assistant trainer

‘Thanks Is Not Enough’: Callaghan’s Assistant Receives Life-Saving Kidney Transplant

Assistant trainer Carlos Santamaria received a life-saving kidney transplant on Monday at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, according to a report on Cincinatti’s Fox 19. The long-time employee of Simon Callaghan has worked with this year’s Kentucky Oaks hopeful Bellfina, as well as Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies runner-up Donna Veloce. Earlier this year, Santamaria met […]

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‘A Good Listener Never Fails’: Assistant Mora Celebrates 42 Years In Horse Racing

With fifteen dollars in his pocket and not much else, 18-year-old Leandro Mora spoke no English and possessed few marketable skills when he arrived at the Santa Anita barn of trainer Gary Jones in March, 1977. Jones, who would eventually earn induction into racing’s Hall of Fame, gave Mora his first shot at attaining the […]

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Jockey-Turned-Assistant Leyva Enjoying ‘Really Rewarding’ Career With Sadler

Since riding in his last race in 2017 at Gulfstream Park, Juan Leyva has made a quick and highly successful transition from jockey to assistant trainer in Southern California. “I call him ‘The Phenom,’” said Leyva’s boss, John Sadler, who “recruited” the native of Mexico City for his assistant’s position. “He’s going to be a […]

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Assistant Trainers: The ‘Eyes And Ears’ Of The Racing Stable

Their phone rings after midnight, a barn watchman alerting them to an emergency situation with a sick horse. Or they have to explain to their boss how a horse got loose from a hotwalker, possibly impacting its chances in its next race. On the track, they exercise a horse too fast during a workout, upsetting the […]

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Baffert Assistant Jimmy Barnes Suffers Fractured Pelvis In ‘Freaky’ Training Incident

Long a top assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, Jimmy Barnes can usually be seen accompanying his equine charges across the world on a lead pony. On Sunday, according to drf.com, the pony 58-year-old Barnes was riding stumbled and unseated him. Barnes was transported to the hospital and diagnosed with a fractured pelvis. How […]

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‘Drawn To Horses’ From The Start, Pletcher Assistant DePasquale ‘Can’t Imagine Doing Anything Else’

Ginny DePasquale has been an assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher for 20 years, and is showing no signs of slowing down as she prepares for a journey to Royal Ascot with American Patriot to contest the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes. According to thoroughbredracing.com, the grandmother is one of the key components to Pletcher’s highly […]

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Former Marine Works ‘Through The Ranks’ To Rise As McPeek’s Churchill Assistant

Jeff Hiles, assistant trainer to Kenny McPeek, has a different perspective on Memorial Day weekend after serving five years in the United States Marines. “I had the greatest job in the world with the Marines,” Hiles said. “I was based in Hawaii for five years and eventually promoted to Sergeant. The Marines taught me a […]

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CHRB Reminder: Updated Medication Rules Go Into Effect Jan. 1

A reminder from the California Horse Racing Board went out to licensees on Friday, drawing attention to updated medication rules that will go into effect at the beginning of 2017. One of the largest changes is that the CHRB will no longer allow trainers serving medication violation-related suspensions to transfer horses to their assistants. “A […]

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Assistant Hamilton ‘Stoked’ To Be Leading Ellis Meet For Trainer Asmussen

Christy Hamilton wasn’t sure what to expect when her boss called to say her Indiana Grand stable was relocating to Ellis Park. Hamilton, after being an exercise rider and barn foreman, this year became an assistant trainer to new Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen’s far-flung operation. She moved 18 horses in Indiana to Ellis shortly […]

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NARA Grad Heery An Integral Part Of Maker’s Queen’s Plate-Winning Team

Chelsea Heery, a top grad of Bluegrass Community and Technical College’s North American Racing Academy (BCTC-NARA), had a winning weekend Sunday, July 3. A horse she exercised and helped train won the $1 million 157th running of the Queen’s Plate, at Woodbine Racecourse in Ontario, Canada. The Queen’s Plate is Canada’s version of the Kentucky […]

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