- What attracted you to the horse racing industry?
Karla – As a child, I devoured books on horses. As an adolescent, I helped care for our family’s two riding mares. I’ve loved horses my whole life and will watch just about any event connected to them. Thoroughbred racing is probably the most exciting because it’s such a big stage. Many of the names involved – both horses and people – are celebrities. Like many club members, I was hooked by the sports coverage of Secretariat. When Bruce and I had the opportunity to travel more, we visited tracks like Keeneland and Churchill and some of the stock and stud farms in Kentucky. That made it even more interesting to talk to the people involved.
Bruce – The short answer is Karla. Though my roots are in Kentucky, racing was not part of our family culture; we were more likely to own a mule than a horse. I watched racing casually until Karla got me interested with her running narrative of bloodlines, history, whether a horse looked ready to run or disinterested and who her favorite jockeys were. That led to trips to Lexington, Keeneland and a variety of farms and horse-related facilities. I was hooked on the magnificence of the animals and enjoyed the commonality of the fans that we met.
- What aspect of horseracing do you enjoy most?
Bruce – The numbers … looking at the odds, tendencies, probabilities and financial side of the business. Aside from that and the pure excitement of the race, getting to “meet” the stars off the track has been very special.
Karla – Although I enjoy many aspects of the sport, number one for me is the beauty of the thoroughbreds themselves and insight into their personalities. Besides, obviously, hoping for great matches resulting in speed and endurance, it’s also fascinating when other family traits are passed on to the next generation, so I guess perhaps the breeding aspect. After first being warned and then witnessing Uncle Mo’s sloppy eating habits at an Ashford Stud visit, we had the opportunity to see one of his offspring a few years later at Taylor Made. We jokingly asked if he was a sloppy eater and the tour guide said, “How did you know?” It probably was a lucky guess, but I’d like to think ‘like father, like son.’
- Why did you join the Wasabi Ventures Co-Owner Club?
Karla – I was following parts of the Retired Racehorse Project 2018 Thoroughbred Makeover training competition and, at some point, a Wasabi Venture Stables contest ad came up with an offer to win a percentage of a young racehorse and a membership in a co-owner’s club. First of all, Trapped N My Mind caught my eye because we had visited Trappe Shot when he was at Claiborne and he was such a sweetheart. And I’ve always liked Tapit. I showed the promotion to Bruce. We started reading about the program and became curious.
Bruce – I had a growing interest in having a more direct involvement with the business side of racing. We had looked at various horse ownership programs but hadn’t found anything that seemed to fit from interest and affordability perspectives. We checked out the financial arrangements, transparency and commitment to aftercare with Wasabi and decided we’d found what we were looking for. Instead of entering the contest, we just went ahead and joined … and bought into Trapped N My Mind.
- Who is your favorite horse?
Karla – We both call Trapped N My Mind our favorite Wasabi Stables horse since she was our first. Bruce is partial to following the prodigy of Curlin and Giant’s Causeway. My favorites would be Zenyatta, War Front, Cozzene and Secretariat. And at least a couple dozen others.
- What issues in the industry would you like to see addressed?
Bruce – We aren’t that well versed on all the intricacies of the industry, but ethical, consistent care and aftercare efforts for the horses seem critical from both humane and business perspectives.