Racing Across the Nation
Between the dates of May 20 through June 20, seven graduates of South Carolina training centers and farms crossed the finish line first in Stakes races.
On May 22, Get Smokin, who went through the breaking process under the watchful eye of Donna Freyer at her Custom Care operation in Camden, broke on top and never looked back in the Seek Again S. at Belmont Park. In front by a length after the opening ½ mile, this gelding held sway crossing the finish line a length in front. This was his third Stakes victory.
At Canterbury Park on May 27, Best Kept Secret was not a secret to the betting public. As the heavy favorite, she led wire to wire. Quickly opening up by a couple of lengths, in the stretch while being challenged, she was able to hold on to her head advantage at the wire. Best Kept Secret came up through Randy and Kala Rentz’s program in Ehrhardt.
It's A Gamble proved to be a good gamble to take by the bettors at Monmouth Park on May 28. A graduate of Treavis Durr’s Webb Carroll Training Center, It’s A Gamble captured the Jersey Derby by 1 ¾ lengths. Racing mid-pack for the opening ½ mile, this 3-year-old colt took command in the stretch drawing off to victory.
On May 30, the former Rentz pupil, Beren, won his second Stakes in a row, finishing first in the Paradise Creek S. at Belmont Park. He was coming off of a victory in the Gold Fever S. also at Belmont Park on May 9. Beren quickly proved much the best in the Paradise Creek. He jumped out to an early lead and was never threatened crossing the finish line 10 ¾ lengths in front.
River Dog, another graduate of Travis Durr’s program, proved best in the Mike Lee S. at Belmont Park on May 31. River Dog stalked the leader from the outside to the ¼ pole. He then took control quickly opening up with a 3 length advantage. He maintained his lead inside the 1/8 pole finishing up 1 ¾ lengths in front. River Dog is undefeated in 2 career starts.
The popular Webb Carroll Training Center standard bearer, Firenze Fire, struck again in the True North -G2 S. at Belmont Park on June 4. Challenged throughout, Firenze Fire would not be denied drawing clear late to win by 1 ½ lengths as the even money favorite. This year he has won both the Runhappy S. and the True North S.-G2 for the second time. In 33 career starts, Firenze Fire has 14 wins, 4 seconds and 3 thirds collecting $2,484, 350.
Valued Notion, who went through the breaking process with Cary Frommer in Aiken, proved best in the Ben’s Cat S. at Pimlico on June 13. In this 5 furlong sprint, Valued Notion was second early on before taking the lead in the turn and coasted home 2 lengths in front. He has won 3 of 4 starts this year.