In Their Care

Kirkpatrick & Co. Presents In Their Care: ‘You’ve Got To Have Dreams’

There are times when Niccolo Troiani and his girlfriend, Danni Griggs, feel as though they are foreigners in their native land as they work for accomplished trainer Robertino Diodoro. They have looked after horses at Turf Paradise, Oaklawn Park, Keeneland, Churchill Downs, Saratoga Race Course and Delta Downs – their current home – in the […]

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Kirkpatrick & Co Presents In Their Care: ‘Jack Of All Trades’

From the time she gets out of bed at 3 a.m., Melissa Williams is the very definition of multi-tasking. All morning, the long-time assistant to Woodbine trainer Mike De Paulo is problem-solving, directing stable employees and keeping a hawk’s eye on the horses. Williams, 45, said her story isn’t so different from many others on […]

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Kirkpatrick & Co Presents In Their Care: The Story Of ‘Cristina’s Journey’

Trainer Dale Romans describes Cristina Bahena’s position in his bustling operation as “barn mother,” and that is only fitting. Her willingness to walk three days across a Mexico desert in 1991 with two children in search of a better life in the United States surely reflects the strength of a mother’s love. Bahena, then a […]

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Kirkpatrick & Co. Presents In Their Care: Pride In A Family Business

Rarely has one family been so closely identified with one trade through several generations as the Amatos are to shoeing horses. The story begins with Salvatore, who learned the fundamentals of being a blacksmith as a teenager in a town near Naples and continued to hone his skills after immigrating from Italy to the United […]

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Kirkpatrick & Co. Presents In Their Care: Throwbacks To An Era Long Gone

Rene Duplessis groaned.  “I just hurt,” he said. His complaint had nothing to do with his work as a groom. He started in the early 1970s at Fair Grounds in New Orleans. He has worked as a groom for trainer Neil Howard, currently based at Churchill Downs, since the early 1990s. No, Duplessis’ woes had […]

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Kirkpatrick & Co. Presents In Their Care: ‘A Humble Life By All Means’ For Pulido Mendoza

In an age and in an industry in which employees tend to jump from one opportunity to another, Felipe Pulido Mendoza was hired by Richard Mandella in 1974 and became someone the eventual Hall of Fame trainer continues to view as indispensable. Pulido Mendoza was still learning early lessons as a groom when Bad ‘n […]

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Kirkpatrick & Co. Presents In Their Care: ‘Sacalo’ Sings And Listens

Paulick Report is introducing a new monthly feature by Tom Pedulla, “Kirkpatrick & Co. Presents In Their Care,” a behind-the-scenes look at some of the men and women who work in anonymity on the backstretch of racetracks across the country but play an integral role in the sport. Exercise rider Finley Bishop has no vision […]

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