Training Track’s clockers’ stand to be renovated, named for Dogwood Stable’s Campbell
Preparations are underway at the Aiken Training Track to honor a man who was one of Aiken’s leading citizens in a special way.
The clockers’ stand will be refurbished at the facility on Two Notch Road that is the home of the Aiken Trials.
After the work is finished, the improved structure will be dedicated to the memory of Cot Campbell, who died last October at the age of 91.
The founder and president of Dogwood Stable was a thoroughbred racing industry legend.
A fundraising campaign for the project has begun. Letters were sent to prospective donors at the beginning of January, and the goal is to generate $25,000.
“I was thinking after Cot died how much he meant to Aiken,” said Training Track President Cary Frommer. “I just thought we needed to do something in his honor. There is a great photo of Cot sitting on the clockers’ stand. That’s what made me decide it would be a good thing to rejuvenate it and name it after him.”
A cupola will be added to the clockers’ stand, and new windows will be installed.
Upgrades inside will include the addition of counters and the creation of an area with stools where people can drink coffee.
The walls will be decorated with photographs of prominent Aiken trainers and thoroughbreds. Featured prominently will be a print of Barry Bornstein’s photo of Campbell on the clockers’ stand that inspired the project.
In addition, the deck of the clockers’ stand will be extended and a pergola will be built on it.
The designers for the project were Catherine Hersacher and Kristin Austin of Bespoke Fine Interiors of Aiken.
Hersacher is Bespoke’s president and interior design principal. Austin is the associate designer.
Frommer said the goal is to complete the refurbishment of the clockers’ stand before the 77th running of the Aiken Trials on March 16 so a dedication ceremony can be held then.
The Aiken Trials are part of the Aiken Triple Crown. The other events are the Aiken Spring Steeplechase and Pacers & Polo
A contractor for the renovation hasn’t been chosen yet. Frommer is in the process of looking at estimates.
“I am thrilled beyond words that an iconic location in Aiken will bear Cot’s name,” said Campbell’s widow, Anne. “I think it is very appropriate because nobody hung out there more and had bigger dreams, greater hopes or more fun. He was a fixture at the clockers’ stand, and I know his spirit will be even more enhanced in that particular spot with his name on it.”
Donations can be sent to the Aiken Training Track at P.O. Box 656, Aiken, S.C. 29802.
“Cot Campbell Donation” should be written on the memo line of checks.
All donors will be recognized on a plaque that will be placed in the clockers’ stand with Bornstein’s photo of Campbell.
“I like to think it will make the Training Track more accessible to people in our town so they can come and watch the horses train,” said Fommer of the refurbishment.
For more information, call the Training Track at 803-648-4631.
Two months prior to his death, Campbell was inducted into thoroughbred racing industry’s Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Considered a visionary in the Sport of Kings, Campbell was a pioneer in the development of partnerships to own racehorses.
Groups put together by him campaigned many talented thoroughbreds. Among the best were Palace Malice, Summer Squall and Storm Song.
An earner of more than $2.6 million, Palace Malice won the Belmont Stakes in 2013. Summer Squall captured the Preakness Stakes in 1990, and his daughter, Storm Song, received an Eclipse Award as the champion filly of 1996 after her victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
Another Dogwood horse, Inlander, won an Eclipse Award as 1987′s champion steeplechaser.
For a while, Campbell had an ownership interest in 2019 Kentucky Derby prospect Maximus Mischief before the colt began racing. Trained in Aiken by Frommer, Maximus Mischief captured the Remsen Stakes in New York late last year.
Campbell was the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce’s Man of the Year in 2006 and the Aiken Standard’s Person of the Year in 2013.
In 2007, Campbell was inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.