The 72nd annual Aiken Trials were held March 15 at the Aiken Training Center in South Carolina, and horses from Sheikh Mohammed’s powerful Darley operation had a big day. A total of six races were held (plus a 300-yard dash for polo ponies), and Darley horses swept the top three spots in two of the four juvenile races.
Darley’s Redshirt, a filly by Distorted Humor, won the Gaver Trophy with a quarter-mile sprint in :24 2/5. The Von Stade Trophy went to Darley’s Epsilon, a Desert Party colt who clocked :26 4/5. Dunbarton Stables’ Stonebriar, a Two Punch colt, captured the Coward Trophy in :22 4/5, and Final Chapter, a Thunder Gulch colt running for 101-year-old owner and Hall of Fame trainer John Nerud, won the W.C. Freeman Memorial Trophy in :23 2/5.
The Iselin Hall of Fame Trophy, for 3-year-old and up maidens, went to Colleen Beaumier’s Johnny Whitebird, and the City of Aiken Trophy for 3-year-old and up winners went to Dunbarton Stable’s Ascauga.
To read the Aiken Standard’s recap of the event, which attracts thousands of visitors every year, click here.
The week’s festivities also included Breakfast at the Gallops, which serves as a fundraiser for the Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum. Click here to read an article by Lindsey Perrow published in Southeast Equine Magazine about a past edition of the event.
For a complete list of results and more information about the Aiken Trials, visit the Aiken Training Track website.