Lady and The Track | September 19, 2020

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A Quiet Home of Racing Champions in Aiken

By Mary Perdue

AikenMuseum1

Saddle Towel from Aiken Racing Hall of Famer Palace Malice. Photo: Sue Daragan

Many racing fans might be surprised to learn that 40 champions have spent significant part of their training career in historic Aiken, SC. The Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame Museum, located inside the city’s historic Hopelands Gardens, features trophies, photos, news clippings and other memorabilia from noteworthy greats, including 2013 Belmont Stakes (GI) winner Palace Malice.

Additional exhibits feature champions Midshipman, Pleasant Colony, Swale, Shuvee, Lamb Chop, Gamely, Kelso and Hawaii, among many others.

Curalina Breeders' Cup 2015

Curalina. Photo: Susie Raisher, Coglianese/NYRA

 

 

Since 1971, inductees into the museum’s Hall of Fame must have won an Eclipse Award and spent at least part of their training career in Aiken. This year’s inductee is champion filly Curalina.

The second floor of the museum includes historical artifacts on steeplechase racing, including a 1937 handwritten letter from then 8-year-old Jacqueline Bouvier (eventually Kennedy, the wife of President John F. Kennedy) to rider Lib Maloney, who broke her collarbone riding Bouvier family horse Stepaside at that year’s Deerskill Horse Show.

A letter written by a then 8-year-old Jacqueline Bouvier to a steeplechase jockey. Photo" Sue Daragan

A letter written by a then 8-year-old Jacqueline Bouvier to a steeplechase jockey. Photo” Sue Daragan

To learn more about champions who trained in Aiken, pre-order “Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Champions,” by Lisa J. Hall, to be released April 10 on amazon.com

For more information on the museum visit www.aikenracinghalloffame.co

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