Steeplechase racing returns to South Carolina on Saturday for the 27th annual edition of the Aiken Fall Steeplechase. The gala afternoon of Thoroughbred racing will feature five races, four over fences and the day’s final race on the flat.
First post time will be 1 p.m. at the Aiken Horse Park.
The Aiken Fall races will attract horses, owners, trainers, and jockeys from steeplechase centers up and down the East Coast, including South Carolina.
Kate Dalton, based in Camden, will have several starters in Aiken’s races, and most will be ridden by her husband, well-known jockey Bernie Dalton. In addition to her training duties, she is a director of the National Steeplechase Association.
The Halloween-themed meet traditionally is anchored by the Budweiser Holiday Cup, and this year the 2 1/4-mile race is limited to maidens, or horses just starting to make their way in the steeplechase world. It’s the first race on the program, carries a $30,000 purse, and contains a starter from the renowned Canadian racing and breeding operation Sam-Son Farm.
Aldous Snow, bred in Ontario by Sam-Son, will be making his jumps debut for trainer Neil Morris. In his most recent start, Aldous Snow won Woodbine’s $125,000 Singspiel Stakes (Gr. 3) in July 2017.
Dalton will saddle Virginia Lazenby’s American Lynx, and leading trainer Ricky Hendriks will be represented by Morningstar Farm’s Diplodocus.