 during her career.

Art Collector also was much the best in the $3,000,000 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes-G1 at Gulfstream Park on January 28. Art Collector raced in the third position down the backside. He took the lead in upper stretch and drew away to a 4 ½ length victory facing the best older horses in the country. A graduate of the Travis Durr Training Center in St. Matthews, Art Collector has won 8 Stakes, including 6 graded Stakes. During his career, he has won 11 races and earned $4,012,490.

Swayin to and Fro won her third Stakes in her last four starts capturing the Barbara Fritchie Stakes-G3 at Laurel Park on February 18. Swayin to and Fro was in contention from the start. She took the lead after a ½ mile and in a determined effort, held off all the others crossing the finish line ½ length in front. This 4-year-old filly was bred in South Carolina by Franklin “Goree” Smith and received her early training at Smith’s Elloree Training Center.  She has 9 wins, a second and 2 thirds in 16 lifetime starts accumulating $476,537 in lifetime earnings.

Nimitz Class won his second Stakes in a row finishing first in the John B. Campbell Stakes at Laurel Park on February 18. He won the Robert T. Manfuso Stakes also at Laurel Park on December 30. Nimitz Class broke sharply battling for the lead for the first ¾’s of a mile before drawing clear in the stretch crossing the finish line 4 ½ lengths in front. This 4-year-old colt received his early training at Randy and Kala Rentz’ Rentz FarmTraining Center in Erhardt. He has won 7 of his 13 starts.

Another Rentz Farm Training Center graduate, Cairo Sugar, was best in her first Stakes appearance. Last out of the gate, Cairo Sugar quickly advanced to the lead and in a relentless effort, would not be denied winning the Maddie May Stakes at Aqueduct on February 19 by 1 ¼ lengths.
Aiken Trials March 18
The 80 th Running of the Aiken Trials will take place on March 18 at the Aiken Training Track. There will be a full day of action with Thoroughbred trials, pony races and a fox hunters race.

The gates will open at 10:00 A.M. Opening ceremonies will take place at 11:30 with the first race going to the post at 12:00.

General admission tickets will be available at the gate. For tailgate parking spaces information, call (803) 648-4631.

Aiken Spring Steeplechase to be Held March 25

The 56th Running of the Aiken Spring Steeplechase will take place on Saturday, March 25. Six races will be conducted – a training flat race followed by five hurdle races. The feature will be the $35,000 The Imperial Cup. This race will cover 2 1/16 miles over National Fences.

For ticketing and parking information, please visit Gates open at 8:00 AM with the first race scheduled to go off at 1:00.
Carolina Cup Runs April 1
The 88th Annual Carolina Cup Races will be held at Springdale Racecourse in Camden on Saturday, April 1. Five races will take place with the feature being the $50,000 The Carolina Cup traveling 2 1/8 miles over National Fences. The four hurdle races will be followed by a flat training race.

Gates open at 9:00 AM. A Paddock Shoppes and Vendor Village will be assessable at 9:15. Post time for the first race will be 1:30. Ticketing and parking information can be found at
Mullins Named to Board of NSA
Frank Mullins, President of the Aiken Steeplechase Association, has recently been named to the board of directors for the National Steeplechase Association. The NSA board oversees the regulation of steeplechase racing in this country and is in charge of the business conducted by the organization.

Along with his son-in-law, Jordan Wycoff, Mullins campaigns Topic Changer who was named as the top 3-year-old steeplechaser in 2022. Topic Changer won the Holiday Cup at the Aiken Fall Steeplechase and the Alston Cup Stakes at the Steeplechase of Charleston.
SC Equine Advancement Act Makes Progress
The Judiciary General Laws Subcommittee passed House Bill 3514 (The SC Equine Advancement Act) out of subcommittee unanimously on February 28. In order to see more information about the South Carolina Equine Advancement Act and how it will benefit our equine industry, please visit the website at Reach out to your state representatives and let them know of your support for the Bill!

From the Desk of…..
---- When Swayin to and Fro won the Barbara Fritchie Stakes-G3 at Laurel Park on February 20, she became the first South Carolina-bred to win a Graded Stakes. This 4-year-old filly was bred and foaled at “Goree” Smith’s Elloree Training Center. She is by Straight Talking out of Jungle Lady by Warrior’s RewardSwayin to and Fro is owned by Baxter Racing Stable and trained by Mario Serey in Maryland. Straight Talking stood at stud at the Elloree Training Center.

----On February 20, Steve Asmussen won his 10,000th race as a trainer when Bet He’s Ready led wire to wire in his race at Oaklawn Park. Bet He’s Ready was purchased by Kip Elser’s Gulfstream Gallop as a yearling in 2021. He then sold at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale the following year.

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