Racing Across The Nation
South Carolina farms and training centers were represented by 17 stakes winners from September 21 to October 19.
Coal Front, a graduate of Kip Elser's Kirkwood Stables in Camden, quickly put his head in front in the PARX Dirt Mile S. on September 21 and never was headed crossing the finish line ¾'s of a length in front.
Over at Laurel Park on the same day, Irish Mias captured the Laurel Futurity. Off a step slow, he did not make the lead until inside the 1/16'th pole and dueled with his stablemate to the wire getting there a head in front. Irish Mias came up in Travis Durr's program at the Webb Carroll Training Center in St. Matthews.
Another Durr graduate, Pat On the Back, got just that from his connections following the Kelso H.-G2 at Belmont on September 21. Pat On the Back had only one beat after the opening ½ mile. He came wide into the stretch and in a hard fought struggle, he reached the wire a ½ length in front.
Also at Laurel on September 21, Dubini, who came up in Brad Stauffer and Ron Stevens' Legacy Stable program in Aiken, took his time early on in the Laurel Dash S. Still only having one beat while five wide in the stretch before getting up in the shadow of the wire to win by ¾'s of a length.
Killybegs Captain, also an Aiken grad coming up under Cary Frommer's thumb, notched South Carolina's fifth stakes winner on September 21. He captured the Frank J. DeFrancis Dash S.-G3 at Laurel Park. Nine lengths back early on while saving ground, he made the lead in the stretch being ¾'s of a length the best at the wire.
Dot Matrix, a former Webb Carroll Training Center student, stalked the leader before joining that one at the top of the stretch and out finished him to the wire winning by a ½ length. This battle took place in the Ashley T. Cole S. at Belmont Park on September 22.
Me Freeze, who went through the breaking process at Franklin "Goree" Smith's Elloree Training Center, matched strides with two others into the stretch in the Ack Ack S.-G3 at Churchill Downs on September 28. He put some air between himself and the rest of the field in the stretch winning by 1 1/2 lengths.
On the same day, two of Travis Durr's former students won stakes. As the heavy favorite, Pink Caddy proved much the best in the Small Wonder S. at Delaware Park crossing the finish line 6 ¾ lengths in front. At Laurel Park, O Dionysus was off a bit slow then quickly advanced and in a tough struggle, would not be denied winning by a head.
Area, a pinhook project of Cary Frommer's, trailed the field into the stretch in the Ricks Memorial S. at Remington Park on September 29. He put in a big rally to pass the field winning by 2 ¾ lengths.
Heavenhasmynikki, who went off five cents on the dollar, ran away from her opponents in the Diana S. at Thistledown on October 5. She was 5 ¼ lengths best of the rest. She is a product of the Webb Carroll
South Carolina Proud of Second Chance Program
Quoting the opening paragraph on the SC TRF website: “The SC TRF at Wateree River Correctional Institution offers a place of hope and renewal..a true second chance...for both retired Thoroughbred race horses and prison inmates. This unique partnership joins others across the country to pair these remarkable equine athletes with specially selected inmates, transforming the lives of both horses and men.”
The Second Chance program gives an inmate the chance to learn about the physiology of a horse and how to care for them. An inmate can go through the Groom Elite program and learn skills that can help them find employment in the equine industry upon their release.