OTTB Showcase: Judith’s Symphony (a.k.a. “Jude”) & Schredder
Name: Judith’s Symphony (a.k.a. “Jude”)
Height: 16.2 hands
Sale History: Sold for $8,000 as a weanling at KEENOV in 2003
Race Record: 18-2-4-1
Race Earnings: $45,390
Height: 17 hands
Sire: El Corredor
Sale History: Sold for $40,000 as a yearling at OBSJAN in 2007; Sold for $25,000 as a yearling at KEESEP in 2007; Sold for $35,000 as a 2YO at OBSAPR in 2008
Race Record: 2-1-0-0
Race Earnings: $12,840
“On April 21, 2006 I went to Gulfstream to see my new – my first – Thoroughbred. I got up at 4:30 a.m. to see him work that morning,” said Thoroughbred owner Jerry Kane. “My trainer must have known what he was doing, because when I arrived at the barn, he said, ‘Jude, meet your Dad.’
“I can’t describe the feeling, but I knew in my heart that I had a responsibility to him, to ensure his safe keeping, to be his caretaker…for life.”
He’d claimed Jude on March 29th and it was on that day that Jerry Kane began a foray into horse ownership that has since become his life’s passion. He thought he was delving into the world of racehorse ownership, but his tenure in the industry has extended well beyond the track into the worlds of breeding and off-track Thoroughbreds.
A rugby player in his younger days, Jerry has always been a sportsman with a competitive streak, so the world of Thoroughbred racing, with its unique combination of exhilaration, rivalry, and excitement, seemed to be a natural fit for him.
“At the time, I thought I was going to be a big shot, ‘bottom line’ owner,” said Jerry. “Buy at value, win a couple of races, and then drop them to get claimed. Total cash flow and profit oriented. I thought I was pretty savvy and knew a good deal on Thoroughbreds and would work this business model just like the stock market.”
Being business savvy is definitely one of Jerry’s strengths. Having been successful in several business ventures, he is currently President of Penncat Corporation, an energy company focusing on critical power systems.
That strategic plan involving monetizing his acquisitions quickly changed when he met his first “acquisition.”
“Business model right out the window!” said Jerry. “I still have Jude. He is nine-years-old, loves to eat, and is a perfect ride. He was a good racehorse too!”
Yup, that’s right. He’s Jerry’s riding horse, as are several of Jerry’s other former racehorses.
“Truth be told, I started taking lessons to impress a girl I was dating at the time, who was a very good rider” explained Jerry. “That’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done – it was English riding and it was tough! I wanted to quit after the first lesson, but it was a matter of pride, then a personal challenge, and when I got to a level – a low level – of competency, I discovered how great it is to ride in sync with your horse. It’s almost like a dance.”
Soon after Jude came along, another horse breezed into Jerry’s life. That horse is not-so-affectionately named Schredder, a name he raced under and whole-heartedly earned the day Jerry met him for the first time in the spring of 2009 at Palm Meadows.
“He was getting close to his career debut and I thought he needed a better name [than Schredder] and my specific purpose of the trip was to change his name. I thought being with him would give me some ideas,” said Jerry. “I saw him breeze and after his cool down and bath he was in his stall with his hay net. A clump of hay fell to the ground in front of his stall, so I bent down to pick it up for him. The son of a gun promptly bit me on the back of the neck! I looked at him and had to laugh – though it hurt. I told him, ‘Your name is Schredder, no questions.’”
Jerry admits that Schredder taught him a great deal about all he had to learn when it came to racehorse soundness.
“Schredder is a big horse and I wish I’d known more about soundness and tendons back then,” explained Jerry. “Heat showed up in his tendon about two weeks after he won his first race. We did PRP therapy, laser treatments, and such, but I think the ultimate failure was not giving him the proper recovery time. His tendon is fine now and he does some pretty acrobatic stunts out in the fields.”
Due to that tendon injury, Schredder ended up having to be retired when his career had just barely begun, and today he’s Jerry’s weekend riding partner.
“He’s stabled at Hill Haven Farm in Millstone Township in New Jersey, and I drive out to see him every weekend,” said Jerry. “He’s never been formally retrained. I just tack him up and we go, just cantering and galloping through the pastures.”
It’s between his business mind and his animal-loving heart that Jerry has built a fun, productive, and responsible niche for himself in the industry. He is extremely committed to finding loving, productive homes for any horse that he has owned. His Penncat Corporation also sponsors an annual golf outing to raise money for the New Jersey arm of ReRun, Inc., a national Thoroughbred retirement and adoption organization.
“Aftercare should be part of every owner’s plan,” said Jerry. “Our horses give so much during their careers. We have an explicit duty to ensure their well-being for life. If all owners really got to know their horses, we wouldn’t have a post-racing career issue for our Thoroughbreds.”
If you have or know of a retired Thoroughbred with an interesting story to tell, we’d love to hear about it! Just email Jen Roytz (Jenlroytz@gmail.com) with the horse’s Jockey Club name, background story, and a few photos.
Jen Roytz is the marketing and communications director at Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Kentucky. She also handles the farm’s Thoroughbred aftercare efforts. She currently owns two retired Thoroughbreds: Point of Impact (by Point Given; a.k.a. Boomer), who retired from racing in late 2011 and is just starting back under saddle to find his forte as a riding horse, and Shotgun Shine (by Tale of the Cat, a.k.a. Gage), who is in training as a hunter/jumper. Contact Jen on Facebook and Twitter.