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Dan Ward: Fresh Challenge, Difficult Conditions Dan Ward: Fresh Challenge, Difficult Conditions

Dan Ross

In 2006, Dan Ward oiled a sabbatical that lasted almost a decade while driving a gun.

He worked as a bartender at Stick & Stein, a busy sports activities bar near LAX Airport utilized by vacationers and athletes and Hollywood Park tracking employees. As he locked in a single night time, a gun-toting theft waited outdoors, imagining making an attempt his luck. Fates had other plans, and the striker left a bit extra ideas in Ward's pocket.

"Security was closed and I couldn't get it open," he stated, "so they only took no matter money I had

But the incident appeared to speed up Ward's return to the track.

"When you have it, you don't have the same enthusiasm," Ward stated at his bartending gig. 19659007] In 2007, he adopted a short-term position with Peter Miller, after which he was used by the Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer to supervise the steadiness of his Santa Anita. Ward accepted, and dying was forged in an employment that has confirmed to be some of the productive within the Southern California district.

Now, nevertheless, another weapon is the leveled Ward's method – a metaphorical weapon, definitely however no much less

"I have all my eyes right now if something happens," Ward admitted he’s at present researching as he leaves. On the age of one, his instructor is licensed to run a barn, which – in the various universe – operates underneath the identify Hollendorfer.

The background to this example has been a public exhibition. In June, American Foreign money turned the fourth Hollendorfer-trained horse to be injured in a six-month assembly with Santa Anita. To mention this and two different Hollendorfer

educated horses that have been catastrophically injured at Golden Gate Fields, the Stronach Group (TSG) ordered a trainer to remove their horses from each tracks. After main the TSG, the New York Racing Association (NYRA) and Del Mar refused Hollendorfer to run horses on their behalf, but they opened their doorways to their assistants, and Don Chatlos now educated owner Larry Greatest in New York.

The destruction of the waters is that there isn’t any official regulation towards Hollendorfer in Kola and New York. Neither TSG nor NYRA immediately answered questions concerning the statistical basis for their selections and the points of data they took under consideration, though Del Mar's pleadings this week embrace: "despite his long and successful career over the past six months, Hollendorfer's share is 15% of the horses that have lost their lives in racing and training on two California tracks. "

The documents are in response to a grievance by Hollendorfer and the Supreme Courtroom of California towards the Good Breeder, Del Mar Turf Club, looking for to permit Hollendorfer to continue his schooling in what is now Del Mar.

Although there’s such a public anatomy underneath Hollendorfer's career, Ward needs to guage the trainer's larger ebook quite than being a slender slice.

"If you want to go back to the last 10 years and look at all the onset and injury, we have a pretty good record," Ward stated earlier than detailing what program he adopted in Santa Anita. “We completed every workpiece. We do not have a train [phenylbutazone]. We are not shocked. We do not inject the joints [with corticosteroids]. We beat every horse before they go on the track and cancel all the works if they are unfair, ”he stated.

(A evaluate of the California Horse Racing Board's "Veterinary List" database reveals that the final Hollendorfer Santa Anita trainee was given cushioning in 2018. As for bute and corticosteroid injections, CHRB spokesman Mike Marten wrote in an e mail that they have been listed " Confidentials ", which isn’t a public doc)

In Del Mar Ward has a secure of about 16 horses, 20 of them in Los Alamitos. They're right down to 20 horses, Ward stated. Some turned out to be. Some house owners left their horses scratched, he stated – the results of a brand new five-person control panel filtering results. However some house owners, Ward added, fled the nest because of the persevering with uncertainty surrounding Hollendorfer.

"We lost a lot of business," Ward stated, explaining that he had laid off more than ten staff. "I know how much it hurts when people came to get their last checkup that had been here for 10, 12, 15 years and they cried."

Some have found work elsewhere, he stated. "But they want to come back here because it's like a family," Ward explained. “They’re good individuals. Their cousins ​​work here, after which their cousins ​​work here – they don't depart. It's the toughest factor, wanting them within the eye and you haven’t any reply. "

Naturally, the loss can have a smoothing effect. Although the variety of horses and employees has fallen, Ward has gained the appreciation of Hollendorfer for dealing with events. "He's under all this stress, people taking out horses and having to lay off workers," he stated, adding that he hoped to pay more attention to different features of the coach's document, together with his racehorse aftercare program in Washington State

“There's a cat in Los Alamitos, he used $ 10,000 to reserve it. You inform me the identical guy needed to harm horses? “Ward stated.

Schooling, so the saying goes, is a youth recreation – in the 60s, Ward is just not your typical wet-eared addition to the ranks. He all the time needed to coach, he stated. "Everybody does." Although these are hardly the circumstances by which he needed it to occur, it did, and after opening the weekend, Ward has a 20 % strike.

His mother and father, who reside regionally, have been available

"It's good that they have to come see my name on the program, come in the winner's circle – really special," he stated before he referred to their age, 86 and 87. I don't know what number of occasions I can come right here and get them right here. "

Though Ward was not born into sports – his father worked for American Categorical on his mom's accounting – horse racing

" My first race, Majestic Prince, '' 69, he stated of the Golden Chestnut Santa Anita Derby romp.

When it came time to hitch the workforce, Ward had eyes at the Bobby Frankel Academy, "but he had no access," Ward stated. So the 18-year-old as an alternative joined Joe Manz, the master's 2-year-old coving Roving Boy. There he stayed until a faculty good friend secured him a spot with a selection of quantity uno.

"I went there, but it was a lot harder," he stated, of a five-time wonderful coach who acquired the Eclipse Award. “You needed to show your self. For those who do something he sees as gaining his trust, then you’re in. Once I started, they didn't give me 4 horses – I had one and I walked on horses. Then I had two. Then I had three. Then I had 4. “

Ward took the Assistant Trainer License in 1980 and commenced traveling with the secure of one of the best and brightest. This was the era of early Juddmonte star Exbourne, grizzled handicapper Marquetry and winner of the G1 Japan Cup. Frankel's philosophy has parts that get caught: "I liked the fact that he worked his way back to the race," Ward stated. "He would go from the stand to a stop, evaluate each horse, figure out what the goal is."

One other Frankel Axiom: If a horse runs out of lights, don't drive it again quick. Check out Ghostzapper, the upcoming GI Breeders Cup Basic winner.

“He ran a ridiculous amount for the first time and actually thought [Derby preps]. He ran him back and he was fourth and he was indignant with himself, Ward stated. Ghostzapper was later confirmed, missed the classics, but got here again to win GI Vosburgh S. later that yr. "Such things, you can't learn that anyone else – and you can't forget it."

Ward parted methods with Frankel in 1998, burning, he stated, relentlessly. Then came the almost decade-long Sabbath to bartending. When Ward's offspring have been back within the fold, one of the first massive horses, Ward, was on the Hollendorfer barns, a former Frankel trainee, Heatseeker (Ire), who ended up profitable the 2008 GI Santa Anita H.

What brings us back to the current and the current maelstrom, the place Ward finds himself nicely in the eye.

"I think the rules that they have adopted are all good," he stated, the security protocols and drug restrictions which were enacted both in Santa Anita and across the state. "You have thought of things you have never thought of, such as public perception," he stated. "Time is changing."

The occasions when they’re actually modifications, as a result of it's not just California the place equine welfare has taken the wheel –

The economic winds have principally modified long-established horse-man practices and

" From $ 50,000 to $ 4,000 for a mountaineer. That's a good thing, Ward said. “Such horses can no longer run. You have to get rid of them, turn them away, which is okay. "

What concerning the future – where's the sport going? Ward sees two issues which might be essential to decreasing catastrophic disruption. One is the transition to synthetic surfaces, and the opposite is just less racing.

"Even when they were first in the Hollywood fall, you still had six, seven weeks off from the race," Ward stated, in California history, where the racing calendar was much less intense. "The horses got the break they needed."

For his future, Ward is understandably careful with so many unfastened threads.

"I don't know what's going on," Ward stated. "I don't even know what would happen next week."

Some much-needed readability might come this Friday. But then the query is whether or not TSG will present Hollendorfer booths at their California crops later this yr, Ward estimates Belinda Stronach and Hollendorfer will meet in individual. "They've got it," he stated.

If this Friday the decide decides on Hollendorfer, Ward's identify will remain in this system e-book a minimum of in the intervening time, though he needs to stress how the operating barn will stay unchanged each day.

"Nothing is different," he stated. "It's easy to make a list because I know what [Hollendorfer] wants," Ward stated.

And yes, regardless that he only has 16 horses in Del Mar, it's a reasonably candy 16 that includes a double-class I winner, Vasilika (Skipshot), whom he describes as "America's best Mare." There’s another Regal Eagle in the pond, America's Pharoah's Songbird's half-sister, America's Surprise. “If he wins first grade, he is worth $ 10 million. Your goal is, ”he stated, before he put his ft again on Terra. "We just try to be quiet and meet, win competitions, keep the owners happy and try to build it."

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