Deirdre Stoker Vaillancourt, REALTOR®


Aiken, South Carolina - Southern Charm and Equestrian Sport

(803) 640-4591 | 

Street names reflect equine history

Aiken is steeped in a richly endowed equine history, and a number of its streets bear the names of prominent thoroughbreds, races and racing venues.

Non paved road in historic horse district with sign for vehicle traffic when meeting horses

Foxchase features Kelso Drive, Citation Drive, Ridan Way, Ruffian Road and Calumet Court, names that bring to mind some of the world's most famous horses. Kelso was a five-time horse of the year, from 1960-1964, who trained in Aiken. The gelding raced in the colors of Bohemia Stables and was trained by Carl Hanford, who was just elected to the National Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Kelso retired with earnings of $1,977,896. He holds the distinction of capturing the two-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup in each of his Horse of The Year campaigns. In addition to becoming thoroughbred racing's eighth Triple Crown winner in 1948, Calumet Farm's Citation won 19 of 20 starts during his sophomore campaign, en route to Horse of The Year honors. Citation also won 16 consecutive races in 1948, while capturing three year-old honors. According to William H.P. Robertson's "The History of Thoroughbred Racing in America," Citation demonstrated his ability in both sprints and routes, winning at distances from six furlongs to two miles. Citation became the first horse to earn more than $1 million on July 14, 1951, according to the Daily Racing Form. The partnership of Mrs. Moody Jolley, John Greer and Ernest Woods owned Ridan, a son of Nantallah, who won the Hibiscus Stakes, the Florida Derby, Bluegrass Stakes and Arlington Classic during his sophomore campaign. Ridan was conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer LeRoy Jolley, but will always be best remembered for his nose loss in the 1962 Travers to Jaipur. Ruffian is considered by many to be the greatest filly of all time. She was undefeated as a two-year-old, and according to the Daily Racing Form, the daughter of Reviewer was sent off at odds of 1-20 in the Comely Stakes and Coaching Club American Oaks during her three year-old campaign, according to the Daily Racing Form. Ruffian raced in the silks of Locust Hill Farm, and was conditioned by Frank Whiteley, Jr. Her sophomore campaign was marred by the ill-fated tragic match race on July 6, 1975, against the 1975 Kentucky Derby winner Foolish Pleasure, a race that saw the champion filly shatter both sesamoids in her right forelimb. She was named the 1975 Eclipse Award winning Three Year-Old Filly posthumously. Calumet Farm has been a name synonymous with success in the thoroughbred industry, after initially making its mark with standardbreds. The farm was established in 1924 by William Monroe Wright. Among the champions produced and owned by the farm over the years are Nellie Flag, 1941 Triple Crown winner Whirlaway, 1948 Triple Crown winner Citation, Twilight Tear, Armed, Coaltown, Barbizon, Real Delight, Our Mims, Davona Dale and Criminal Type. There are also a number of thoroughfares off of Gregg Avenue that pay tribute to the thoroughbred racing industry, including Derby Lane. Derby is a stakes event for three-year-olds, according to "The Newsroom Guide to Thoroughbred Racing." Belmont Street is named after Belmont Park, in Elmont, N.Y., which can trace its history back to 1895 when the Westchester Racing Association was formed and began conducting racing at Old Morris Park, according to the New York Racing Association. Belmont Park opened on Thursday, May 4, 1905. The New Belmont Park was opened for business on May 20, 1968 at a cost of $30.7, said NYRA. Saratoga Street, like Belmont Street, which is in the Gregg Avenue area, is named after Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The first thoroughbred meeting in Saratoga was reportedly held on Aug. 3-6, 1863, according to NYRA. William Travers, Leonard Jerome and John Hunter purchased 125 acres of land in 1863, across the street from the location of the initial meet, and opened a new racetrack in 1864, on the site where Saratoga currently stands. Reprinted with permission from the Aiken Standard.