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Churchill horsemen share life lessons from their dads

Great stuff in today’s Churchill Downs media notes by Kevin Kerstein (Churchill Downs photo of Buff Bradley and his late father, Fred)

LOUISVILLE, KY (Friday, June 18, 2021) – There are many second and third generation trainers and horse people on the backside of Churchill Downs. In honor of Father’s Day, we asked several what advice or life lessons they have learned from their father:

          Trainer Buff Bradley (son of late owner/breeder Fred Bradley): “One of the key things my dad taught me about horses was to have patience. When a horse needs time off, give them the time they need. In the end, the horses will reward you.”

          Breeders’ Cup Communications and Social Media Manager Hayley Amoss (daughter of trainer Tom Amoss): “He always tells my sister (Ashley) and me is that life is cyclical. It’s not a linear path to success and you will have highs and lows. When you have the highs, take a step back and appreciate the moments with those you love, and when you’re in the lows, grind it out because times will get better.”

          Jockey Declan Carroll (son of assistant trainer David Carroll): “He taught me to always work hard and be positive. No matter how things may be going in life or riding, keep a positive attitude and work hard. Things are not given, they are earned. He gave me the opportunity to grow up from a very young age and learn from the start. If it wasn’t for him I would be completely lost. He’s there for all my ups and downs. He’s my biggest critic and supporter.”

          Trainer Norm Casse (son of trainer Mark Casse): “Dad always treats everyone with respect and I try to do the same. I feel like that, above many other things, is the most important thing he’s taught me in life. Horse racing wise, the list would be too long.”

          Trainer Greg Foley (son of late trainer Dravo Foley): “He taught me everything about being a horseman. My sister (Vickie Foley) and I grew up on the backside with him and he gave us the knowledge about horses and this sport.”

          Assistant trainer Travis Foley and MagnaWave Specialist Alex Foley (sons of trainer Greg Foley) via joint text: “Of course, the easy answer is he taught us his sense of style. Jokes aside, he’s showed us how to work hard, handle your business, treat people well and just try to not get too high or low depending on how the racing Gods may be treating you. He’s been a great example of controlling what you can and being very consistent in everything you do.”

          Jockey Chris Landeros (son of exercise rider Manny Landeros): “Throughout the ups and downs of our job, my dad always taught me to never give up. We go through many good times and bad but throughout it all he’s always been consistent telling me never to give up.”

          Jockey agent Jake Romans (son of trainer Dale Romans): “He’s taught me so much in my life and continues to do so every day. When I first became an agent I remember him telling me to always keep an even temperament. There are many highs and lows of this sport and never get too high with the highs or too low with the lows.”

          Jockey agent Brodie Wilkes (son of trainer Ian Wilkes): “He has always taught me to never stop learning. Every day that goes by you can learn something new. Then, he would always joke that the quicker I learn the sooner he can retire.”

PESSIN HOPES GRADE I WINNER BELL’S THE ONE RETURNS TO WINNER’S CIRCLE IN SATURDAY’S $110,000 ROXELANALothenbach Stable’s Grade I winner Bell’s the Onelast victory came in the 2020 Derby City Distaff (GI) at Churchill Downs and trainer Neil Pessinhopes to make a return visit to the winner’s circle in Saturday’s $110,000 Roxelana Overnight Stakes.

          “We had a couple of options on the table for her next start after the Derby City Distaff,” Pessinsaid. “We had thought about running at Arlington or Gulfstream Park but not having to ship made this race a good target.”

          Bell’s the One was the 9-2 second choice behind Gamine in last month’s $500,000 Derby City Distaff but finished fourth in an attempt to defend her title.

          “(Gamine) went :23 that day and we were too far off the pace,” Pessin said. “She also doesn’t like to be inside of horses and she ended up on the rail. Saturday’s race looks like a tough field andFour Graces could be the controlling speed. This time we’re hoping that she can get to the outside of the field when she starts to make her run. She’s training great and she’ll be ready to go.”

          Bell’s the One is known for her fast-closing kick. The 5-year-old mare by Majesticperfectionhas regularly worked in company with stablemate Grove Daddy. In each work, Bell’s the One starts several lengths behind Grove Daddy to mimic her running style, according to Pessin.

          Saturday’s 6 ½-furlong Roxelana is carded as Race 10 of 11 with a post time of 5:26 p.m. (all times Eastern). The program will get underway at 12:45 p.m.

          The complete field for the Roxelana from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Shesomajestic (Joe Talamo, Michelle Nihei, 20-1); Miss Mosaic (Colby Hernandez, Ben Colebrook, 12-1); Four Graces (Julien Leparoux, Ian Wilkes, 7-2); Bell’s the One (Corey Lanerie, Pessin, 7-5); Sconsin (Tyler Gaffalione, Greg Foley, 1-1); and Jungle Juice (IRE) (Adam Beschizza, Anna Meah, 30-1).

          Fans can catch the Roxelana, along with the entire 11-race program, on “America’s Day at the Races.” The action is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 2. Wagering is available online at www.TwinSpires.com, the official ADW of Churchill Downs Incorporated.

DOWN THE STRETCH – Friday’s nine-race program at Churchill Downs had a first post of 12:45 p.m. and featured a $129,948 carryover in the 20-cent Derby City 6. … Churchill Downs leading riderTyler Gaffalione was off his mounts Friday as he continues to recover from a left leg injury. … “Inside Churchill Downs” will air Friday at 6 p.m. on ESPN 680/105.7. Fans outside the Louisville area can listen live at www.espnlouisville.com.

Jennie Rees is a communications and advocacy specialist in the horse industry who spent 32 years covering horse racing for The (Louisville) Courier-Journal before taking a corporate buyout. In addition to handling communications for the Kentucky HBPA, Rees is Kentucky Downs’ publicity director, manages in-season racing publicity for Ellis Park and serves as a consultant to the National HBPA. Other projects include the Preakness Stakes, Indiana Grand’s Indiana Derby Week and work for various HBPA affiliates and horsemen’s associations.