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Thursday, September 27, 2007

An Owners First Win

As I was going through some paperwork in my office I found this writing from our owner Roger Sofer. He sent it to us shortly after his filly Enchanted Landing won her first race. Roger was brand new to horse racing. He purchased Enchanted Landing from the Fasig Tipton 2 Year Old In Training Sale at Lone Star Park in April of 2005. Roger has not only purchased several more horses since his beginning but has become a close friend as well as a business partner. This story should be read by anyone thinking of buying their first racehorse. Enjoy.

The First Win, by Roger Sofer

Having been an avid fan for almost 40 years and being a limited partner in several horse partnerships with friends; I can assure you the first win with your own horse is beyond comprehension. I purchased Enchanted Landing, my first 2 year old filly at the Fasig Tipton sale at Lone Star Park under the watchful eye of super trainer, Dallas Keen. He liked the way she strided and her confirmation was excellent.
After a few days of getting her acclimated, she was ready for her first work. Dallas has an excellent reputation with young horses and is very cautious with their development. So after giving the jockey strict instructions to take it easy, he proceeds to take her 3 furlongs in 35.3. Naturally, two things happened; Landing shin bucked and the jockey was fired.
Rather than pin fire her, Dallas decided to put her on a very light schedule and to let her heal under his constant attention; which she did. We knew that we had a fast horse with competitive attitude, but what we did not know was that she hated the mud, would displace, and would stop if you touched her with the whip.
We started in Remington Park on a night when the jockey fell asleep missing the break, then to Louisiana Downs for the substitute Fairgrounds meet. Top purses for top horses. We ran against an offspring of Silver Charm and maidens of that breeding class. We did reasonably well but no winner’s circle. Oaklawn brought us bad weather, bad luck, bumps in the stretch, and a nose lose to a 4 year old daughter of Menifee.
Now to Lone Star Park to run against Texas Bred Maidens. First race we run against fractions of 21.4, 44.3, 57.0 and 1:10. The fastest time of the entire night. We ran 5th, 8 lengths back. The next race we got a muddy, sloppy track and got slammed on the turn for home while racing on the lead. Dallas is concerned, the breeder is nervous, my friends are muttering but my wife and I think she will break through. I make my only training decision since the original purchase. Landing will not run in the mud again!
Last Thursday, June 22, 2006 the magic moment happened. On a dry track, in a 14 horse field, we break on top, fight off challengers and win on a very game effort. Our jockey, Larry Taylor rode a great race. As I write this, the jubilation inside of me has still not subsided. Owning race horses for me is not about winning money; it’s about your team getting highly intelligent, competitive, and magnificent athletes prepared for top performance. I wanted this win for Ellie (Enchanted Landing) and for Dallas who worked so hard to try and get us in the winner’s circle. It had been a very long and frustrating year up to that point but I am good to go and ready to build a successful stable and to take many, many, more pictures.

Riders up!

*As a side note, my other horse Posey Joe won the 9th race on the same card. So in a 3 hour period I take my first 2 pictures as an owner.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fair Grounds Racing and Huge Purses

For the average race horse owner the overall cost of purchasing a yearling or a two year old at the sale is a risky investment. Even with the best of care and training the risk of loss is overwhelming. Claiming a horse directly from a race is sometimes a more cost effective way with an faster route of return.
The purses at the Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans, Louisiana were unreal last year. The purses will start back up right where they left off when $5000 claimers were running for $30,000 purses. And that's at the bottom. They only go up from there. Horses that are accredited Louisiana breeds run for even more money than horses bred in other states with the huge incentives offered to horseman supporting the La Bred Program. You don't have to live in Louisiana to qualify for the incentives, just own a Louisiana Bred horse and reap the benefits.
This year at the Fair Grounds a minimal investment starting $5000 for a horse from a claiming race along with a couple of weeks worth of training and you could be enjoying watching your own horse race at the track.
We are currently stabled at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, Louisiana and looking for horses to claim that will be competitive at the Fair Grounds meet. We are also looking for a few new partners and individual owners to claim horses for the Fair Grounds meet which starts on Thanksgiving Day. Go to our informative website at and visit the Claiming Horses page. There is a link there to email if you have any questions. We offer competitive training rate as well as live Internet accessible web cams so you can keep an eye on your investment. Please use the email link on the website if you have any trouble logging onto the web cams.
Donna KeenFair Grounds Race Course
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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Dallas Keen Racing Stables

Dallas Keen Racing Stables Live Web Cameras
To see what's happening at Dallas Keen's stable right now click on and login on by using 'guest' as the user name and as the password. This will take you to the live webcams at Louisiana Downs. You may also watch the live farm webcams by visiting the Breeding Program page and clicking on the link.
(A download will be required to watch the cameras. Just install the Active X control when prompted and be patient. It takes a couple of minuets to come up. Enter the password then choose a network type and the cameras will activate.)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

My Thorougbred Blog Beginning

I am starting this blog to invite people to ask questions about thoroughbred racing, how to go about buying a horse, (racehorse or riding horse), and any question about horse training. I will do my best to answer questions quickly and I invite anyone with other experiences or ideas to join in and let us know what you think. No question is too dumb to ask. Please visit our website at and check out the live web cams at the track and at the farm .