Racing Across the Nation
Between January 21 and February 19, five horses who went through the breaking and training process in South Carolina won Stakes in Florida, Maryland and New York.
On January 21, Award Wanted, a graduate of Marcus and Crystal Ryan’s Mason Springs breaking program outside of Aiken, proved much the best in the Geisha Stakes at Laurel Park. Award Wanted, third after the opening ½ mile, came up along the inside rail, taking command in the stretch and won by 5 ½ lengths in this one mile Stakes. This 6-year-old mare has 9 wins, 8 seconds and 5 thirds in 32 career starts. She has earned $370,450 during her career.
Art Collector also was much the best in the $3,000,000 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes-G1 at Gulfstream Park on January 28. Art Collector raced in the third position down the backside. He took the lead in upper stretch and drew away to a 4 ½ length victory facing the best older horses in the country. A graduate of the Travis Durr Training Center in St. Matthews, Art Collector has won 8 Stakes, including 6 graded Stakes. During his career, he has won 11 races and earned $4,012,490.
Swayin to and Fro won her third Stakes in her last four starts capturing the Barbara Fritchie Stakes-G3 at Laurel Park on February 18. Swayin to and Fro was in contention from the start. She took the lead after a ½ mile and in a determined effort, held off all the others crossing the finish line ½ length in front. This 4-year-old filly was bred in South Carolina by Franklin “Goree” Smith and received her early training at Smith’s Elloree Training Center. She has 9 wins, a second and 2 thirds in 16 lifetime starts accumulating $476,537 in lifetime earnings.
Nimitz Class won his second Stakes in a row finishing first in the John B. Campbell Stakes at Laurel Park on February 18. He won the Robert T. Manfuso Stakes also at Laurel Park on December 30. Nimitz Class broke sharply battling for the lead for the first ¾’s of a mile before drawing clear in the stretch crossing the finish line 4 ½ lengths in front. This 4-year-old colt received his early training at Randy and Kala Rentz’ Rentz FarmTraining Center in Erhardt. He has won 7 of his 13 starts.
Another Rentz Farm Training Center graduate, Cairo Sugar, was best in her first Stakes appearance. Last out of the gate, Cairo Sugar quickly advanced to the lead and in a relentless effort, would not be denied winning the Maddie May Stakes at Aqueduct on February 19 by 1 ¼ lengths.