Between September 21 and October 20, South Carolina farms and training centers found the winner’s circle following stakes races nine times.
On September 23, Coal Front proved best in the Gallant Bob Stakes G3. He broke on top, briefly lost the lead in the vicinity of the quarter pole but would not be denied in a stretch long duel winning by a head. Coal Front learned his early lessons at Kip Elser’s Kirkwood Stables in Camden, SC.
Twenty-five minutes later, Proper Discretion won her second stakes in a row at Thistledown. Having won the Scarlet and Gray Stakes on September 4, Proper Discretion came back 19 days later demolishing the field in the Diana Stakes by 8 ¼ lengths leading throughout. This filly is a graduate of Travis Durr and Webb Carroll’s program at the Webb Carroll Training Center in St. Matthew’s, SC.
The next day, Kroy won his second stakes in a row capturing the Bear’s Den Stakes at Gulfstream Park. A graduate of Franklin “Goree” Smith’s operation at the Elloree Training Center, Kroy led wire-to-wire finishing 1 ½ lengths in front. He had won the Tortugas Stakes in his most recent start.
Just Howard is also on an impressive roll coming home first in the Commonwealth Derby at Laurel Park on September 30. He had won the Caveat Stakes and Find Stakes in his last two starts also at Laurel. Also a graduate of Smith’s Elloree Training Center, Just Howard has now won four in a row.
On the same day, a third Elloree grad, the two-year-old colt Seabhac, broke his maiden in the Pilgrim Stakes G3 at Belmont Park on the grass. Seabhac stalked the leader the opening ¾’s before engaging that one in the stretch pulling clear to win by a ½ length.
South Carolina grads continued to find their way to the winner’s circle on September 30 when Elate captured her second Grade I stakes in a row. After winning the Alabama at Saratoga against three-year-old fillies in August, she came back against older horses in the Beldame at Belmont and crushed the field by 8 ½ lengths. Elate learned her early lessons under the watchful eye of Jane Dunn at her Holly Hill Trainging Center in Holly Hill, SC.
Gray Dude trailed the field being 11th for the opening half-mile in the Jack Flats Stakes at Gulfstream Park on October 1. He then put in a tremendous rally to get up to win by a neck. Gray Dude is another former student at Kip Elser’s Kirkwood Stables.
On October 7, Firenze Fire stamped himself as one of the leaders of the juvenile division hitting the wire first in the Grade I Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park. In a full field, Firenze Fire had only two beat after four furlongs being 10 lengths behind the leader. While racing near the rail, this two-year-old angled out entering the stretch and powered his way to a half length victory. This Travis Durr and Webb Carroll product has won three of four career starts including the Sanford Stakes G3 at Saratoga.
Also on October 7, the Shuler Stables of Orangeburg, SC, developed the seven-year-old mare, Power of Snunner who captured the Plum Pretty Stakes at PARX. She trailed the field the first half-mile before launching her bid and getting up in the final strides to win by a head. She has recorded 9 victories during her career.