A Day in the Life of Preakness Winning Trainer Dale Romans
West Point’s newest feature tracks members of the West Point team through their description of an ordinary - or not so ordinary - “Day in the Life.” This month, trainer Dale “Big D” Romans takes us through his Wednesday, September 14th in Louisville, Lexington, and places in-between.
This morning, I knew it was going to be a very long day because of the sale, so I got up around 7:00 a.m. I’m not an early riser, I don’t get to the barn at 5:00 a.m. like Pletcher and some of those guys; I learned long ago that I can’t do that and work all day.
I live in Louisville; it takes me 10 minutes to get to the barn. I got there around 7:30 a.m. The first thing I always do is have a little meeting with my assistant, then I go over the set list and assign exercise riders to the particular horses. My wife, Tammy Fox, gets to pick whoever she wants to ride.
I went over everything to see if there were any problems, decided who to breeze and gallop, got all of the breezers out, watched all of the horses I wanted to make sure were safe. Shackleford galloped, CS Silk worked, Frank Jones came to the barn and we had a short meeting about where some of his horses were going to run and what I was looking at at the sale, a few horses I thought he should get involved in if it all worked out.
Next I swung by my good friend Doctor Shea’s office to have my foot injected. He came out of surgery and blocked my ankle and foot so I could make it through the rest of the sale, which I absolutely needed, that’s for sure. I left there and drove to the sale. It’s about an hour and fifteen minute drive in my Lexus, which does not have tinted windows.
I got to the sale, went through and did final checks on about 10 horses, got the final vet reports, saw some I really liked, bid on a few, bought one colt - hip #722 - for $320,000, and had a chocolate and vanilla swirl ice cream cone to celebrate.
The day was also sprinkled with about 10 different conversations with my son, Jake. He advises me how to conduct my business. This is unsolicited, of course. Every time I mention school, he says ‘Don’t worry about it, I’ve got that covered.’ But he tells me where to run my horses.
Tonight we’re going to dinner at Kerry and Julie Cauthen’s house; Tammy’s coming over to meet me and we’re staying in Lexington tonight to work a horse at Keeneland and see if he likes Polytrack so we can decide whether to run him in the futurity or not. Tomorrow, we’ll do the same thing all over again.