w w w . s o u t hernracehorse.com july/august 2014
Covering the Thoroughbred industry in Texas, Oklahoma and around the region
In This Issue: • Prepurchase Exams for the Layman • Oklahoma Bush Track Rider Won Big • Understanding IRAs and S Corps
A Division of Center Hills Farm
LOOK FOR THE MIGHTY ACRES CONSIGNMENT AT THE CARTER SALES CO.’S OKC SUMMER YEARLING AND HORSES OF RACING AGE SALE Oklahoma City Fairgrounds • Sunday, August 17 Mighty Acres, agent, is offering yearlings for:
Center Hills Farm CresRan LLC Harmony Stables Rockin’ Z Ranch Rendell Saddler Featuring yearlings by:
Affirmatif • Don’t Get Mad • Euroears • Kennedy • Kipling • Line of David Mr. Nightlinger • Save Big Money • Summer Bird • The Visualiser • Toccet
THANK YOU TO ALL THE BREEDERS WHO SUPPORTED MIGHTY ACRES STALLIONS DURING THE 2014 BREEDING SEASON KIPLING • TOCCET • SAVE BIG MONEY • THE VISUALISER Mighty Acres 675 W. 470 Rd. • Pryor, Oklahoma 74361 Phone: 918-825-4256 • Cell: 918-271-2266 • Fax: 918-825-4255 www.mightyacres.com
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Oklahoma-bred million aire Clever Trevor is still enjoyi retirement 20 years ng after his last race
Texas’ Gillespie County Fairgrounds is thriving well into its second century of operation
also In This Issue: Watch Out for West Nile Virus Trainer Karl Brobe Rise to Stardom rg’s Tips to Prevent Stable Vices
Southern Racehorse covers the racing and breeding industry in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina and provides you with the news and information you need to know! Each issue features articles on horse health, second-career racehorses, horsemen and horses in the region and more, plus breeding, racing and sales news.
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Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014
THE LEADING FRESHMAN SIRE IN NORTH AMERICA IS SILVER CITY
Reed Palmer/Churchill Downs
SILVER CITY’S daughter PROMISE ME SILVER is the leading juvenile filly in the country after an impressive victory in the $108,300 Debutante Stakes at Churchill Downs!
Dustin Orona Photography
SILVERHILL took MSW by 3 3/4 lengths, finished 2nd in $108K Bashford Manor (G3) at Churchill
Unbridled’s Song – Proposal, by Mt. Livermore Through June 30, Valor Farm stallion SILVER CITY has sired four winners, two stakes performers and the earners of $151,668, which leads ALL first-crop sires in North America!
Dustin Orona Photography
Dustin Orona Photography
SILVER CITY, a lightning-fast, stakes-winning son of UNBRIDLED’S SONG, is the sire of Texas-bred PROMISE ME SILVER, an undefeated filly who broke her maiden with ease at Lone Star Park and then won the Debutante Stakes at Churchill by two lengths. She has already earned $78,355 in two starts.
SILVER CITY SAL
2nd in Debut, Won MSW Next Out
MSW Winner in Debut by 5 3/4 Lengths
Thank you to all the breeders who supported Valor Farm stallions in 2014! CROSSBOW • EARLY FLYER • INDYGO MOUNTAIN • JET PHONE MY GOLDEN SONG • SILVER CITY • WIMBLEDON The Estate of Clarence Scharbauer, Jr. Ken Carson, General Manager Donny Denton, Farm Manager • David Unnerstall, Attending Veterinarian Post Office Box 966 • Pilot Point, Texas 76258 (940) 686-5552 • Fax (940) 686-2179 www.valorfarm.com • www.facebook.com/valorfarm
Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014 3
Southern Racehorse Advertisers Index 7S Racing Stables............................58 Aragon Nutraceuticals..................BC Arizona Thoroughbred Breeders Association....................................12 Asmussen Horse Center....................8 Biomedical Research Laboratories....9 Carter Sales Co.........................25, 30 Cedar Creek Ranch Inc.................60 Channon Farm LLC.........................59 Equine Sales Company..................32 Equine Savings.................................37 Equiwinner........................................11 Fasig-Tipton Texas............................47 Foal to Yearling Halter....................59 Georgia Horse Racing Coalition......13 Harmony Training Center...............52 Heritage Place................................17 Inside Move.....................................59 J.R. Caldwell Racing.......................47 John Deere/NTRA.......................... IBC Keeneland September Yearling Sale...................................7 Knorpp Bloodstock Insurance Agency Inc...................................31 Lane’s End Texas...............................1 Mallory Farm....................................59 Mojo Racing Partners.....................57 Mighty Acres.................................. IFC No Escape Ranch/Heidi Bailey......59 Paradise Farm Inc...........................58 Pelican State Thoroughbreds........59 Remington Park/TRAO....................36 Rewards Racing..............................59 Rockin’ Z Ranch..............................53 Santa Fe Horse Transport................58 Silver Cup Yearling Sale..................14 Stephenson Thoroughbred Farms....59 Thoroughbred Owner Conference...24 Valor Farm..........................................3 Wes Carter Training Stable.............58 Winners Circle..................................58
Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014
ADVERTISE IN SOUTHERN RACEHORSE!
Southern Racehorse magazine is the most effective and affordable way to reach owners, breeders, trainers and others involved in the horse racing industry in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina and the surrounding region. Southern Racehorse goes to more than 6,000 horsemen, including all members of the Texas Thoroughbred Association (TTA), Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma (TRAO), Alabama HBPA, Colorado Thoroughbred Breeders Association (CTBA), Georgia Horse Racing Coalition (GHRC), North Carolina Thoroughbred Association (NCTA) and South Carolina Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (SCTOBA) plus more than 1,200 Louisiana horsemen, making it the region’s largest racing and breeding magazine by far. For more information about advertising in Southern Racehorse, including ad rates, deadlines and specifications, go to www. southernracehorse.com/advertising or contact Denis Blake at (512) 695-4541 or email@example.com. Published by Pangaea Enterprises LLC d/b/a Southern Racehorse Southern Racehorse P.O. Box 8645 Round Rock, TX 78683 (512) 695-4541 www.southernracehorse.com
Contributing Writers Martha Claussen Lou Dean Virginia Heizer Bill Heller Denise Steffanus
Art Director Amie Rittler firstname.lastname@example.org
Photographers Benoit Photo Denis Blake Coady Photography Michelle Dodd Photography Traci Hoops Horsephotos.com William Jones Miller Mike Newman Dustin Orona Photography Reed Palmer Photography/ Churchill Downs
Copyeditor Judy Marchman
Cover Photo Horsephotos.com
Physical Address Southern Racehorse 1341 Meadowild Drive Round Rock, TX 78664 Editor/Publisher Denis Blake email@example.com
Copyright © 2014 Southern Racehorse All rights reserved. Articles may not be reprinted without permission. Southern Racehorse reserves the right to refuse any advertising or copy for any reason. Southern Racehorse makes a reasonable attempt to ensure that advertising claims are truthful, but assumes no responsibility for the truth and accuracy of ads.
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For the most up-to-date racing and breeding news for Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, visit Southern Racehorse online at www.southernracehorse.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/southernracehorse. Follow @SRacehorse on Twitter!
Racehorse July/ August 2014
From bush tracks to the big time
33 Judging a yearling
on your own
Departments Editor’s Letter
State Association News
The Marketplace Classifieds
Features Sooner Sensation 26 Glen Eldon Nelson went from the bush tracks of Oklahoma to the big time
48 An inside look
at jockeys’ lives
Prepurchase Exams for the Layman Evaluating a horse on your own before going ahead with an official veterinary exam can save you money
Tax Talk: IRAs and S Corps Retirement accounts and tax planning are important for horsemen to understand
Sizzlin’ Stakes Lone Star Park and Will Rogers Downs offer big stakes, and Texas-breds excel in open company
Balancing Act Jockeys not only face danger every day on the track, but also challenges on the home front
Texas-sized Talent Young rider David Cabrera has taken the Lone Star State by storm
Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014 5
Letter from the EDITOR This is the last issue of Southern Racehorse. But don’t worry; the magazine is not going away. In fact, we are continuing to expand and improve the publication, so starting with our September/October issue, it will be known as American Racehorse. Why the change? Since the magazine launched in September 2012, it has grown from covering just two states, Texas and Oklahoma, to covering eight. The latest additions will distribute the magazine to members of the Alabama Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and the Colorado Thoroughbred Breeders Association, joining the previous additions of the Georgia Horse Racing Coalition, North Carolina Thoroughbred Association and South Carolina Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, plus our coverage of racing and breeding in Louisiana and distribution in that state. While the primary • Starting with focus will remain on Texas and Oklahoma and the members of the Texas Thoroughbred Association and Thoroughbred Racing the next issue, Association of Oklahoma, we are happy to have so many other states on Southern board. In the near future, our website will change to americanracehorse.com Racehorse and our main email address will become firstname.lastname@example.org, but will be renamed our phone number, fax number and mailing address will remain the same. American I am also pleased to report that the magazine was honored Racehorse. with the general excellence award as the top state or regional publication at the recent American Horse Publications Annual Awards held • in Charleston, South Carolina. I’d like to thank Art Director Amie Rittler for all of her hard work, along with the writers, photographers and other contributors who have helped make the magazine a success. Thanks also go to all of the state associations, particularly the TTA and TRAO for helping to launch this publication, and to all of the advertisers, readers and subscribers who have supported it over the past two years. We hope to continue to grow in the future and provide you with the best magazine possible. As always, we welcome any comments or suggestions. Denis Blake Editor/Publisher, Southern Racehorse
Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014
KESL-14133 Southern Racehorse Sept Sale 14.indd 1
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NO OTHER STALLION IN THE REGION HAS MORE 2YO WINNERS THAN INTIMIDATOR! SIX 2-YEAR-OLD WINNERS IN 2014 The Best Breeding Bargain in the Southwest!
Intimidator Gone West – Colonial Play, by Pleasant Colony Stud Fee: $1,500
Committed to the Future of Racing in Texas
P.O. Box 1861 • Laredo, TX 78044 • Phone: 956-723-5436 • Fax: 956-723-5845 Email: email@example.com • Website: www.asmussens.com
Adam Coglianese/NYRA Photo
El Primero Training Center graduate UNTAPABLE ($1,304,725) is easily the top 3-year-old filly in the country after another dominating win in the Grade 1 Mother Goose at Belmont Park as an encore to her powerful victory in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks. Congratulations to owner Winchell Thoroughbreds, Manager David Fiske and trainer Steve Asmussen, who recently earned career victory number 6,800!
ILLEGAL DOPING MEETS ITS MATCH Trainers Praise Natural Alternative By: Mark Hansen
The pressure to win is so enormous that many horsemen resort to whatever it takes to get a piece of the purse or a decent sale…even if it means putting their horses’ lives in mortal danger by doping them with illegal synthetic erythropoietin (EPO) drugs to boost endurance. Veterinarian Gary Smith said, “It’s a problem all over the industry. There is no way horses should be put on (synthetic) EPO.” So how do racers win? How do you gain a competitive edge without harming your horses or risking your livelihood? The answer may be found in a safe all-natural horse supplement that supports natural EPO function. Why is EPO boosting so critical? Just like in people, a horse’s muscles require oxygen for fuel. Red blood cells are the body’s oxygen-carrying cells. A higher red blood cell count = more oxygen = more muscle energy. Elevated muscle energy helps the horse perform harder, faster and longer during endurance events. All horses naturally produce EPO in their kidneys to stimulate production of new red blood cells from bone marrow. In short, EPO is a natural “blood builder.” With EPO doping, trainers try to boost the EPO effect to get a winning performance every time. They use a synthetic EPO (recombinant human EPO), even though the side effects can harm the horse. That’s one reason why it’s illegal. Fortunately there’s another option. EPOEquine® is a safe, highly effective natural dietary supplement scientifically engineered for performance horses. A Kentucky trainer who refused to give out his name, said, “I don’t want my competition to know about this.” He found EPO-Equine® to be
so effective that he’s dead set against disclosing who he is, who his horses are, or even where he trains and races. He first started ordering a single jar of EPO-Equine® once a month. Now he’s ordering several CASES each month. And he won’t tell BRL exactly why. He said respectfully, “Sorry – no way.” Bioengineers at U.S. based Biomedical Research Laboratories (BRL), first discovered a completely natural EPO-booster for human athletes (and it’s working miracles for top athletes and amateurs around the world). Seeing these results, horse trainers contacted BRL and asked about using this natural formula for their animals. That’s when the BRL team dug deeper and discovered a proprietary, horse-friendly strain of a common herb that promotes optimal bloodbuilding results. EPO-Equine® is based on the blood-boosting abilities of a certain strain of Echinacea that’s astounding researchers and trainers alike. (It’s not a strain you can find at the local health store.) Veterinarians at the Equine Research Centre in Ontario, Canada ran a double-blind trial investigating the blood building properties of the active ingredient in EPO-Equine® in healthy horses. For 42 days, one group of horses was supplemented with the active ingredient in EPOEquine® and another group of horses was given a placebo. The supplement delivered significant blood building results, increasing red blood cell count and hemoglobin levels. Researchers also observed improved blood quality and increased oxygen transport in the supplemented horses. Improved blood levels leads to elevated exercise physiology and performance. The patent-pending formula in EPO-Equine® contains a dozen different herbs, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components combined to promote natural red blood cell production…for remarkable speed, strength and stamina right out of the gate. Trainers find it easy to add just 1 scoop (3.2 grams) of EPO-Equine® to the horse’s daily feeding routine in the barn or on the road. Within a few weeks of daily use, you can expect to see increased red blood cell levels with no undesirable side effects. An increase in red blood cell levels can improve muscle performance, supercharge endurance, and enhance recovery after hard exercise. Nothing else is scientifically proven to deliver these benefits in a completely safe and natural formula. Compared to the cost of veterinarians, drugs, icing, tapping the knees, and putting the horse on Bute; or even the consequences of being banned for synthetic doping, EPOEquine® is very affordable at the low price of just $59.95 per jar. Or save $180 if you are ready to commit to a larger trial of 12-jar case for just $539.55 with FREE shipping. EPOEquine® can be ordered at www.EPOEquine.com or 1-800-557-9055, and comes with a 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee.
fastfurlongs Texas Stallion Silver City Sires First Winner and Stakes Winner, Leads National Sire List ford Manor Stakes (G3) at the home of the Kentucky Derby. Bred by Scharbauer and owned by his son Douglas, Silverhill broke his maiden by nearly four lengths at Lone SILVER CITY Star in May. The Bret Calhoun-trained runner has banked $33,560. Silver City is a stakes-winning and graded stakes-placed son of Unbridled’s Song who won four of eight career starts and is one of four stakes winners produced from the stakes-placed Mt. Livermore mare Proposal. Silver City stood the 2014 breeding season for a $2,000 fee. Through June 30, the stallion had sired four winners and topped the North American freshman sire list by earnings with a total of $151,668.
Freshman stallion Silver City, who stands at the late Clarence Scharbauer Jr.’s Valor Farm near Pilot Point, Texas, got off to a quick start as his Texas-bred daughter Promise Me Silver become his first winner and first stakes winner in the span of six weeks. Promise Me Silver kicked off her racing career with a 6 ¾-length maiden victory at Lone Star Park on May 11 in a rapid :51.61 for 4 ½ furlongs. The filly, who is out of the Macho Uno mare Uno Mas Promesa, then moved on to Churchill Downs where she captured the sixfurlong, $108,300 Debutante Stakes by two lengths on June 21 to push her earnings to $78,355. Promise Me Silver is a homebred running for Robert Luttrell, and she became the second consecutive Bret Calhoun trainee and Valor Farm-sired runner to win the Debutante. Last year, Scharbauer’s homebred Fiftyshadesofgold, by My Golden Song, won the race by eight lengths. The now 3-year-old Texas-bred scored in this year’s Eight Belles Stakes (G3) at Churchill on May 2. One week after Promise Me Silver took the Debutante, Silver City’s gelded Texas-bred son Silverhill finished second in the $108,100 Bash-
Ide Be Cool Named Louisiana-bred Horse of the Year The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association held its annual meeting and awards banquet on May 24 in Opelousas at the Equine Sales Company sales pavilion. Prior to the award presentations, Dr. Ide Be Cool, shown here winning this Gary Potter, a retired Texas year’s Pelican Stakes at Delta Downs, A&M University equine science is undefeated in six career starts. professor, gave an informative presentation on feed and nutrition for mares’ optimum breeding and pregnancy condition. Champion racehorses and the broodmare of the year were selected by a vote of the LTBA membership, while the awards for top stallion and breeders were determined by statistics. Ide Be Cool, who finished his 2-year-old campaign with four wins in as many starts, earned his divisional award as well as Louisiana-bred Horse of the Year honors. The gelded son of Ide, who was bred by Gulf Haven Farms and runs for owner and trainer Henry Ray Dunn, earned $189,600 during his juvenile campaign. He recorded stakes wins in the Louisiana Legacy Stakes at Delta Downs and the Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile at Fair Grounds. Ide Be Cool has also won both of his starts 10
Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014
against stakes company this year as a 3-year-old to improve his record to a perfect six-for-six with earnings of $324,600. Following is a complete list of winners: 2-Year-Old Filly: Designer Legs Breeder: Tommy Hewett • Owner: Valene Farms 2-Year-Old Colt or Gelding, Horse of the Year: Ide Be Cool Breeder: Gulf Haven Farms • Owner: Henry Ray Dunn 3-Year-Old Filly: Sittin at the Bar Breeder: Spendthrift Farm LLC • Owner: P. Dale Ladner 3-Year-Old Colt or Gelding: Sunbean Breeder/Owner: Brittlyn Inc. Older Filly or Mare: Little Miss Protocol Breeder/Owner: Coteau Grove Farms LLC Older Male: String King Breeder/Owner: Charlie Smith Broodmare of the Year: Miss Cheers Owner: Terry Adcock Andrew L. “Red” Erwin Stallion of the Year: Ide Owner: The Ide Group Leading Breeder by Breeders Awards: Southern Equine Leading Breeder by Percentage of Stakes Winners: Gulf Haven Farms
Stakes Schedule Set for Retama Park
Michelle Dodd Photography
Retama Park near San Antonio has set the stakes schedule for its 26-day Thoroughbred meet that is scheduled to run from September 5 to November 29. Racing will be conducted on Fridays and Saturdays with a first post at 6:45 p.m. The track’s signature events for 2-year-olds, the $100,000 El Joven Stakes for colts and geldings and the $100,000 M2 Technology La Senorita for fillies, are set for October 11 going one mile on the turf. For both races, which feature a $25,000 boost over last year’s purse, the first nomination payment deadline of $100 passed on July 11 with a $200 sustaining payment due August 15. Late nominations can be made for $500 by August 15, or supplementary nominations can be made for $6,000 on entry day. The $50,000 Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame for older state-breds going 1 1/16 miles and the $50,000 Fiesta Mile for state-bred fillies and mares are both scheduled for October 18 on the turf course. The stakes schedule will conclude on November 15 with two divisions of the Clarence Scharbauer Jr. Texas Stallion Stakes offering purses of $75,000 apiece. The Darby’s Daughter division for fillies and the My Dandy division for colts and geldings will be run at six furlongs for 2-yearold progeny of eligible stallions. For more information and nomination forms, go to retamapark.com.
Thoroughbred Athletes Inc. held its Sport of Kings Challenge on June 21-22 at Remington Park to showcase and raise funds for retired racehorses. Pictured is Emelie Lesher aboard Oklahoma-bred Hot Link (now named Native Link). For more, go to sportofkingschallenge.com.
Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014 11
ff Two Lane’s End Texas Stallions Get First Winners
Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014
SING BABY SING
Consign your Thoroughbreds today! 2014 ATBA Fall Yearling & Mixed Sale Thursday, October 16, 2014 ◆ Westworld, Scottsdale, Az ◆ 11:00 am
*Entries Close Friday, August 15, 2014 $400 Entry Fee for Yearlings $250 Entry Fee for Mixed
*Late Entries Close September 22, 2014 $1,000 Late Entry Fee Yearlings $500 Late Entry Fee Mixed For consignment forms or information contact: ARIZONA THOROUGHBRED BREEDERS ASSOCIATION P.O. Box 41774 • Phoenix, AZ 85080 (602) 942-1310 • Fax (602) 942-8225 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
William Jones Miller
William Jones Miller
Grasshopper and Sing Baby Sing, both residents of Lane’s End Texas near Hempstead, were represented by their first winners this spring. Grasshopper earned his first winner on June 15 as his Texas-bred son Forte Feroce rolled to a decisive victory at Emerald Downs near Seattle. The gelding, who was bred by Ed Few and runs for J.C. Racing Stable, drew clear to win his racing debut by 4 ¾ lengths in a 4 1/2-furlong, $18,350 maiden special weight event. Trainer Jeffrey Metz purchased Forte Feroce for $15,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale. Forte Feroce is out of the Texasbred Dove Hunt mare Catarina Ranch, who hit the board in a division of the Texas Stallion Stakes and an open stakes at Fair Grounds in 2008. A son of Dixie Union who stood the 2014 season for a $3,500 fee, Grasshopper earned $848,852 in his career with a record of 21-5-6-2. He won the Grade 3 Mineshaft Handicap at Fair Grounds and placed in six other stakes, including the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap and Travers Stakes. In the Travers at Saratoga, Grasshopper was beaten just a half-length by Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Street Sense. Grasshopper is out of the unraced Mr. Prospector mare Grass Skirt, who has produced two other stakes winners by Dixie Union, including Delta Jackpot (G3) winner Turf War. Sing Baby Sing had his first winner on May 25 when his son The Lone Roo scored a 4 ½-length victory going five furlongs at Lone Star Park. Trained by Jack Bruner for breeder/owner Tom Durant, the Texas-bred colt earned $12,000 for the win. The Lone Roo is out the Texas-bred Uncle Abbie mare Hollye Lynne, who compiled a record of 49-13-11-5 with earnings of $222,820 and two stakes wins in Texas. Sing Baby Sing, a son of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Unbridled’s Song out of the stakes-winning Rollin On Over mare Roll Over Baby, won eight of 22 starts and earned nearly $500,000 while running for Durant. A full or half brother to four other stakes performers, Sing Baby Sing had great success in the region and around the country. His victories included the Remington Park Sprint Championship in Oklahoma City, the Bob Johnson Memorial Stakes at Lone Star and the Phoenix Stakes (G3) at Keeneland Race Course. He also placed in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap at Aqueduct as well as in stakes at Zia Park and Prairie Meadows. Sing Baby Sing stood the 2014 breeding season for a fee of $2,500.
Southern Racehorse Takes Top Honor at American Horse Publications Awards Southern Racehorse magazine was honored as the winner of the general excellence award in the state or regional publication category at the American Horse Publications (AHP) Annual Awards on June 21 at the historic Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina. AHP is a nonprofit association promoting excellence in equine publishing media. Its members include equine-related print publications as well as digital media, professionals, students, organizations and businesses that share an interest in equine publishing. The judges’ critique of the magazine noted, “Southern Racehorse outshined the other entries in this category with strong layout and a visually appealing flow throughout the magazine. Ad space did not diminish the content. A spectacular work of art.” This marked the first national award for Southern Racehorse, although its predecessor, The Texas Thoroughbred, won numerous AHP awards including the same general excellence award on multiple occasions. “I couldn’t be more pleased to see Southern Racehorse win this award in only its second year of existence,” said Denis Blake, publisher and editor. “It wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible design by Amie Rittler and the support of our advertisers and state associations.”
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Carter Sales Co. Announces $25,000 Bonus for Clever Trevor Stakes Officials from Carter Sales Co. announced that horses from the OKC Summer Sale will be eligible for a $25,000 bonus if they win the Clever Trevor Stakes at Remington Park. The bonus will be available for the 2014 Clever Trevor, a $100,000 race for 2-year-olds at seven furlongs, set for November 7. Two-yearolds from this year’s sale are eligible, as are yearlings that went through the sales ring in 2013. The bonus will also be available in 2015 for the yearlings of this year’s sale and 2-year-olds from the 2015 sale. Sales Manager Terri Carter said she is working with the Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma to try to make the bonus rollover in the event the race is not won by an OKC Summer Sale graduate. “Our sale had record increases last year and the quality gets better each year,” she said. “We wanted to do something to reward the people who work so hard to support racing and breeding here.” Officials at Remington Park think the bonus will serve as one more incentive for horses that are targeting the Clever Trevor and also the $250,000 Springboard Mile, which serves as Remington’s early prep for the Kentucky Derby. The OKC Summer Sale is scheduled for August 17 at the OKC Fairgrounds following opening weekend at Remington Park and the National HBPA Summer Convention hosted by TRAO in Oklahoma City. Horses will be available for viewing on Saturday before the sale on Sunday. Catalogs will be online July 28 at cartersalesco.com. Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014 13
Oklahoma Derby Headlines Remington Stakes Schedule The Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby headlines a schedule of 35 stakes races for the upcoming 2014 Thoroughbred season at Remington Park. The purse total for the complete stakes schedule is worth more than $3.5 million. The 26th Oklahoma Derby, at 1 1/8 miles, is the lead event on a special Sunday afternoon of racing at Remington on September 28. The program also features the $200,000 Remington Park Oaks, $150,000 Remington Park Sprint Cup, $100,000 Remington Green Stakes, $75,000 Kip Deville Stakes, $50,000 Flashy Lady Stakes and $50,000 Ladies on the Lawn Stakes. The seven Oklahoma Derby Day stakes races boast $1,025,000 in purses with six races for open company. The Ladies on the Lawn for Oklahomabred fillies and mares is the lone exception. The stakes schedule gets underway on the second night of the season, August 16, with the $175,000 Governor’s Cup at 1 1/8 miles and the $75,000 David M. Vance Stakes at six furlongs. The Governor’s Cup serves as the final leg of the Global Gaming Triple, which began with the Texas Mile Stakes (G3) and the Lone Star Park Handicap (G3) this spring in Texas. The initial open-company turf stakes is the $75,000 Edward J. DeBartolo Memorial Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on August 23. Remington Park’s series of 2-year-old stakes will begin with the Kip Deville at six furlongs on Oklahoma Derby Day. The $100,000 Clever Trevor Stakes, which offers a $25,000 bonus to graduates of the Carter Sales Co. auction, is set for November 7 at seven furlongs. The series culminates with the richest juvenile race of the meeting, the $250,000 Springboard Mile, on closing day, December 14. The $100,000 Trapeze Stakes offers 2-year-old fillies a final stakes event
on the season. The mile race, also on December 14, serves as a companion race to the Springboard Mile. The season’s final afternoon will also feature a new race to the schedule at Remington. The $100,000 She’s All In Stakes, for older fillies and mares at 1 mile and 70 yards, offers older distaff runners a two-turn stakes over the main track. The race is named in honor of the recently retired Oklahoma-bred mare who accumulated more than $1.1 million in earnings as a graded stakes winner. She’s All In won a record four consecutive Oklahoma Classics Distaff events, part of her 11 career triumphs in Oklahoma City. The rich Oklahoma Classics program, for eligible Oklahoma-breds, falls on October 17. The eight divisional races carry an overall purse estimation of more than $1 million. The $175,000 Oklahoma Classics Cup leads the night at 1 1/16 miles. Overall, there are 16 stakes races scheduled for eligible Oklahoma-bred competitors. Another new addition to this year’s schedule is a pair of stakes races for eligible Arkansas-bred runners. The $50,000 Razorback Futurity and $50,000 Lady Razorback Futurity, both for 2-year-olds at six furlongs, will be run on November 8. The races previously had been run at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. The 67-date Thoroughbred season begins on Friday, August 15, and continues through Sunday, December 14. Once the opening weekend has been completed, Remington will move to a normal weekly schedule of Wednesday through Saturday racing. The regular first race on a nightly basis is set for 7 p.m. To view the complete stakes schedule, go to remingtonpark.com.
SILVER CUP Yearling Saturday, Aug. 9, 6 p.m. Arapahoe Park Race Track, Aurora, CO
SALE Yearlings By
Recent Graduates TENANG O $ ( 355,154, G3-Placed, MSP at AQU & BEL) GET HAPPY MISTER $ ( 238,762, Northern Spur, Gold Rush Fut.) WALLY VAN (MSW $254,006) FOLSUM (MSW $156,640) DANZIP (MSW $148,984) SWEET DIXIE VAN (MSW $114,747)
• Barricade • Big Brown • Corinthian • Fort Prado • Grand Minstrel • Horse Greeley • Include • Margie’s Wildcat• Mizzen Mast • Mr Nightlinger • Notional • Oliver’s Twist • Parading • Service Stripe • Stephen Got Even • Successful Appeal • Tiz Wonderful • Toccet • US Ranger • Western Expression
Catalog at WWW.COTBA.CO M (303) 294-0260
Yearlings from KY, CO, AZ, NM, OK Eligible for 2015 Silver Cup Futurity 14
Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014
Tommy Oliphant, Member of Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame, Dies at 88 Oliver Tom “Tommy” Oliphant, 88, of Sabinal, Texas, passed away on May 20. Oliphant was born on March 2, 1926, in Matador, Texas, to the late Boone and Ruth (English) Oliphant. He grew up in Uvalde, and at 14 he started galloping racehorses for E.F. Woodward at Valdina Farms near Utopia. During that time he met and married the late Maurine Oliphant on September Tommy Oliphant 25, 1943. They were married 68 loving years. At 18, he joined the Marine Corps during World War II, serving in the Pacific Islands where on February 22, 1945, he was wounded on Iwo Jima. He returned home and started training Thoroughbred racehorses in Del Rio, Texas, and in many other states including at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, where he was the youngest licensed trainer on the track at that time.
In 1959, along with Dr. Dan Saunders, he built Sunny Clime Farms in Texas, where he eventually retired as a horse trainer, breeder and owner. He had a blessed and wonderful career spanning over 60 years. Oliphant received many awards, including being inducted into the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame. He also served as a Texas Thoroughbred Association Director from 1989 through 2004 and received the T.I. “Pops” Harkins Award for Lifetime Achievement from the TTA in 1997. He is survived by one daughter, Darlene Lou Woodward, and her husband, Darrel, of Spring Branch, Texas; son-in-law, Louis Azopardi of Kyle, Texas; grandchildren, Tommy Azopardi and wife, Molly; Robert Wayne Matthews; Rene Hedemann and husband, Keith; and Jennifer Garcia and husband, John; nine great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Maurine; son, Woody Wayne; and daughter, Tommie Lee Azopardi, along with six brothers and one sister.
Longtime Oklahoma Trainer Mike Teel Passes Away at 63 Trainer Mike Teel of Claremore, Oklahoma, who had great success with both Thoroughbreds and American Quarter Horses in his native state, died on May 9 at the age of 63 after a long battle with cancer. Teel was born in Duncan, Oklahoma, on February 20, 1951. He was preceded in death by his parents, R.C. and Betty Teel, and by his granddaughter, Tyler Rae. He graduated from Maysville High School in 1969 and went on to become a journeyman with Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 366. In 1991, Teel began following his passion in the horse racing industry and started his career as a trainer. For 23 years, he traveled throughout the country, winning a combined total of 608 races with both breeds. With Quarter Horses, he won Grade 1 races with Runaway Wil in
the MBNA America Challenge Championship at Lone Star Park and Some Dashing Dude in the Heritage Place Derby at Remington Park. In 2008, Teel became the leading Thoroughbred trainer at Fair Meadows in Tulsa and remained among the top three trainers at the track every season through 2013. Teel is survived by his wife, Sue Teel; brother, John Teel, and wife, Diana Teel; one daughter, Michelle Rae Teel-Rhone, and husband, Russell Rhone; one grandson, Brant; four nephews, Beau, Chad, Caleb and Bradley; lots of uncles and aunts that loved him very much; and a special young man, Jesse. The family requested horsemen to consider a donation to the American Cancer Society in honor of Mike Teel.
Arapahoe Park Launches Race-Day Medication-Free Incentive
Arapahoe Park near Denver is rewarding horsemen who win without race-day medication.
Arapahoe Park will reward horsemen who do not administer race-day medication to their horses with the creation of the Race-Day Medication-Free Incentive. The Aurora, Colorado, track introduced the incentive program for all races (Thoroughbred, American Quarter Horse and Arabian) beginning June 27. Trainers who win a race with a horse void of any race-day medication will receive a $1,000 bonus per victory to be paid from a special fund created by Arapahoe Park. The program is being launched to encourage trainers to go beyond the letter of the law that permits only Lasix/Salix, phenylbutazone (“bute”), flunixin and ketoprofen on race day in Colorado. “The future of racing is going to be race-day medicationfree, and we at Arapahoe Park want to be ahead of the curve,” said Bruce Seymore, executive director of Mile High Racing and Entertainment, the parent company of Arapahoe Park. “We in Colorado already have one of the strictest testing procedures in the country. This new Race-Day Medication-Free
Incentive allows us to continue to improve our standards.” Trainers must be stabled at Arapahoe Park for the entire meet to be eligible for the bonuses. The bonuses will be paid out at the end of the season that concludes on August 17.
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Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014
State Association News TEXAS THOROUGHBRED ASSOCIATION NEWS Historical Racing Moves Forward in Texas On June 10, the Texas Racing Commission considered draft rules for the implementation of pari-mutuel wagering on historical races at licensed Texas racetracks. Those rules were published in the Texas Register for a period of 30 days for the purpose of receiving public comment. It is noteworthy that every horse organization involved in Texas racing and every licensed racetrack in Texas, as well as the Greyhound breeding industry, support the proposed rules. Wagers are made on a modified pari-mutuel terminal—not a “slot machine.” Unlike a slot machine, the historical racing terminal does not pick the winner, and one does not “bet against the house.” Races displayed on the terminal are actual horse races previously run at licensed pari-mutuel racetracks, with official handicapping information and results. They are not computerized images of imaginary races or of horses in which a machine selects the winner and determines the outcome. As in live horse racing, a significant degree of skill or judgment is involved in picking the winning horses, and the outcome of a historical horse race depends on the skill and experience of the trainers, jockeys and horses involved in that race. A growing number of states, notably Kentucky and neighboring Arkansas, currently offer pari-mutuel wagering on historical races, where it has increased the fan base for live races, purse sizes and revenues for the states and their racetracks. Since Kentucky first allowed it in 2011, historical horse racing has seen about $636 million in wagers, with $5.7 million generated for purses. Based on what has happened in other states, it is estimated that historical racing could increase purse levels at Texas tracks by 30 to 40 percent. The issue could be addressed at the next Texas Racing Commission meeting in August, and the Texas Thoroughbred Association is asking its members to take action by sharing this information with others and writing letters of support to the TRC. For more information and sample letters that can be sent to the TRC, go to texasthoroughbred.com.
Deadline Reminder for Stallion Owners If you have not yet paid the annual administrative fee for your stallion for 2014, the deadline for late payment of $325 is August 1, 2014. If this is the stallion’s first year in Texas, and he came in after February 1, you can simply pay the early administrative fee of $200. The annual administrative fee cannot be accepted for a breeding season after the August 1 deadline. If you stood a stallion in Texas in 2014 and have not yet accredited him, you have until August 1 to accredit him for $100. Any stallion accreditations postmarked after August 1, 2014, will not be accredited for 2014, but for 2015. Please note that stallion owners are eligible to receive Stallion Awards only from offspring foaled in Texas after the stallion has 18
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become accredited with the Texas Thoroughbred Association and applicable administrative fees have been paid. The deadline to nominate stallions to the Texas Stallion Stakes for the 2014 breeding season is October 1, 2014. Only Texas accredited stallions may be nominated. The fee to nominate is the greater of $1,500 or the advertised stud fee for stallions standing their first season in Texas in 2014. For stallions not new to the state, there is also a $500 late fee. The rules and regulations for the Accredited Texas-Bred program state that a photocopy of the annual Report of Mares Bred shall be submitted to the TTA office on or before the date required by The Jockey Club (August 1). If you file your Report of Mares Bred electronically, you have an opportunity to print a copy to send to TTA before filing it. If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Gibbs, TTA’s accreditation manager and racing coordinator, at (512) 458-6133 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Texas Yearling and Mixed Sale Consignment Forms Now Available Consignment forms for the Fasig-Tipton Texas Yearling and Fall Mixed Sale are now available at fasigtipton.com. Horsemen are reminded that the sale is set for October 13 at the Texas Thoroughbred Sale Pavilion on the grounds of Lone Star Park. The later date on the calendar, compared to the traditional August date for the sale, should provide cooler weather and also allows for the addition of a mixed sale session to immediately follow the yearling session. The consignment deadline is August 1. Contact Fasig-Tipton Texas for more information at (972) 262-0000.
Joe McDermott Jr. and Larry T. Smith Among Honorees at TTA Awards Banquet The Texas Thoroughbred Association would like to once again congratulate all of the 2013 Texas Champions, which were previously recognized and listed in Southern Racehorse and honored at the TTA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet on June 14 at Lone Star Park. Among the award winners not previously announced were T.I. “Pops” Harkins Award recipients Joe McDermott Jr. and the late Larry T. Smith for lifetime achievement and Allen Bogan Memorial Award winners Fred Taylor Jr. and Mark Martinez as TTA Members of the Year. Thanks again to our sponsors: Frost Bank, EquineSavings.com, NTRA/John Deere, Retama Park, Sam Houston Race Park and host Lone Star Park. Many thanks also to the donors and purchasers of silent and live auction items to benefit the Texas Thoroughbred Educational Fund and The Paddock Foundation. The total amount raised was $4,690 for the TTEF and $415 for The Paddock Foundation. Photos of the event can be viewed on the TTA’s Facebook page at facebook.com/ texasthoroughbredassociation.
THOROUGHBRED RACING ASSOCIATION OF OKLAHOMA NEWS TRAO to Host National HBPA Convention in Oklahoma City The National HBPA’s Summer Convention is set for August 14-17 in Oklahoma City, and online registration is now available. Hosted by the Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma, the convention will include a night at Remington Park for the opening of the track’s Thoroughbred meet. The host hotel is the historic Skirvin Hilton in downtown Oklahoma City, which was built in 1911 and is the city’s oldest and most acclaimed hotel. The Carter Sales Co.’s OKC Summer Yearling and Horses of Racing Age Sale is set to conclude the weekend on Sunday afternoon, August 17. For more information on the convention, go to hbpa.org.
I would like to THANK YOU! I hope that I will be able to continue another 45 years or more to be a positive member of the racing world. Sincerely, John M. Lowder
Oklahoma Horse Finds New Home in Georgia
TRAO Teams with OQHRA to Form Oklahoma Equine Relief Fund In the past, horse owners have had to face a natural disaster alone. If a horse operation suffered a loss due to a natural disaster, that horse owner was not eligible for assistance from the Farm Service Agency. However, if that operation had cattle, swine, poultry or other traditional livestock, it would have been eligible to collect payments on those animals. There is no reason why horse owners should not be eligible for federal assistance like producers of other crops and livestock affected by an emergency or disaster. The Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma and Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association (OQHRA) have teamed to form the Oklahoma Equine Relief Fund to assist all of Oklahoma’s horse owners when natural disasters strike. For more information, please visit okequinerelief.com.
Trainer Chris Hartman Collects Career Win 1,000 Congratulations to trainer Chris Hartman on recording the 1,000th victory of his career. The conditioner hit the milestone with Silver Rock Star on June 22 at Prairie Meadows. Hartman, 40, who hails from a family of horse trainers that includes father Stan, brothers Alex and Phil, and wife Hillary, has had great success in his native Southwest, Arkansas and Iowa, winning at a 22 percent clip. Hartman’s current star is Black Hawk Stable’s Alsvid, a three-time stakes winner at Remington Park.
Letter from John Lowder, Recipient of the Industry Service Award Dear TRAO members and all horsemen, I would like to take a minute to THANK the TRAO and all horsemen for the Industry Service Award I was presented at the annual banquet on May 9. I got my first license 45 years ago. For the next 45 years, I was licensed as “nearly everything or anything” and spent my entire life involved in the horse racing world. I have been lucky, blessed and fortunate to make my vocation the same as my passion. I have tried to be a positive force for racing and, in doing so, have made many friends, and I am sure a few worthy adversaries as well. Once more,
Rockport Lover with new owner Jessica Lorenson By Jessica Lorenson Some people look at one horse when they are looking for a horse to buy; others look at 50 and still don’t end up with the right horse. There was never a question in my mind that “Roxie,” registered as Rockport Lover (who raced at Remington Park and Will Rogers Downs), was definitely the horse for me. In the 12 years I’ve been riding, I’ve seen a lot of first-time horse buyers make plenty of mistakes. I, however, still like to let everyone laugh at the fact that I knew Roxie was the horse for me by looking at one picture. And no, it wasn’t a conformation shot, just a picture of her face. Yes, I know, worst horse buyer ever. However, I did have a prepurchase exam and rode her (for 15 minutes) before having her shipped from Thoroughbred Athletes Inc. in Guthrie, Oklahoma, to the suburb outside of Atlanta where I live. I thought Roxie was special because of how kind and personable she is. However, I’ve found out that she’s special for more than just that. Roxie is a Rockport Harbor baby. He only lived to be 11 years old, and sadly that limited his offspring. I had another off-the-track Thoroughbred (OTTB) mare, registered as Berkley’s Gold, that we called “Carmen.” I leased her for several months. When she was sold, I lost touch, and when I started looking for my own horse, I thought about her and knew I wanted an OTTB. When I found Roxie, I can’t explain the feeling. I knew that this was the one. And so far? She’s proven to be everything I wanted. From her attitude every day when she greets me to how hard she’s tried from day one, she’s proven that even though she didn’t have the heart to race, she has the heart to please. I have no doubts that she will shine in the arena when we start showing later this year and that she will receive wonderful scores in the dressage arena. My hopes for her dressage career are for us to gain our bronze medal together. Aside from that, I want Roxie to live a long, happy life and be around well into her 30s. As she’s only 6 years old, I see nothing but bright things ahead for the two of us. And I hope to see many more OTTBs follow the same path. Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014 19
State Association News ALABAMA HBPA NEWS
Southern Racehorse to Cover Alabama, Will Be Mailed to Alabama HBPA Members Southern Racehorse magazine, soon to be renamed American Racehorse, will provide coverage of the Thoroughbred industry in Alabama in partnership with the Alabama Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA). In addition to covering the industry in the state, the magazine will include important updates and news from the Alabama HBPA and will be mailed to its members at no charge. Southern Racehorse has similar arrangements with the Texas Thoroughbred Association, Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma, Colorado Thoroughbred Breeders Association, Georgia Horse Racing Coalition, North Carolina Thoroughbred Association and South Carolina Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and also covers the Thoroughbred industry in Louisiana. “We are very happy to include the horsemen and horsewomen of Alabama in our magazine,” said Denis Blake, editor and publisher of Southern Racehorse. “Even though there is currently no live racing in Alabama, the state’s horsemen play an important role in the region and there have been some good Alabama-bred runners in recent years.” The Alabama HBPA represents horsemen in the state and also promotes a pair of Alabama-bred stakes, the Magic City Classic and Kudzu Juvenile, which last year were held at Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans, Louisiana. Live racing was formally held in Alabama at Birmingham Race Course, and the Alabama HBPA is working to return live racing to the state.
COLORADO THOROUGHBRED BREEDERS ASSOCIATION NEWS Colorado Racing and Breeding to Be Covered in Southern Racehorse Members of the Colorado Thoroughbred Breeders Association (CTBA) will receive a subscription to Southern Racehorse starting with the July/August issue and the magazine will start covering the industry in that state and include CTBA member updates. The purpose of the CTBA is to promote the Thoroughbred industry in Colorado by actively assisting its membership by supporting the breeding, racing and marketing of Thoroughbred horses and by encouraging public interest in the sport. The CTBA also manages the Colorado-bred program and sponsors the Silver Cup Yearling Sale, which this year is set for August 9 at Arapahoe Park near Denver. Arapahoe is the state’s lone horse track with a meet that began May 24 and runs through August 17. “With Colorado’s proximity to Texas and Oklahoma, there is a significant amount of crossover with horsemen racing around the region, so we are happy to welcome members of the CTBA to the magazine,” said Denis Blake, editor and publisher of Southern Racehorse, which is soon to be renamed American Racehorse. “We look forward to covering racing and breeding in the state of Colorado.” For more information about the CTBA, visit cotba.com. 20
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Yearlings by Top Sires Set for Colorado Silver Cup Sale on August 9 More than 60 Thoroughbred yearlings by leading regional and national sires are catalogued for the annual Silver Cup Yearling Sale to be held at Arapahoe Park, near Aurora, Colorado, on Saturday, August 9, beginning at 6 p.m. (MDT). Represented stallions include Kentucky stalwarts Big Brown, Include, Mizzen Mast, Stephen Got Even, Successful Appeal, Tiz Wonderful and U S Ranger. Colorado leaders Grand Minstrel and Oliver’s Twist are among the regional sires that also include Oklahoma’s Mr. Nightlinger, Notional, Toccet and Western Expression, as well as Arizona sires Barricade and Margie’s Wildcat. All horses that pass through the ring are eligible for the 2015 Silver Cup Futurity to be run at Arapahoe Park. Last year’s futurities, with separate divisions for fillies and for colts and geldings, offered a combined purse of just under $75,000. Graduates of previous Silver Cup sales include Grade 3-placed Tenango ($355,154, multiple stakes placed at Aqueduct and Belmont Park), Get Happy Mister ($238,762, winner of the Northern Spur Stakes at Oaklawn Park and Gold Rush Futurity at Arapahoe), Wally Van ($254,006, winner of the Ruidoso and Colorado Derbies) and stakes winners Folsum ($156,640), Danzip ($148,984) and Sweet Dixie Van ($114,747). In 2013, yearlings sold for an average of $9,632 (up 64 percent from 2012) and the median price doubled to $6,000. Topping that sale at $42,000 was a half brother to Get Happy Mister by Pleasantly Perfect. A half brother to Kentucky Derby (G1) starter Falling Sky sold for $25,000. The Colorado Thoroughbred Breeders Association sponsors the annual sale. Catalogs are available on the CTBA website at cotba.com. For more information, call (303) 294-0260.
GEORGIA HORSE RACING COALITION NEWS Georgia Horse Racing Coalition Presents Exclusive Screening of “50 to 1” There was a time not too long ago when the odds to bring racing to Georgia were 50 to 1, the same odds shared by the undersized Mine That Bird when he won the Kentucky Derby in 2009. Finding his stride, he seemed to come out of nowhere and pulled off a stunning upset. The Georgia Horse Racing Coalition is honored to announce the Georgia premiere of Mine That Bird’s story, “50 to 1,” on August 27. This film celebrates an amazing horse who not only won the Derby but hearts around the world. The exclusive private screening and reception at the Buckhead Theatre in Atlanta is a fundraiser for the Coalition, a group of leading business and civic leaders who are dedicated to bringing world-class horse racing to Georgia. Current sponsors include Team Valor International, The Jockey Club, MDD Forensic Accountants and Ye Olde Posse Stables with more announcements coming soon. “50 to 1,” produced and directed by Academy Award winner Jim Wilson, is the story of a misfit bunch of cowboys from New
Mexico who found themselves on the journey of a lifetime when their crooked-footed Thoroughbred gelding qualified for the most famous horse race in the United States. Mine That Bird went on to enjoy success in the other two legs of the Triple Crown in 2009, finishing second in the Preakness Stakes and third in the Belmont Stakes. When Mine That Bird retired in 2010, the gelding who originally cost just $9,500 had amassed $2,228,637 in earnings. “The Georgia Horse Racing Coalition is honored to have Jim Wilson share his great horse racing film with our supporters,” said Dean Reeves, Coalition president and owner of 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Mucho Macho Man. “There was a time, years ago, when the odds to bring racing to Georgia were 50 to 1, but our grassroots campaign continues to gain statewide support. If I were a handicapper, I’d say the odds now are down to the single digits. This fundraiser is a critical part of our stretch run to ensure that legislation is passed in 2015 allowing for a statewide referendum.” Studies by the Coalition show that horse racing will bring up to 10,000 jobs to Georgia and nearly $75 million in annual tax revenues that can be used toward education and transportation. Tickets for the gala premier start at $100 per person and may be purchased at gahorseracing.org.
Small Town, Big Racing Dreams in Hawkinsville, the Harness Horse Capital of Georgia
By Steve Byrne for the Georgia Horse Racing Coalition It is the first Saturday in April in Hawkinsville, Georgia. The action is—as it has been for almost 40 years in this town of 4,600 along the Ocmulgee River—on the grounds of the Lawrence L. Bennett Harness Horse Training Facility. It’s Harness Horse Festival weekend. The sweet smell of barbecued meat mixes with the pungent aroma of horses. Golf carts shoot around the grounds, slowing occasionally to avoid the children running this way and that, while adults check their programs for the 14 races scheduled to run on the facility’s rich, red dirt track. Although there is no wagering, a festival goer can make the races interesting. Spectators can enter a lottery, and the race results determine who wins. It is, of course, only a lottery. No one can actually bet on an individual horse. “This is Georgia, remember,” one festival worker handling lottery duties reminded someone using the word “wager.”
Yes, it’s Georgia and it always will be, but if the legislators in Atlanta approve a bill to allow pari-mutuel wagering in the state (a vote is targeted for the 2015 legislative session), a completely new sporting scene will open for horse racing enthusiasts from Georgia and other Southeastern states where betting on horses is not legal. And maybe no place in Georgia, other than the home city of a racetrack, would benefit more than Hawkinsville if playing the horses were permitted. Hawkinsville bills itself as the Harness Horse Capital of Georgia. The Lawrence Bennett Facility opened 94 years ago, and the Pulaski County Fair has hosted harness racing since 1894. Each winter trainers arrive with their Standardbreds from stables in the North to take advantage of the mild weather and good grazing land. Imagine what it would be like for Hawkinsville if the visiting trainers could race their pupils in the months they spend at Lawrence Bennett, instead of just training them. “This place would explode,” said Fred Drouillard, a trainer out of Dutton, Ontario, Canada. “They’d be turning people away. So many more people would want to come here. Now, some guys just stay in the North [over the winter].” According to Jerry Murkerson, Hawkinsville city manager and a harness driver, “If [trainers] had some place to race we’d have more folks down here [using the facility].” There is some winter harness racing in the colder northern climate, mostly at the larger and better-known tracks around New York City and in Ontario. That’s a long haul from Georgia. The Northern states closer to Hawkinsville—Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania—have a few tracks that race during winter months. Most tracks don’t. “Definitely, more people would move south,” said trainer Bob Barella of Lennon, Michigan. “People in Michigan are running out of options.” Barella’s home state had only 20 days of harness racing, from March 7 to May 3 at two racetracks, in 2014. “It would be a very strong shot in the arm for a community,” said Hawkinsville Chamber of Commerce President Lee Slade of pari-mutuel racing. “I know there are people against it, but I would stick my neck out and say it would be good for Hawkinsville and good for the state.” The harness racing industry is already good for Hawkinsville. A study conducted by the Chamber of Commerce eight years ago determined the town adds almost $2 million dollars to its coffers in the months the horse people are there. That figure could balloon if legal pari-mutuel wagering were only a couple of hours away, rather than a day’s drive up Interstate 75. Slade said Hawkinsville is “holding up as well as any small town” as far as its economic standing, while adding that it’s the Chamber’s job to try to make things better. “The best thing for Standardbreds would be winter racing,” said Clarence Martin Jr. of Honesdale, Pennsylvania, who has been coming to Hawkinsville off and on since 1994. It might even make other small towns in Georgia, with similar mild winters and plentiful grazing land, consider setting up stables for visiting (and perhaps permanent) Standardbred trainers. That, added Martin, would have a side benefit for the visitors. Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014 21
State Association News Georgia News cont. “More people, more money,” Martin said. “I spend $6,000 on grain alone. If more people came, it would drive down the cost of grain and other expenses. The suppliers would buy in greater bulk.” “So many people would benefit from horse racing in Georgia,” track manager Jim Valante said. “It would help the horse industry, the tourism industry, agriculture. It would bring new jobs and more tax revenue. It would help not just Hawkinsville.” For more information about the Georgia Horse Racing Coalition, visit gahorseracing.org.
NORTH CAROLINA THOROUGHBRED ASSOCIATION NEWS Note from the President I hope all of our members are having a wonderful summer. Our owners are surely strutting their stuff with winners, winners and more winners at the track. Congratulations to all of our members with horses running. North Carolina Thoroughbred Association members continue to make their mark, as recently we’ve had a Grade 1-placed runner and three stakes wins for horses owned by NCTA members. We also have some well-bred babies that will make a splash in a couple of years, and we are awaiting our 2-year-old crop to start racing. I would like to thank Christy Suits for keeping up our website at ncthoroughbreds.com; please visit often as new things are posted every week. I’d also like to thank Eileen Williams for keeping us abreast of our current winners and posting them to our Facebook page and Dan Davidson for filling in when we are not around to do so. Without these people helping us, you would not be getting updates on association member news, which horses are racing and breeding information. Thanks to all of you that get out our news. There was a commentary article in the Raleigh News & Observer on May 27 about racing in North Carolina, or the lack thereof. Many of our members were quoted, and we got a voice. The article is on our Facebook page and also on the website if you are interested in reading it. I would like to thank Barry Jacobs for doing such a good job on the story and hope in the future there may be more written about our sport in this state. One of our members, attorney Michael Stone, has sold his horses and is being appointed by our governor to fill a vacancy as a judge. He is with us in spirit and heart and will keep up with our news and help us when he can. We wish him all the best and are looking forward to the day when he will be able to rejoin the game. Joanne Dew, NCTA President
Breeding News Beth Muirhead wrote to the association about some of the up-andcoming horses we have to look forward to seeing on the track. She writes that she has a full brother to the nice filly Special Cheers, named Double the Cheers, that will be coming along soon and is owned by Beth and Dave Benge. Kenan Rand has also just delivered a nice Sharp Humor colt to Jonathan Sheppard for training. The colt is very sharp and was training forwardly with G.W. Parrish in High Springs, Florida. 22
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Hubert Vester has had a very productive spring with his mares. Bluegrass Sara had a Blame colt and is back in foal to The Factor. Cognac Kitty had a filly by Trappe Shot and is back in foal to Artie Schiller. The mare is by Hennessy out of Russian Bride and is a half sister to Athena’s Gift, who is the dam of Grade 1 winner We Miss Artie (by Artie Schiller). Athena’s Gift was named Broodmare of the Week by Daily Racing Form’s Breeding Today on June 18 after We Miss Artie was a winner of the Plate Trial Stakes at Woodbine. Hubert bred Athena’s Gift and sold her as a yearling and was lucky enough to buy her back. She has a Sky Mesa filly by her side and is back in foal to Medaglia d’Oro.
Racing News RULER OF LOVE, our association’s horse of the year, was also honored by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association as that state’s top 3-year-old male. Ruler of Love is owned by our members Frank Coniglio, Sidney Ridman, Richard Rendino and Nick Rebro. He was bred by our member Faye Little. Congratulations to all of the connections.
Winners DARING KATHY (by Wildcat Heir), owned by Steve Laymon in partnership with John Eaton, was the first stakes winner of this year for our association. On May 10, she won the Honey Ryder Stakes at Gulfstream Park and returned to the track on June 15 to take the Starfish Bay Stakes. RECURRING DREAM (by Lion Heart) broke his maiden over the hurdles at Charlotte on April 26, Queen’s Cup Day. He is owned by High Hope Stables (Bill Price). What a great day for both Bill and his wife, Carrington, who are the main promoters of the Queen’s Cup. NO SURRENDER (by Into Mischief) was a winner at Churchill Downs on May 3 for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, which includes our member Randy Pozsar. ICE FOR THE LADY (by Flatter), owned and bred by W. Kenan Rand, was a winner at Tampa Bay Downs on May 3 and then captured the Northbound Pride Oaks at Canterbury Park on June 15. MISSDIXIEACTIVIST (by Activist) broke her maiden at Penn National on May 7 for breeder and owner Jim Chandley. MATISSE (by Master Command) was a winner at Parx Racing on May 18 and at Penn National on May 31 for owners George and Stephanie Autry. ARTIE’S JASPER (by Artie Schiller) was a winner at Lexington over the hurdles on May 18. He was bred by Never Better Stables (Denise Walsh) and is owned by Never Better Stables and John Padden. LITTLE JOURNEY [FR] (by Great Journey) finished third in the Grade 1 American Oaks at Santa Anita Park on May 31. This was her second American start and the owners were very happy with the race. She is owned by NCTA member Steve Laymon in partnership with Marshall K. Gramm, Gary Pitts and Michael A. Pietrangelo. MORE THAN SPECIAL (by Artie Schiller) was a winner at Woodbine on June 1. She was bred by Beth Muirhead and owned by Beth in partnership with Sidney Ritman, Richard Rendina and Frank Coniglio, all members of the NCTA. PRIDE OF SILVER (by Badge of Silver) won at Lone Star Park on May
30 and on July 4. He was bred by NCTA member Nancy Shuford. CHOSEN (by Cougar Cat) won at Presque Isle Downs on May 29. She was bred by member Jim Chandley. Her broodmare sire, Misbah, is owned by Jim and stands in Pennsylvania. MUY MAN (by Misbah) won at Finger Lakes on June 20. He was bred by Jim Chandley, who also owns the sire, Misbah. BET U CANT FIND ME (by Run Away and Hide) won at Finger Lakes on May 20 and June 5. She was bred by Hubert Vester. WINE BURGLAR (by Rock Hard Ten) won at Belmont Park on June 6. She was bred by Hubert Vester. Congratulations also go to all of the NCTA members who had horses run second or third: TOBIAS (co-owned by Johnny Eason), BET U CANT FIND ME (bred by Hubert Vester), TALIESIN (bred by Jim Chandley), PLAYITAGAINHOWIE (bred by Beth Muirhead), MAGGIE MAGGIE (bred and owned by Nancy Shuford), PRIDE OF SILVER (bred by Nancy Shuford), SCONNIE NATION (bred by Hubert Vester), CHOSEN (bred by Jim Chandley), MISS MOONSHINE (owned by Country Life Farms, which includes our member James Jones) and ABEL A (owned and bred by Nancy Shuford).
SOUTH CAROLINA THOROUGHBRED OWNERS AND BREEDERS ASSOCIATION NEWS SCTOBA Member Forms Unique Racing Partnership
Racing partnerships are nothing new, but South Carolina Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association member Donna Freyer has introduced a unique wrinkle with the launch of Fast Women LLC. As the name implies, this partnership group is designed for women, but while that concept has been done before, Fast Women takes it a step further. The group plans to have the entire progression of a racehorse overseen and operated by women, from selecting a yearling (a filly, of course) to breaking and training to ultimately having a female jockey aboard when the horse hits the track. Fast Women is based in Camden, South Carolina, and was started by Freyer, a respected trainer who operates Custom Care Equine. A vice president for the SCTOBA, Freyer was born in New York City and turned her early love of horses into a career as she ended up in Camden working for Hall of Fame trainer Frank Whiteley. After a stint training for Tanrackin Farm in New York, she returned to South Carolina to open what was originally called Custom Care South. While in the Palmetto State, she helped launch the South Carolina residency stakes for horses that spent at least 90 days training in the state, and the Donna Freyer Stakes for fillies is named for her. Fast Women already comprises a group of women from around South Carolina in addition to New Jersey, Connecticut and Florida, but they are still seeking new partners. In addition to the thrill of Thoroughbred ownership, Fast Women hopes to allow its partners to learn about Camden’s top industry and enjoy a social journey together. The group picked up their first filly, now named Minimambo, at the FasigTipton fall yearlings sale in Kentucky. The 2-year-old daughter of Kitalpha is the first foal out of the Mark of Esteem mare Quail Landing (GB). For more information, contact Freyer at (803) 243-4848 or visit customcareequine.com.
Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014 23
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O C D
Glen Eldon Nelson went from the bush tracks of Oklahoma to the big time
Courtesy Eldonna Nelson Magnus
• By Lou Dean
When he was 16 years old, Glen Eldon Nelson stood 4’5” tall and weighed 75 pounds. He prayed every day for more growth, but had begun to accept the reality that he would never reach his father’s Excerpted from The Boys from the Bushes: 5’10” height. From the Oklahoma Bush Tracks to the Big Apple His father, Glen Nelson, gave up farming and took up carpentry around 1944, changing professions to feed his family. The Nelsons moved from their Tonkawa farm into nearby Ponca City. Eldon missed life on the farm. Sometimes he ached to be back on his Quarter Horse Trixie, riding through the woods and open fields. His uncle took Trixie back to his place east of Ponca City, Oklahoma, and told Eldon he could ride the mare anytime. But by then, leisure time was not that easy to come by. Eldon had quit school and gone to work at the defense plant in Ponca City, making parts for pup tents. He worked at least eight hours a day, leaving little time for fun. Eldon’s mother, Adelene, and 300 other women worked in the plant along with Eldon and one 26
Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014
Courtesy Eldonna Nelson Magnus
Nelson (opposite page) celebrates a victory in the 1972 Preakness Stakes aboard Bee Bee Bee. Left, he poses with a horse during his apprenticeship at Woolford Farms.
other young man. When a woman ran a needle through her finger, it was Eldon and the other boy who came to the rescue. Because the other boy was bigger, he would hold the woman still while Eldon backed the sewing machine up, releasing the woman’s finger. Sometimes a needle would break and Eldon would extract it from the woman’s finger using pliers; blood squirted everywhere during these operations. It was not a job for the weak-hearted, but a task that soon became routine for the two boys. During those defense plant days, Eldon and his sister Evelyn sometimes took their two younger sisters Velma and Evone to the picture show in Ponca City. At that time, people who had money went downtown to the Poncan Theater on First and Grand. Those less fortunate went to the Ritz on the west side of the railroad tracks, near Union Street and Grand. The Nelson family had continued to grow. By the time they moved to Ponca City, Eldon had five sisters—Maxine, Evelyn, Velma, Evone and Jeanie—and a new baby brother, Ervin. Money always was scarce with so many mouths to feed, the reason Eldon quit school to go to work. That is also why the Nelson kids went to the Ritz Theater instead of the Poncan. The movie always began with a newsreel that gave the audience a quick overview of what was happening in the world. On that day in 1944, the headlines revolved around the much-anticipated end of World War II. Eldon watched the news with interest. He wanted to go into the service, but figured he would never be accepted because of his size. He would love to go sit in the cockpit of an aircraft, behind a gun, and fire away at the enemy. But that day, dreams of power and glory, of coming home a hero, were interrupted when the sports news flashed across the screen. The Kentucky Derby, the first race of the Triple Crown, was going to run within
a week. While the sportscaster talked of the Preakness and Belmont, and the ponies’ odds, Eldon sat spellbound, staring at the professional jockey on the screen. Standing proudly on the scales with his saddle in hand, the complete weight—jockey, saddle and all—registered 101 pounds. “I could do that!” Eldon thought in a burst of excitement. He grabbed his sister’s arm and exclaimed, “I could do that, if I knew how to get there,” he said. “I know I could. I’m small enough and I’m a good rider.” Evelyn agreed with a nod of her head, but did not take her eyes from the screen. Going to the movies was a rare treat. She was not going to miss anything by listening to her younger brother babble about what he could do. “If I don’t grow,” Eldon continued, “I could do that. I know I could.” “Shuu,” said Eldon’s longtime girlfriend, Wilma, staring at him with a frown. Eldon and Wilma had been dating for more than a year, but sometimes Eldon was unsure about their relationship. When it came to horses and riding, Wilma had little interest. Eldon sunk down in the theater seat and got quiet, but his mind raced with the possibilities. Maybe he could find a way to keep riding. Two of his uncles, Glen’s two younger brothers, Ray and Dale, worked out in Osage County on a cattle ranch. The first chance he got, he would go out and ride with them. That first chance came when his uncles invited him to come out and help with the cattle one day. By this time, Eldon had invested some of his hard-earned money on a used Model A Ford. When he quit school and went to work at the defense plant, he was 15 and his father agreed that he should hold back a third of his salary each week for a car of his own. The day Glen and Eldon rattled into the Nelson driveway with the used Model A, the entire family celebrated. Then, with the help of two-by-four blocks affixed to the gas, clutch and brake pedals so he could reach them, and his father’s patience, Eldon began to drive. Like any teenage boy, Eldon was excited about owning and driving his own vehicle, but his desire to drive directly was linked to his passion to ride. He wanted to accept the invitation from his uncles to help out on the ranch. So, within days after Eldon became the proud owner of the Model A, he and his sister Evelyn drove out to Osage County and began to ride on the ranch. Riding the cow ponies helped Eldon learn more about staying in the saddle. Late one afternoon, Eldon’s uncles and several of his cousins took Evelyn and Eldon to the small bush track east of Ponca City. The track had no gates, no grandstand or judge’s booth. It was nothing but a simple straightaway track out through a pasture, with two stakes in the ground indicating the start and finish lines. Uncle Dale had heard about the track and already had taken his boys out to have a little fun racing their ponies. That morning when they arrived, there was a crowd of horses and men standing around talking and exchanging money. Apparently, the men who worked at Continental Oil Company in Ponca City had started coming out to the small bush track on weekends after arguments at work led to match races. “My colt can outrun your horse for 200 yards,” one man said, as Eldon Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014 27
Courtesy Eldonna Nelson Magnus
When he wasn’t wearing jockey silks, Nelson preferred to wear a suit and tie.
Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014
Courtesy Eldonna Nelson Magnus
approached the crowd. “I’ll bet 20 bucks he can’t outrun my mare for 300,” another man said, stepping up. Eldon stood back with his sister, uncles and cousins, and watched, fascinated as the men set up one match race after another. They hung out all morning, watching the horses blast out over the flat pasture, kicking up dust, and watching the men when they yelled in victory or cursed in defeat. Suddenly, Eldon’s Uncle Dale had him by the shoulder. “Eldon, there’s a guy over here that wants you to ride in the next race,” he said. “I’ve been telling him about you.” “Me?” Eldon said, suddenly terrified. He never had ridden in a real race like this, where men were watching and people were betting. “Come on over. It’ll be OK. I’ll help you get all ready.” Within a few minutes, Eldon found himself being hoisted up onto a huge gelding and given quick instructions. He listened carefully the whole time—and said a silent prayer he would be able to stop the horse at the end of the race. Things grew very quiet at the starting line. Two men stood 300 yards away on both sides of the finish line, waiting. The man at the starting line dropped his hat. Eldon leaned forward and the horse jumped. Not being used to a jockey saddle or a horse with real speed, Eldon came up high in the saddle and nearly was ejected. But his body strength and size allowed him to regain balance and ride. The horse won by a nose, but
Eldon’s greatest fears soon were realized. He could not stop the animal. The horse ran off of the track and all the way across the pasture at breakneck speed, with Eldon pulling on the reins. The big gelding reached a barbed-wire fence several hundred yards away, pivoted, and started back. By the time he arrived at the track, he had slowed and Eldon was able to pull him to a stop. “Did he get away from you, boy?” the owner grinned as he spoke. Eldon could not reply. His heart hammered in his throat and his mouth felt full of dust. If not for all of those days chasing cows, he knew he would have met his fate in that barbed-wire fence. The man generously gave Eldon five dollars. That was more money than Eldon made working an eight-hour day. Before the sun set that afternoon, two other men approached Eldon and asked him to ride for them the next weekend. Eldon agreed under one condition—the owners would allow his sister Evelyn to wait at the other end of the track to help stop the horses. For the next two years, on any given weekend Eldon and Evelyn would be somewhere at a bush track. Often, Wilma went along, but more and more she found excuses not to go. Eldon felt torn between his girl and his passion to ride. He was very fond of Wilma, but between work and riding, he had less and less time for her. Eldon paid his sister half of his earnings to be his “pickup man.” Evelyn, a talented rider, quickly became good at the job. She learned to dash her pony up to Eldon’s mount and grab the reins. She would proudly pony the horse back up the track. Eldon’s reputation on the bush tracks spread, and soon anywhere there was a horse race, the Nelson team would show up and make themselves available. The Ponca Indians had a small rodeo and often held races south
The rider’s record of six victories on a 1958 card at Delaware Park has been matched but never beaten.
of Ponca City, on the White Eagle Reservation. Eldon and Evelyn soon made friends with some of the Ponca Indian kids their age, and a certain Indian girl developed a crush on Eldon. It took him a while to understand why she kept missing the bus in Ponca City and asking him to take her home to the reservation. Good-natured Eldon always would oblige and Evelyn would usually go along. They all would climb in Eldon’s old Model A Ford that smoked like a chimney because of the drip gas he used to run it, and rattle down the road to the reservation. Finally, Eldon asked Evelyn why the Indian girl missed the bus so much. “Don’t you know?” Evelyn asked her brother, grinning. “I guess not. That’s why I asked.” “Sometimes I don’t know about you, brother,” Evelyn said. “She’s missing the bus because she likes having you take her home.” Eldon made it a point after that to not be available right after school. He liked the girl, but not in that way. He did not want to do anything that might upset his Indian friends. Besides, his steady girl, Wilma, would not like it if she heard someone had a crush on him. In late January of 1945, shortly after Eldon’s 18th birthday, Glen came in one evening with a draft notice in his hand. “What in the hell do they think they’re doing?” he asked, slamming the notice down on the table. Adelene picked up the notice and read it, while Glen continued to rave. “Why in the world would they draft some guy my age who’s trying to support seven kids? That’s crazy!” he exclaimed. “Surely there’s some way I can get out of it. I’m too old to fight in a war.” Adelene looked at her husband and asked, “Don’t you know that you’ve got a son with the same name who’s the right age?” Glen looked stunned for a minute. He picked up the draft notice and read it more carefully. “I’ll be damned,” Glen said. Eldon climbed on the bus bound for Oklahoma City two days later. His parents were not happy about the draft, but he was ecstatic. He wanted to go into the military. “Make me a helicopter gunner,” he told the officer at the induction center. “I’ll blast the hell out of ’em.” But the straight-faced officer told Eldon, “Son, you passed everything except the height requirement. I’m afraid you aren’t going.” Eldon got back on the bus to Ponca City with a heavy heart. There was a bigger reason he hoped to go into the Army. Eldon wanted to leave home in the worst way. His girlfriend, Wilma, had dumped him and married her ex-boyfriend, who recently had returned from the Navy. Although Eldon had felt for some time that Wilma did not support his
dream to ride, he never once questioned her loyalty or affection. So, with a broken heart, the thought of staying around Ponca City and seeing Wilma with her new husband added to Eldon’s misery. Two months later, on a Saturday night in March, Evelyn introduced Eldon to a man at the bush track in Ponca City. “Jack Mackey, this is my brother, Eldon,” Evelyn said. “Have you considered riding as a career?” the man asked Eldon immediately. “Yes, I’ve thought about it,” Eldon replied. “Have you ever heard of a man named Herbert Woolf, of Woolford Stables in Kansas City?” Mackey asked. “No, sir.” “Well, he has quite an operation up there,” Mackey said. “He raises, trains and races Thoroughbreds. Would you be interested in going up and trying to ride for him?” Eldon knew nothing about this stranger, and he could tell Mackey Courtesy Eldonna Nelson Magnus was interested in Evelyn. But the fact that his sister introduced them made Eldon feel that the man was probably making a legitimate offer. “Yes, sir. I’d be real interested,” Eldon said. Jack Mackey turned out to have connections, and within a week Eldon received a phone call from him. “Woolford Farms in Kansas City, Kansas, has a place for you if you are interested,” Mackey said. “You have to have written permission from your folks. You come on up and work for 30 days. If they like what they see, they’ll sign you for a three-year contract and teach you how to ride Thoroughbreds.” It was a dream come true for Eldon. He now knew he would never get much bigger. He wanted to get out of Ponca City. He wanted to ride horses. The opportunity seemed too good to be true. “Yes, sir,” he said, “I’ll get the permission.” H
Trainers John Nerud (left) and Ross Higdon with Nelson after one of the first victories of his career.
Lou Dean is the author of countless articles in major magazines, four memoir books, two young adult novels and a nonfiction book about the history of Oklahoma horse racing. She has received a Colorado Blue Spruce nomination, two Colorado Authors’ League Awards and the Western Heritage Award for her work. This excerpt is from her book, The Boys from the Bushes: From the Oklahoma Bush Tracks to the Big Apple, which can be ordered by phone at (888) 501-2059 or online at oklahomaheritage.com or amazon.com. In 2001, Dean rode her donkey, Jesse James, across Colorado to promote nonviolence in schools. That newly released memoir, On My Ass: Riding the Midlife Crisis Trail, is available from High Plains Press at (800) 552-7819 or highplainspress.com. Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014 29
More on Glen Eldon Nelson
Growing up on an Oklahoma farm during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl era gave Glen Eldon Nelson the exact combination of character traits he needed to become a world-class jockey. His early love of riding the family horse Trixie, his small stature and the work ethic he learned from his father would all play a pivotal role in the destiny that awaited him. At 10 years old and less than four feet tall, Eldon accepted a challenge from a neighbor boy who bragged that his gelding could outrun Trixie in a match race. Later that day, with a sense of pride, Eldon carried the purse of two chickens and his story about winning the race to his mother. Adelene Nelson, always happy to see food for the table, eagerly accepted the chickens but told her young son, “You better stop that. You could get killed.” At 18, after being noticed at a match race on a rural Oklahoma bush track, Eldon accepted an opportunity to travel to Kansas City and go to work for Woolford Stables in hopes of becoming a jockey. Three years later at Tropical Park in Florida, Eldon brought a horse named Approval through the mud and across the wire for his first win as a professional. That victory opened the door for a future that would include shattering a track record and equaling a world record on National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame member Coaltown in 1948, winning the Derby Trial aboard Black George in 1950, finishing second on Inside Tract in the 1957 Belmont Stakes and winning the Preakness Stakes in 1972 over Riva Ridge on longshot Bee Bee Bee for William S. Farish III. In his amazing career, Eldon made headlines for nearly three decades, rode great horses like Silver Spoon, Tempted and Bold Bidder and competed against the legendary jockeys Eddie Arcaro and Willie Shoemaker among others. In 1973, winding up his career at 46 years of age, Eldon won the Endine Handicap for fillies and mares at Delaware Park and retired with more than 1,900 wins. On May 16, 2009, Eldon became the third rider to be inducted into the Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame at Remington Park, where some of his silks and trophies are on display. On July 18, 2012, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Delaware Park, where he rode six winners on a single card for a record that has been tied but never broken. The undersized boy who came from meager beginnings brought a level of commitment and professionalism to racing that was appreciated during his career and recognized long after. He passed away in March 2012 at the age of 85.—Lou Dean
John Mooney (right), executive director of racing at Delaware Park, presents Eldonna Nelson Magnus, the daughter of Eldon Nelson, and her husband, Randy Magnus, with a plaque honoring the jockey as a member of that track’s hall of fame.
Congrats to Another Stakes-Winning Carter Sales Co. Graduate
Carter Sales Co. would like to congratulate owner Big Sugar Racing, consignor Mighty Acres and breeder Center Hills Farm for Big Sugar High’s victory in the $84,955 Iowa Stallion Stakes at Prairie Meadows on July 6. This marks the second year in a row that a horse from the OKC Summer Sale has won that race and with the same connections! Find your next stakes winner at the OKC Summer Yearling and Horses of Racing Age Sale on Sunday, August 17, at the OKC Fairgrounds Sale Arena.
Carter Sales Co. www.cartersalesco.com • (405) 640-8567 30
Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014
BIGGER AND BETTER! The 2014 Equine Sales Company Consignor Select Yearling Sale on September 3 in Opelousas, Louisiana, will feature a catalog of more than 230 of the finest Thoroughbreds in the region. Our list of stakes-winning graduates continues to grow, highlighted by $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Vicar’s in Trouble. Come check out the sale where real consignors and real buyers come together! The Consignor Select Yearling Sale features offspring of more than 100 stallions, including numerous leading regional and national stallions, such as (through 6/25): A. P. DELTA ALBERTUS MAXIMUS AMERICAN LION ARTIE SCHILLER BEHINDATTHEBAR BENNY THE BULL BIG BROWN BIG TOP CAT BIRDSTONE BOB AND JOHN BROKEN VOW CANADIAN FRONTIER CAPE BLANCO CAT DREAMS CHATAIN CHEROKEE TRIANGEL CLEVER CRY CLOSING ARGUMENT CORINTHIAN COWBOY CAL CUSTOM FOR CARLOS
DAAHER DROSSELMEYER DUE DATE EDDINGTON EL CORREDOR ERLTON EVERYDAY HEROES FLASHY WISE CAT FLOWER ALLEY FOREFATHERS FORT PRADO FREUD FUSAICHI PEGASUS GIANT OAK GIO PONTI GOLD TRIBUTE GOOD AND TOUGH GRAEME HALL GRAND APPOINTMENT GREELEY’S GALAXY HALF OURS
HIGH CASCADE HIGH COTTON HOLD ME BACK HONEST MAN IDE INTERACTIF JOE’S SON JOEY KODIAK KOWBOY LEROIDESANIMAUX (BRZ) LIMEHOUSE LION TAMER MAGNA GRADUATE MAUK FOUR MIDNIGHT LUTE MR. WILDLEE MUSKET MAN MY PAL CHARLIE NOTIONAL OLE REBEL ORTHODOX ORVILLE N WILBUR’S
OSIDY PADDY O’ PRADO PARADING PIONEER OF THE NILE PLEASANTLY PERFECT POLLARD’S VISION PORTO FORICOS POSSE PRIMARY SUSPECT PRIVATE VOW PROUD CITIZEN PROUDINSKY (GER) PURE PRIZE RAHY’S SECRET RAINMAKER READ THE FOOTNOTES READY’S IMAGE RED GIANT REGAL RANSOM RUN PRODUCTION SAINT AFLEET
Mark your calendar for our Open Yearling and Mixed Sale on October 26, 2014. Consignment deadline is August 15! For Further Information: Foster Bridewell, Sales Director Tel: 214-718-7618 Web: www.equinesalesofla.com
Equine Sales Co.
372 Harry Guilbeau Road Opelousas, LA 70570 Tel: 337-678-3024 • Fax: 337-678-3028
SALUTE THE SARGE SHERMANESQUE SIGHT SEEING SKY CLASSIC SKY MESA SMOKE GLACKEN SPRING AT LAST STEPHEN GOT EVEN STREET HERO STROLL SUCCESSFUL APPEAL SUMMER BIRD TENPINS THORN SONG TIME BANDIT TIZ THE ONE TIZDEJAUU TRAPPE SHOT U. S. RANGER WARRIOR’S REWARD YANKEE GENTLEMAN ZEDE
Prepurchase Exams for the Layman
Evaluating a horse on your own before going ahead with an official veterinary exam can save you money By Denise Steffanus â€˘ Photos by Denis Blake
repurchase examinations are not cheap. Having a veterinarian examine a horse and scrutinize its health and soundness using high-tech equipment and sophisticated diagnostics typically costs around $1,000. This fee, when compared with the purchase price some Thoroughbreds demand, can be a bargain. With others, that amount can equate to a significant percentage of the purchase price. A potential buyer could lay out a lot of money by getting a prepurchase examination for every horse that catches his or her eye. An experienced horseman should be able to do a preliminary evaluation of a horse to determine if it is worthwhile to go further with the screening process. Craig Van Balen, DVM, a Lexington veterinarian who led a discussion at the 2008 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention on prepurchase examinations at public auction, advises horsemen on how to evaluate health and soundness in a potential purchase before they decide to enlist a veterinarian to conduct an official prepurchase examination.
Overall Appearance Van Balen said the first thing a potential buyer should do is take a step back from the horse to evaluate its overall appearance. Body condition score and coat quality provide a Southern Racehorse â€˘ JULY/AUGUST 2014 33
glimpse of the horse’s general health, nutritional support and existing level of care and management. Next, the buyer should walk around the horse, noting everything from eyes to feet, just to get an impression of the overall horse. Does the horse have the type of conformation the buyer prefers in a purchase? Some buyers like short, sturdy cannon bones. Other buyers may lean toward a rangy horse with lots of daylight underneath it. Van Balen stressed that the ultimate purpose the buyer intends for that horse will indicate the conformation traits the horse will need. “You want to be thinking about form and function,” he said. “Body type becomes an important factor. Are you looking for an early 2-yearold versus a 3- or 4-year-old stayer?” Next, the potential buyer should evaluate the horse’s conformation, which is an important factor in maintaining the soundness of
an equine athlete. Each deviation from good conformation detracts from the horse’s smooth locomotion and places added strain on joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles and bones. Fluidity of motion requires less effort for a horse to propel itself forward over the track, and correct conformation promotes soundness. Evaluation of conformation can be a buyer’s preference. Some buyers can live with certain conformation faults, Van Balen said. For example, the buyer may not care that a yearling toes out slightly because it may straighten out as the yearling matures. But offset knees may be a dealbreaker because they can create problems when athletic demands are placed on the horse. For colts, the buyer should observe whether both testicles are descended. If one or both are not visible in an appropriately aged colt, this could mean the colt may require surgery to resolve the problem. This would entail the expense of surgery and loss of training time while the horse is sidelined.
Learning a Little History
Watching a horse walk toward and away from you should be part of your early analysis before deciding to pay for a full prepurchase exam. 34
Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014
While the potential buyer is visually assessing the horse, he or she should ask the consignor about the horse and gather as much of the horse’s history as possible. “Get a really good history—surgeries, vices, medications,” Van Balen said. “Anything that pops up there may mean you don’t even want to look further at the horse. If you find out the horse had belly surgery as a 2-year-old, you may not want to take the risk. A horse that’s on the track that bowed a tendon and has had a superior-checkligament surgery might be a horse you don’t want.” Van Balen said he is not concerned with a horse that has had a periosteal elevation or transphyseal bridging as a foal to straighten the leg, as long as the surgery achieved its purpose. “It’s a good thing to know if a horse has had that done,” he said. “But if the breeder did it, say, to an ankle and the horse is still toed in, it would make me be pretty detailed about that ankle. But as a general rule, if the conformation is acceptable after periosteal elevation or transphyseal bridging, I do not find them to be a detriment to the horse’s ability to train to race.” Van Balen added that if the potential buyer intends eventually to turn a filly that has had one of these surgeries into a broodmare, he or she may want to give more thought to the possibility that she could produce offspring with crooked legs. Being able to rely on the integrity of the consignor is important when gathering a horse’s history, Van Balen said. Reputable consignors will be honest, and that will help both the potential buyer and the consignor’s future business.
times a minute when it’s quiet.” If the horse can be evaluated under tack, note how quickly its “Before you even walk the horse, run your hands down each of the horse’s legs to feel for any heat or swelling,” Van Balen said. “If you breathing and respiration return to normal after the end of the exercise just look at the horse’s legs, you might miss a splint or a bump on a period. Finally, raise the horse’s tail to take its temperature and check for tail tendon.” Anything found that is out of the ordinary, or if the horse appears to tone. A horse with a neurological problem may have a weak tail tone. be protecting a part of its body from examination, will warrant a closer In a filly or mare, check for a vaginal discharge when raising the tail. In an older gray broodmare, also check for melanomas that may be look by a veterinarian. “Say you’re at a 2-year-old sale, and you run your hand down the potentially troublesome. horse’s shin and he flinches,” Van Walk Out Balen said. “That will tell you that if Van Balen said the buyer should you buy this horse, you’re going to If the horse passes the potential buyer’s watch the horse from the side while have to give him an extra 60 or 90 initial scrutiny, the next step is to contact a it is paraded past at a brisk, extended days for bucked shins. If you have deveterinarian to perform an extensive prepurwalk. At private sales, also observe the signs that this horse has to get somechase examination. A thorough prepurchase horse at a trot. where right away, you can see that he’s examination will include the following: “Look for symmetry, overstride, all not going to suit your needs.” • Comprehensive blood work, including those things that are important to the Van Balen said to pay particular kidney and liver values buyer,” he said. attention to any heat or swelling in • Endoscopy of the respiratory system Then observe the horse from the joints and to flex each leg gently while • Evaluation of the heart for murmurs and back as it is walked away, and from feeling tendons, ligaments and joints, arrhythmias, and possibly an ultrasound the front when the handler turns but he cautioned horsemen not to be to ascertain its size and form the horse and walks it back toward too aggressive in flexing and exam• Examination of the horse’s eyes using an you. A horse that holds its tail off ining the leg, which could cause the ophthalmoscope to one side may have a neurological horse discomfort and possibly rile the • A full set of X-rays to check for chips, problem that warrants a veterinarian’s consignor. fractures and other abnormalities inspection. Also when holding up the leg, the • Possible ultrasound of suspect tendons Notice the horse’s way of going, buyer should look at the horse’s foot and ligaments if it interferes during its gait, how it to note hoof quality and look for sym• Flexion test of each limb places its feet on the ground before metry of the hoof and a healthy frog, • Foot soreness check using hoof testers lifting off again and if it is showing while being aware of quarter cracks any soreness or overt lameness. Oband cosmetic alterations. Horses at sales usually are freshly shod, so telltale wear patterns on the hoof serve how the horse behaves in the showman’s hands and how it reacts or shoe that would give a clue to how that horse travels will not be to its surroundings. “Temperament and personality are important,” Van Balen said. present. Going to the horse’s head, the buyer should note the general appear- “Some people say horses have to be tough to be good racehorses. Howance of the eyes. Is the horse bright and alert? Are the eyes set well on ever, a horse has to be trainable. So you, as a layperson, have to ascerthe head? Are there any defects in the eyelids? Is there any discharge tain by observing this horse’s personality if this horse is trainable.” Van Balen said the buyer should look in on the horse in its stall from the eyes or nose? The buyer should then look more closely into the eyes to ensure there are no opaque spots, scarring on the cornea or during an off time at the sale to see if it has a catch rope on its halter. Also look for a weaver or a cribber. This would indicate a horse that has other visible abnormalities. “Look for swellings underneath the jaw, if the horse came from a stall behavior problems. Looking in during quiet time also gives the farm where there are strangles, or if the horse was undergoing a viral potential buyer the opportunity to see how the horse is standing up to respiratory problem,” Van Balen said. “It’s not a bad idea to take the the stress and excitement of the sale. If the potential buyer is satisfied that this horse could be a wise horse’s temperature and check its heart rate and respiratory rate. Place purchase, or if only one or two items are cause for concern, the next your hand over its heart and count the heart rate, which should be about 32 beats per minute for a solid, resting heart rate. You can stand step is to hire a veterinarian to perform a more extensive examination there and watch the horse breathe, and its breathing should be 12 to 24 before making the final decision to purchase. H
Enlisting a Veterinarian
Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014 35
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2/10/14 4:28 PM
IRAs and S Corps Retirement accounts and tax planning are important for horsemen to understand
By Virginia Heizer
Information can make you money. Horsemen see examples of this every day, whether it’s leveraging the right information to score at the windows, claim box, auction ring or in the breeding shed. While people with a 9-to-5 office job may have the luxury and benefit of a pension or employer-funded retirement account, that’s not the case for many in the horse industry. Regardless of your age, it’s never too early (or too late) to start thinking about a retirement plan, and that means an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). A Traditional IRA is a simple way to save for your future while saving on your taxes today. Your mobile device makes it very convenient to get involved and keep an eye on your savings, but you can also take a hands-off approach and just check your statement periodically. The process is similar to opening a bank account, and the money is always yours. When you reach 59 ½, you can start to take the money out to pay for your expenses in retirement. The purpose of an IRA is to save for retirement, so if you withdraw it before age 59 ½, there is an additional 10 percent tax on an early distribution. There are exceptions to avoid this early withdrawal penalty, like money needed for medical bills or to buy a first home. The following information is general in nature and applies to the average wage earner. For 2014, a single person can contribute $5,500 to an IRA. If your tax rate is 20 percent, then you save $1,100. If you are married, you can contribute as much as $11,000 and save taxes of $2,200. That’s a lot of hay! Most brokers allow you to open an IRA account with as little as $1,000. You can skip contributions to your IRA savings in some years or contribute the maximum in other years. The IRS allows procrastinators to make IRA contributions after the tax year is over and before you file your taxes due on April 15. The key is to get your account started, and then it is ready for your savings when you win a big race or when the April 15 tax filing deadline sneaks up on you. The available information about choices and advice is overwhelming, but setting up and maintaining an IRA is really quite simple. Cable TV stock shows use a lot of confusing language, and stock reporters sometimes say things that seem to contradict what they said the previous week. Most of their advice is short-term to direct the trader to buy one day and sell the next. This advice doesn’t fit a retirement investment designed for 10, 20 or 30 years. Be prepared to buy a stock and stomach the many ups and downs it takes to save enough for retirement. Following is a guide to help you get 38
Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014
started and navigate your options. 1. Select a broker and send them a check or wire transfer to open the account. There are dozens of brokers to choose from, including E*Trade, Scottrade, Fidelity, Vanguard, Ameritrade, Wells Fargo and many more. They all offer online accounts. Most broker fees are $8 to $10 to make a trade, but the majority of long-term IRA investors make fewer than five trades a year, so trading fees shouldn’t be much of a deciding factor. One decision to make is whether it matters to you if the broker has a local office. An office visit is not necessary, but it may make you more comfortable to know that you can walk into your broker’s office for answers to your questions. Some brokers offer more personal service and guidance, while others might be better suited to educated investors. Once you decide on a broker, you can open an IRA online in as little as 10 minutes. 2. You will need to decide on a Traditional IRA or Roth IRA, although oftentimes too much is made of this decision. In simple terms, a Traditional IRA saves on current taxes, and a Roth IRA saves on taxes in retirement. With a Roth IRA, there are many unknowns, including future tax rates, investment returns and your cost of living years from now. No matter your decision, you will be much better off opening an IRA account today than doing nothing at all. Splitting the contributions and doing both is also an option. 3. Decide on a trade. Like a horseman’s preference of bloodlines, long-term investment advice also comes in many varieties. You don’t have to buy stock or a stock mutual fund, but the reward is generally greater in comparison to other investments. If you want advice from Warren Buffett, one the richest people in the world, his suggestion for the individual long-term investor is to put 90 percent in a low cost S&P index fund. This is a stock mutual fund that invests in 500 large companies from nearly every kind of industry: energy, pharmaceutical, defense, technology and more. So if you can’t make up your mind about which company stock to buy, the S&P gives you ownership in a little bit of everything. Of course, there’s more than one S&P index mutual fund. Buffett also recommends 10 percent in government short-term bonds, but the decision is yours. 4. Congratulations! You are on your way to retirement. Include your contribution to your IRA account on your tax return for April 15, 2015, and save immediately on your taxes. As with any financial advice, this guide is intended to serve as just that, a guide. A professional financial advisor or accountant can help you develop the right plan for your specific situation and goals. H
Big Tax Savings from an S Corporation What is an S Corp? S Corporations allow for income, losses, deductions and credits to pass through to their owners, so taxes are determined by the individual’s income tax return. It sounds boring, but saving over $5,000 every year isn’t. Ask around and you will find a lot of small business owners are S Corps. An S Corp works the same whether you are a trainer, farrier, shop owner or start-up business in your garage. An S Corp saves big on taxes; how much depends upon the amount of taxable income your business makes. A small S Corp will cost about $1,200 to $1,700 per year more than a sole proprietorship. A small business making under $40,000 per year won’t save much more on taxes than the additional cost of operating an S Corp. For businesses making over $40,000, the tax savings grow rapidly. The example below provides a general idea of the savings for taxable income of $80,000. How does an S Corp save on taxes? A business owner makes money from a salary and by investing in his or her business. The S Corporation pays the owner(s) a salary and a distribution on the business income. The distributions don’t require Social Security and Medicare taxes of 15.3 percent; however, as an employee of your corporation, you do have to pay yourself a reasonable salary along with Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) and State Unemployment Tax Act (SUTA) taxes. If your business makes $80,000 and your salary is $35,000, then you save 15.3 percent from self-employment taxes on the $45,000 that is distribution income. Example for Taxable Income of $80,000 Using 2014 Rates Self-employment tax savings [($80,000-$35,000) x 15.3%] $6,885 Less additional cost of S Corp (admin, FUTA and SUTA) ($1,500) Total estimated savings every year
The amounts in the example above are rough estimates to give you an idea of the savings and to start a conversation with your tax preparer. Multistate S Corporations can save even more than in the example above. If you want to find ways to save on your taxes, the best time to do tax planning with your accountant is May through October. Virginia Heizer has been a Certified Public Accountant since 1987. As a former auditor at the Oklahoma Tax Commission, she has a wealth of knowledge about tax-saving opportunities. For more information, please visit her website at HeizerCPA.com or email her at virginia@ heizercpa.com. Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014 39
Sizz l in’
Will Rogers Downs wraps up with a pair of Oklahoma-bred stakes, while Lone Star Park features its richest race along with stakes for Texas-bred and Texas-sired horses, and Texas-breds win big at Santa Anita and Churchill Downs. THEGIRLINTHATSONG
Dustin Orona Photography
$75,000 Texas Stallion Stakes (Got Koko division) Lone Star Park 1 Mile • 1:38.53 • May 10 3-year-old filly by My Golden Song out of Belle of the Band, by Dixieland Band Breeder: Clarence Scharbauer Jr. (Texas) Owner: Anjo Racing Inc. Trainer: Andrew Konkoly • Jockey: David Cabrera Sire My Golden Song stands in Texas at Valor Farm
Dustin Orona Photography
$75,000 Texas Stallion Stakes (Stymie division) Lone Star Park 1 Mile • 1:37.71 • May 10 3-year-old gelding by Uncle Abbie out of Synersis, by With Approval Breeder/Owner: Doug Wall (Oklahoma) Trainer: Bret Calhoun • Jockey: Lindey Wade Sire Uncle Abbie stands in Texas at Key Ranch
MORE THAN EVEN
$55,000 Cherokee Nation Classic Cup Stakes Will Rogers Downs 1 Mile and 70 Yards • 1:42.97 • May 13 5-year-old gelding by Rockport Harbor out of Nasty Little Star, by Nasty and Bold Breeder/Owner: Robert Zoellner (Oklahoma) Trainer: Donnie Von Hemel • Jockey: Luis Quinonez
Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014
$55,000 RPDC Classic Distaff Stakes Will Rogers Downs 1 Mile and 70 Yards • 1:44.47 • May 12 4-year-old filly by Stephen Got Even out of Sallybrooke, by Dehere Breeder/Owner: Doyle Williams (Oklahoma) Trainer: Roger Engel • Jockey: Cliff Berry
Dustin Orona Photography
Dustin Orona Photography
$200,000 Lone Star Park Handicap (G3) Lone Star Park 1 1/16 Miles • 1:43.83 • May 26 6-year-old gelding by Strong Contender out of My Twilight Dancer, by Twilight Agenda Breeder: Epona Thoroughbreds (Kentucky) Owner: Maggi Moss Trainer: Thomas Amoss • Jockey: Richard Eramia
Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography
$78,250 Silent Lure Stakes Santa Anita Park About 6 ½ Furlongs (Turf) • 1:13.00 • June 1 5-year-old horse by Pure Prize out of Dixie Tactics, by Native Tactics Breeder: Donald Eberts (Texas) Owner: Nita Winner LLC Trainer: Doug O’Neill • Jockey: Mike Smith
$50,000 Lane’s End Stallion Scholarship Stakes Lone Star Park 7 ½ Furlongs (Turf) • 1:29.03 • June 14 4-year-old filly by Etesaal out of Honour Shaker, by Honour and Glory Breeder: Bradford Thoroughbred Farm (Texas) Owner: Jody Keith Davis Trainer: Karl Broberg • Jockey: Cliff Berry
PROMISE ME SILVER
$108,300 Debutante Stakes Churchill Downs 6 Furlongs • 1:11.49 • June 21 2-year-old filly by Silver City out of Uno Mas Promesa, by Macho Uno Breeder/Owner: Robert Luttrell (Texas) Trainer: Bret Calhoun • Jockey: Robby Albarado Sire Silver City stands in Texas at Valor Farm Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014 41
special advertising section
Easy Equine Savings
Courtesy Massey Ferguson
Discount program offers horsemen significant discounts on equipment, paint and more • By Andrea Bugbee
Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014
If someone offers you a deal on a tractor that sounds too good to be true, then that someone is probably Steve Andersen. A lifelong horse enthusiast with decades of experience in promotional sales within the Thoroughbred racing industry, Andersen has since 2010 been placing his bets on his own company, which offers group purchasing benefits for horse owners in the United States and Canada. Andersen’s company, Equine Equipment Savings, gives discounts of up to 34 percent on Massey Ferguson agricultural equipment and Challenger commercial machinery; up to 26 percent on Toro commercial mowers and utility vehicles and Exmark commercial equipment; and up to 15 percent on Farm Paint products. There’s no buy-in or membership fee, no time limit for the discounts and no horse farm too large or small to qualify. “I didn’t believe them; I’m always looking for the gimmick,” said Gail Joyce, a Maryland horse owner who first learned about Equine Equipment Savings at the 2013 Pennsylvania Horse World Expo. At that point, Joyce was just beginning her search for a commercial mower to manage, as she put it, the “cantankerous piece of land” where she lives and stables her five horses. “I wanted a high-quality product,” she said, “and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on it. I took the information and came home and started shopping prices. I looked in several states, and I was stunned. I couldn’t come close to beating the prices of Equine Equipment Savings, which were better than what the commercial repeat customers were paying. I was amazed.” She ended up getting an Exmark Lazer commercial mower for her husband as a gift. “I got it from my local dealer and there was no catch,” Joyce said. “It was good service and an excellent price. We actually wrote Equine Equipment Savings a thank you letter because they did such a great job.”
How It Works
Jim Overacker is a sales manager for Massey Ferguson in New York. Although he’s been selling tractors for 35 years, he knew he had entered uncharted territory when, on a late September day, he attended the 2013 Saratoga Horse Expo with Andersen. “It was 36 degrees and raining with a 35 mile-per-hour wind,” Overacker recalled, but the event was packed with enthusiastic horse owners. “It’s opened the door for us into a totally new market, and you can’t imagine the number of people associated with the horse community,” he said. “When a so-called bargain like this comes out, I’m always very suspicious, but it’s a benefit to the equine community and to the dealers. There’s no game playing; it’s straightforward.” Jim has now been working with Equine Equipment Savings for about a year. “Steve’s more of a marketing team for us,” said Lori Douglass, national sales manager for Farm Paint, an outdoor acrylic paint and roof-coating manufacturer that specializes in agricultural needs. “In order to get the discount and savings, you have to prove that you have horses. We’re willing to give the farm a 10 to 15 percent discount if that’s how a customer heard about us.” Terry Nickell, of Endeavor Farm in Midway, Kentucky, is a lifelong horseman who had this to say about his recent purchase of a Toro mower using the Equine Savings Program: “We have had several brands over the years but after some careful research chose a Toro, and we couldn’t be happier. It is a workhorse, and we love it. The Equine Savings program works. It was easy to use, and we would recommend it to anyone.”
Spreading the Word Because Equine Equipment Savings is still new, much of Andersen’s mission focuses on getting the word out. To that end, he helps horserelated groups by donating items such as leaf blowers to raise funds for their organizations; the company also was a sponsor of the recent Texas Thoroughbred Association Awards Banquet and has partnered with the Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma, Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association, North Carolina Thoroughbred Association and South Carolina Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. When it comes to horse groups, he said, “We support them on a local level. I just want everyone to know, big or small, that you can all save money with us. All I ask in return is that people hand out my flyers. Not only do we have the best equipment, but we also have the best discounts on it. When people see that discount, that’s when the light goes on in their head. “I love what I do,” Andersen added. “My goal is to make the savings process simple for people so they will tell their friends.” H For Equine Equipment Savings’ full catalog, visit equinesavings.com. To contact a representative, call (877) 905-0004.
First, customers call Equine Equipment Savings. To qualify for a discount, a purchaser simply must be a horse owner and in the market for one of the participating products. The Massey Ferguson, Exmark, Toro and Challenger machinery have price entrance levels, all beginning with their commercial models. All Farm Paint is also on the menu. The Equine Equipment Savings representative will ask for your address, how many horses you have and how many acres you own. The rep will be an experienced horse person, knowledgeable about the products the program represents, and will be able to answer questions that only a horse owner would ask, such as “Do you have a single machine that will mow five acres, haul manure, fit the center aisle of my barn and drag my training track?” “Then we contact your local dealer and let him know you’re eligible,” Andersen said. The dealer uses the Equine Equipment Savings discount, which enables customers to shop in their neighborhood while receiving the same discount offered nationwide. “I started this business because I knew manufacturers wanted to earn the equine market share,” Andersen said. “They wanted to sell to the horse world, and I knew how to do it.” Foremost, Andersen is a horseperson himself. In the 1970s, he spent his teen years in Vermont, where he and his family would visit Green Mountain Racetrack. “I went over one school night, made a lucky wager and won roughly $1,000,” he said. “I skipped school the next day and went over to buy a horse. I ended up with a $1,000 horse in partnership with my sister. The next season we had one win, six seconds, a third and a fourth.” As a young adult, Andersen moved to Kentucky, where he made his way up to senior director of sales for a national trade organization. While working sales there and for other equine companies, he had an epiphany: I’m experienced in reaching equine markets, and certain manufacturers are trying to break in to the equine market. Why not start my own company to bridge the two? He broached the idea to some major agricultural manufacturers, and by 2011 Andersen’s new company had partnered with Toro and Exmark. In 2012, he forged an agreement with Farm Paint, and last year he added Massey Ferguson and Challenger. Connie Wiezbicki, an Exmark dealer who owns Acres Power Equipment in Massachusetts, has sold a number of tractors through the Equine Equipment Savings program. “We’ve used it, and it’s worked exceptionally well,” he said. “There are great savings, and they’re factory authorized. It’s a very interesting concept. Mowers, for example, we start at a minimum of $5,000.” The price Wiezbicki mentions to qualify for the program is a reminder to buyers that Equine Equipment Savings applies to commercial mowers. Thus, a $1,500 residential riding mower doesn’t qualify.
Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014 43
2015 Stallion Register
WWW.S OUTHER NRACEH
The Southern Racehorse Stallion Register is set to become the American Racehorse Stallion Register, featuring stallions in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Colorado and across the region. The 2015 American Racehorse Stallion Register, to be mailed in December 2014, will reach more than 5,000 potential breeders across the region. American Racehorse is the most affordable and effective option to advertise your stallion or your equine-related business or product!
COVERI NG THE THOROU GHBRED INDUSTR Y IN TEXAS, OKLAHO MA AND LOUISIA NA
2014 stallion reg ister
Check out these distribution numbers for printed magazines: Texas Oklahoma Louisiana Total for region:
American Racehorse 1,219 752 1,266 3,237
The Blood-Horse* 1,158 312 549 2,019
American Racehorse is the most affordable choice for advertising in the region and reaches a wider audience than any other publication! Rate for full page color ad
American Racehorse $695
The Blood-Horse** $3,124
H 2015 STALLION REGISTER DEADLINE IS OCTOBER 10! H Get more information at www.americanracehorse.com, call (512) 695-4541 or see the Stallion Register Reservation Form on the following two pages. *as reported in The Blood-Horse’s most-recently available “Sworn Publisher’s Statement” from June 2011 **from 2014 media kit for The Blood-Horse
Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014
2015 Stallion Register RESERVATION FORM
DEADLINE – OCTOBER 10, 2014 The 2015 American Stallion Register (formerly Southern Racehorse), to be published in December 2014, will be the biggest ever with a circulation of more than 5,000 across the region. In addition to reaching EVERY member of the Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma and Texas Thoroughbred Association, the Stallion Register issue will go to breeders in Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, New Mexico, Colorado and more! American Racehorse has a wider distribution in the region than The BloodHorse for a fraction of the price. ADVERTISING PACKAGES A [ ] 1-Page Stallion Statistical or Display Ad
Includes free hypothetical mating and page displayed on American Racehorse website!
B [ ] 2-Page Statistical Spread
Includes statistical page plus second page with one color photo and descriptive information, plus free hypothetical mating and pages displayed on American Racehorse website!
C [ ] 2-Page Statistical Spread with Internet Stallion Listing
Includes statistical page plus second page with one color photo and descriptive information, plus free hypothetical mating on American Racehorse website and special online showcase for your stallion with photo and weekly updated stallion progeny statistics!
Advertising Value-Added Options Advertising in American Racehorse Magazine • Special Pricing Give your stallion extra exposure with a full page color ad in addition to his statistical page D [ ] 1-time placement
$600 (save $100)
In any issue: Nov/Dec 2014, Stallion Register, Jan/Feb 2015 or Mar/Apr 2015
E [ ] 2-time placement
$1,000 (save $400)
In any two issues: Nov/Dec 2014, Stallion Register, Jan/Feb 2015 or Mar/Apr 2015
F [ ] All 4 breeding season issues (BEST VALUE)
$1,800 (save $1,000)
In all issues: Nov/Dec 2014, Stallion Register, Jan/Feb 2015 and Mar/Apr 2015
Mail, Fax or Email to: American Racehorse P.O. Box 8645, Round Rock, TX 78683 Phone: 512-695-4541 • Fax: 512-870-9324 • Email: email@example.com
Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014 45
2015 Stallion Register DEADLINES Stallion Statistical Page Reservations: Friday, October 10, 2014 ONE FORM PER STALLION (please type or print) Stallion
Year Entered Stud
Live Foal Guarantee? Yes / No
[ ] Accredited Texas Stallion [ ] Nominated to Texas Stallion Stakes [ ] Nominated to Breeders’ Cup [ ] Accredited Oklahoma Stallion [ ] Nominated to Oklahoma Stallion Stakes [ ] Accredited Louisiana Stallion [ ] Nominated to Louisiana Stallion Stakes Other accreditation or eligibility__________________________________________________________________________
PACKAGE SELECTED (FROM PREVIOUS PAGE) ______ OPTIONS (FROM PREVIOUS PAGE) ______
PRICE $_______ PRICE $_______
TOTAL AMOUNT DUE THIS STALLION …………………………………..$_______ ALL ADVERTISING MUST BE PAID IN ADVANCE Method [ ] American Express [ ] MasterCard [ ] Visa
[ ] Check Enclosed # _________________
Name on Card
Billing Address for Card Authorized Signature
Mail, Fax or Email to: American Racehorse P.O. Box 8645, Round Rock, TX 78683 Phone: 512-695-4541 • Fax: 512-870-9324 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org To submit a free text-only listing for the alphabetical index, please provide American Racehorse with the stallion’s name, stud fee and farm contact information by October 10. 46
Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014
don’t you wish your trainer looked this cool? Don’t be a hater, make J.R. Caldwell your trainer! Now accepting horses to run in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Iowa.
New for 2014 J.R. Caldwell Racing (832) 724-7223 • www.jrcaldwelltrainingstable.com J.R. Caldwell is official trainer of Mojo Racing Partners (214) 957-4090 • www.mojoracingpartners.com Photo by Terri Cage
TEXAS YEARLINGS & FALL MIXED OCTOBER 13, 2014
Southern Racehorse Is Now on Twitter! To follow us, simply go to twitter.com/SRacehorse or follow @SRacehorse.
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Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014 47
Jockeys not only face danger every day on the track, but also challenges on the home front By Bill Heller
A young Jose Santos Jr. celebrates his father Jose Santosâ€™ victory aboard Funny Cide in the 2003 Kentucky Derby, but the joy turned to sadness when the jockey was falsely accused of using a buzzer. 48
Southern Racehorse â€˘ JULY/AUGUST 2014
here is an art to living dangerously. Jockeys know they home life. The absence works both ways. Jockeys give up time with risk injury, paralysis and death every single time they ride their children, knowing they’ll miss special moments that can thousand-pound Thoroughbreds traveling 40 miles per never be recaptured. Where do jockeys draw the line between hour on pencil-thin legs in tight quarters during a race. Jockeys take providing for their families’ well-being and not being with the that information and bury it deep in the back of their minds because ones they love? What does it take to make a jockey’s family function well? “Sacrifice,” Jerry Bailey said. “If you’re going to nail it down to they know they can’t succeed or be safe if they ride scared. one word, sacrifice. By “Sure, it’s dangerous, everybody.” but you never think Maybe it was easier about it that way,” years ago. Sunday racparalyzed Hall of Fame ing in New York didn’t jockey Ron Turcotte begin until 1976, said. “Otherwise, you meaning jockeys there wouldn’t be riding.” had at least half of the But what of jockeys’ weekend they could families? How do they spend at home. cope? When a jockey’s “Today, it’s differwife (or husband) hears ent,” said Ron, who the phone ring in the began riding in New afternoon, how does York in 1964 and is she quell the voice in Horsephotos.com best known for pilother head telling her this Ron Turcotte (left), shown here enjoying a moment with fellow Hall of Famer ing Secretariat through may be horrible news? Pat Day, was paralyzed in a riding accident five years after winning the the 1973 Triple Crown. “Not every woman 1973 Triple Crown aboard Secretariat. Turcotte and his wife, Gae, raised “There’s so much raccan be with a rider,” four children during and after his career on the track. ing, and jockeys travel retired Hall of Fame all the time.” jockey Randy Romero said. “It’s a tough road.” When Ron had to ride out of town on a Sunday, he frequently Abby Castellano, the daughter of Jockeys’ Guild National Manager Terry Meyocks and the wife of last year’s Eclipse Award- brought his family—his wife, Gae, and their four daughters—a task made simpler after they bought a motor home. winning jockey Javier Castellano, is well aware of the danger. “The kids used to love going to Delaware on Sundays in the “When I watch him race, I keep one eye open and one eye shut,” summer,” Gae said. “We’d leave early and take the kids in the motor home. she said. “I know it’s there. You always know it’s there.” So they got to spend the day with him, and he got to do his racing.” She’s not alone. After New York allowed Sunday racing, Ron tried to salvage as “You hope you don’t get that dreaded phone call,” said Suzee Bailey, wife of Hall of Fame jockey turned television racing analyst much of the day as he could. “Even if I had to go work a horse in the morning, I would come Jerry Bailey. “Every time that phone would ring between 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., you were hoping it wasn’t the agent or the hospital. We all back home,” he said. “We’d all go to church together and got to eat brunch together, then have dinner together.” live with that.” There was no easy solution with their children’s education, a Or try not to. “My mom, she had a rule,” said Jose Santos Jr., son of retired Hall problem that persists today for jockeys’ families. The Turcottes of Famer Jose Santos. “Any agent couldn’t call her in the afternoon. bought their first home in Florida in 1965 and their first New York home two years later. Their girls couldn’t attend school in both places She didn’t want a call then, because that’s not a good sign.” and a decision had to be made. When their oldest daughter Lynn was More Than Just Danger about to enter second grade in the early ’70s, they chose New York. The daily risks are just one part of a jockey’s family paradigm, Jerry and Suzee Bailey faced the same dilemma with their son, Justin, regardless of whether the rider competes in the Kentucky Derby two decades later: Florida or New York? They had homes in both states. “When the children are young, people are nice about letting them or can only dream of that while riding for small purses at small tracks. Frequent travel creates time away from loved ones and come along,” Suzee said. “When they start school, it’s a whole new difficult decisions about children’s schooling and social and ballgame.” Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014 49
“It’s important to enjoy the wins,” she said. “Because there are a lot of losses.”
In the Public Eye
Jerry Bailey and his wife, Suzee, made a point to provide their son, Justin, with some educational field trips as they traveled around the world. The Baileys’ decision to make Florida their permanent residence came when Justin was about to go into the fourth grade. “We had to either stay in New York all year or Florida all year,” Jerry said. “It wasn’t academics as much as it was social and extracurricular activities, getting a spot on the baseball team, leaving and losing that spot. That was really difficult for a young boy. It may be the same thing for a girl with a different activity. Different kids react differently. It’s a balancing act.” When the family traveled together, Justin did not get a free pass. “I made him go to museums, castles, the desert in Dubai,” Suzee said. “I wanted him to learn about the places we visited. Ironically, when he applied for college, that’s what he wrote about. He’s now studying international politics at Wake Forest.” Jerry’s decision to retire in mid-January 2006 was influenced by his desire to spend more time with his son. “We were married for seven years before we had a child,” Jerry said. “When I retired, he was in the eighth grade. Then he was going to go into high school. I thought it was important to be there.” When Justin and Suzee were at the track and Jerry won a stakes race, he would search the crowd for them as he walked his horse into the winner’s circle. “I tried finding them in the post parade, but it was difficult to spot them,” he said. “It’s fun to win, but it’s more fun to win with your family. Suzee was great at helping me appreciate the moment. She really helped put a balance in my life.” Suzee’s thinking? 50
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It’s hard to believe anyone enjoyed Funny Cide’s 2003 Kentucky Derby victory under Jose Santos more than Jose Jr., who was eight at the time and is now working as Hall of Famer Kent Desormeaux’s agent while also studying broadcasting and communications at the University of Delaware. In the Kentucky Derby winner’s circle, Jose Jr. was crying out of pure joy. “I was elated,” he said. “That was the best. I probably watch that race once a week. It never gets old. Everybody knew who I was. Even now, I’ll be making rounds and I still hear, ‘You’re the little boy who was crying on TV.’ ” Horsephotos.com A week later, he was crying for a different reason. Exactly one week after Funny Cide’s Derby, Jose Jr. was with his dad on the backstretch at Belmont Park. They were having breakfast in the horsemen’s restaurant with Jose’s agent, Mike Sellito, and an MSNBC film crew that was following Jose for the entire morning as part of a documentary about the life of a jockey. Sellito got a phone call. The look on his face was alarming. Sellito decided to walk outside to talk on the phone and motioned Jose to accompany him. Then Sellito finished his phone conversation and told Jose that the Miami Herald had run a story that morning accusing Jose of using a buzzer or a battery to win the Kentucky Derby. Jose was left to figure out what to tell his son. Trainer Leah Gyarmati once said, “You get the highest of highs in racing and the lowest of lows.” Jose understood that. But how can a child? Jose knew he had to tell Jose Jr. something, so he told him that a newspaper had said he cheated to win the Kentucky Derby by using a machine. Of all the people who were close to Jose in his life, only one didn’t ask him if the story was true: his son. “I knew he didn’t do it,” Jose Jr. said. “That was never a question to me.” Over the ensuing 48 hours, everyone would learn the truth. By failing to sufficiently blow up a picture of Jose riding Funny Cide in the stretch, the Herald had made a horrible mistake. There was no object in Jose’s hand. Because Jose’s thumb and index finger formed a circle, the silks of the horse behind Funny Cide, Empire Maker, showed through. The intervening hours between the false accusation and the truth coming out were hell for Jose and especially his son. “It was all over the papers,” Jose Jr. said. “A lot of kids said, ‘Your Dad cheated to win that race.’ I told them, ‘He didn’t do it.’ ”
Jose Jr. saw how much his father had been hurt after he rode House Party to win the Grade 1 Nassau County Stakes on the same afternoon that the Herald story broke. “Back under the tunnel, people were yelling, ‘Where’s the battery?’” Jose Jr. said. “That really hurt him. I could see that. He put his head down and jogged off to the jockeys’ room. That was no fun.” Redemption came just days later when Funny Cide won the Preakness Stakes by 9 ¾ lengths and Jose provided an image that will never be forgotten. Holding Funny Cide’s reins in his left hand as he crossed the finish line, Jose looked at the crowd and opened his right palm to reveal there was nothing in his right hand other than air. Just like Justin Bailey, Jose Jr.’s school choice was made when he entered the fourth grade and his parents decided he should attend school in Florida, not New York. Jose Jr. missed his dad, but that didn’t affect their tight relationship. “He showed up every chance he could,” Jose Jr. said. “We talk every day now. I talk to both my parents every day.”
The Strain on a Family Randy Romero hasn’t always been close with his son, Randy Jr. “I was always flying out of town,” Randy said. “I did the best I could. It wasn’t not wanting to be with him. I was trying to make a good life for him and his mom. I’m catching up with him. Me and my son are real close right now.” Actually, Randy Jr. gave his dad the will to live. When Randy was nearly incinerated in a sweatbox explosion at Oaklawn Park in 1983, he suffered horrible burns over 60 percent of his body. Doctors gave him a 40 percent chance of surviving. Randy wasn’t sure he wanted to survive. With burn victims, the treatment can be worse than the injury. To prevent infections, dead skin has to be physically removed from the burn sites. At one point, Randy confessed to his wife, Cricket, that he couldn’t take it anymore, that he would rather die than live. Cricket walked out of his hospital room and returned with Randy Jr., then three years old. She said, “This is why you have to live.” Randy accepted his fate and was back riding in 15 weeks. The two most important women in Randy’s life, his mom and Cricket, paid a price for Randy’s injury-marred career. Randy was riding in match races at the bush tracks in rural Louisiana at the age of nine. “My mom didn’t want me to ride,” Randy said. “I said, ‘All I want to do is ride horses.’ ” Seven years later, in the first of Randy’s many gruesome accidents, he punctured his lung and had to have his spleen removed. Again, Randy’s mom begged him to quit. He couldn’t. Cricket, who was with Randy for 37 years before their divorce last year, was there for all of Randy’s horrible spills, nearly two dozen major surgeries, the sweatbox explosion, and, partially because Randy “flipped” throughout his career to make weight, the loss of a kidney and a schedule of four-hour dialysis treatments three times a week for
the rest of his life. “It was really, really tough on her because I got hurt so many times,” Randy said. “She went through a lot of stress and pain. She was with me every time I needed her. I was blessed to have her.” Ron Turcotte is still blessed to have Gae by his side. In a race at Belmont Park in 1978, five years and a month after he rode Secretariat to his iconic 31-length victory in the Belmont Stakes, Ron was thrown in a race. The accident looked innocuous. He was not hit by another horse. But at the precise angle he landed, he was paralyzed from the waist down. Gae was his wife, best friend, nurse, confidante and an unending source of strength. “Very brave woman, very strong woman,” Ron’s longtime, late agent Joe Shea once said. “I guess she’s as close to a saint as you can find. It made all the difference in the world. It might have been the difference between his living and dying.” The Turcottes eventually returned to Canada, where they raised their four girls, who suddenly had a full-time father, a role Ron embraces to this day. Terry Meyocks, a former president of the New York Racing Association (NYRA) in addition to working for the Jockeys’ Guild, came to peace with his father being in the racing industry and thought he completely understood the dynamics of a racing family. “We all know there are going to be injuries,” he said. “My dad was a jock’s agent. My dad had Earlie Fires for 28 ½ years. I saw him fall.” Then Terry’s daughter Abby, who had also worked for NYRA, married Javier Castellano. “It brings a different perspective when your son-in-law is a jockey,” Terry said. “You want them to do well, but the first thing you want is to have them return safely every race. Javier is like a son.” Now Javier and Abby have three children, eight-year-old Kaylie, five-year-old Sienna and Brady, who is almost two. Abby thinks she was fortunate that Kaylie was only two when Javier broke his shoulder. “The kids, I don’t think they’ve seen him fall,” Abby said. “Thankfully, he’s been very lucky. But we know Johnnie (Velasquez, who missed several months recently after having his spleen removed following an accident at the 2013 Breeders’ Cup), and we’re very close to Ramon (Dominguez). That was hard.” Dominguez, who had won three consecutive Eclipse Awards from 2010 to 2012, suffered a head injury in January 2013, which forced him to retire before his 37th birthday. “The kids know about Ramon,” Abby said. “That he’s not riding because he got a booboo on his head.” Javier and Abby decided to stay in New York rather than Florida last fall when Kaylie began the second grade. “This was the first year we stayed in New York,” Abby said. “We went down three times: Christmas break, Martin Luther King weekend and 10 days on a school break. They handled it much better than I thought they would. Before, when he went away for a day or two, they’d say Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014 51
‘Where’s Dad?’ and get upset.” wife understands. She’s very understanding Getting through his children’s first school because she worked for NYRA. She’s there year apart from them wasn’t easy for Javier. all the time. You hope there’s a better life for “I know it was hard for him this winter,” them. When they grow a couple more years, Abby said. “He’s very family-oriented. He’s they’ll understand it better. I think so. Right always been that way. It’s very important to now, everything is beautiful. Dad wins a him. He’s a very good father. He gives them lot of races.” baths. He takes them to games. He stayed with his mom this winter in Florida. I think And the danger? that helped.” “Anything can happen in any sport, Horsephotos.com But not as much as Javier would have liked. especially our sport,” Javier said. “I live Abby Castellano, wife of jockey Javier, “It’s a lot of sacrificing,” he said. “You with that. My father was a jockey for 25 worked in the racing industry and knew have to do so much. It’s very hard for me. years. We got a phone call. My dad fell off the risks associated with riding, but that doesn’t make it any easier for her It’s very hard for the family. A lot of things a horse. He got hurt. My sister was 13; I and the couple’s three children. you miss.” was 12. He broke his collarbone. Thank When Keeneland Race Course opened in April, it meant more God, we were very fortunate. I remember that like it was yesterday.” time away from his kids. “It’s very hard when you have to leave,” he In early April, Javier won a stakes race at Keeneland. Abby watched said. “They say, ‘Daddy, you just came in from Florida. Why are you the race on TV, and then headed out to gymnastics. That night, Javier leaving again?’ ” called. He told her, “I had a bad day.” Javier tries explaining it: “I explained that you have to work hard. You “My heart sank for a second,” Abby said. “I thought he fell.” have to make sacrifices. In school, it’s hard work, too. I thank God I get He hadn’t. His flight home had been canceled. Abby could exhale. to ride a lot of good horses. You have to travel. Fly back and forth. My This time. H
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Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014
Texas-sizedTalent Coady Photography
Young rider David Cabrera has taken the Lone Star State by storm
By Martha Claussen
Few athletes have the rare combination of burning desire and true humility, but jockey David Cabrera epitomizes both virtues. With barely a year of professional riding experience, the 21-year-old rider has made a name for himself in Texas. More important, he has impressed as much with his genial personality as with his acumen on the back of a horse.
Oklahoma Roots Cabrera got his start at age 14 when he left his parents, sisters and brother in Guanajuato, Mexico, to live with his aunt, trainer Marti Rodriguez, in Jones, Oklahoma. Marti and her husband, jockey Marcelino Rodriguez, have been involved in racing since the early 1980s. Marti remembers a visit with 54
Southern Racehorse â€˘ JULY/AUGUST 2014
the Cabrera family in Mexico when David was a toddler. breeze any of the Thoroughbreds or Arabians in the Torrez “He was such a busy little boy,” Rodriguez recalled. “He barn. If the trainer had no horses that morning, Cabrera would loved the animals and wanted a horse so badly.” thank him and tell him he would see him the next morning. Cabrera spoke no English when he made the move to And without fail, he would return at dawn each day. Oklahoma but immediately demonstrated an unsurpassed After months of working horses, Cabrera, with the help of work ethic, something that his agent, Travis Church, was remains an intrinsic part of who ready to make his riding debut. he is today. “David called me and told “He would get up at the crack me he had his first mount,” of dawn to clean stalls, feed and Rodriguez said. “I told him not do whatever I asked,” Rodriguez to run into anyone, that the said. “Most of all, he wanted to stewards would be watching ride and begged me to put him him. He finished fourth in a on a horse.” 12-horse field, which I thought Rodriguez had concerns as was pretty good.” David was a rather diminutive Most riders have fond memoboy, but she had an old pony ries of their first win; in Cabrehorse and agreed to let him ride. ra’s case, so do the bettors. He “He rode the pony and fell notched his first career winner off, but got right back on,” his on May 2, 2013, at Lone Star aunt said. “It didn’t take him Park aboard Frequent Reward, Traci Hoops a filly trained by Joyce Salislong to learn.” Cabrera said one of the most Cabrera also understood right bury in a $7,500 claiming race. memorable victories of his young away that riding was just one career came for Hall of Fame trainer Dismissed by the public at odds part of what makes a jockey. He of 56-1, Cabrera and his mount Jack Van Berg at Lone Star Park. continued to work in the barn came flying from last to first, for and learn everything, from grooming to feeding to shoeing a winning payout of $114.40. and cooling down horses. He had a solid first year, riding at Lone Star, Gillespie “I taught him everything I knew about horses,” Rodriguez County Fairgrounds and Retama Park, completing 2013 with said. “I always encouraged him to talk to them and be kind. a record of 46 wins, 51 seconds and 46 thirds from 385 starts. Watch him in the post parade. He will always pet his horse and talk to them. I told him that if you show them you care, they Good Start in 2014 On January 17, opening night of the 2014 Sam Houston will run for you.” Cabrera made his rounds to farms in Oklahoma, breaking Race Park meet, Cabrera gave notice that he would be a rider 2-year-olds and working horses for a number of horsemen. to watch. He won the $50,000 San Jacinto Stakes aboard Smiles Rodriguez credits Cindy Noll Murphy, a retired jockey, for fine-tuning the young rider as he prepared to embark upon Golden Song, one of his eight victories in the first two weeks of the meet. It was his first Sam Houston victory and secondhis career. consecutive stakes win aboard the Texas-bred turf specialist. Texas Beginnings What might have caught more horseplayers’ attention was Cabrera arrived in Texas in 2013 and began galloping horses his riveting victory from off the pace on longshot Silver Humfor trainers Clint Stuart, Brent Charlton and Jerenesto Torrez. mer on January 20. Cabrera guided the mare to the outside Torrez was impressed with Cabrera, who came to his barn of the pacesetters and she surged to the wire, rewarding her each morning before any other jockey or exercise rider and followers with a $98.20 win payout. asked if there were any horses to work. He would happily “She was bumped out of the gate, so I just tried to get her
Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014 55
to relax,” Cabrera explained. “I knew she liked to come off the Losing the Bug No Problem pace, so I just smooched to her at the three-eighths pole and Cabrera rode his final race as an apprentice on Memorial she had plenty left.” Day but had a very comfortable transition to the journeyman Cabrera is an eager student of race riding and has learned ranks. He has forged many solid bonds with horsemen, so few from some accomplished veterans riding at Sam Houston. He had any qualms about his ability to win with five extra pounds. cited Glen Murphy, Fabio Arguello Jr. and Deshawn Parker “We won a race right off the bat, which took the doubt as riders he watched and learned from. At Lone Star, Cabrera away,” said Church, who has been an agent for 11 years. admires Cliff Berry, who “is tough down the lane.” Since losing his apprentice allowance, Cabrera has kept “I love to ride,” Caup the pace, adding another 16 brera said. “I get up wins within the first two weeks. every morning happy “He has a gift,” Torrez stated. to work horses and “The horses run for him; mayto have mounts in so be because he has soft hands, many races. I’m learnbut in addition to being a caing so much every day.” pable rider, he is a good person. Cabrera was the David has a bright future ahead, fifth-leading rider at no question.” Sam Houston, winIn addition to the stakes win ning 23 races and atin the Texas Stallion Stakes, tracting his fair share Cabrera points to one other Dustin Orona Photography standout first: riding for the of accolades with Cabrera rallied from last to capture the some savvy race ridlegendary Jack Van Berg. Got Koko division of the Texas Stallion ing, both on the main Cabrera won a seven-furlong Stakes with Thegirlinthatsong. track and turf course. claiming race on the California-
Lone Star Park Success His next stop was Lone Star Park, and the highlights have been plentiful. On May 10, the Dallas-area track hosted a special evening dedicated to the late Clarence Scharbauer Jr., one of the most prominent breeders and owners in the history of Texas racing. Cabrera was named on Anjo Racing’s Thegirlinthatsong, bred by Scharbauer, in the Got Koko division of the Texas Stallion Stakes. The filly, trained by Andrew Konkoly, defeated favorite Scooter’s Choice by 4 ½ lengths. Cabrera was very proud of the win. “It was a very good night for me,” Cabrera said. “I was very pleased that Andy put me on the filly. He told me to try to get her to relax, that she has a big kick and likes to come running late. She was perfect.” Konkoly is one of many Texas trainers who admires Cabrera’s talent. “He was very patient and gave her a great ride,” Konkoly said. “She likes to run at the back of the pack; she showed us that running long in a turf allowance. In addition to being a nice kid and very humble, David follows instructions well.” 56
Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014
bred Warrens Clyde for the Hall of Fame trainer on June 5. “That was really awesome,” Cabrera said. “It was such an honor to ride for him. He just told me to see how the race unfolds and that then horse could run with the speed or come from off the pace.” Cabrera achieved a major milestone at the Lone Star meet, as he was not only the leading apprentice rider but his 65 wins gave him the overall riding title over veterans like Luis Quinonez, Cliff Berry, Lindey Wade and Gerardo Mora. “I didn’t expect this success,” Cabrera acknowledged. “Each morning I thank God that I am doing what I love and that I can wake up and ride horses.” On June 12, he won his 50th race of the Lone Star Park meet aboard Cherokee Vision for his aunt, who owns and trains the Oklahoma-bred. Cherokee Vision, a 20-1 shot, had not visited the winner’s circle in two years. “David feels that he can win on any horse,” Rodriguez stated. “If you watch him ride, you will see how he stays down and believes he can get a check. Now that he has gotten more successful, I know he cannot always ride my horses, but I don’t
mind. He’s special, and I am very proud of him.” Walter Layland, a former jockey who has served as clerk of scales for the past 14 years at Sam Houston, knows Cabrera well. “He has a ton of talent,” Layland said. “When he first began riding, he just wanted to get out of the gates and go. Now he has a much better feel for where he is on the track and how to get his horse in the best position.” Layland is just one of many racetrackers impressed with the work ethic of Cabrera, who readily gives of his time to translate services for the track chaplain and participate in the “Jockeys & Java” program at Lone Star that gives fans a behindthe-scenes look at racing with a trip to the backstretch during morning workouts and a Q&A session with jockeys, trainers and track officials.
Slow and Steady Progress Seven years ago, Cabrera spoke no English and had never
ridden a horse. Today, he is fluent in his second language and has won more than 120 races and $1.5 million in purses since his first victory in May 2013. But this young rider does not spend his hard-earned dollars on a sports car or flashy entrapments. “With his first paycheck, he bought me a vacuum cleaner,” Rodriguez recalled. “Every bit of his money goes to support his family in Mexico.” In just over a year, Cabrera has made quantum leaps as a professional rider. He clearly loves what he does and wants to continue doing it for many decades. “Every rider has dreams of riding in the big races like the Kentucky Derby,” Cabrera said. “But for now, I just want to keep working hard and learning. Someday, that dream might come true.” Texas racing fans have seen his meteoric rise, but his aunt Marti gives greater kudos to Cabrera’s humility and kindness than his prowess in the saddle. “This is a million-dollar boy,” she proudly stated. “Not just the rider he has become, but the person that he is.” H
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Terry Gabriel 12002 Quagliano Road • Folsom, LA 70437 Cell: (504) 957-8026
Pam Stephenson Cell: (337) 515-5555, leave message P.O. Box 1133, Washington, LA 70589
Mallory Farm • Breeding • Boarding • Sales Scott Mallory
2672 Newtown Pike • Lexington, KY 40511 (859) 707-6469 email@example.com
Moving Like a Winner
Don’t miss our hot prospects from Inside Move at Yearling and Two-Year-Old sales in California, Florida, Louisiana, Kentucky and Texas!
Bethe Deal • Sabinal, TX Cell: (830) 426-1646 • Email: Bethedeal@sbcglobal.net Southern Racehorse • JULY/AUGUST 2014 59
QUALITY BROODMARES FOR SALE
By sires such as:
AENEAS, BLUEGRASS CAT, INDIAN CHARLIE, IN EXCESS and THREE WONDERS All mares are in foal to IRISH ROAD average earnings per starter of $31,000+ (son of UNBRIDLED’S SONG)
Some sell as three-in-one packages.
Four Footed Fotos
Oklahoma, New Mexico and Indiana-bred yearlings by IRISH ROAD and STAR CAT also for sale.
Irish Nuggets, a filly by IRISH ROAD, worked a co-fastest eighth-mile in :10 1/5 at this year’s Fasig-Tipton Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale. Then in her first career start on May 11, she won easily by 3 3/4 lengths in a $37,440 maiden special weight race against open company at Arlington Park!
• Cedar Creek Ranch Inc. • 575-278-2793 or 575-207-7082
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A revolutionary product for the equine market. Equi-N-icE is a reusable compression cooling bandage that does not need refrigeration or ice to get results. It works by rapid evaporation cooling, and unlike regular ice treatment that drives in the cold.
Effective! Fast! Convenient! Cooling Solutions for your horse!
Equi-N-icE works by drawing out the heat while also providing support to the area via compression.
Nixall™ Disinfectant/Sanitizer The safest way to protect your animals’ health – Nixall™ positively protects the living spaces of your animals – stalls, trailers, sale barns, shows, events. 100% Guaranteed! The Only EPA approved disinfectant that will kill all super bugs and is non-toxic to animals and humans! US Marines have shown Nixall™ to be 100 times more efficient than Bleach!
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All Natural, Eco-Friendly • pH Balanced Non-Toxic – 100% Safe Nixall™ Cleanser Nixall Wound + Skin Solution OTC Nixall™ VetResponse® Wound + Skin Solution Nixall™ VetResponse® Skin + Coat Grooming Solution Nixall™ Disinfectant/Sanitizer ™
NUTRACEUTICALS 13000 S. Tryon St. #F-203, Charlotte, NC 28278
Published on Jul 15, 2014
The July/August 2014 issue of Southern Racehorse features three special articles on jockeys with a look at how the rigors of the profession...