Columbus, OH --- With at least five months in between starts, local Columbus trainees Quick N’ Slick and Southwind Pepino might not be ready to dominate the Open ranks at Scioto Downs Racino on Friday (May 10) but their trainers believe in their horses’ abilities.
Both trainers have taken the time to develop these horses into athletes that can compete at the top level on the Midwest racing circuit.
|Sandy Beatty and Southwind Pepino won their qualifier on May 1 in 1:57.1.|
Hugh “Sandy” Beatty bought Southwind Pepino, a son of Chocolatier out of the Dream Vacation mare Southwind Pamona, after just one qualifier as a 2-year-old. But that qualifier wasn’t anything to write home about, nor something that would make you think to buy that horse; he was pulled up after running through the first half of the race.
“He was just a really good looking horse; looked like a classy horse,” said Beatty. “I knew he had a lot of family because I knew they gave quite a bit of money for him as a yearling. He just looked like a horse that would; didn’t look mature at the time. I thought he would mature into a better horse as he got older.”
That confidence and patience paid off as Southwind Pepino went on to take a mark of 1:57.1 that year but really blossomed as a 4-year-old, taking a mark of 1:54 at Indiana Downs and earning $106,595. While Indiana isn’t that far of a ship from Scioto, Beatty believes that staying closer to home is better for the horse.
“It’s easier on the horse, easier on us. It would be nice if we could race here all year for the money we are now,” he explained.
Beatty will take his first shot at the 2013 racing season by giving Southwind Pepino his first start on the home track, where he trained this winter, at Scioto. The horse will need a couple starts to truly get back to Open competition form, but that’s okay, Beatty has patience, just like Frances Schloss.
Quick N’ Slick has been owned since he was born by Schloss but it hasn’t always been easy for trainer Scott Mogan to convince her to keep the son of Pegaus Spur.
|Scioto Downs photos|
|On May 1 Scott Mogan drove Quick N' Slick to a 1:58 qualifying victory.|
“The horse didn’t race as a 2-year-old. And when he came back as a 3-year-old I knew he had a lot of talent but he was driving us crazy because for like six or seven straight qualifiers he made a break,” said Mogan, who also trained the gelding’s two older siblings during their 2- and 3-year-old years. “Chip (Noble) had been driving him most of the time and he kept saying this horse can go, he’s just not wanting to do it.
“He couldn’t get 10 steps out of the gate and he was making mistakes and then once he set, he was fine. So finally I told her (Frances), kept encouraging her, I said let’s keep going with this horse, I know he’s got talent. Finally I actually qualified him myself the first time he got around there and I just decided to drive him a couple starts myself and try to keep his confidence up and everything. Once he realized that he could do it and got his confidence up and got around there, he was a different horse. He’s made a few mistakes since then but not very many. He’s just a slow learner.”
But that patience and encouragement, both to the horse and the owner, paid off. During the gelding’s 3- and 4-year-old years, he made $72,372 and took a mark of 1:55.1 at Hoosier Park.
Now that the VLT money has come to Scioto and raised the purses, Mogan can stay closer to home, train and race his horses, while his son, Zach, finishes high school.
“You always want to stay home. I don’t like to ship any more than I have to,” explained Mogan. “We were forced to leave, race somewhere else where we could race for some money and give our owners a chance to make some money, at least to pay their training bills. We were all hoping this would come about and are glad we can stay here to race. It’s home for us. It’s what we’ve been waiting for.
“I think the competition is going to be tough. One thing about it, good money always brings good horses. We want a good product, we want good horses. I think my horse is a good horse. I told Frances, when you have a good horse, you got to race against good horses.”
When Southwind Pepino and Quick N’ Slick go behind the gate for the fifth race, the Ohio Lottery race of the night, they will be taking on the likes of Run And Tell Pap, a Pennsylvania invader who is trained by the nation’s leading trainer, Ron Burke.
They will also be racing against Deck The Halls, trained by Virgil Morgan, Jr., another trainer based at Scioto. That horse seems to have found his best stride as of late, winning his most recent outing at Harrah’s Philadelphia in a new lifetime best 1:53.4.
But both Beatty and Mogan are ready to see their horses race at their local track, in front of the hometown crowd.