Barry Abrams was struck by throat cancer ten years ago, and despite the devastating effect the illness has had on his life, he’s still training and enjoying success through the remarkable stallion he co-owns, Unusual Heat.
Richard Baltas has experienced the vicissitudes of the sport manning a wide array of posts during the past three decades and appreciates a major stakes horse heading the 28-horse stable he has built up at Santa Anita Park.
Alexis Barba joined the Eddie Gregson Stables and saw first-hand how a 2-year-old colt was meticulously developed into a Kentucky Derby winner. This led to her own Triple Crown aspirations.
David Bernstein has overcome two major tragedies, which have had lasting impacts on both his personal and professional lives. But his love of throrouhbreds, training and racing has helped him get through it all.
Ben Cecil was born in Oxford England and is the nephew of a “knighted” thoroughbred trainer. He came to the United States intending to return to England after training with Gary Jones for a year and a half but seeing the level of prize money in the U.S., decided to stay and build his storied career here.
Keith Desormeaux’ aim is to win top-class races with racehorses that don’t cost a top price – and he is achieving that goal on one of the toughest circuits in racing.
Peter Eurton longed to be a jockey growing up while his classmates focused on baseball, football, and basketball. At 16, he enrolled at the Rex Ellsworth Jockey School in Chino and learned the basics. After suffering an injury, he found his way to the backside to continue in the industry he loved.
Mark Glatt earns his spurs with Magic success. During his first Del Mar meet in 2000, he sent out a three-year-old Washington-bred filly to a 24-to-1 upset under Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye in a claiming race on the turf.
Jorge Gutierrez trained in relative obscurity and is virtually unknown outside the Golden State. His image was elevated dramatically with the meteoric ascent of Bright Thought, a four-year-old colt the $150,000 Grade 2 San Luis Rey Stakes on turf in 2:22.72.
Mike Harrington, a fourth-generation trainer, was a practicing veterinarian before concentrating on training. Together with his wife who has a show-horse background, they have combined and balanced their training skills since marrying.
Eoin Harty began his career under the learned wing of the late John Russell before becoming Bob Baffert’s assistant. During the seven years Harty was Baffert’s assistant, they won the Kentucky Derby twice. But there was always time to have a good time while doing what he loves.
David Hofmans marches to his own drummer, and the beat is always double time. On any given morning at Santa Anita, the 73-year-old Hofmans and his 34-year-old nephew, Brent Fabbri, his assistant for 15 years, are in lockstep, David at 5-11 and Brent at 6-2, bald pates gleaming in the Southern California sun, as they march to a lookout point on the grandstand steps to watch their horses work.
Craig Anthony Lewis is a racetrack lifer. And at 67, if genealogy and longevity mean anything, he still has a long way to go as a trainer. His father, Seymour, is 92. His mother, Norma, is 90. They still live together in Seal Beach, California.
Once nicknamed, ‘Friday Night Jesse’, for his ability to shine under the lights on Friday night at Hollywood Park, Jesse Mendoza reflects on his career, the owners and trainers he’s had the privilege to work with and the love for horses that has driven his career.
As a young boy Peter Miller dreamed of becoming a jockey. When told by a doctor that he would probably grow too heavy to be one, he made an adjustment and vowed to become a trainer. Miller talks about his love of racing, Del Mar and the work ethic that is the cornerstone of his success.
Clifford Sise returned to a familiar post on the Southern California circuit, reassembling a stable after a hiatus of nearly three years devoted to supervising the Rancho Paseana training center and a brief stint in Saudi Arabia.
Veteran trainer Kathy Walsh watched a race on Cushion Track from her mezzanine box overlooking the stretch at Santa Anita Park during the Oak Tree Racing Association meet and marveled at the surface.
Tim Yakteen studied thoroughbred racing under Hall of Famers Bob Baffert and Charlie Whittingham. He recalls the valuable lessons he learned from these two horse racing icons.