05/21/2008 12:00AM

Former track official returns as owner

Email

From 1996 to 1999, Matt Kingdon was the head of the Prairie Meadows simulcasting department, and under his guidance the exportation of the Prairie signal resulted in handle numbers that had never been reached before and have never been matched since.

Spring forward almost 10 years and Kingdon is back with another title - horse owner. He and Mike Richards, another first-time owner, formed the M&M stable, and their first horse, Makepeace, circled the field and won by a widening two lengths in an optional claimer at Prairie on May 10.

While Kingdon took great pride in building Prairie's simulcast business, he said that the thrill of ownership and watching his horse win a race was like nothing that he had ever experienced before.

"I went from thinking, 'Well, she might hit the board,' to watching her run by the field, and I don't recall my heart pumping like it was when she ran under the wire," he said.

While plans for Makepeace have not been set, Kingdon and Richards are keeping an eye on Prairie's Wild Rose Stakes, with a shot at the Claiming Crown at Canterbury Park in August as a possible long-term goal.