- What attracted you to horse racing?
Jenny: The very first Derby I remember, was when I was in Elementary School, it was the year Winning Colors won. Who wouldn’t be hooked after that?! I didn’t grow up in a racing family or near a track, so had to figure out that there was so much more to the sport than just the Classic races. That was all pre-internet and pre-TVG, so you can imagine how hard that was. On that note, I love that my girls will be able to say that they come from a “racing family”.
Dave: I also did not grow up in a racing family. I started watching the sport about 20 years ago when Jenny and I met, it started off just as a way to impress her (haha) but didn’t take but a handful of races to get hooked. Especially when I saw the there was an angle to handicap/collect data and maybe make a buck or have fun trying.
2. What aspect of horse racing do you enjoy the most?
Jenny: The horse. The horse. The horse. Their pedigree, their conformation, their movement, their heart, their personalities, their grace, their power, their drive, their athleticism, their quirks, the thundering of hooves, every part of them. I also love the history of the sport, which long precedes me. I love digging into the pedigree charts and finding patterns and seeing new patterns emerge. I love the rituals of race day. I love seeing an underdog win when everyone wrote him off. I love that when the horse wins, you can see the pride in his gait; there’s nothing better. I could spend weeks at the farms in the Lexington area, it’s all so fascinating.
Dave: I’m a research, numbers and stats guy, so handicapping would be the part I enjoy the most. There’s nothing better (or more frustrating) than studying a PP and having a horse decide that “today is his day” fool us all. That’s what makes it fun. It’s addicting. The electricity on race day is addicting. Nothing can top that.
I also love how racing is something my wife and I have a passion for together. Think about it; that’s pretty rare for any husband and wife to have a sport they love equally….because of her, I find myself fascinated with conformation and the tradition of the sport more and more. Even though handicapping isn’t her thing, Jenny sees why I get excited on a mandatory payout day, and spot that overlay on a race. She knows what I mean when I yell “I hit the super” now. So much fun for us both!
3. Why did you join the Wasabi Co-Owner Club?
Both: We loved that WVS gained ground west. We frequent Oaklawn, Canterbury, Remington, Keeneland and Churchill and a few other Mid-America tracks quite a bit. Being able to get in on the action (somewhat) closer to us was a huge plus.
Jenny: I have a fair understanding of the Kentucky market and have found learning more about the Mid-Atlantic region to be appealing. Our fourth grader has taken Winner’s Circle photos to show-and-tell at school. How cool is that?!
4. Who is your favorite horse?
Jenny: Secretariat. Winning Colors. Zenyatta. Chautauqua. Awesome Again. Malibu Moon. Seattle Slew. War Front. Rachel Alexandria. Bravazo. Winx. Coal Front. AP Indy. Frankel. Code of Honor. Square Eddie. I could go on for a while. I’ll leave it at that.
Dave: My favorite Wasabi horse is DETROIT COWBOY; no question about that. I had the opportunity to meet him while he was still at Oaklawn. What a personality- sort of a funny guy. He always tried and was as honest as they come; a good old War Horse. It was pretty tough when he took that spill, but to see him come back as well as he did and then turn it on and win his last race, he’s pretty special to me. He wanted to win that race, and he showed it and gave what he had left in him. He didn’t win a Grade 1 or any grade wasn’t on NBC chasing the crown or BC slot. But he’ll always be one of my favorites. Others are Zenyatta, Bravazo, Mitole, Channel Cat, and of course the King, Secretariat.
5. What issues in the industry would you like to see addressed?
Jenny: I really think US racing needs to get centralized under one governance. It really makes no sense having all these sporadic authorities everywhere. Different tracks, different rules seem foolish and outdated. Transparency with horse health needs to happen (a central authority would be key for this to happen). I think some sort of program (almost like a Carfax report for horses) would be the number one game-changer in the lives of horses. More people stepping up and supporting aftercare needs to happen. I love Wasabi’s efforts with that, I think that mission is important to our Executives at WVS and important to many of us co-owners. So much money is made off of these horses and in the “Sport of Kings”, aftercare programs shouldn’t struggle to feed horses in the winter. Senseless.
Dave: The lack of access to racing content due to laws continue to dampen the sport. Because I live in the wrong state, there are several companies that I can’t open an account with. As sports betting seems to loosen more and more nationwide, I hope horse racing doesn’t get forgotten. Modern technology has placed a computer in the hands of most Americans, yet in many areas, that technology is useless to anyone wanting to wager just a buck or even just watch a live race. Better PR to show that the majority of us actually DO put the horses first. Trustworthy syndication needs to continue to grow also if we’re wanting to keep this great sport alive for more generations.