August 14, 2000 |
Scott Lake is sitting in the clubhouse at Monmouth Park, having lunch with friends and looking more like an anonymous fan than the nation's leading horse trainer. In a few minutes, he will saddle a most unlikely favorite in the $150,000 Salvatore Mile Handicap. His horse, Leave It To Beezer, a big, strong 7-year-old gelding and former claimer who looks, some say, like a camel, is on a four-race winning streak and is the talk of the backstretch. And Lake, 35, a tall, handsome, personable trainer based at Philadelphia Park, is on a streak of his own. He leads the nation in total victories and has been winning at an unprecedented rate of 35 to 37 percent for much of the year.
November 5, 1999 |
Louis Albertrani, who was mucking his own stalls and racing nothing but cheap claiming horses at Philadelphia Park three years ago, so broke he hired out as a groom for other trainers, is now the trainer of the fastest thoroughbred in the world. And he has that horse here for the $13-million Breeders' Cup day of racing, the Super Bowl of racing, in the million-dollar Sprint at Gulfstream Park tomorrow. And he's the favorite. "It just shows that if this is really what you want to do, and you work hard and take care of your horses, it can happen," Albertrani said yesterday outside Barn 16, watching the fastest horse in the world have his bath.
June 4, 1999 |
Harry Witteveen is a competitor, but his own success is not his main interest. He is more proud that all of the Friesian horses being shown at this year's Devon Horse Show began life at the Witteveen Farm in St. George, Ontario, Witteveen said. "I like to see the people with the very fine horses have success with them," he said. "I want them to win. " While most Friesians on display are older and more experienced, the horses Witteveen is showing this year are new to the horse-show circuit, he said.
April 30, 1999 |
During his decades traveling the world covering sports for ABC Sports, Jim McKay has been in many memorable venues, covering such events as the Olympics, the Indianapolis 500 and major golf tournaments. No place, however, has produced as many human reactions as the winner's stand at the Kentucky Derby. Now, Bob Baffert has the opportunity to leave a lasting impression on McKay and viewers. Tomorrow, Baffert hopes to become the first trainer to saddle three consecutive Kentucky Derby winners.
July 27, 1998 |
John Forbes remembers hanging out with his dad on the Delaware Park backstretch in the late-1950s and all through the 1960s. Every year, father and son would spend the summer at Delaware, getting the father's horses ready to run and watching some of the best animals anywhere race at DelPark. In the intervening 40 years, John Forbes, like his father, became a horse trainer, a very successful trainer. He's been back to DelPark from time to time, but never been back like yesterday.
May 16, 1998 |
Mike Pegram isn't the stereotypical horse owner. Blue-blooded, he's not. He drinks beer. Sells hamburgers. Wears no ties. And bought the Kentucky Derby winner for $17,000. "I don't want the day to end," Pegram said on national television after Real Quiet won the Derby. "There's a lot of beer to drink tonight. " In fact, Pegram and his friends sat on the hood of a car outside a Louisville hotel all that night, drinking beer and waiting for the sun to come up. And when it did, he still owned the Derby winner.
February 11, 1998 |
W. Burling Cocks, 82, a trainer of steeplechase horses for nearly 60 years and a member of the U.S. Thoroughbred Hall of Fame, died of heart and lung failure Saturday at his home, Hermitage Farms in Unionville, Chester County. Mr. Cocks was the leading steeplechase trainer in 1948, 1965, 1973, 1980 and 1986. Perhaps his most famous mount was Zaccio, the nation's leading steeplechase horse from 1981 through 1983. Mr. Cocks was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985 at Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and Zaccio followed him in 1990.
August 4, 1997 |
In 1984, David Hofmans was set to give up. He was in therapy, not far, he thought, from a breakdown. He was a horse trainer with exactly four horses in his barn. He was considering a job in sales. His father, a racing fan, had introduced him to the sport. He had learned the inside of the game from college classmate Gary Jones, later a top trainer and the son of another top trainer, Farrell Jones. The race track, Hofmans decided, was where he wanted to be. And then he found himself staring at those four horses, contemplating a job in the real world, far from the fantasyland that is horse racing.
August 2, 1996 |
Horse racing is fraught with mystery - from the intrigue of the sales ring, to bizarre results, to the power brokers who run the sport and, for too long, have seemed intent on running it into the ground. Sprint races are the staple of the game in America, yet nearly all the big stakes money goes to distance horses. When the Breeders' Cup began in 1984, a $1 million sprint race was included on racing's championship day. Still, the sprinters are too often ignored. They will not be ignored Sunday at Philadelphia Park.
July 17, 1995 |
Billy Turner Jr. grew up in Chester County, not far from Kennett Square. The first major horse race he ever saw was the 1958 Delaware Handicap. The first steeplechase horse he ever rode was at Delaware Park. From the very day he saw Christiana Stable's Endine win that '58 DelCap until yesterday, Turner wanted a DelCap of his own. The jump rider turned horse trainer was mildly detoured along the way. He trained Dust Commander as a 2-year-old, but was fired before the horse won the Kentucky Derby the following year.