Tom Drury – Trainer to Watch






The holiday season has me in an introspective mood. – I’ve been thinking about the good men and women who make the sport of racing. People who work seven days a week and don’t know the meaning of too many hours at work. – There are plenty of good nature, hard-working folks who tend to their horses. But there are horse trainers who possess a knack with getting their best. They employ a little from the past, and the best from today. They utilize technology, consult with the best minds, and surround themselves with the good help. Their vocabulary doesn’t know words like; me, I, mine. The words they choose are like; we, our, and the team. – Quick to pass around the credit, and the crew is always present in the winner’s circle picture. These are the folks who make it to the next level, and sit at the big table with the best.

Tom Drury grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. He’s a lucky fella with two beautiful children, and a wife who tolerates the smell of a barn in her home. – I remember years ago at Turfway Park, I was doing the paddock handicapping and was talking about horses and trainers, and who looked good and why. I was going so fast I said the name of the trainer of the horse I liked as “Drury Tom.” Silly thing to remember, except to some friends who would bust you up later with laughter, and remembering how much the horse won by that day. That was my first time reading the name of “Drury Tom.” – Well, once I got it right, seeing his name in the program signaled good news to this handicapper.

I asked him if he had a mentor who played a role in his career. – His reaction was not quick to name just one, as there were so many who helped him along the way. In his words exact; “I would mention that if it were not for guys like Bill Mott, Ralph Nicks, Frank Brothers, Al Stall, and Claiborne Farm, I certainly wouldn’t be where I’m at today. I’ve just always tried to make the very most of each opportunity, and that has led to more opportunities.”

You can find his name as #409 from 5,840 trainers with at least one start in North America according to – At the time of this story, his 50 horse stable quietly amassed from 112 starters, 31 winners, 16 place finishes, and 14 shows. That’s only winning at a 28% clip and 54% ITM. – If he played baseball, he’d get a contract extension. As a trainer, he’s gaining the attention of the betting public in a big way. Race fans love the beauty and pageantry, but they kinda’ like to bet a red-hot barn as well.

I asked Tom if he’d like to be one of the big outfits with horses everywhere. – ” I normally have about 50 horses in training year around with half of those being horses I’m just legging up for other owners, and trainers, and the other half being horses I actually train for the owner myself.  I honestly don’t think I’d want multiple divisions of horses, or to grow much bigger than I am now.  I enjoy having all the horses under one roof, much better.” – That got me to thinking who was the first horse who got him going. Every trainer has that one that got the pump going, and for Tom Drury it was Timeless Fashion. – “The best horse I’ve ever trained would be Timeless Fashion.  He was a multiple stakes winner, and just really helped push my career to the next level. I think he also gave me that needed confidence to believe I’m just as capable as anyone else to train a good horse when given the opportunity.”

I didn’t tell him, but there are three guys who ask me everyday if there is a Drury horse coming up in the next few days. – I make the morning line, and I see the info about 72 hours prior to the race. – ” Yeah, but it will be in a few days. Keep your eyes peeled.” – I’m surely not giving away the secret sauce recipe as this barn is on fire. – One day he had a colt drawing off in hand and I said during the race; And chalk up another win for the Powerhouse Drury barn !” – Don’t you just hate cheese ball track announcers ? – Me too ! – Mom always said the truth will never do you wrong. She’s right. – I enjoy watching solid barns bringing horses ready to battle.

At the conclusion of our discussion, I asked if he had any words of wisdom he’d like to share with anyone wanting to work in racing. – In his own words; “My advice for a young person wanting to become a trainer would be simple.  Call Todd Pletcher, and ask for a job doing anything. Learn the ropes from the best.  Go to work with the best owners, best horses, and arguably the most organized operation in racing today. Get to the barn early, stay late, work hard, and work your way up the ladder.  And, remember. That’s exactly how Todd got where he is today.” – He wanted me to know he’s a grateful man. There is just so much to be thankful. – “I’m healthy, I have a beautiful family, and I get to do what I love for a living. Not everyone can say that.” – If I were you I’d write it down, put it in your stable mail, or just keep your eyes peeled. When you see Tom Drury’s name in the entries, know your going to see a runner ready to roll.