The first stribe to the finish line begins in SC
July 5, 2021
Upcoming Events
Nov. 6, 2021
King's Tree Trials
McCutchen Trng Ctr
King's Tree, SC

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Racing Across the Nation
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.
Equine Subcommittee Hears from Thoroughbred Experts

Efforts to promote racing—and the horse industry as a whole—are moving forward. The newly formed equine study committee met at the State House on June 23, with significant input from the SC Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.

Legislation passed last year resulted in the formation of a committee “to examine the potential for further growth of the equine industry in this state.” Appointed by House and Senate members, the group consists of Rep. Russell Ott, Rep. Bill Hixon, Sen. Dick Harpootlian, Sen. Katrina Shealey, Jack Sadler, Debby McCutchen and Kip Elser.

Ott, who introduced the legislation that formed the committee, was elected chairman. Members were inquisitive and positive about the equine industry and its future.

SC Department of Agriculture assistant commissioner Clint Leach cited four categories for growth in the equine community: race-related activities, training facilities, arenas for competitions, and recreation. A study commissioned by SCDA shows a $1.9 billion economic impact from the equine industry.

In response to SCTOBA representatives who cited a decline in the Thoroughbred business, Sen. Harpootlian asked what the state needs to do to change. McCutchen mentioned incentives, which led to a discussion of practices in other states.

Harpootlian asked about wagering, but Elser said the committee’s role is to look at every possible venue which could benefit the horse industry. 

“At the end of the day, the incentives are about dollars and cents,” Ott said. “We want to look at all the issues to see the biggest impact.” He used Kentucky as an example. “What has Kentucky done that South Carolina has not done to bring people to the state?”

The group requested information on how other states fund their racing. Ott emphasized that they will keep an open mind as they seek to enhance horse ownership and the equine industry as a whole.  
King’s Tree Trials Returns This Year
R.B. “Bobby” McCutchen, his wife, Debby, and son Jason are happy to announce the 25th running of the King’s Tree Trials will be held on November 6, 2021.

Built on a former tobacco field, the McCutchen Training Center has been the home of the Trials since 1995 and is annually held on the first Saturday in November. Both thoroughbred and quarter horse trials make up the program. This event is held in Kingstree, SC.
Yearling Sales Season Ready to Kick Off

Now that the 2-year-old in training sales season has come to a close, the yearling cycle is ready to begin.

Action starts on July 13 with the Fasig-Tipton July Sale of Selected Yearlings taking place on July 13 in Lexington, KY. Fasig-Tipton’s boutique The Saratoga Sale will be held in the Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion in Saratoga on August 9-10. This will be followed by the New York Bred Yearlings on August 15-16.

Keeneland’s blockbuster September Yearling Sale will take place September 13-25.

The yearling sales activity through the end of September will conclude with the California Fall Yearlings on September 28.

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