by Mark Massimino
Q: Some may not remember, but years ago you trained a successful stable. What do you remember most about having your own barn?
A: You know, I really enjoyed training and, of course everyone has their favorite, but I enjoyed every part of it. I enjoyed the training part, I enjoyed putting the horses away in their stalls and doing the right stuff. I really took a lot of pride in how my horses raced and I miss that part of the game. I had an old claimer by the name of Lavette’s Paleface. He made me look good, actually. I didn’t know much about driving and I was a little rusty out there against the top guys. It didn’t seem to matter how I raced the horse, the horse always ran a good race and made me look good. And he was a standout horse; he was a beautiful red horse with a white face. He was my favorite, and I took a lot of pride in grooming him.
Q: Can you ever see yourself going back to training again?
A: I mean, I don’t know. I guess maybe somewhere down the line I’ll do it as a hobby. Get a couple babies and mess around with them, but I never want to open a stable and grind every day and do it. It’s just too tough.
Q: You’ve accomplished so many goals already…what keeps you motivated at this point?
A: I’m still in love with racing horses. Winning races, showing up, hanging out with the guys and trying to figure out how to get things done. It’s just something that I’ve always enjoyed. And you know, maybe I don’t enjoy the cold winters and the sloppy days as much, but I do enjoy racing the horses, and especially the young horses in the stake races.
Q: Of all of the horses you’ve ever sat behind, who do you think was the quickest off the gate, and who was the fastest closer?
A: It might be the same horse. The best horse I ever drove by far, ability wise, was Sweet Lou. He was able to do just about anything you wanted him to do. But I’ve driven a lot of very fast horses. Foiled Again is one that comes to mind that was able to just go fast. Another horse I drove that I really loved, it might’ve been the fastest horse Ronnie (Burke) ever had off the gate was Maltese Artist. I got my 12000th win with him. Those are the favorites that you’ll never forget and those are the ones I was fortunate enough to drive in my career.