Exhibit featuring trainer Buddy Raines on display at Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum

An exhibit featuring Buddy Raines, pictured here, is on display at the Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum. 

An exhibit featuring the late Virgil W. “Buddy” Raines is on display at the Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum through the end of February.

Raines, who was a trainer, died in 2000 at the age of 89 after spending decades working in the horse industry.

Among the best thoroughbreds he saddled was Open Fire, who was the co-champion older female in 1966. She is a member of the Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame.

Raines also trained Greek Money, who captured the Preakness Stakes in 1962.

Other talented runners saddled by Raines included Cochise and Greek Song, who was the sire of Greek Money.

In 1956, Raines started training thoroughbreds at the Aiken Training Track, and he was easy to recognize because of the Stetson hat that he wore.

Raines enjoyed some of his greatest successes with the horses he conditioned for Donald P. Ross’ Brandywine Stable.

During a 1989 interview, Raines told the Aiken Standard that thoroughbred racing “sure has been good to me. Every biscuit my family ate came out of racing.”

When Raines was only 4 years old and living in Oklahoma, his father gave him away to a horse trader because he was unable to support all of his 14 children.

At the age of 11, Raines began working for trainer Robert A. Smith, who later became a member of the national thoroughbred racing Hall of Fame.

Raines spent time as an exercise rider and a jockey.

He assisted Smith with the training of 1934 Preakness winner High Quest and champion Cavalcade, who triumphed in the 1934 Kentucky Derby and finished second to High Quest in the Preakness.

Cavalcade, like Smith, is a member of the national Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame.

The Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum is in Hopelands Gardens at 135 Dupree Place.

Hours are 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

There is no admission fee.

For more information, visit aikeracinghalloffame.com.

​Dede Biles is the Aiken County government, business and horse industry reporter for the Aiken Standard. Follow her on Twitter @DBethBiles.