Trainer Kevin Patterson has a lifetime win percentage of 32.3% but he's never put together a win streak like the one that lasted nearly two months and included saddling 16 consecutive winners at Charles Town and Mountaineer Park in West Virginia.
The streak, which began when Wolfblade won a $10,000 claiming race at Charles Town on May 31, ended when that same horse finished third while carrying a $17,500 tag in an optional claiming race at Mountaineer Park July 23. Eleven of the wins came at Charles Town, with five at Mountaineer.
The 16-race streak eclipsed the previous recognized mark of 14 set by the late Frank Passero Jr. of Canada during a six-day stretch at Gulfstream Park in Florida. Included in Passero's streak was a victory in a race where Passero had two entries, one of which won while the other finished third.
“I've won maybe seven or eight in a row before this,” Patterson said. “This time I made it to 16. It's going to take a while to beat this record.”
Patterson said he didn't begin looking for easy spots for his horses once the consecutive victories began mounting.
“Never once did I put one in to try to keep it going,” he said. “In fact, toward the end, a couple of horses were raised, going from claiming to allowance races.”
There wasn't much fanfare during the streak, though he said friends kept reminding him how many consecutive winners he had saddled. “People kept saying stuff and I said, 'I don't want to hear about it,'” he said.
“If this had happened in New York, Florida or Maryland, they would have made a big deal out of it,” he said. “My feeling is it doesn't matter where it happened, it's tough to do.”
Patterson has been training since 1992 – most of those years while running a construction company that he sold about four years ago. He trains out of his farm in Chambersburg, Penn., which has a 24-stall barn, a five-eighths mile track, EuroXciser and an indoor arena that can be used during bad weather.
He owns many of the horses he trains in the name of Diamond Oak Stable but counts Robert Cole Jr. and Elliot Logan's TEC Racing.
“I do this for fun,” Patterson said. “When it stops being fun I'm not going to do it any more.”
Patterson said it wasn't fun when he received a 15-day suspension in Maryland in 2017 when Blu Moon Ace tested positive for cobalt after running second in the Grade 3 Frank J. DeFrancis Dash at Laurel. He appealed the suspension and lost.
“I was three nanograms over,” he said. “There were some trainers in New York who had a reading in the thousands. I was at 53 and the limit was 50.”
Patterson claims he doesn't know how the horse had an elevated cobalt reading.
He knows comments in online forums from some fans and horseplayers have accused him of cheating, which Patterson flatly denies.
“My tests go to the same drug lab as everyone else,” he said. “That's what tears me up about these people. “
Passero was also subjected to suspicions during his streak. In fact, a month after the consecutive win streak ended, the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering filed a complaint alleging Passero had a groom put a substance containing cayenne pepper around horses' genitals and rectum to make them run faster. Passero called the charges an “outright lie,” and the complaint was ultimately dismissed.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2020 Paulick Report.