The Right Team

by Ed Meyer

posted on September 11, 2009 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

In all sports, you must have the right people in the best places to be effective. Racing is no different, and the jock/trainer/owner combo can make all of the difference in the game.

Take Yuri Yaranga. He is a solid speed rider, and can close as well. He looks good in the irons, and has caught the attention of many in the mid-west.

Bring in Joe Woodard. He took over Churchill Downs a few years back and set a record. He can train, and his numbers show it. He is talented, but you are only as good as the stock your owners purchase.

Here comes Billy Hays. A Louisville car dealer who loves to win. It is in his blood, and he wants to get his picture taken a great deal at the track. He is not afraid to write a check, or go anywhere to claim a horse.

Add up the three, and you come out with a well-oiled machine. Hays pays the freight, and Woodard weaves his magic. They prep and set up a plan, and on comes Yaranga. They find the winner’s circle more times than not. You will even find Woodard’s entries that can run one-two…

The best part that breaks the hearts of many trainers and owners, is that Hays and Woodard will claim for $8,000, and turn around and run for $5,000. He even has dropped lower. Hence, they seem to win at a very high rate. They are a winning machine.

For most, this would not be a solid business model. For Hays, it is all about winning. He has not let us down…. I like to see Hays making his way to the claim box. It is lights for someone. That you can bet on. His trainer is talented, and the rider is solid. So, be sure and keep your eyes peeled as they have taken their game to Turfway Park this fall.