Summer is approaching rapidly. That means the start of the premier summer meets on both coasts.
Summer is approaching rapidly. That means the start of the premier summer meets on both coasts. Belmont Stakes is next week. Although we won’t get to witness a bid for the Triple Crown next week, it looks like it’s shaping up to be a great race.
Both Graham Motion and Dale Romans are on the WPT trainer roster. Graham won the KY Derby with Animal Kingdom and Dale won the Preakness with Shackleford. Both horses are headed to the Belmont. These two men are outstanding horseman and I congratulate them for their recent successes.
I love this time of year because it’s a time when the two-year-olds are really stating to develop. I was up in Saratoga over Memorial Day weekend to see She’saflashymiss, Bellamy, and Half Nelson breeze over the Oklahoma track. I must say it is pretty weird being up there during the off season. It’s nothing more than a quiet little town in the foothills of Adirondacks. It’s a whole new ballgame come mid-July. I am so happy to see them thriving in Tom Albertrani’s program. We have had a good deal of success with Albertrani, and look forward to continuing this in the future.
The babies at Belmont, in Kentucky, and in California are all doing very well too. I think we have an excellent class this year; I think the best group we’ve ever had. The members are spread around the country and for the most part have all moved into the programs of their respective trainers.
On the topic of trainers, I want to make sure I thank all of our trainers, not just the ones enjoying recent success. I feel very strongly that we have assembled a top, top group of people to train and take care of our horses day in and day out. WPT takes pride in having integrity and looking out for our horse’s well being at all times. I am confident our trainers share the same outlook. It is our job to work with our trainers to manage our stable as effectively as possible. Of course things aren’t always going to go smoothly, and you never like to get those calls saying “This horse needs time off,” or “I think it’s time for a claiming race,” or “this isn’t much horse.” As much as I don’t like to hear those things, I keep in mind how many thousands of hours each of these trainers has spent learning about the horse, and I know that these people have the same goals in mind we do: to win races and provide the highest quality of care.
I just want to take a minute to share my outlook on the future of Thoroughbred horse racing. I know there are people out there who think racing is a dying sport that might not be around five years from now. I’d have to disagree. We are going through changes, and in five years, we are going to have a leaner, meaner, better industry. It’s up to us to keep promoting racing and all it has to offer. I think tracks are getting better at marketing and getting people to the tracks and planting the seed for them to become more involved. The markets are starting to stabilize and people who have been out of the game are starting to get back in. I had a discussion with Todd Pletcher the other day about watching our children grow up immersed in the world of racing. We need more of that. In the future, today’s young people are going to be leading this industry and I think we need to get them more involved.
There are some very good things going on in the horse racing world. I believe New York racing is really going to thrive moving forward. The best horses, trainers, jockeys, and owners are there, and the purses are only going to get stronger in the coming years.
I’ve gotten many texts and e-mails about Awesome Gem’s win in the Lone Star Park Handicap on Monday. I want to thank everyone, in particular the WPT team and Awesome Gem Partners for their support. It’s been a great ride with this horse, and I am truly blessed to have him carry the black and gold silks for our racing partnerships.
Have a great week.