Aiken Trials horse races are Saturday

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The first leg of the Aiken Triple Crown – the 72nd running of the Aiken Trials – is Saturday, March 15, at the Aiken Training Track, 538 Two Notch Road.

Horses and riders in the two-year-old Maiden Fillies trial race down the track at the Aiken Training Track for the 2013 Aiken Trials. The 72nd running of the Aiken Trials is Saturday. Gates open at 10 a.m. Races start at 2 p.m.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Horses and riders in the two-year-old Maiden Fillies trial race down the track at the Aiken Training Track for the 2013 Aiken Trials. The 72nd running of the Aiken Trials is Saturday. Gates open at 10 a.m. Races start at 2 p.m.

The Trials started in 1942 as a way to let the young horses being trained in Aiken stretch their legs in front of a cheering crowd. The event draws about 10,000 spectators.

Gates open at 10 a.m. Opening ceremonies and a carriage parade are at 1 p.m. The races begin at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the gate. Parking is $10 in advance and $15 at the gate. A VIP tent party begins at 11 a.m., costs $75 and includes heavy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails.

Purchase tickets online at www.aikentrials.com, by calling (803) 648-4631 or find the event on Facebook at facebook.com/aikentrials.

• The Aiken Triple Crown will continue Saturday, March 22, with the Spring Steeplechase at Aiken Horse Park at Ford Conger Field, 931 Powder House Road.

Gates open at 9:30 a.m. and the first race is at 1 p.m. Steeplechase tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the gate; Guarantor Tent Party tickets are $120 person or $450 for four guests (in one car).

For more details, see aikensteeplechase.com.

• On Saturday, March 29, Pacers & Polo completes the Triple Crown events. Gates open at 10:30 a.m. at Powder House Polo Field on Powder House Road. The polo match begins at 1 p.m.

A VIP Tent ticket is $75 and includes lunch, an open bar, and admission. Parking is $5. For more details, visit http://web.usca.edu/pacersandpolo.

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