Dogwood, Eclipse merger formalized

Thursday, June 20, 2013 2:11 PM
Last updated 8:19 PM
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Dogwood Stable president Cot Campbell isn’t going to rest on his laurels after Palace Malice’s victory in the Belmont Stakes.

But the pioneer in thoroughbred racing partnerships is merging his Aiken-based stable with a new outfit.

The union between Dog­wood and Eclipse Thor­ough­bred Partners will be effective July 1, according to a news release from Campbell and Aron Wellman, Eclipse president.

All new yearling, 2-year-old and older horse purchases will be made and managed by Eclipse in the name of Eclipse/Dogwood, and horses will race in that name, with racing colors alternating.

“As I cracked after winning the Belmont Stakes with Palace Malice, ‘This great win is not likely to accelerate my retirement,’ and it won’t,” Campbell said in a prepared statement. “I will enjoy continuing to manage Dogwood existing partnerships, but our client roster will now be offered participation in the new horses formed and managed by Aron Wellman and Eclipse/Dogwood.”

Two key Dogwood employees, Jack Sadler and Bill Victor, will continue to work out of their Aiken office. Sadler will be the vice president of operations for Eclipse, while Victor will assume the role of chief financial officer for Eclipse. Both will continue to work with Dogwood clients and the existing partnerships.

Campbell, 85, announced in November 2011 that he wouldn’t form any new partnerships going forward. But he changed his mind a few months later and decided to form a few new ones, including the purchase of Palace Malice in 2012.

“We don’t want people to perceive there are going to be drastic changes,” Sadler said. “We’re not leaving Aiken. While there won’t be any new partnerships under just the Dogwood name, several horses under the new banner will train in Aiken.”

Since Eclipse began in 2011, it has enjoyed plenty of success, with 13 stakes races won by eight horses. Most recently, Eclipse won the Grade 1 Vanity at Hollywood Park with Byrama.

“We have come to know many of the Dogwood faithful and we’re keen to welcome them into the Eclipse family,” Wellman said in the news release. “It is an honor to be handpicked by Cot to carry on his esteemed legacy. This is the ultimate endorsement.”

Meanwhile, Sadler said Dogwood is pointing Palace Malice for the Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga on July 27. If that goes well, the Travers Stakes on Aug. 24, also at Saratoga, would be the next race, Sadler said.


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