Saddling up for Aiken Trials

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Friday, March 14th, 2014

MGN Online

Aiken, SC (WRDW)- It's off to the races. They're putting on the finishing touches at the aiken training track, setting up tents and testing audio.

Brad Stauffer President of Aiken Training Track says this hard winter put a crimp in everyone's training, and he was afraid there wouldn't be a race, but tomorrow there will better weather and a big turn out.

"This event has grown phenominally this is going to be the biggest event we've ever had," said Mike Fanning.

"The more people we get out the easier it is for us to maintain the track because thats where we get our income from," said Brad Stauffer.

The reason for the trials is the young horses. This is the first time they'll experience race track conditions.

"They hear the crowd screaming and theres a lot of hooplah and they get over that so by the time they get to the races they've seen it before," said Cot Campbell.

"It's very exciting to watch them especially when youve spent alot of time with them to see what they can do, and to see how well they learned and how good they do in a practice race," said Mike Stauffer.

About 6 horses in 7 different races will be off to a flying start. Giving some people a run for their money.

"We all say it doesnt matter who wins but believe me if youre putting the horses in the entries you want them to win," said Cot Campbell.

Legendary trainer, Cot Campbell has three horses competing in the Aiken Trials, and he's no stranger to winning. Campbell's horse Palace Malice won the Belmont Stakes last year.

"It's fun to see them go on to the bigger races and to recognize some of the names when they go onto the bigger races," said Sue Weed.