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Thoroughbred Today

justify his accomplishments his glory & the controversy

also inside: An intimate Q&A with gabby gaudet, wonder gadot soars to new heights, Bob baffert addresses the belmont controversy, and more!

tarnishing his crown



Thoroughbred Today

“Those who stand for nothing fall for anything,” is a quote you’ve likely heard before. The most successful people in the world share many qualities: ambition, courage, discipline, focus, passion, persistence and conviction, among others. But how does one first get on the path to success? Everyone, whether they openly state it or not, wants to be successful; the problem is that not everyone understands the process. You can’t go through life looking for success if you don’t have an objective. Ask yourself the following: What do you want to be successful at? What do you need to do to achieve your success? Why do you want to be successful? Your ability to answer the first two questions will outline your objective (goal) and course of action (path). The third question requires a bit of soul searching, but is the most important. Close your eyes and imagine yourself achieving a future goal. What you see in your mind—your vision—becomes your motive, and your motive puts you on the path to achieve your goal. Not everyone is going to agree with what you want to achieve, and most will jump at the opportunity to discourage you. This is where conviction and focus come into play. In 2015, Bob Baffert made a comment that he wanted to win the Triple Crown again. He had just won it with American Pharoah, yet he said it with such conviction. Fast forward to present day and not only did he win it again, he won it with a horse who took down a 136-year-old curse, and whose career from debut race to Triple Crown sweep spanned 112 days. The moral of the story: Whatever you want to achieve, regardless of how crazy it sounds, don’t be afraid to have conviction. Believe in yourself, stay focused, and one day you will prove to those who doubted you: they were wrong.


Everything Equestrian, LLC. visit us online FOR ADVERTISING RATES & INFO Editor-In-Chief

Claudia L. Ruiz Managing Editor

Lauren Lima Front Cover

Dania Sierra Back Cover

Editor-In-Chief Thoroughbred Today

Contents 04 Turning on the Wonder

18 Standing Proud

Connections of Wonder Gadot weigh in on the super filly’s talent

An intimate conversation with

one of racing’s top on-air talents

10 Q&A: Gabby Gaudet

What Tiznow did for Americans after 9/11 will never be forgotten

20 Insights

Mike Smith and Chad Brown talk talented horses, p.20, 30

14 OTTB Spotlight

22 The List

The OTTB who ponied Justify on Preakness day is kind of a big deal

9 Saratoga stakes, their history and how they got their names

16 Red Ruby

31 Power Hour Racing

She broke a record in Delaware and ran so fast she almost beat Justify

Alex Evers Contributing Writers

Sean Alvarez Ciara Bowen Ryan Dickey Hayley Morrison Delaney Witbrod Photographers

Carson Dennis Alex Evers Kristin Leason Hayley Morrison Susie Raisher Scott Serio Matt Wooley


The well-being of the horse always comes first

On The covEr: justify

112 Days of Brilliance... p.24-29 Thoroughbred Today



Thoroughbred Today

turning on the


Unleashing her super powers to defeat the boys in the first two legs of the Canadian Triple Crown, Wonder Gadot is proving she’s more than just a pretty face... written by HAYLEY MORRISON featured photo by CARSON DENNIS

Thoroughbred Today



Turning on the Wonder


As far as superheroes go, Wonder Woman continues to be epitomized as one of the strongest female characters not only in comic books and TV shows, but also on the big screen, and most recently resurrected in the form of Israeli actress Gal Gadot. While her storybook status remains just that—in a book with a seemingly extended shelf life owed in part to glam girl Gadot—the warrior has yet to jump off the pages and into real life. Or has she and we just don’t recognize her?


ans the trademark red and blue bodysuit, tiara and of MGM, the filly has continued to accumulate buzz worthy golden arm bracelets, the striking image of Wonder status through a set of steady performances during her racing Gadot stands steadfast with a glistening dark bay coat campaign over the last year. as her groom Gary bathes her outside trainer Mark Casse’s Last August at Woodbine, she broke her maiden first time barn at Woodbine racetrack. out in an allowance race before going onto later win the Gr.3 Fresh off her Queen’s Plate victory, where she conquered Mazarine Stakes. Casse then shipped the filly to Del Mar to a field of 15 Canadian-bred three-year-olds in a scorching race in the Gr.1 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile heat wave; the bay filly remains the poster girl for athleticism, Fillies Stakes, where she fared poorly at the break, lacked power and durability. good positioning in the race and finished sixth. Her trip in The daughter of Medaglia d’Oro gave Casse his second the Breeders’ Cup remains the only race on her record where Plate victory four years after a filly by the name of Lexie Lou she failed to hit the board. Even Wonder Woman can have a captured the prestigious $1-million race and first leg of the bad day. Canadian Triple Crown. Making sure to follow up on that lacklustre While Wonder Gadot stands on her own performance, the filly closed out 2017 on a high pedestal of fame, Casse is quick to note the note, capturing the Gr.2 Demoiselle Stakes at they look differences and similarities between the two Aqueduct in New York. nothing alike fillies. A new year and a chance to show off her racin colour “It’s funny, they look nothing alike in colour ing chops, Wonder Gadot began 2018 and her or stature, or stature, but both Wonder Gadot and Lexie three-year-old campaign with a runner-up effort but both Lou just thrive on racing. A lot of horses, in the Silverbulletday Stakes at Fairgrounds. In lexie lou and when you run them, tend to lose weight and it February she finished third in the Gr.2 Rachel wonder gadot takes its toll on them. You have to give them Alexandra Stakes and then went onto another thrive on rest and things like that after each race. But third place finish in the Gr.2 Fair Grounds Oaks. Lexie, you would run her and the next day she In April, she was shipped to Oaklawn Park racing. would be like ‘let’s run again,’ ‘where am I where she placed second to Sassy Sienna in the - mark casse, trainer running next’ and Wonder Gadot is the same Gr.3 Fantasy Stakes. A month later she found way.” herself in the Kentucky Oaks battling the likes of Casse has worked in the horse racing industry since the Brad Cox’s trainee Monomoy Girl in a contentious stretch late seventies; beginning at the tender age of 15 at his father’s run, which looked as if Wonder Gadot would finally land her training operation. In 1979, he became a trainer and won his first victory of the year. Yet, it was not meant to be. Monomoy first race at Keeneland. Girl dug in deep and our heroine filly lost by half a length. He has since come a long way, clinching eleven trainer’s Her inability to find the winner’s circle might have distitles at Woodbine while also remaining within the top tier heartened some trainers, but not Casse. If anything, he of North America’s racing game. In 2016 he was inducted saw strength in the fact his filly continued to be so durable into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. His trainees, a throughout the early part of her 2018 campaign. bunch of champs too extensive to list include the likes of Gr.1 “Everybody makes a big deal that she’s probably run twice as winners World Approval, Classic Empire, Catch a Glimpse much as most three-year-olds in North America, especially and of course Tepin. Aptly nicknamed the queen of the turf, fillies this year. They ask me as a trainer, how can you do that? Tepin landed Casse several notable victories including a Gr.1 It has nothing to do with my abilities or what we do; it’s all victory in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Mile and captured a Group about them and their ability to be able to handle it. So I’d say 1 win in the 2016 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. Not she is truly Wonder Woman.” surprisingly between those two years, Tepin nabbed a couple Shipped back to Woodbine, the filly set her sights on the of Eclipse awards for champion grass mare. Woodbine Oaks, the final prep before the Queen’s Plate. Career stats aside, Casse has yet another rising superstar Posed as the 1-5 favourite in the small five-horse field, she on his hands with Wonder Gadot looking to holster top honclosed strong in the last few furlongs but was too late to catch ours as champion three-year-old filly this year. Bred by AnDixie Moon at the wire. derson Farms and owned by Gary Barber, the former CEO Her runner-up finish left some wondering if she could get


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Wonder Gadot at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Canada. photos by HAYLEY MORRISON KRISTIN LEASON

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Turning on the Wonder


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She felt great [in the prince of wales] and that’s how she ran. she’s just wonderful. - John Velazquez, jockey


the job done come Plate day. But her team at Woodbine, including regular exercise rider Wayne Brown, never strayed from the opinion that she would indeed live up to her name. “Well, you can ask anyone in the barn, I was saying since last year that she’s a Plate horse,” said Brown, who has worked for Casse for the last thirteen years. David Adams—an assistant trainer to Casse—echoed similar sentiments, knowing there was indeed a superhero in there somewhere. “We always had high hopes for her from the time she was a two-year-old. She trained here before she started and she trained like a really good horse and that’s one of the reasons Gary [Barber] named her Wonder Gadot.” Team Casse knew the filly possessed the physical talent to win the race, but decided to give her a set of armour—not a projectile tiara or lasso of truth which Wonder Woman carried, but something that would help her conquer the fierce field of horses she would meet on Plate day. “We just said, let’s try something new with her. Mark said, ‘David, let’s try some blinkers.’ He asked Johnny [Velazquez] if it would make any difference and Johnny said yes, ‘let’s try them and see from there.’ We trained her in them and exercise rider Wayne Browne said, ‘Oh, it made a whole lot of a difference, she is stronger and picking up horses.’ So we said we’re going to go with the blinkers,” recalled Adams, who has been part of the Casse team since 2001 and oversees the filly’s training when she races out of Woodbine. Armed with a set of staunch black blinkers and guided by champion jockey John Velazquez, Gadot lit up the board as the 2-1 favourite heading into the big race. Looking to avenge not only Dixie Moon, who beat her in the Woodbine Oaks, but also reign down on stablemate Telekinesis, who won another key prep race known as the Plate Trial three weeks earlier. Going 1 ¼ miles over the tapeta, the race unfolded with Telekinesis taking the field into the first turn and down the backstretch. Nobody mounted a challenge until they turned for home. Sitting within the pack of front-runners, Wonder Gadot found another gear, powering past her stablemate and drawing clear of the entire field to win by 4 ¾ lengths. Since 1956, only eight fillies had captured the Plate. Wonder Gadot’s win brings that to a total of nine to steal the honour from the boys. After her relentless racing campaign and tenacious Plate victory, it’s safe to say the words Wonder Woman no longer lingered in hopeful statements, but were happily entrenched within the media storm that engulfed the heroine post race. In retrospect, her Plate predecessor Lexie Lou possessed all the same qualities as Gadot. After securing the Plate, Lexie went on to land a graded stakes race at Santa Anita, then several stakes at Woodbine before being sold as a broodmare for $1 million at the 2016 Keeneland November Breeding Sale. During her racing career, Lexie banked nearly $1.8 million. Wonder Gadot has over $1.3 million in the honey pot as of early August, and on July 24 added the second jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown, the Prince of Wales Stakes, to her resume. She won the 1 1/16 mile race on dirt by 5 ¾ lengths in the slop, once again beating the boys and showing no sign of tiring. Could the celebrity name attachment be the only element setting the two girls apart in both class and talent? Casse doesn’t think so. “Lexie Lou was extremely talented, but I believe Wonder Gadot is even more talented than Lexie Lou.” A scary but exciting thought, especially given the fact that the filly has only just begun turning on the wonder. Thoroughbred Today




An intimate Q & A with one of racing’s classiest on-air talents. interview and photo by CLAUDIA L. RUIZ


he daughter of one of Maryland’s most wellregarded racing families, Gabby Gaudet has been around horses her entire life. She knows her way around a barn, has galloped plenty of racehorses and is one of the sport’s most respected on-air analysts. I first met Gabby in the spring of 2016, during the championship meet at Gulfstream Park, where I got to spend some time with her on set. Being the daughter of two trainers, one would presume she had planned to follow in their footsteps. In fact, she tells me she never thought of pursuing a career in racing or broadcasting, and despite what people may think, it was actually very difficult for her to get used to being on camera. During a visit to Claiborne Farm we chat about her childhood, the recent loss of her father, the sport’s future, and what it’s like to have an ‘on air’ career.

CLAUDIA RUIZ: Where were you born and raised? GABBY GAUDET: I was born and raised in Upper Marlboro, MD, which is about 15-20 minutes from Annapolis. My parents had a hundred acre farm, which we still have, though it’s not a hundred acres anymore. CR: You come from a racing family, but what made you want to get involved in the sport? GG: It was something that I originally never thought I would be in because of the dynamic of my family. Not only were my mom and dad trainers, my sister was at the barn almost every day, I had aunts that were jockeys and uncles that were farriers and owners. Every holiday, every dinner, every event the conversation was always about racing, and for a very short period of time I kind of resented it. But then I started college and started galloping and I really liked that side of the industry. When the opportunity came up to try out for the racing analyst position at Pimlico, I initially thought it would just be something to do before I graduated. I never thought I would end up pursuing a career in it. I thought I was going to be in graphic design. CR: what other types of riding have you done? GG: I was on a pony before I could walk and have so many pictures of me plopping around on a pony and my dad holding the reins. I ride Western and English, but I never did show-jumping or anything like that, just small shows when I was younger. Whether I tacked up a horse and went out to jump things in the field or was galloping horses at the track in the mornings, there was nothing really formal about it. I just loved to ride.


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CR: So it’s safe to say that horses are like big dogs to you? GG: Yeah, I guess they were kind of ubiquitous, they were just always around. Growing up on the farm we had horses, dogs, donkeys and Shetland ponies. It was an awesome way to grow up and that’s a great way to phrase it. CR: When we first met, you mentioned the process of becoming an analyst was not easy for you. Can you tell me what it was like? GG: I started at Laurel in 2013. Mike Gathagan, who is in charge of the communications department at the Maryland Jockey Club, was hiring someone to replace their analyst at the time. He decided to have tryouts between four people and I was one of them. I remember I woke up physically ill that day, I was so nervous to be on camera. Growing up, I was that kid in the back of the classroom that never raised their hand and was insecure about public speaking. Anyway, I was super nervous but tried out and decided to go last because I wanted to see what everybody did before me. I got a call a few weeks later that I had gotten the position. The first couple of months were difficult because I am naturally pretty shy and I wasn’t fully confident in my ability to handicap. I knew my way around a barn and a horse, but I wasn’t good at handicapping and doing it on camera. I remember Sean Clancy, who I worked for at the Saratoga Special and consider one of my mentors, he said, ‘Just look at the camera and pretend like you’re talking to your mom.’ So I started to do that and things got easier. But it was one of those things that took a lot of time and practice. CR: What’s your favorite part of the job? GG: Oh, there are so many different aspects. I would say interviewing and talking to people about their story or the horse’s story. My favorite thing about racing is that you get people from so many different backgrounds and there are so many different stories about how they got here or how their horse got to run in a certain race. A perfect morning for me is waking up, going to Saratoga, kicking around someone’s barn and doing an interview with them, hopefully leading to an interesting story. CR: What are some things fans learning to handicap should pay attention to when looking at past performances? GG: First and foremost, I think you have to watch replays. That’s where I’ve learned the most. Watching how successful races are run is really important to becoming a good handicapper. Aside from that, it depends on the race. I’m big on pedigree and like to look at it to get a better idea of how a horse fits the conditions. Continued on page 13

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I also look at class. Seeing where a horse has run, the type of horses they’ve run against and how they’ve done will tell you a lot about them. But pace is really the first thing I look at. Trying to figure out who is going to be on the lead will give you a better idea of how the race is going to unfold. CR: What do you think racing needs to do to grow its fan base and move forward? GG: I know a lot of people say we need to get younger people into racing, which I agree with but am not too concerned about because I think we’re doing a tremendous job at it. If you go to the golden age of racing the demographic really is just middleaged people with discretionary income. So I guess it would be to create an opportunity for people to not be so apprehensive. You know, this can be a very tightknit industry. These syndicates that are being created, where a person owns 2% of a horse; it gets people excited and causes them to bring their friends out to the races, which I think is great. CR: What’s your favorite track and why? GG: I have to say Saratoga. It’s not just about how beautiful the facility is, it’s about the nostalgia and experience that go with it. When I first got involved with the media, I was writing for the Saratoga Special; it was my first job in racing. I remember working my butt off all summer, but it was such an incredible experience. The town, the venue: there’s some sort of magic that keeps me going back every year. Royal Ascot is a close second and I would throw Tampa Bay Downs in my top five because I had such a great experience there. CR: What’s your favorite thing to do away from the track? GG: I love to travel. Any opportunity I get whether it’s inside or outside the United States, I jump on it. On a smaller scale, I love playing sports. I’m actually teaching myself to golf right now. I also like reading and being outdoors. CR: Favorite racehorse of all time? GG: See, what’s difficult about this question is that people probably want me to talk about a famous horse. In reality, my favorite racehorses are usually claiming horses that I was able to be around and were just the sweetest. I think Dr. Fager might have been one of the most interesting horses ever because of his versatility. On a more recent and personal level, I have to say Tepin. Not only was she a monster on the track, but she was also the kindest horse to be around in the barn. CR: Any goals that you have for the future? GG: Definitely. I always like to set goals for myself to keep moving forward and upward. Being in broadcasting, a long-term goal is to one day make it to a three letter network, like NBC, and a short-term goal is to keep perfecting my craft every day I work. I used to hate watching my old tapes, but it’s so important to do it because if you don’t cringe then you know you’re not improving.

CR: You recently sat down to interview D. Wayne Lukas. What

was that like? GG: I was so intimidated going into that interview and I just wanted to make sure I showed up 125% ready. The impact he’s had on the sport is huge. Todd Pletcher, Kiaran McLaughlin, Mark Henning, all of these really successful trainers have trained under him because he is in fact one of the best horseman of all time. We sat in a couple of chairs outside of his barn and it was incredible to pick his brain. He mentioned the importance of creating a brand for yourself. His was all about showmanship. Everything from the way he dressed to conducting himself with class, things were always clean and proper and it was all very meticulous. It was amazing. I wish I could do it ten times over again. CR: I know this is very recent, so I hope I don’t upset you by asking. Can you tell me about your dad, what was he like as a father and a trainer? GG: First off, I am so blessed to have such amazing parents who have instilled certain values in me and my sister. My dad suffered from Alzheimer’s for about 10 years and it was very difficult, but we never thought to put him in a nursing home; he was with us at home until the end. Losing him was heartbreaking. He had this tremendous influence over my family. He always told us to be at the dinner table at 7 o’clock every night, it didn’t matter what was going on we were having dinner as a family. A lot of people don’t know this, but he was actually illiterate. He grew up in a family of 12 with six brothers and six sisters and never finished school because he was the oldest boy and had to provide for his family. The fact that he built this career and reputation for himself without being able to write a sentence, I admired him so much for it. He loved playing practical jokes on everybody and he never had a bad day. I think that’s one thing I’ve kept with me: obviously work and life are important, but don’t take life too seriously to where you’re not enjoying it. Thoroughbred Today



OTTB Spotlight

ponying the stars He’s a fan favorite at Pimlico, trusted to pony the sport’s brightest every year on Preakness day. He’s the coolest pony on the track, and his name is Grey Horse. by CIARA BOWEN


hen Sharon Greenberg purchased Grey Horse, a gray gelding who stands at nearly 17 hands, she had no idea he would go on to pony two Triple Crown winners in Baltimore’s signature race. She just knew he had already been trained to pony, had been on the job for a couple of months, and someone who rode him was encouraging her to take him. The KY-bred by Meadowlake and out of Launching Shot (Relaunch) was foaled in 1999 and is registered with the Jockey Club as Dr Noble. He made it to the track in 2003, debuting at Gulfstream Park in January in a maiden claiming race. He won the race by 4 ¾ lengths in what looked like a promising start to his career. He finished second his next time out and then ran twice more before bowing a tendon and beginning his ponying career. Jessica Lindsey, who worked for Greenberg for several years, rode him when he ponied the likes of California Chrome, Super Saver, Big Drama, and American Pharoah. “Donna Brothers rode him one year and always asks me how he’s doing and if she can ride him again. But she hasn’t ridden Grey Horse since that one time. He’s spoken for. I love to ride him,” Greenberg said. “He’s very long-strided and he can keep up with any racehorse. Thoroughbreds make great ponies because of their stamina and it’s great when you have one that has been a racehorse before.” Greenberg has also ridden Grey Horse as an outrider before, and he’s helped her catch a few loose horses. “The thing about him is he’s fast, so he was great at it, but his brakes aren’t very good. It would take me a while to pull him up. He’s


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very competitive. He doesn’t have an A-type personality when he is ponying, but when he’s outriding he does.” Grey Horse’s personality is almost as large as he is and resembles his sire’s as well. “He’s all about people,” Greenberg said. “He loves kids, he loves getting his head scratched. He takes his job very seriously and is quick to do what you need him to do. He’s the type of horse that’s on it before you are.” Greenberg, who is from Baltimore, has been involved with horses since she began riding at the age of 10. Her interest in racing was furthered by Hall of Fame trainer Sonny Hine, who was a patient at the doctor’s office her mother worked in. Hine conditioned 1998 Horse of the Year and Hall of Fame champion Skip Away. “He was one of the best horsemen around, very giving,” she said. “When I turned 16, I wanted to work on the racetrack. Sonny didn’t have women working in his barn at that time (1974), so I went to work for Dickie Small, who trained Broad Brush and Concern, and that’s how I got started on the track.” She has been ponying off and on since 1983 and one of her favorite parts of the job is interacting with fans, which Grey Horse enjoys as well. “Most ponies will carry a pouch on

Photos: (above) Jessica Lindsey shares a special moment with Grey Horse; (right) Grey Horse, with Greenberg in the saddle, leads Justify and Mike Smith to the gate.

their saddle to hold treats and things for the outrider. My pouch always has a pen, program and mints. Whenever someone wants to say hi to Grey Horse and he’s a little distracted, I pull out a mint and let them feed it to him, and it’s the greatest thing in the world.” Race days are always busy, though for those at Pimlico, Preakness Day is by far the busiest—and usually one of the most memorable. “Grey Horse has been at the Preakness every year since I got him. People remember him. He’s very popular,” Greenberg said. This year, she and Grey Horse ponied a horse in nearly every race—but one chestnut colt in particular makes the pair even more memorable. As they guided Justify and jockey Mike Smith around Pimlico, Greenberg and Grey Horse worked as a flawless team, each doing their jobs with the ease that comes with familiarity. Justify was every bit the professional as he was led to the gate. “He was ready, I could feel him wanting to go,” she said. “When we started to warmup, he got very sharp. His expression... he was all business.” Ponying racehorses is no easy task and it isn’t always easy to find a horse that can do the job. “They have to be very tolerant,” Greenberg pointed out. “Racehorses get nervous, can push, bite, and kick them; they can get very aggressive and ponies cannot react. Mentally and physically they have to be able to handle it. Not every horse can do it.” Grey Horse has proven many times over that thoroughbreds can go from gate to great—whether that greatness is the immortality of the Triple Crown or lighting up a fan’s face as they give their favorite pony a treat. Photo: Claudia L. Ruiz

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red ruby


Thoroughbred Today

Meet the black-eyed susan winner who galloped to a 13-length victory in the delaware oaks—the largest winning margin in its history—and scored one of the fastest beyers (104) in her age group. trainer Kellyn gorder shares what the daughter of tiznow is like in the barn and on the track, and goes into detail about her injury and prognosis. written by CLAUDIA L. RUIZ as told by KELLYN GORDER Red Ruby first got to my barn on August 1, 2017. Brandi Nicholson and Sandra Sexton broke her and did the pretraining on her before they brought her over. I remember I sent her out with a horse that was about three works ahead of her and she had no problem staying with them. She did it so easily; I was like, ‘holy cow!’ When you look into her pedigree (Tiznow – Caroni, by Rubiano) it makes sense. She’s always had a lot of “go,” but was a little bit small and narrow at first, which is normal because she was only two. She’s grown a bunch since then, about four inches, and she’s filled out, put on a lot of muscle. I’m going to say she’s about 16.2h right now. She’s a big girl. Mentally she is a little tough. Her fear and flight instinct is pretty strong, and that’s probably what makes her good and also a little prone to getting herself in trouble. If she’s not sure about something, she’s not the type that’s like, ‘let me check this out and see if it’s ok.’ No, she’s out, she’s not sticking around! She’s so athletic that even her little moves feel big, so you’ve got to stay on your toes when you’re riding her. In the barn she is the sweetest filly. We have a bunch of kids that stop by her stall and she just stands there and nuzzles them. She may have a bad girl reputation when ridden, but in her stall she is as sweet as they come. She came back from the Delaware Oaks like she never even ran; she was scary good. We got back to Keeneland and she lied down a couple of times, but as soon as she went out to the track she was ready. I galloped her myself the day before we x-rayed her (Aug. 3) and I was smiling so big because she felt better than ever. I was so excited for the trip to New York, to run her in the Alabama. She never took a lame step, but we noticed she had a little bit of filling around her splint bone that was painful to palpation. My horses always get some sort of therapy after they run. We were using poultice and doing cold water therapy on her and I wasn’t too concerned, but we decided to take a precautionary x-ray. That’s when we realized she had a tiny crack in her splint bone. She’ll be off for about four months. I can’t really say for sure how long it will take to heal, but we want to make sure we give her all the time in the world and get her right so she has the best chance of having one heck of a four-year-old campaign. photo by MATT WOOLEY | eQUISPORT PHOTOS


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STANDING PROUD After the 9/11 terrorist attacks rocked the United States, Tiznow’s display of courage and strength in the Breeders’ Cup Classic of 2001 brought joy to the lives of many Americans. by Delaney witbrod


hen the United States suffered tragedy and loss beyond expectation in 2001, there was little to look forward to. Racing carried on, but there was an undercurrent among the sport that made it plain to see it had not gone unscathed. At Belmont Park, just a few months after the 9/11 attack, and only a few miles away, a horse gave us the performance of a lifetime. In what became one of the most historical calls for Tom Durkin, a hero soared. In a matter of strides, he transcended planes to become more than just a horse: he was America’s horse. Tiznow (Cee’s Tizzy – Cee’s Song, by Seattle Song), foaled March 12, 1997, is a bay stallion with a tornado shaped blaze and four white socks. The 16.3h giant is best known for his back to back Breeders’ Cup Classic wins in 2000 and 2001, and for being the only horse to win the Classic twice. He totaled 15 starts—8 wins, 4 seconds, and 2 thirds—and $6,427,830 in career earnings. The Hall of Famer had an outstanding career, but it got off to a slow start. Unraced as a two-year-old due to a leg fracture, Tiznow hit the track at the age of three and ran three times before breaking his maiden at Hollywood park in late May of 2000. He then went on to win the Gr.3 Affirmed Handicap, Gr.1 Super Derby, Gr.2 Goodwood Breeders’ Cup Handicap and Gr.1 Breeders’ Cup Classic (his first, which included victory over horses like Giant’s Causeway, Fusaichi Pegasus, Lemon Drop Kid and Albert the Great). On January 13, 2001, Tiznow made his four-year-old debut at Santa Anita Park in the Gr.2 San Fernando Breeders’ Cup Stakes and won by 1 ¼ lengths. Other wins that year included the Gr.1 Santa Anita Handicap and Gr.1 Breeders’ Cup Classic. His second Classic was undoubtedly his greatest. That year, the Breeders’ Cup was held at Belmont Park, just 12 miles away from Ground Zero, where around 3,000 Americans lost their lives. The field was comprised of talented horses, including European superstars Galileo (winner of both the Epsom and Irish Derbies) and Sakhee (Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner), who were both trying dirt for the first time. The top American horse in the field was Aptitude, who had won three straight graded stakes before the Classic. Though Tiznow had won the race the previous year, his inconsistent four-year-old campaign made him the fourth betting choice. With the devastation of the attacks that year, it was more important than ever for an American horse to win the Classic. Tiznow’s gameness allowed him to defend America’s title for the second time, defeating arguably the greatest international field to ever be assembled for a dirt race. On the final stretch home, he

was given the cue for a final attempt to overtake Sakhee, lunging forward to take the Classic by a nose as Tom Durkin exclaimed: “Tiznow wins it for America!” His words forever immortalized. In 2002, Tiznow’s success on the track followed him into the breeding shed at WinStar Farm, where he still stands today, commanding a fee of $50,000 and a book of around 150 mares. At first, his modest California breeding made him an uncertain stallion prospect. His unusual pedigree links him to being one of the few modern thoroughbreds whose sire line does not end with the Darley Arabian. Instead, he has a direct male line back to Man o’ War, who traces back to the Godolphin Arabian. His career began to look promising when he made the freshman sire list in 2005. His first crop included the 2005 Eclipse Award champion juvenile Folklore, who also won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile fillies that year. Tiznow was third on the American general sire list in 2008, and fourth in 2009. His progeny includes 15 G1 winners, two being Breeders’ Cup Classic winners, and the most recent being Sporting Chance, who won the Hopeful Stakes in September 2017. His daughter Red Ruby recently ran a 104 Beyer—one of the fastest by a three-year-old. As of August 2018, Tiznow’s progeny has produced over $81 million in earnings. Today, the stallion can be found at WinStar Farm in Versailles, KY. During breeding season, he heads into the barn at 6:30AM to be fed, and then gets cleaned up and makes his way to the breeding shed. After taking care of business, he heads back outside around 2PM and stays out for the night if he doesn’t have an afternoon date. On tour days, he stands proud in the paddock to greet his visitors and even those who are not too familiar with him fall in love with his personality: he is very masculine and can sometimes be a little demanding, like a diva, but give him a peppermint (he’s a fiend) and he will be on his best behavior. He typically likes to keep to himself, but makes an effort to greet those who stop by and will even pose for pictures—he knows he’s famous. All in all, he is very well mannered. Fun Fact: He hates concrete, going as far as to adjust his steps to avoid touching it. A beautiful specimen of a thoroughbred, Tiznow possesses both good confirmation and the ability to pass it down to his offspring. The heart he showed in the Breeders’ Cup Classic of 2001 brought a lot of joy to Americans enduring the tragedy of 9/11. He lifted us up and gave us hope in a time of great sadness, reminding us that, like him, we too could rise from defeat and once again stand proud. For that he will forever remain to be America’s horse. Photo: WinStar Farm

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in his own words, HALL OF FAME JOCKEY mIKE SMITH DESCRIBES Roadster’s IMPRESSIVE DEBUT at Del Mar. Roadster is a horse I had worked for Bob (Baffert) two times in the morning before his race on July 29. He was really good and I had hoped that he would be the same in the afternoon, which isn’t always the case—some horses are great in the mornings and then don’t show up for the races. But he was really impressive in his debut. He got a little scared behind the gate before the race. The tractor that pulls the gate up was on and he didn’t like the loud noise it was making, so he jumped and the outrider went to hold onto him and it pulled the bridle out of his mouth. It was a little bit of an incident there, but other than that he was fine. He walked into the gate, they put the bridle back on, backed him out, I got on, put him back in and despite all of that, he still ran huge.

We came out of the 1-hole and got out-sprinted by two or three horses, so I was able to kind of get him in behind them and take a little dirt, to school him a bit. Going into the far turn, I tipped him out and I could see I had the horses in front of me. I hadn’t moved him and I thought, ‘Well, let me just wait until the competition behind comes up to him and see what he does.’ I just kind of sat there and, man, they came up on the outside and this horse just took off! He opened up three lengths on them like NOW! I never even moved on him and we ended up winning by 4 ¼ lengths. He took off on his own, and he had gears. At the wire, I stood up to signal we were done and he took off again. He really impressed me. I can’t wait to see what he does going two turns. photo by ALEX EVERS | eclipse sportswire


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The List

saratoga namesakes Many of Saratoga’s stakes races are named after great or otherwise notable horses of the past—Jim Dandy, Birdstone, Tale of the Cat, Alydar, and Forego to name a few. Some are named after geographical locations in and near Upstate New York (the Schuylerville, Lake George, and the Adirondack), and others are named after important figures that helped shape the history of both Saratoga Springs and its world renowned racecourse. Horsemen, politicians, philanthropists, racing columnists, and even a Roman Goddess... by: RYAN DICKEY

Evan Shipman Handicap Black Type | 1 ⅛ miles | Dirt

A stakes race for New York-bred threeyear-olds and upward, the Evan Shipman is named after the late Morning Telegraph racing columnist and aspiring poet who died in 1957. Shipman was wounded in the Spanish Civil War and his friendship with Ernest Hemingway is immortalized in the author’s memoir “A Moveable Feast.”

Diana Stakes

Gr.3 | 6 furlongs | Dirt

For fillies three years old and upward, the Diana is named after the Roman Goddess of the hunt, moon, and nature. The stakes race made its Saratoga debut in 1939 run on the main track and was run in two divisions in 1973, 1982 and 1983.

Most well-known as the stakes where the immortal Man o’ War lost his only career race to Upset in 1919, the Sanford is named after one of the early families of horsemen who found success at Saratoga. The Sanford family owned Hurricana Farm in nearby Amsterdam and actually walked their racehorses from farm to track.

Travers Stakes

Whitney Stakes

A.P. Smithwick Memorial

The cornerstone of the Saratoga meet, for three year olds, is named after William R. Travers, whose colt Kentucky won the 1864 inaugural running. Travers, co-founder of the racecourse and its first President, was an attorney who made his personal fortune on Wall Street. The Grade I Travers boasts the richest purse of the Saratoga meet at $1,250,000.

In Saratoga, one would be hard-pressed to find a better example of “racing royalty” than the Whitney family. Beginning with William Collins Whitney (co-founder of The Jockey Club), to his son Harry Payne Whitney, and currently Marylou Whitney, the family has been racing at Saratoga for 120 years. Their charges have won every prestigious race in America. In fact, no American family has won more stakes races than the Whitneys.

The only steeplechase stakes race at “The Spa,” the race is named after steeplechase jockey Alfred Patrick “Paddy” Smithwick, whose career ended two wins shy of 400 victories when he was seriously injured in a fall in 1966. Smithwick was inducted into the nearby National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1973, shortly before losing his battle with lung cancer.

Alfred G. Vanderbilt

John Morrissey

Woodward Stakes

Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt Jr., part of the prominent American Vanderbilt family, lost his father who died a hero aboard the illfated RMS Lusitania after it was torpedoed by a German U-boat during the First World War. His mother handed over her Sagamore Farm in Glyndon, Maryland to him when he was 21 years old. Vanderbilt would later purchase Pimlico Racecourse, become President of Belmont Park, and serve as Chairman of the board for the NYRA. He is most well-known for campaigning his homebred champion Native Dancer as well as facilitating the infamous match race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral.

One of the co-founders of Saratoga Race Course, John Morrissey immigrated to America from Ireland at a young age and lived, by all accounts, a very colorful life. A former bare-knuckle boxing heavyweight champion, Morrissey operated gambling houses in Saratoga Springs, was a Tammany Hall Democrat who served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, and had a legendary feud with William “Bill the Butcher” Poole—which ended in Poole’s murder (Poole is one of the main characters in the Herbert Asbury novel, Gangs of New York, adapted to the silver screen by Martin Scorsese in 2002).

Chairman of The Jockey Club from 1930 to 1950, William Woodward Sr.’s Belair Stud produced Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox (who would, in turn, sire Triple Crown winner Omaha—both trained by legendary U.S. trainer James “Sunny Jim” Fitzsimmons). Woodward, a banker by trade, turned Belair into one of the leading thoroughbred racing and breeding operations in the country, spanning three decades, until his death in 1953. The Woodward was inaugurated in 1954 at Belmont Park and ran at Aqueduct several times before it was moved to Saratoga in 2006.

Gr.1 | 1 ¼ miles | Dirt

Gr.1 | 6 furlongs | Dirt


Sanford Stakes

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Gr.1 | 1 ⅛ miles | Turf

Gr.1 | 1 ⅛ miles | Dirt

Stakes | 6 ½ furlongs | Dirt

Gr.1 | 2 1/16 miles | Hurdle

Gr.1 | 1 ⅛ miles | Dirt


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Cover Story

112 DAYS Vivid recaps of the Triple Crown from the perspectives of a fan, a jockey and a horse. Plus Bob Baffert and Mike Smith answer some hard questions. story by CLAUDIA L. RUIZ featured photo by SUSIE RAISHER


inutes before the start of the Santa Anita Derby, across the country at Keeneland Racecourse, an intimate group sipped on champagne in a private room. Celebrating their own victory, they gathered around a TV monitor and began exchanging opinions of the horses preparing to run in California’s most heavily weighted Kentucky Derby qualifier. Among the field of seven was a chestnut colt trained by Bob Baffert. He had not raced as a two-year-old and debuted a mere 48 days prior. “I’m not buying it,” voiced an individual among the group. That remark was echoed by a handful of others who found it difficult to back a horse with such low mileage when there were far more experienced, better campaigned, horses in the race. Moments later, they stood speechless as the Baffert trainee, a son of Scat Daddy by the name of Justify, galloped to an easy three-length win over highly regarded Bolt d’Oro. His performance that day was exceptional and a hint of what was to come in the weeks that followed. Since Apollo had done it in 1882, no other thoroughbred who was unraced as a two-year-old had gone on to win the Kentucky Derby. From 1937 to 2017, 61 horses had attempted to break the coined ‘Curse of Apollo.’ Of those 61, five had run third and three second. However, if the last century had proven anything, it was that Justify’s chances of winning the Derby were slim to none. The Kentucky Derby (from a fan’s perspective) May 5, 2018, saw a record amount of rain at Churchill Downs. As the horses emerged from the tunnel for the big race, a red colt with an asymmetrical blaze stepped onto the track before a grandstand of more than 157,000 people. In unison, voices sang “My Old Kentucky Home.” This was the perfect moment for the inexperienced colt to act out—rear, buck, throw his head and let his nerves get the best of him. But he did nothing of the sort. He was too much of an old soul. The naysayers had tried to cast gloom, repeating the curse couldn’t be broken. The so called ‘super horse’ from the west was simply too green and the crowd, rain and track conditions would be his kryptonite. They were wrong. The second the gates swung open, the red horse was in total control. He shot to the front with jockey Mike Smith in the irons and confronted pacesetter Promises Fulfilled, who refused to give up the lead and challenged Justify to a speed duel. Watching the race unfold on the big screen in the paddock, Bob Baffert was experiencing a freaky case of déjà vu.

On the first Saturday in May, 2012, Mike Smith rode Bodemeister through fractions of 22.32, 45.39, 1:09.80 and 1:35.19 before tiring on the stretch and losing to I’ll Have Another. Bodemeister barely hung on to second. Like Justify, he never ran as a two-year-old and the race that was unfolding before the trainer’s eyes was eerily similar. Back in the mud, after running suicidal opening fractions (22.24, 45.77 and 1:11.01), Promises Fulfilled folded and Justify took the lead on the turn, opening up by a length. It was his race to lose. Rounding into the stretch, Good Magic found another gear and charged valiantly down the lane, trying to catch the much bigger red colt in front of him. The crowd cried out in desperation. The rain refused to quit. And just like that the 136-year-old ‘Curse of Apollo’ was obliterated. The Preakness (as told by jockey mike smith) The fog was so thick out there I could only see a few yards in every direction. When we came out of it the first time, close to the finish line, I didn’t expect to find Good Magic there with us or to go out with us like he did. I was a bit surprised, honestly, but we went out with him and it was kind of like, ‘Ok, let’s see who is better.’ Man, that’s no regular horse! He is something special to have done what he did all the way around; he had me worried. He made Justify work real hard. In the end we were able to put him away and win, which says a lot about Justify. He proved a lot out there.

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112 Days The Belmont (from justify’s perspective) In the cool of the night, not far from the concrete jungle of New York City, the thirteenth Triple Crown winner lay in his stall on the backside of Belmont Park reliving his stellar accomplishments in his dreams. With hoofs pounding the ground, he led the field by a length, powering through the quarter in a swift 23.37. Through the bit in his mouth he felt the quiet hands of Mike Smith, there to guide him if ever in doubt. But he was confident, and sure in his stride he floated over the dirt, like a classical dancer moving across the stage. In the last five weeks, he had run on three different tracks, in the mud, through the rain, fog and now sunshine. Everywhere he went, people holding cameras had appeared outside of his barn in the mornings and followed him around all day. The smell in the air was different at every stop, and the vibe in the barn grew more anxious each day. Coming out of the second turn, he searched for the wire. It was farther than he had anticipated. On his outside, a horse made a run at him, but it wasn’t the horse he had expected. This race was different: the turns were wider, the dirt was deeper, the race felt longer. Still, he kicked into another gear and as he strided down the stretch glimpses of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness flashed through his mind. Inching closer, the crowd’s cheers permeated the air around him. To him, winning was not about his earnings or his future value at stud; It was about focus, determination and

the ability to rise above each challenge. Fully extended in his final strides before the wire, he was doing exactly what he was born to do. “He’s just perfect!” Larry Collmus called. “And now he’s just immortal!”


bob baffert & mike smith address the belmont s. Claudia Ruiz: There are theories that you

set up the Belmont for Justify by sending Restoring Hope to run offense. What was the thought process behind running him? Bob Baffert: The plan was always to send Justify to the lead and sit second with Restoring Hope, like American Freedom and Arrogate in the Travers. I didn’t really want to run him, but Gary (West) and I talked and decided to give him a shot. He took off leaving the gate, which he had also done in the Pat Day Mile. To keep him from getting rank, Florent (Geroux) took him away from the other horses and then eased him back when he had settled. At that point he had him in second and I loved how they looked down the backside. It was too far for him: he is more of a 7/8ths type horse. CR: So the race was not set up? BB: No, that’s just the way it was and it’s unfortunate that there was so much talk about something going on. CR: After the race, you told Florent Geroux “You’re the man!” on national television, which prompted people to think he had in fact run offense for you. Why did you say it?

Mike Smith: He’s the one who said it to me first. He said, “You’re the man!” So I said it right back to him and that was that. I was so happy, whatever anyone said to me I said back to them. He was just going by congratulating me. CR: Would Justify still have won had the race played out any other way? MS: No one was going to pass us that day: none of those horses were fast enough. The only reason he didn’t win by more in any of the three races is because I didn’t let him. I never asked him to do more than what was needed to win. He did a lot in such a short time; my job was to look out for him. takeaway Of the thousands of thoroughbreds born each year, few make it onto the racetrack, even fewer go on to win, and a fraction of those become graded stakes winners. Only 13 horses have won the Triple Crown—three races, run at three distances, in three states, in just five weeks—it’s not meant to be easy, it’s meant to separate the good from the great. Justify’s heart, stamina and mind allowed him to add his name to an elite list that includes names like Sir Barton, Count Fleet and Secretariat. Regardless of how we feel about his connections, the controversy over the Belmont or his retirement, Justify deserves recognition. We will never know what he could have been after the Belmont, but we know what he was during his brief time on the track: from his first race to his last, over a course of 112 days, he was brilliant.

Photo: Justify leads the field in the 150th Belmont Stakes, Claudia L. Ruiz


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112 Days

Justify powers down the stretch at Churchill Downs to win the 144th Kentucky Derby, breaking the 136-year-old ‘Curse of Apollo’ | Scott Serio, Eclipse Sportswire

Assistant Jimmy Barnes (left), jockey Mike Smith, and groom Eduardo Luna (right) celebrate their Triple Crown victory at Belmont Park | Susie Raisher, Coglianese Photo


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Justify soars through the air as he leads the 143rd Preakness field past the wire for the first time over a fog engulfed and muddy track at Pimlico Racecourse | Matt Wooley, EquiSport Photos

Justify and Mike Smith cruise into the first turn of the 150th Belmont Stakes in front of foes with ease | Alex Evers, Eclipse Sportswire

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Going into the Belmont I obviously knew how tall of an order it was running against Justify; I have a lot of respect for him, but Gronkowski had been training really well. He had been in my barn for about five weeks and had a lot going against him. He had to overcome going into the race running first time on dirt, first time going that far, first time in the U.S. racing, and off a little bit of a lay-off. The bottom side of his pedigree has all dirt horses in it and he was training so well I was confident he could handle it and run a good race. I was very proud of him for finishing second. He’s a very laid back horse, a big teddy bear with a wonderful mind. He’s also a big, strong, heavy horse, but he’s easy to train and is very intelligent. As far as racing at four, that’s up to his owners (Phoenix Thoroughbreds) to decide. He is being pointed toward the Travers and then we’re just going to take it one race at a time. - Chad brown


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P WER November 9th, 2014 in Cypress, CA,


the health & happiness

could risk further injury or anything like a filly by the name of Crazy About Him that, racing isn’t an option at that point. We was making her 28th career start going 4 had a similar thing happen when we got Silk ½ furlongs at Los Alamitos. That night, in Silver. We knew she had a breathing issue of the horse Crazy About Him was claimed by a brand and even though we were shortening her up, will always new owner and therein started the racing it probably wouldn’t ever raise its head to be stable, Power Hour Racing. anything. We still felt it was right by her to Jason Jocher grew up in San Diego, frefix the issue that was there and she repaid us by SEAN ALVAREZ quenting Del Mar Racetrack as a child, and with 4 straight wins.” That thought process now is the co-owner of Power Hour Racdoesn’t just end with the owners, however; ing. “My mom used to take us to Del Mar trainer Justin Clark is also a firm believer of when we were little on Saturdays. Never had any barn access or doing right by the horse. “One thing I’ve always appreciated with knew anyone in the industry at all, just went as a fan.” Owning a Justin is his blunt honesty. Like with our horse who is recovering horse was never about just claiming a horse, signing a check and out at the farm now. It was never, well maybe we can try to run hoping for the best. “In my early twenties is when I really started her. He said send her away to the farm for a year and bring her doing the ground work research: this is what it will cost, where back when she is ready.” you want to race, who you want to be your trainer, what kind of While this might be a small barn and team, the ambitions horses you want to go after, and why you want to go after them. are high for the Power Hour partnership. “We have won at Santa It wasn’t just, let’s go buy a horse. There is a lot of thought that Anita, we have won at Los Alamitos, and we have run second goes into it.” twice at Del Mar. I would like to close off SoCal. The Kentucky Since that November night at Los Alamitos, Jason Jocher Derby, yeah that’s awesome, who wouldn’t want to win that. Now and Power Hour Racing have had the kind of success that every you have the Breeders’ Cup Classic, the Dubai World Cup, and owner in this industry dreams of. Power Hour Racing has sent 30 the Pegasus. But I think in our own backyard, the Pacific Classic horses to the starting gate, racking up 12 wins, 10 seconds, and would be excellent.” 3 third place finishes. Those stats compute to winning at a 40 There are also short-term goals in place and Jason has not percent clip and 83 percent of the time finishing “in the money.” allowed quick success to cloud his team’s judgment. “There are a Jason credits a lot of his success to his trainer, Justin Clark. “A lot of factors that go into our success and one of those being not lot of barns I know, especially the big barns, will have a barn pro- running our horses over their head. We try not to over value our gram. The thing I appreciate about what Justin does is there is no stock and I think that is what a lot of owners do. We try and keep such thing as a barn program. He really appreciates and spends them where they can win.” time with the horses on an individual basis, down to food and When asked about how we can make our sport better and atvitamins. If you see him mix grain for horses it’s kind of wild. He tract new fans, Jason’s value of the horse and the product doesn’t has 10 buckets sitting in front of him and every horse is getting waver. “The integrity of the game has to be number one, for evsomething different. That goes a long way into their health, their erybody: for the owners, for the trainers, for the bettors, and for happiness, and their comfort levels. Training wise what we are the general public just tuning in on the first Saturday in May. It doing is at most a workout every week or two, maybe, with light needs to be fair for them. They need to be watching a safe sport gallops in between. You don’t need to over train these horses run- first and foremost.” ning five to six furlongs.” Jason Jocher went from being a fan to an owner with his own The health and happiness of the horse have been the number stable and string of horses, pursuing his passion for the sport as an one priority for the Power Hour Racing team since the start. Jason adult. Success has been great, but above all, the health and hapand his team have put their schedule and wants in the rearview piness of the horse has been, and always will be, his number one mirror when it comes to ensuring a healthy and happy horse. “If priority. When asked what he has learned from his experiences we ever feel like we are sending a horse out who isn’t 100% or and his horses, he left us with one word: “Patience.”

come first.

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