Triple Crown comes out of the gate strong with 75th Aiken Trials - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Triple Crown comes out of the gate strong with 75th Aiken Trials

The 75th Aiken Trials is the staging ground for jumpstarting a horse's career; WFXG. The 75th Aiken Trials is the staging ground for jumpstarting a horse's career; WFXG.
AIKEN COUNTY, SC (WFXG) -

The first leg of Aiken's Triple Crown kicked off this afternoon.
Thousands of spectators watched some young horses take their first major strides onto the horse racing scene.

The 75th Aiken Trials ushered in the first of three major horse events for the county.
An estimated 10,000 spectators watched many of these young thoroughbreds' initiations into the horse racing business.

"Even on a day like this where we had a threat of rain, the tent is as full as I've ever seen it," said Andrew Siders, a county councilperson. "There are people everywhere, people are smiling, so it's already a great day."

Guests tailgated, shopped, picnicked--just about anything for fun, except formal betting.

"There is no para-mutual wagering," said Tony Bentley. "And I announce the Carolina Cup in Camden every year, and the Colonial Cup, and there's no legal wagering."

Betting and entertainment aside, the Aiken Trials give up-and-coming thoroughbreds a first glimpse of a horse racing setting.
The owner of Dialin, the winning horse of the first race, sees this as a way to measure the horse's worth on the track.

"They get to see the crowd, the noise, the spectacle," said Deborah McCutchen, owner of Dialin. "And she passed the test."

Keeping the horse healthy between racing events and travel time is a test all its own.

"There are things that could get in the way," said McCutchen. "You could come up with a bad shin, you could come up with a cold. It can happen to them like it happens to humans. But she's never had an issue."

Dialin may make her way to Keeneland, Kentucky, next month to test her mettle against higher stakes.
If the horse continues to perform, the stakes will continue to rise.
And the potential for greatness is what the Aiken Triple Crown is all about.

"The history, the horses, the people--this is what makes Aiken County great and we're proud to be a part of it," said Siders.

The second leg of the Aiken Triple Crown, the Aiken Steeplechase, is expected to draw more than 30,000 spectators.
That race is next Saturday, March 25.

Copyright 2017 WFXG. All rights reserved.

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