Page 23

A Little Bit of Magic

I used to assume all horses were brown and ran fast, but they are all so different. - Bob Edwards

V

ery few new horse racing ventures have hit the

ground running as well as e Five Racing has since their almost unheard of beginning in August of 2015. Although it is amazing that they have captured three Breeders’ Cup victories in just over two years, the backstory takes the proverbial cake. Branded e Five Racing Thoroughbreds for the five members of the Edwards family (Bob, wife Kristine, daughters Cassidy and Delaney, and son Riley), the genesis of this venture began at a wedding reception in Saratoga Springs two and a half years ago. “I sat down with [bloodstock agent] Mike Ryan, [trainer] Niall Brennan and [veterinarian] Scott Pierce, and they were talking about horses they were looking at and vetting—it was just so interesting. We spent the day looking at horses and pointing out confirmation and the whole thing was just overwhelming,” Bob Edwards said. Right then and there, he decided he was going to get into racing, and later that afternoon bid on his first horse at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Selected Yearlings Sale. When he arrived back home, he scoured the offerings at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, intent on making additional purchases. One month later, with Ryan as his agent, Edwards landed Hip 23 in Book One of the Keeneland September sale for $450,000. The Medaglia d’Oro filly would be named New Money Honey and would go on to win the first of e Five Racing’s three Breeders’ Cup championships when she captured the 2016 Juvenile Fillies Turf one year later. Even more bizarre is that e Five Racing’s first ever victory was a stakes win, when Keeneland purchase Zindaya took the Intercontinental Stakes at Belmont in June of that same year. Rushing Fall would make the combination of e Five Racing and trainer Chad Brown 2-for-2 in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, winning the 2017 edition of the race. The following day, Good Magic would gallop to a confident win in

the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, making history as the first maiden to win a Championship race and scoring points toward a start in the 2018 Kentucky Derby. He beat ten other horses in that race, including Bolt d’Oro and Solomini, and later garnered Two-Year-Old Male honors at the Eclipse Awards. After spending some time vacationing on the farm in early 2018, Good Magic returned to the races in late February to run in the Gr.2 Fountain of Youth. He finished third, causing self-anointed experts and social media types to jump off his bandwagon. But neither trainer Chad Brown nor Bob Edwards were disappointed in the colt’s performance. “We gave him ample time off after the [Breeders’ Cup],” explained Edwards. “He needed that race.” One month later, he returned to win the Gr.2 Blue Grass Stakes with regular rider Jose Ortiz. Edwards has used his experience owning pharmaceutical companies to build his racing franchise and knows the value of building a strong team. “It’s universal in any business setting; you try to hire the best and the brightest. It’s the same philosophy in the horse business. Mike Ryan is a way better horseman than I’ll ever be. He knows more than I’ll ever learn about turning yearlings into racehorses,” he emphasized. “Stonestreet has started more champion horses than I can probably count, the guys at All In Line are great at what they do, and I have a team of trainers that have more experience than I will ever have.” Looking at the big picture, he is quick to acknowledge that he could not have achieved such success without the help of his wife. “Kris is my biggest partner and supporter at every level, being pharma, parenting or racing. I couldn’t have made it this far without her.” And then there is Father Carl—the Catholic priest who travels with the family to bless their horses before big races. Carl Hellwig first blessed Mizz Money in May 2017; she went on to win her race by a nose. On October 17, he blessed Rushing Fall, who he also named; she went on to win the Jessamine at Keeneland. Later that month, he blessed Rushing Fall and Good Magic at the Breeders’ Cup; they both won. When he did not attend the Fountain of Youth, Good Magic lost. When he attended the Blue Grass, Good Magic won. This year, Rushing Fall won her three-year-old debut in the Gr.2 Appalachian at Keeneland. Father Carl was present. So is it luck or is there really a little bit of magic behind e Five Racing’s success in the sport of kings? We may never know the real answer to that. What we do know is this family of five is enjoying the ride of their lives. “Horses are special creatures and unbelievable athletes,” Edwards added. “They bring a lot of joy to our lives.”

The Edwards Family (L to R): Delaney, Bob, Kris and Casi Photos: Breeders’ Cup Ltd., above| Wendy Wooley, left

Thoroughbred Today

23

Thoroughbred Today Spring 2018  

Thoroughbred Today magazine's spring 2018 issue is all about the three-year-olds, featuring stories on Good Magic, Justify, Mendelssohn, Edg...

Thoroughbred Today Spring 2018  

Thoroughbred Today magazine's spring 2018 issue is all about the three-year-olds, featuring stories on Good Magic, Justify, Mendelssohn, Edg...