08/06/2010 12:05PM

David putting emphasis on family

Email

For the first time in 25 years trainer Sam David Jr. is not stabled at Louisiana Downs, so when he saddles horses in the seventh and ninth races on Sunday, they will be just his fourth and fifth starters at the meet. David has moved his base of operations to Lafayette, La., to be closer to family, and has reduced his 40-horse stable down to about 10 runners.

His son, trainer Shawn David, has taken over a number of his former charges, and the two now share a barn at the Evangeline Downs Training Center. Shawn, 30, won his first race as a trainer in April 2008. He now has about 30 horses in his care in Lafayette.

“My son and I kind of combined everything,” said David, 59. “I’m running a few to keep my hand in it. I’m going to kind of cut down on the number and work with Shawn a little bit, have a few running.”

David said that this fall he plans to head to Keeneland with a small string of horses because of the longer than usual gap between the close of Louisiana Downs and the opening of Fair Grounds.

“We’ve got some young horses we’re hoping might develop into stakes horses,” he said.

David, who in 1997 won the Kentucky Oaks with Blushing K.D., is a second generation horseman from Florida. His father, the late trainer Sam David Sr., turned over his stable to the younger David when he took out his trainer’s license in 1972. Sam David Jr. eventually made his way from Florida to Louisiana, and in 1985 set up shop for the first time at Louisiana Downs.

David has won more than 400 races at the Bossier City, La., track, and long had lived in the area. But after the meet last fall, he and his wife moved to Lafayette to be closer to both of their sons and their grandchildren.

“We’re getting to spend a lot more time with grandkids,” David said. “I’m not hustling and bustling as I once was. I really enjoy being around them, and I like training with Shawn. We’re both right in the same barn. It works good. I’m able to give him some advice once in a while. Not that he needs it. He’s been in it all of his life, and is very accomplished in his own right.

“We keep telling people, ‘You get two trainers for the price of one when you send horses over here!’”

Comeback plans for Superior Storm

Superior Storm, who is in light training at Louisiana Downs, could make her comeback this fall at Churchill Downs, said her trainer, Rick Jackson. He said she is possible for the Grade 2, $150,000 Chilukki for fillies and mares at a mile Nov. 6.

Superior Storm last raced on July 3, finishing fourth in the $100,000 Louisiana Showcase Night Distaff at Evangeline Downs. It was her first defeat in a Louisiana-bred stakes, and after the race it was learned that she did not sweat, which may have affected her performance.

“She’s doing good,” Jackson said. “We backed off her, have her in light training because of the heat. We’ll save her for the fall.”

The timing of the Chilukki is ideal for Superior Storm, whose long-term goal is defense of her title in the Louisiana Champions Day Ladies at Fair Grounds in early December. She has won 15 of 25 starts and $956,123 for owners Jac Mac Stable.

Jac Mac and partner C.E. Formby have another quality runner with Jackson in Ricky Tick. A 3-year-old, he was second by a neck in an allowance at Louisiana Downs on Aug. 1 and is to make his next start in the track’s $100,000 Prelude Stakes on Aug. 28.

The Prelude will share a card with several other stakes, and allowance preps for two of those races, the $50,000 Honeymoon for Louisiana-bred fillies and mares and the $50,000 Sunny’s Halo for 2-year-olds at a mile on turf, will be run as the second and sixth races Sunday.

Tooley memorial held at Remington

Remington Park held a memorial service Friday for longtime racing official John Tooley, who died in his sleep at his Oklahoma City home Aug. 4. He was 74.

Tooley had a distinguished career. He was a former general manager of Columbus in Nebraska, and for the past decade worked as a racing official at Remington. Tooley was the paddock judge during part of his tenure at the track, and over the last six years worked as the stall superintendent.

“John, he was a consummate professional,” said Fred Hutton, director of racing at Remington. “He was just a total class act. His honesty and integrity were second to none. He was one of my rocks.”

◗ Hal Wiggins, the retired trainer who won last year’s Kentucky Oaks with Rachel Alexandra, will lead a group of panelists for the Texas Thoroughbred Association’s horse sale seminar Aug. 29 at Lone Star Park. The program complements the Fasig-Tipton Texas summer yearling auction at the track Aug. 30.