PARTNER OF THE MONTH - KATE QUIGLEY
Kate Quigley is West Point Thoroughbred's "Spotlight Partner" for the month of January.
Who are your current horses with West Point?
Lear's Princess and Pass the Punch, both members of the West Point Thoroughbreds' "Class of 2006".
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Connecticut but have lived in New York City since college, so it's my home now.
Have your owned horses before?
These are my first horses.
How / why did you want to become an owner?
I come from a family of Thoroughbred enthusiasts. My grandfather was there for the match race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral, and he introduced my dad to racing at an early age. My dad in turn shared his passion for the sport with me through trips to Belmont and Saratoga over the years. I'd dreamed of being an owner for a long time, but I didn't know how to get started. Then I got lucky: I met Terry Finley last spring when I was at Gulf Stream Park for the Fountain of Youth. He encouraged me to check out the West Point operation when I returned to New York. I bought an interest in my first horse in June and my second in September. I'm thrilled to be part of this team.
What attracts you to a horse?
Pedigree, Proximity, and Personality;
I look at blood lines, and it was important for me to see my horses before I invested in them. Because I want to learn as much as I can about the sport, I decided to focus on horses that would be based in New York so that I could visit them at the barn, follow their progress, and attend their races. I planned to go with a New York bred, but when I met The Princess, I couldn't resist her charms. I feel a powerful emotional connection with these animals.
Do you remember your first trip to the track?
Yes. My dad took us to Belmont Park on a sunny fall day in the early 1970s when we were off from school. I remember the vivid colors of the silks during the post parade and the beauty of the horses, but I was frustrated not to cash a ticket that day. Some things haven't changed.
Who was your first horse?
Who was your first winner?
I made my first trip to the winner's circle on Saturday, January 13th 2007 with Pass The Punch!
Do you have any superstitions on race day or with your horses?
I try to control the weather for their races by focusing on the forecast days in advance.
Who is your favorite all-time horse (maybe top three)? Why?
Secretariat - breathtaking even now, Personal Ensign - heart of a champion and Smarty Jones - inspired a new generation of racing fans.
Who is your favorite all time jockey?
Who is your favorite all time trainer?
Kiaran McLaughlin. I heard him speak on a panel at the National Museum of Racing a few years ago and really liked his approach. It's been very exciting to be associated with his barn during the year of Invasor, Jazil, and Henny Hughes. Kiaran, Artie, and the team always make me feel welcome when I come to visit Punch and the Princess.
What is your favorite track?
Saratoga, but I also like Belmont and Monmouth. I've been to Del Mar and will be making my first trip to Churchill Downs for the Derby this year. I've also been to Happy Valley in Hong Kong and want to visit more international tracks because racing is still such a popular sport abroad.
What is your favorite race?
Any 2YO MSW: I love handicapping and watching emerging talent.
Who is your favorite West Point horse? Why?
I'd have to call it a dead heat between Lear's Princess and Pass the Punch.
If you could win any race, which would it be?
A Breeders' Cup race at Belmont.