In Their Care

Kirkpatrick & Co. Presents In Their Care: Merritt ‘A Gem’ From The Rough Side Of Town

When Adriane Merritt visits Laurel Park and watches her son, Dominick, work as an exercise rider, she believes a mother’s prayers were answered. Adriane and her husband, Gary, raised Dominick and his two older siblings, Michelle Branch and Delvon Merritt, in an inner-city neighborhood on the east side of Baltimore that no one would choose. […]

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Kirkpatrick & Co. Presents In Their Care: Glass Takes Life’s Difficulties In Stride

Awful circumstances forced Jay Glass to assume the responsibilities of a man when he was 10 years old. He was that age when his stepfather, Norman Funk, the only father he had known, was involved in a horrific car accident caused by a driver who ran a stop sign. Funk, in the back seat of […]

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Kirkpatrick & Co. Presents In Their Care: Castellanos Lives ‘The American Dream Plus’

Saul Castellanos, a top assistant to trainer Mark Hennig and a recent winner of a Thoroughbred Industry Employee Award, said of his life and career, “I live the American Dream plus.” Plus? “Plus is like more than I thought,” he explained. “This country gives you opportunities and it is up to you to take that. […]

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Kirkpatrick & Co. Presents In Their Care: Longtime Blacksmith Norman Devoted To ‘Way Of Life’

No one would blame Steve Norman if he retired tomorrow. He is 67. He has been a blacksmith for 49 years. Kate, his wife of 35 years, would welcome the opportunity to spend more time with him. So would their three daughters — Sarah, Samantha and Meredith – and his three grandchildren. Norman has nothing […]

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Kirkpatrick & Co. Presents In Their Care: ‘Best Trackman In The Country’ Still Seeks Perfection At 83

Glenn Thompson never cared much for formal education and said he quit school in the sixth grade. When it comes to life experience, the masterful job he has done caring for Ellis Park’s racetrack for the last 69 years merits an honorary degree from any of the nation’s finest universities. Veteran trainer Larry Jones, three-time […]

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Kirkpatrick & Co. Presents In Their Care: Modzelewski Fulfills ‘Big Dreams’ With Hands On Horses

Toni Modzelewski grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and knew at a young age she wanted to work with horses. She quit Grant Community High School in Fox Lake, Ill., at the end of her junior year to pursue her passion, much to her parents’ consternation. Modzelewski can still hear the voice of her […]

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Kirkpatrick & Co. Presents In Their Care: ‘All I Know Is They’ve Given Me Life’

Although Mayola never made it to the races, she accomplished something far more important for Scott Woerner. She helped bring her owner back to life. Woerner was a middle-age man who started to wonder if he had a reason for being after extreme difficulty breathing led to the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis that was affecting […]

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Kirkpatrick & Co. Presents In Their Care: ‘Special Kay’ Kreidel’s Career Marked By Determination, Fast Horses

When outrider Kaymarie Kreidel weaved through horses and humans to retrieve loose Bodexpress at the end of the Preakness Stakes, her ability to defuse a dangerous situation drew national attention. But the former jockey has endured much worse than that. Kreidel broke her back three times in riding accidents in the early 1990s when she […]

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Kirkpatrick & Co. Presents In Their Care: ‘I Wouldn’t Trade This For A Doctor’s Job’

Earl Wade had just graduated from high school in Louisville in 1982. He was 18 years old, an age when many young people are carefree. Not Wade. He had already fathered two children, and he urgently needed income. His mother, Alma, who cleaned bathrooms and handled other maintenance chores at Churchill Downs, found him a […]

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