04/30/2012 4:43PM

Beyer: Speedster might not be good Kentucky Derby fit

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Barbara D. Livingston
Shivananda Parbhoo purchased Trinniberg for $21,000

Shivananda Parbhoo has not exactly followed a conventional path to the Kentucky Derby. He bought his colt Trinniberg almost by accident. He employs his 72-year-old father as his trainer. He decided to run Trinniberg at Churchill Downs on Saturday even though the speedster has never raced as far as a mile and appears unprepared for the Derby's demanding 1 1/4-mile distance.

But this much is almost certain: Trinniberg is going to have a significant impact on the 138th Derby. It just may not be the type of impact that the owner imagines.

The 47-year-old Parbhoo grew up in Trinidad, and got interested in the sport as a child; his father, Bisnath was an ardent racing fan who worked part-time assisting a horse trainer.

The family moved to the United States in 1990. (As a result of a clerical error in the immigration process, Bisnath's last name was misspelled "Parboo" - the spelling that will appear in the Churchill program Saturday.) They got into the trucking business in the New York area, and the father wanted to get into Thoroughbred training.

Training a stable of family-owned horses, he proceeded to lose 90 races in a row. "He was going 'old school,' doing what he did in Trinidad," his son said. The father eschewed legal medications such as Lasix that are an essential part of every U.S. trainer's arsenal.

But when the family moved to Florida in 2010, Bisnath changed his ways and started winning at nearly a 25 percent rate against the weaker competition at Calder Race Course. He did a textbook job of managing the high-class sprinter Giant Ryan to six straight victories last year.

The addition of Trinniberg to the stable was purely serendipitous. As Parbhoo tells the story, he was in Ocala, Fla. - the heart of the state's horse country - when somebody told him that an auction of 2-year-old Thoroughbreds was under way at the Ocala Breeders Sales Co. Parbhoo went there strictly as a spectator - he didn't even have a sales catalog - but a colt in the auction ring caught his eye. "I didn't even know who his mother or father were," he recalled, "but I liked the way he looked. I started bidding on him and got him for $21,000."

Three months later, the colt led all the way to win a five-furlong dash Calder, and Parbhoo declared: "This is my Kentucky Derby horse."

Trinniberg showed almost uncontrollable speed as a 2-year-old - he once ran a quarter-mile in a breathtaking 20.96 seconds - but he faded in most of his races. This spring, however, he won seven-furlong stakes at Gulfstream Park and Aqueduct in impressive fashion, signaling that he was ready to take the next step in his development, and there was a perfect spot to do it: the one-mile Derby Trial at Churchill. Parbhoo announced that Trinniberg would run in that race, then quickly changed his mind. "I think he's a better horse than the Derby Trial," he said.

Parbhoo envisions Trinniberg using his superior quickness to take the early lead in the Derby, while the jockeys on his rivals refrain from getting into a suicidal duel with him. "They're going to give him the lead and hope he's going to stop," Parbhoo predicted. "I don't know long he can go," he conceded, "but I have to give the horse a chance."

Racing fans regularly root for low-profile owners and trainer who take a chance on beating the big boys in the Kentucky Derby. They should relish the story of a trainer making his first mark in the game after the age of 70. But fans who understand the basics of the game will deplore the Parbhoos for abdicating their responsibilities to their horse.

Any athlete, human or equine, needs proper conditioning to undertake a tough physical challenge for the first time. There are 137 years of evidence to prove that a 3-year-old needs to get the conditioning for the Derby by racing farther than a mile multiple times. In Saturday's 20-horse lineup, 19 of the prospective runners made their last start at 1 1/8 miles. And then there's Trinniberg.

Even if he were cut out to be a Derby horse, he couldn't succeed with this lack of preparation. But Trinniberg has never looked like a potential Derby horse (except to his owner.) He acts like a pure sprinter and is bred like a pure sprinter. (His father, Teuflesberg, was a sprinter-miler who tired and finished 17th in the 2007 Derby.)

An undertrained human athlete who imprudently enters a marathon at least has the option to quit when he runs out of gas. He doesn't have somebody whipping him to keep going past the point of exhaustion. Parbhoo's decision to run Trinniberg in the Derby could compromise the future of a colt with the potential to be a star sprinter.

But handicappers cannot ignore Trinniberg as they might ignore other longshots in the field. A single sprinter can change the dynamics of the Derby by going so fast that everyone close to him becomes a victim of the fast pace - even though rival jockeys are trying to restrain their mounts. This has been a frequent Derby scenario. In 1986 the brilliant sprinter Groovy flew the first half-mile in 45.20 seconds. Not only did he finish last, but every horse within 14 lengths of him at the half-mile mark wound up being trounced.

A super-fast pace by Trinniberg could affect rivals such as Hansen, Bodemeister, and Take Charge Indy, who have all scored front-running victories in Grade 1 stakes and who will be near the lead in the Derby. Parbhoo's quixotic Derby venture could prove to be as bad for these contenders as it is for his own horse.

© 2012, The Washington Post

chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Is this where I may speak nice things about Trinni - Shivvy - Pops - Willie? There is not enough room for all the nice things I'd love to say to y'all. Trinni, I love you. Namaste'.
Ann Mitchell Adam More than 1 year ago
IF anything this man's father, trainer, would seem to prove out that the "only" therapeutic, not enhancement excuse is B S!!! I'm left to wonder about the treatment records of Bobina in today's 5th at Betfair Hollywood Park!!!
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Andy, you over here??? I don't see you. I guess you're on your way over to apologize to Jockey Martinez... das nice...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hay Chad, yeah, Buyer Slams Parbhoo, and refer's to Trini, in his "vision" of how Trini might end up being, "An undertrained human athlete who imprudently enters a marathon at least has the option to quit when he runs out of gas. He doesn't have somebody whipping him to keep going past the point of exhaustion" ....That's not a slam on Willie, just Buyer's own "vision" of Trini, whom he thinks isn't a contender, hell, he say's Trini does;nt belong, but he didn't have to slam the Parbhoos, and he doe's insult the horse, too, it's not a Ricks Natural Star situation, I think Trini can run with these horses, how far?, we'll find out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When trainers prepare horses for the Kentucky Derby, they typically give them 2 or 3 prep races during their 3 year old campaigns. If they only have two preps, they usually start at 1 1/16, and their last race is at 1 1/8. If they have 3 starts, the first is usually at at 8f, the second at 1 1/16, and the third at 1 1/8. This gives them a good foundation for the grueling TC races. Trinniberg has never been beyond 7f. The two Derby prep races that he won(Swale Stakes and Bay Shore Stakes) were both at 7f. His connections considered sending him to the Louisiana Derby or to the Wood Memorial, but they passed on both. Then, they considered the Derby Trial, but passed on that as well. If they truly believed the horse was a stayer, why wouldn't they have put him in a route race by now? I've been following the Kentucky Derby since the 80's. I've seen many good horses ruined after competing in the Derby. It has taken its toll on horses more suited for it than Trinniberg. I wish the horse well.
Starr More than 1 year ago
I just want to see a good race and, as always, MY FIRST AND FOREMOST PRAYER IS THAT ALL OF THE HORSES AND JOCKEYS STAY HEALTHY AND HAVE A GOOD RACE!
raj rampersad More than 1 year ago
WOW, you would think this is some kind of boxing match!!! OK, first of all, I am associated with the connections of this horse as I was in the paddock and the stall with them and this horse for the breeders cup juvee he looked fabulous but was not as ready as he could have been and did not run his race, after all he was just a LITTLE BOY at the time. That race was an eye opener for this horse as his record indicates after the BC. First and for most, THE JOCKEY: Does any one really know Willie Martinez, The same Willie Martinez who has rode horses for a very long time, the same Willie Martinez who did most of his riding in Churchill and turf way and the Kentucky circuit in general. This man may not have won a Kentucky derby, then again lets look at the derby riders and see how many of them have won a derby. Some of the greatest riders of all time have not. Clearly he knows what he is doing and will do whats in the best interest of the horse. Lets get to the OWNERSHIP: These guys started out a few years back in Belmont losing 90 , yes a NINETY races in a row and never threw in the towel. Some trainers who lose half that amount in the beginning, revert to selling vegetables from a truck. They LOVE this game, LOVE horses and the THRILL is in the chase. Two years ago their shinning start GIANT RYAN was on his own planet and lame, they thought about retiring him or just giving him to a farm to live his life, but for the love of this horse they tried to at least get him back on his feet before doing so. Well history says the rest. GIANT RYAN, not only went on to run in the Breeders Cup, the the $2 million golden Shaheen in Dubai, but came back to the U.S only to be named NEW YORK bred HORSE OF THE YEAR, Champion Sprinter and champion older male. How many owners, or race fans can put that on their list of accomplishments. If 75% of the public had a horse like TRINNIBERG they would run him on the moon if it is their one shot to possibly win the derby. Isn't this game not just ability but luck. Cmon, guys, give these people a break already and wish them luck, cause if they hit the board and any of you have them in your bets, you will probablywrite them to thank them for bringing this horse here. As for the DISTANCE limitations, I once had a friend who car gas light indication gauge was not working, he said to me don't worry I have enough gas we will get there, I said but how do you know how much fuel you have, should we not drive faster?. His reply was if we had to drive 10 miles, does it matter how fast we do it or if we get there. I never asked him about that gas gauge again, we got to where we were going. Every horse has to start out sprinting and work his or her way up to the longer distances as many in the derby field have. Not until then the trainer will know what more their horse can do. OK so This connection decided to use the derby asthe next step up!! The world is talking about Bafferts horse BodeM and how he is trying to buck history not racing as a 2 year old, so they are basing his potential derby win on pure talent and little seasoning, Ok, then lets buck history then for TRINNIBERG and base this on pure seasoning an little talent. Its strange that years ago the great CIGAR was bred for the grass and started out that way and bill mot was left scratching his head as to what next with this horse, Well THE REST IS HISTORY, they put him on the dirt and he rolled to 13 straight wins. How many California horses have competed in the derby and they had the pedigree and the distance foundation under them, but yet we blame their poor finish on the poly/cushion/pro ride track surface which they raced and trained on. Can Trinniberg win the derby, he has just as much chance as the person who hit the $200 MILLION power ball lottery, it can happen. Will he win? Lets see who goes with him and how fast he goes, does anyone out there know his distance limitations. or do we re-write the word HISTORY. If it hasn't happened yet its not history, when it does then it will be. BOTTOM LINE HERE::: AS Todd Plecther told Javy, " Hey even though I would like you to ride the way I suggest, If things don't go that way, do what you think is best for the horse and his chances. So, Lets this horse and every horse in this field perform as best they can and let this derby WINNER whom ever it may be go down in HISTORY as a special animal with great talent and most of all PURE HEART!!!! Good Luck Ralphi and Vik and Pops.
mrm More than 1 year ago
All I know is that Trinni's Bayshore was one of the most impressive wins I've seen this year. If you have not seen it you owe it to yourself to watch it.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
"You can lead a horse to the water..." In this case you could strap 'em in their seats and they still would not see., To Trinni, to Shivvy, to Pops and to Willie, NAMASTE'.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Raj... So much of what has been said about Trinni comes purely from negativity. Too many people go through their entire lives and never get a glimpse of light. Life moves too quickly and we cannot see tomorrow, next year or the next life. People in other cultures particularly in the East think "long". Americans have not learned to do that yet but one day... Trinni cannot hear all the ugly things that have been said. All Trinni needs is his family. His family moves forward shedding all the unkind and yes some ugly remarks. Most of these remarks have come from people who have never touched a Racehorse or had a Racehorse touch them. They don't understand the connection and sadly most never will. Some of these ugly comments however came from a "Sportswriter" who painted a picture of Jockey Martinez whipping Trinni inhumanely. This statement is totally unprofessional and could hurt Jockey Martinez' career... I have called for this man, Andrew Beyer to act like a man and apologize to Jockey Martinez as he should. So far - nothing. After the Derby is run - again, AFTER the Derby is run I hope the Jockey's Guild and the Jockey Colony come together and ask that The Daily Racing Form and all of the other newspapers that ran Beyer's ugly story find some way to deal with this loudmouth. If he wants to predict winners with his numbers system then maybe that's where he should kept because he is no good with words. Raj, you are. Thank you. To Trinni and his Family, Namaste'. To Willie, "take him to the front and improve your position from there."
Michael Miner More than 1 year ago
If Beyer is proved right, if all of us who never touched a racehorse but who have common sense are proved right, if the horse finishes up the track because he was asked to run a mile and quarter when his ideal distance is probably between five and seven furlongs - what will you say to that? I just hope the horse survives so he can show his true talent to us fans who love the game and who love horses like Trinniberg. I want to see him have a nice career, win lots of races, maybe break a track record or two at six furlongs. We fans want to see a special horse like this thrive, not get used up because his owners got caught up in Derby fever.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Michael, Once again, my gripe is with Beyer putting that slam on Jockey Martinez and his professionalism. Go back and read my comments and that will come clear. Andy Beyer is hiding from this issue and he knows it. But he don't remember me. I am like a pit-bull and I don't let go. Also I am retired with lotsa time on my hands. Right now that could make me Beyer's worst adversary. Let me put it to you this way: I am a writer for a trade magazine that covers your profession and I go public with; . Now this is all hypothetical but how does Micheal feel about that? Good luck to you Michael. To Jockey Willie Martinez, Buen Suerte' and Namaste'.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
P.S. What got dropped was this: 'Micheal is a hack and will butcher his next assignment..' I apologize for that. See Andy? It's not hard at all.
Leah Demeter More than 1 year ago
I also had a friend who was low on gas on the freeway and wasn't sure if he had enough fuel to make it... Sadly, he ran out of gas, got run over and died on the freeway. We were all devastated. The camp is very lucky that Trinniberg didn't fall over from exhaustion and die in the middle of traffic. He went from challenging the lead at 8 furlongs and then suddenly 16 horses pass him for the last 2 furlongs. Of course he was not ready for the grueling distance. Parbhoo really endangered Trinniberg's life... I hope the horse can come back from this. Shame on your friend for not refueling sooner and shame on the trainer for not giving Trinniberg the proper preparation that this talented horse deserves.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Andy... You knew you would see the Tarantula again... If you talk to Hench, then to will be able to talk to me. You do owe Jockey Martinez that apology. You know that you do...
MJP More than 1 year ago
Everyone obsesses about the "speed horse" that will "burn out" and is "unsuited to the distance" and they act like the connections are borderline criminal for taking a shot. For every burner that flashes speed and fades like Spanish Chestnut, Keyed Entry, Sharp Humor, there are 50 plodders that may ostensibly "get" the distance but have no talent and just end up clogging up the field and causing traffic problems for the real runners. Look at 2005. Maybe Spanish Chestnut set a blistering pace and wasn't suited to the distance, but at least he competed. Did Zito get blasted in the press for entering horses like Sun King and Noble Causeway who spit out the bit at the quarter pole even though they didn't even run close to the pace?
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
MJP... I hate to put a curse on you but I like your style... We'd take that shot. You're damn right we would! Good luck to everyone.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Paging Mr Beyer!
Monty Fisher More than 1 year ago
Wide open Derby with 20 running ! Like both "Daddy's", so take a 15/1 shot or higher, possibly "El Padrino", "I'll Have Another", or "Went the Day Well" with Johnny V, could surprise !
Robert Vaughan More than 1 year ago
Andy Ive followed you for thirty years, and dont need to talk about my success. but mt formula for a BIG bet is , BEST HORSE + BEST TRAINER +BEST BEYERS +SHAPE OF RACE = WINNERS .This Derby has one that fits all. BODEMEISTER