South Carolina  Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association

The first stride to the finish line begins in SC

October 9, 2018
On the Horizon

Oct 27, 2018
Aiken Fall Steeplechase 
Aiken, SC

Nov 11, 2018
Steeplechase of Charleston, SC

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This is the time of year where Breeders' Cup fever is infectious. South Carolina farms and training centers will be well represented. If you can't go to Churchill Downs, this event is a great reason to have a party and share the excitement.
The yearling sales season is nearing a close. The breaking season has begun. It is fun to watch the young horses and guess which ones will develop into stakes competitors.

Jack Sadler, President

Racing Across the Country
Graduates of South Carolina farms and training centers had a very productive period between August 20 andSeptember 20 capturing eleven stakes.

On August 20, the Kirkwood Stables graduate, Hit It Once More, captured the Genesee Valley Breeders' S. at Finger Lakes. This New York-bred quickly took the lead and the field followed him around the track as he crossed the finish line 3 lengths in front.

Party Like Grandma also was a wire-to-wire winner in the Seeking the Ante S. at Saratoga on August 24. This 2-year-old New York-bred filly learned her early lessons from Travis Durr at the Webb Carroll Training
Center. Pressed throughout,  Party Like Grandma hit the wire 1 ¼ lengths in front.

Another Durr student, Abel Tasman, proved best in the Personal Ensign S. GI also at Saratoga on August 25.  This was her second Grade I win in a row having captured the Ogden Phipps S. GI in June. In a hard fought duel, Abel Tasman would not be denied winning by a neck bringing her career total earnings to $2,787,385.

Promises Fulfilled is another who broke on top and never looked back in the H. Allen Jerkins S. at Saratoga on August 25. Promises Fulfilled fought off several challenges before winning by 1 ¼ lengths. He learned his early lessons at the Elloree Training Center owned and operated by Franklin "Goree" Smith.

Amatteroftime picked August 26 to be the right time to best his opposition in the New Jersey Breeders H. at Monmouth Park. This Webb Carroll Training Center pupil got up in the shadow of the wire to win by a neck.

Jane Dunn, owner and operator of Holly Hill, put Synchrony through her breaking program and this now 5-year-old came from off the pace to capture his second stakes win in a row proving best in the Red Bank S. G3 at Monmouth Park on September 1. Over 7 lengths back early on, he advanced up the inside rail and barreled his way to a 1 ½ length victory.

On September 1, the Cary Frommer former trainee, Henley's Joy, pressed the leader throughout in the
Kentucky Downs Juvenile S. In a long drive through the stretch, this 2-year-old prevailed at the wire by a
neck. He is now two for two lifetime.

Proper Discretion, who came up through Travis Durr's program, showed why he deserved to be favored in the Scarlet and Gray H. at Thistledown on September 1. While in a relaxed controlled mode, he quickly sprinted clear and led throughout reaching the wire a length in front.

On September 9, another Webb Carroll Training Center graduate, Gamble's Ghost, trailed the field for the opening ¾'s of a mile in the Belle Mahone S. at Woodbine. Coming six wide into the stretch she did not make the lead until just before the wire winning by a head.

Ace of Aces, who came up through Goree Smith's program at the Elloree Training Center, was much the best in the Hillsdale S. at Indiana Grand on September 12. In a stakes restricted to Indiana-bred 2 year-olds, he stalked the leader early before taking over with a half-mile to go and romping home 4 lengths in front.

Decorated Soldier continued to show his love for a synthetic surface proving best in the Presque Isle Mile on September 16. Under the care of Brad Stauffer and Ron Stevens' Legacy Stable in Aiken during the breaking process, this gelding has now captured four races in five starts over a synthetic surface - the last two being stakes races. In the Presque Isle Mile, he was closest to the leader before taking control at the sixteenth pole and proving best by 3/4's of a length.

Update on SC Horse Racing Commission
Two groups of horsemen met with Ed Martin, president of the Association of Racing Commissioners  International, on Sept. 28 in Aiken and Columbia.

Ed led two lively discussions on racing and wagering, with both groups agreeing that they want to focus on
having horse racing included in any upcoming sports betting legislation.

Horsemen can move forward in several areas. The group will request the formal creation of a SC Horse
Racing Commission under the SC Department of Agriculture, perhaps as a study committee initially. It would  eventually be responsible for developing and promoting racing in the state.

Betting on racing is another topic. Many legislators are adamantly opposed to parimutuel betting, so the
terminology must focus on the economic benefits to South Carolina. Legalizing betting would also help
eliminate the criminal element.

"This is a political campaign, not a horse racing issue," Ed emphasized. He recommended that a steering  committee, composed of four to six horsemen, businessmen and political strategists, be formed to develop a  strategic plan.

The strategy will do two things: present a clear message about the economic impact and importance of horse  racing in this state and develop a specific plan to pass a bill favorable to horse racing.

Ed recommended that a lawyer draft a modest, narrowly focused bill that would authorize limited sports  betting through Advance Deposit Wagering, under a SC Horse Racing Commission.

Anyone who would like to serve on the steering committee should contact Jack Sadler or Marsha Hewitt,  Equine Marketing Specialist with the SC Department of Agriculture.

Hurricane Watch

While Hurricane Florence may not have been as devastating as feared she could have been, SCTOBA wants to thank all of those who were ready to supply stabling for those affected by the weather. We express our appreciation to the many who extended a helping hand to people in need on the coast and other areas affected by rain and wind.

In a recent development in Aiken, a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between Aiken Equine Rescue (operated by Jim Rhodes) and the county. Aiken Equine Rescue will provide temporary care for unwanted horses, donkeys and mules after the county takes custody of them.


Jumpers in South Carolina This Fall
The National Steeplechase Association has kicked off its Fall schedule. Meets will be held each weekend up and down the East Coast.   Two will take place in South Carolina.
The Aiken Fall Steeplechase is on October 27 at The Aiken Horse Park. Information on this event can be found at
The annual Steeplechase of Charleston at Stono Ferry will take place in Hollywood, SC on November 11. This meet will mark the conclusion of the 2018 National Steeplechase schedule. Information can be found at

Pointing For the Breeders' Cup
South Carolina graduates will be well represented at the 2018 Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs on November 2 and 3.
From Travis Durr's Webb Carroll Training Center, Firenze Fire, recent winner of the Grade 3 Gallant Bob Stakes at Parx Racing, will run in either the Dirt Mile or the TwinSpires Sprint. Abel Tasman, a six time Grade 1 stakes winner, has the Longines Distaff on her radar screen. Another Longines Distaff prospect who came up in Durr's program is Gamble's Ghost, winner of three stakes in a row including two Grade 3's.

Two contenders for the Longines Turf received their early lessons at Franklin "Goree" Smith's Elloree Training Center. Carrick was the winner of the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park this summer. Arklow is coming off of stakes victories at Ellis Park and Kentucky Downs.
Promises Fulfilled and Farrell, also graduates of Smith's program, are pointing for Breeders' Cup races. Promises Fulfilled, winner of three Graded stakes in a row will most likely be one of the favorites in the Dirt Mile or TwinSpires Sprint. Farrell, an eight time winner, is a candidate for the Longines Distaff or the Filly and Mare Sprint.
On the two-year-old front, Henley's Joy, a graduate of Cary Frommer's program in Aiken, just missed by a nose in the Bourbon Stakes on the grass at Keeneland Sunday. He looks to be a major contender for the Juvenile Turf.
We have several to cheer for with still enough time for more contenders to emerge.


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.